By Farouk Mitha
Al-Ghazali is arguably some of the most influential thinkers within the heritage of Islam, and his writings have acquired better scholarly recognition within the West than these of the other Muslim student. This research explores a major measurement of his idea that has now not but been absolutely tested, specifically, his polemical engagement with the Ismailis of the Fatimid and early Alamut periods.Published in organization with The Institute of Ismaili experiences.
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Extra info for Al-Ghazali and the Ismailis: A Debate on Reason and Authority in Medieval Islam
The historical review so far has hopefully conveyed a sense of the complexity of both the circumstances and ideas which alGhazålí had to grapple with when writing it. It is a complexity that is borne out most clearly in terms of the issues surrounding the relationship between the Abbasid caliph and the Saljuq sultan, between Shi™i and Sunni interpretations of Islam, and between the ™ulamå¢ and the body politic. At the centre of this complexity is al-Ghazålí himself, whose intellectual ambition and rigour, here and elsewhere, makes him one of the most articulate and engaged writers on the great questions facing the medieval Muslim world.
Moreover, Malik Shåh’s death plunged the Saljuq empire into a state of civil war. 22 This conflict was protracted into a three-year war, in which Berkiyåruq proved victorious, assuming power as Saljuq sultan by Íafar 488/ February 1095. It should also be remembered that al-Ghazålí gave up his position at the Niúåmiyya and left Baghdad nine months later in the same year. The civil war was a 12 Al-Ghazålí and the Ismailis turning point in the life of the Saljuq empire. It marked the beginning of a gradual process of disintegration, thus endowing the preceding period of Malik Shåh and Niúåm al-Mulk with an image of Saljuq greatness.
The civil war was a 12 Al-Ghazålí and the Ismailis turning point in the life of the Saljuq empire. It marked the beginning of a gradual process of disintegration, thus endowing the preceding period of Malik Shåh and Niúåm al-Mulk with an image of Saljuq greatness. A more important consideration for our purposes, however, is that of al-Ghazålí’s official position on the civil war. This position can be interpreted around a varying set of images. First, there is the image of al-Ghazålí the ™ålim (scholar), carrying with it all the connotations attributed to the ™ulamå¢ at large.