Al-Ghazzali On Being a Muslim

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9781567448139: Al-Ghazzali On Being a Muslim
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On Being a Muslim addresses themes of the pillars of Islam including on Attaining Orthodox Belief, Prescribed Purity, Prescribed Prayer, Prescribed Fasting, Pilgrimage, Purifying Alms and Remembrance of God and the Afterlife. Attaining Orthodox Belief is to know and believe in the Unity of God and Messengership of Muhammad. In regard to salah, al-Ghazzali explains the external as well as internal aspects of Prescribed Prayer. He offers recommendations as to how to remedy the distracted soul and details the practices of the Prophet in Congregational Prayer. He merits of the Friday Congregational Prayer are discussed through ten rules of etiquette and seven rules for the Friday prayer. He also includes a discussion about one s intention. He explains the importance of the Remembrance of God and the Afterlife as well as the other pillars of Islam in a succinct way.

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Al-Ghazâlî (c.1056 1111) was one of the most prominent and influential philosophers, theologians, jurists, and mystics of Sunni Islam. He was active at a time when Sunni theology had just passed through its consolidation and entered a period of intense challenges from Shiite Ismâ îlite theology and the Arabic tradition of Aristotelian philosophy (falsafa). Al-Ghazâlî understood the importance of falsafa and developed a complex response that rejected and condemned some of its teachings, while it also allowed him to accept and apply others. Al-Ghazâlî's critique of twenty positions of falsafa in his Incoherence of the Philosophers (Tahâfut al-falâsifa) is a significant landmark in the history of philosophy as it advances the nominalist critique of Aristotelian science developed later in 14th century Europe. On the Arabic and Muslim side al-Ghazâlî's acceptance of demonstration (apodeixis) led to a much more refined and precise discourse on epistemology and a flowering of Aristotelian logics and metaphysics. With al-Ghazâlî begins the successful introduction of Aristotelianism or rather Avicennism into Muslim theology. After a period of appropriation of the Greek sciences in the translation movement from Greek into Arabic and the writings of the falâsifa up to Avicenna (Ibn Sînâ, c.980 1037), philosophy and the Greek sciences were naturalized into the discourse of kalâm and Muslim theology (Sabra 1987). Al-Ghazâlî's approach to resolving apparent contradictions between reason and revelation was accepted by almost all later Muslim theologians and had, via the works of Averroes (Ibn Rushd, 1126 98) and Jewish authors a significant influence on Latin medieval thinking.
-- Griffel, Frank, "Al-Ghazali", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2013 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)

Review:

Ghazali has been considered to be one of the five greatest thinkers in the history of humankind. Ghazali had an important influence on both Muslim philosophers and Christian medieval philosophers. Margaret Smith writes in her book Al-Ghazali: The Mystic (London 1944): There can be no doubt that Al-Ghazali s works would be among the first to attract the attention of these European scholars (page 220). Then she emphasizes, The greatest of these Christian writers who was influenced by Al-Ghazali was St. Thomas Aquinas (1225 1274), who made a study of the Arabic writers and admitted his indebtedness to them. He studied at the University of Naples where the influence of Arab literature and culture was predominant at the time. A careful study of Ghazali s works will indicate how penetrating and widespread his influence was on the Western medieval scholars. A case in point is the influence of Ghazali on St. Thomas Aquinas who studied the works of Islamic philosophers, especially Ghazali s, at the University of Naples. In addition, Aquinas interest in Islamic studies could be attributed to the infiltration of Latin Averroism in the 13th century, especially at [the University of] Paris.   Ghazali also played a very major role in integrating Sufism with Shariah. He combined the concepts of Sufism very well with the Shariah laws. He was also the first to present a formal description of Sufism in his works. --Wikipedia

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Abû Hâmid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazâlî
Published by Kazi Publications, Inc. (2013)
ISBN 10: 1567448135 ISBN 13: 9781567448139
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