© Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project 1995-2020. This study will critically evaluate iman al-Ghazali’s views on the self and how it relates to the acquisition knowledge in producing a balanced human being. Ghazali’s works to the WWW. It is unfortunate that some recent movements of Islamic resurgence in the Sunni world, e.g. Humans can be transformed by education and training. This attitude resulted in the condemnation of not only empirical science but also 'ilm al-kalam and metaphysics, which resulted in the decline of Muslims in politics and economy. As said earlier, not only the Qur'an and hadith encouraged Muslims or rather made it obligatory for them to pursue truth freely from all possible sources, but also contained certain guiding principles that could provide a secure foundation for the development of religious and secular sciences. In the entire Shi'i literature of fiqh and usul al-fiqh, 'aql is much more emphasized, because qiyas is only a form of quasi-logical argument, while 'aql embraces all rational faculties of human beings. You will need to follow the instructions in that message in order to gain full access to the site. It contains four major sections: Acts of worsh… This process also includes the knowledge of the phenomenal world. The First Intelligence Tests, 4. Imam Ghazali was born in at Ghazala near Tus in 1058 A. D. He is called Ghazali because he was born at Ghazala and also his father was known as Ghazali by his profession. Al-Ghazzali, Abu Hamid. Kinds of Knowledge. Muslim thinkers adopted different paths to attain this goal. Concerning the relationship between God's essence and his attributes, both are said to be ‘not identical, but not different’ (al-Iqtisad: 65). This holds good even for the most powerful among the terms of Muslim religious life such as, for instance, tawhid “recognition of the oneness of God,” ad-din, “the true religion,” and many others that are used constantly and emphatically. I personally feel that he is rather maligned than properly understood by both the orthodox and liberal Muslim interpreters of his philosophy. It covers almost all fields of Islamic sciences: fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), kalam (theology) and sufism. Useful or desirable knowledge; Useless or undesirable knowledge; 1. They contributed richly to human civilization and thought by their bold and free inquiry in various areas of knowledge even at the risk of being condemned as heretics or rather unbelievers. This ensures that there is room for doubt and skepticism in Islam before reaching certainty in Iman. In Sunni compendia of hadith, including al-Sihah al-sittah and up to al-Ghazali's Ihya, a chapter is devoted to this issue, though it is not given a first priority. According to him good or evil are not physical and is not instinctual. || WorldCat, © 2020 All Rights Reserved. Imam Ghazali was born in 1059 AD near Tus in Khurasan, a part of the then Persia. Darling-Hammond et al. Imam ghazali philosophy of education 1. Usually darkness is interpreted as unbelief and light as faith in God. The first and second types of knowledge are considered useful and their acquisition is made obligatory. 'Ilm is of three types: information (as opposed to ignorance), natural laws, and knowledge by conjecture. https://newlearningonline.com/.../al-ghazzali-on-the-sources-of-knowledge In the Islamic theory of knowledge, the term used for knowledge in Arabic is 'ilm, which, as Rosenthal has justifiably pointed out, has a much wider connotation than its synonyms in English and other Western languages. Cursed knowledge (such as black magic or fortune telling, which Al-Ghazali considers as useless knowledge both in this life and the life hereafter) 2. Measuring What? These and many other fuqaha' and theologians emphasized the exercise of 'aql and ijtihad as obligatory for the believers. Muslims, during their periods of stagnation and decline, confined themselves to theology as the only obligatory knowledge, an attitude which is generally but wrongly attributed to al-Ghazali's destruction of philosophy and sciences in the Muslim world. There are laws in astronomy that are verifiable only once every thousand years; how could one verify these personally? Therefore, wisdom and knowledge which are regarded as two different things in the non-Muslim world are one and the same in the Islamic perspective. Imam Ghazali identifies the difference between the revealed and the acquisitional knowledge: “Knowledge is of two kinds – knowledge of practical religion and knowledge of spiritual matters” Imam Ghazali categorises the learning about the duties: In brief, I would like to say that the theory of knowledge in the Islamic perspective is not just a theory of epistemology. In the discussion of knowledge, an important question arises as to how one can overcome his doubts regarding certain doctrines about God, the universe, and man. In Islam- of course, after the Qur'an and the Prophet's hadith- 'Ali's sermons and letters, later collected under the title of Nahj al-halaghah, contained the seeds of philosophical and scientific inquiry, and he was an Arab. One who studies either of these soon sees that he needs the help of inspiration and guidance from God the Almighty, and that he cannot gain this knowledge from his own experience! Another myth propagated by the orientalists, that the Arab mind was not akin to philosophizing and that it was the Aryan mind, i.e. The first and second types of knowledge are considered useful and their acquisition is … Academia.edu is a platform for academics to share research papers. In Islam there is no such distinction. There is no branch of Muslim intellectual life, of Muslim religious and political life, and of the daily life of the average Muslim that remains untouched by the all pervasive attitude toward “knowledge” as something of supreme value for Muslim being. However, what has been called in the Qur'an as useless or rather harmful knowledge, consists of pseudo sciences or the lores prevalent in the Jahiliyyah. Along with the Muslim astronomers, mathematicians, natural scientists and physicians like Ibn Sina, Zakariyya al-Razi, and others who were instrumental in the development of human knowledge and civilization, it would be unjust not to mention the significant contribution of Ikhwan al-Safa (The Brethren Purity) a group of Shi'i- Ismaili scholars and thinkers who wrote original treatises on various philosophical and scientific subjects, an effort which signifies the first attempt to compile an encyclopedia in the civilized world. Undoubtedly the major contributions in philosophy and sciences were made by Iranians, but the myth created by the orientalists that the fundamental sources of Islam, viz. It is generally believed that in Islam, as far as belief is concerned, there is no place for doubting and questioning the existence of God, the prophethood of Hadrat Muhammad (S) and the Divine injunctions, that Islam requires unequivocal submission to its dictates. In Usul al-Kafi there is a tradition narrated by Imam Musa al-Kazim ('a) that 'ilm is of three types: ayatun muhkamah (irrefutable signs of God), faridatun 'adilah (just obligations) and sunnat al-qa'imah (established traditions of the Prophet [S]). 14. This is a valuable effort that deserves our interest and encouragement. Knowledge, according … It may also be pointed out that Muslim fuqaha and mufassirun made use of the method of linguistic analysis in interpreting the Qur’anic injunctions and the sunnah of the Prophet (S). Islam is a religion that invites its followers to exercise their intellect and make use of their knowledge to attain the ultimate truth (haqq). Ibn Khaldun's philosophy of history and society is the flowering of early work by Muslim thinkers in the spheres of ethics and political science such as those of Miskawayh, al-Dawwani, and Nasir al-Din al-Tusi. Starting from Usul al-Kafi, all Shi'i compendia of hadith devote their first chapter to the merits of 'aql and the virtues of 'ilm. Deliverance from Error and Mystical Union with the Almighty. The importance of Knowledge: According to Ghazali, knowledge can bring us closer to God as well as enhance worldly respect and position. it means that 'ilm in the general sense is synonymous with the 'light' of Allah. Those who made such a distinction led Muslim thought towards un-Islamic thinking. In human life, the intelligence is only one stage in which a person gains a new faculty of perception which allows him to take in all kinds of rational knowledge and things unknown to the realm of the senses. Allah is depicted as nur, and knowledge is also symbolized as nur. Today attempts are being made to understand the basic epistemological issues in terms of that orientation. The Soul According to Al-Ghazali. The Test is Dead Long Live Assessment! Such a state might be the one that the mystics … claim, for they assert that when they become totally absorbed in themselves and completely abstract from their senses they find themselves in a state of mind which does not agree with what is given by reason. There are several traditions that indicate that a scholar's sleep is more valuable than an ignorant believer's journey for pilgrimage (hajj) and participation in holy war, and that the drops of a scholar's ink are more sacred than the blood of a martyr. Most of the Muslims philosophers sought the goal of certainty. His early education took place in Tus and he moved to Jarjan and finally migrated to Nishapur to acquire learning from the most learned man of the time Abul-Maalai. The sufis have described iman as consisting of three stages: 'ilm al-yaqin (certain knowledge),'ayn al-yaqin (knowledge by sight) and haqq al-yaqin (knowledge by the unity of subject and object). Kinds of Knowledge. With this view, an attempt is made in this paper to delineate the different shades and connotations of the term 'ilm, i.e., knowledge, in the Islamic context. There have been some Muslim thinkers, like Abu Hashim al-Jubba'i, al-Baqillanis al-Nazzam and others, who advocated skepticism in order to arrive at certain religious faith. If is hidden sometimes by the clouds of doubt arising from the human mind. In the Qur'an the word 'alim has occurred in 140 places, while al-'ilm in 27. It may be said that Islam is the path of “knowledge.” No other religion or ideology has so much emphasized the importance of 'ilm. THE ART OF TEACHING Among the principles governing the art of teaching al-Ghazali stresses that;- a. In discussing the meaning of knowledge, al-Ghazali was in the same stance with his notable teacher, Imam al-Haramayn (Hamid, 2010). If you regularly visit this site and wish to show your appreciation, or if you wish to see further development of Al-Islam.org, please donate online. Ibn Hazm followed the same line. This is a qualitative study and it used the interpretation method approach. The first of these is Knowledge of Self, where Al-Ghazali asserts that while food, sex, and other indulgences might slake humans appetites temporarily, they in turn make a human into an animal, and therefore will never give true happiness and fulfillment. 1108 (2001). [R]easoning … is impossible without recourse to the first principles of knowledge … Anyone who believes that unveiling of the truth is the fruit of well-ordered arguments belittles the immensity of divine mercy. Alternative Concepts and Practices of Assessment, 9. In the matter of the fundamentals of faith (usu-l al-Din), the believer is obliged to accept tawhid, nubuwwah and ma'd (in the Shi'i faith, 'adl, i.e. In the twentieth century, the Indian Muslim thinker, Iqbal in his Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, pointed out that ijtihad was a dynamic principle in the body of Islam. Allah is the first teacher and the absolute guide of humanity. New Opportunities for Assessment in the Digital Age, 12. In Islam 'ilm is not confined to the acquisition of knowledge only, but also embraces socio-political and moral aspects. But in Islam there is no such distinction. Thus it is obvious that the Shi'ah and Sunnis, not withstanding their differences on several issues, agreed on the role of reason and the necessity of ijtihad. It is similar with prophets, who have, as it were, an extra eye which can perceive things which are invisible and beyond rational understanding … [E]veryone knows that there are more things than can be understood by the intellect alone. Unrecognized Email or Password, please try again. The eye looks at a star and sees it reduced to the size of a coin, whereas geometrical computations show it to be larger than the earth. In the non-Islamic world dominated by the Greek tradition, hikmah (wisdom) is considered higher than knowledge. In Kashf al-mahjub of al-Hujwiri a distinction is made between khabar (information) and nazar (analytic thought). Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algeria, Sudan etc., are opposed to reason and preach emulation, distorting the role of ijtihad and disregarding even major Salafi theologians. Context of Assessment, Evaluation and Research, 2. Imam 'Ali ('a) gave a place of pride to reason even in the matters of religion. Select Response and Standardized Assessments, 7. Ignorance is darkness and ma'rifah is light. Al-Ghazali, of course, passed through a turbulent period of skepticism, but he was really in search of certainty, which he found not in discursive knowledge but in mystic experience. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.212.128.145 ( talk ) 18:00, 3 October 2007 (UTC) What is present will disappear when you seek it, but one who seeks the unseekable will not be suspected of having been negligent in seeking what can be sought …. The credit for giving serious attention to socio-political philosophy goes to al-Farabi, who wrote books on these issues under the titles of Madinat al-fadilah, Ara' ahl al-madinat al-fadilah, al-Millah al-fadilah, Fusul al-madang, Sirah Fadilah, K. al-Siyasah al-madaniyyah, etc. A thousand years ago, Imam al-Ghazali wrote in his autobiography Deliverance from Error: “A clumsy and stupid person must be kept away from the seashore, not the proficient swimmer; and a child must be prevented from handling a snake, not the skilled snake-charmer.”. He cited al-Shafi'i's opposition to taqlid. Bk of Knowledge- Ghazali Children Core Teachings - Duration: 1:55. Praise be to Allah who distinguished the community of the faithful with the lights of certainty and favored the people of truth by guiding them to the foundation of faith; who saved them from the errors of the unrighteous and the wickedness of According to Imam Ghazali, the first class should consist of agriculturist herds men and skilled people - weavers, masons and artisans of other articles. This self-knowledge is not to be attained by mere thinking or philosophy, however. Abu 'Ala' al-Ma'arri believed that there was no imam except reason. Ghazali raises the basic question whether the human instinct is based on good or evil. After the decline of philosophical and scientific inquiry in the Muslim east, philosophy and sciences flourished in the Muslim west due to endeavours of the thinkers of Arab origin like Ibn Rushd, Ibn Tufayl, Ibn Bajah, and Ibn Khaldun, the father of sociology and philosophy of history. As I said earlier, 'ilm may not be translated as mere knowledge; it should be emphasized that it is also gnosis or ma'rifah. Optional Sciences which are studied according to the wishes and capacities of the student. The all-round development of various branches of knowledge pertaining to physical and social phenomena, as well as the process of logical argumentation for justification of Islamic doctrine and deduction of Islamic laws (ahkam) with reference to Qur'anic injunctions and the Prophetic tradition, is indebted to Islam's notion of 'ilm. Teaching should be linked to concrete situations and emphasizes the need for various types of knowledge … But knowledge of things unknowable to the intellect is only one of the numerous aspects of prophecy, only one drop from its ocean. the Qur'an and Sunnah, did not contain scientific and philosophical ideas is totally false. Washington, D.C.: Council for Research in Values and Philosophy. It is hoped that this brief attempt will serve as a step for future groundwork for the construction of a framework for an Islamic theory of knowledge. Those who are called philosophers devoted themselves to logic and scientific method and they were derogated by the Sufis, though some of them, such as Ibn Sina, al-Farabi and al-Ghazali took recourse to the mystic path in their quest of the truth at some stage. It is a good sign that apart from the rejection of 'aql in recent times by some Sunni quarters, attempts have been made and are still being made to revive the practice of ijtihad and combining social, scientific and secular knowledge with the teaching of theology, fiqh, usul al-fiqh, hadith, 'ilm al-rijal, kalam and tafsir, whose acquisition is essential for ijtihad in the matters pertaining to the faith and its practice. Al-Ghazzali explains why the most fundamental knowledge has to come from God. Any other use of the hosted content, such as for financial gain, requires express approval from the copyright owners. Knowledge of transactions (relating to actions, behaviour and conduct of one human with another) 2. This knowledge was not imparted to even the Angels. Even the officially recognized first Muslim philosopher, al-Kindi, was an Arab. Kinds of Knowledge. The very fact of their passionate discussion of the concept attests to its fundamental importance for Islam. Useful knowledge: It is further divided into two Farz-i-Ain: (Compulsory) This knowledge is obligatory for all and contains the knowledge of Islam Farz-i-Kafaya: (Optional) This knowledge is optional and depends on the will of the individual. Islam actually does not consider any type of knowledge as harmful to human beings. However, it can be fruitful only if the practice of rigorous analysis is kept up, with close attention to the precise definitions of the various concepts involved. Even today large segments of Muslim society, both the common man and many clerics suffer from this malady. He brought with him faith, morality (haya') and 'aql (reason) and asked him to choose one of the three. Skepticism is a philosophy that has three different meanings: denial of all knowledge, agnosticism, and a method to approach certainty. The Al-Islam.org site and the DILP are entirely supported by individual donors and well wishers. This doubt, which became … pervasive, can be expressed as follows: How can one trust the evidence of one’s senses? This indicates how comprehensive are the notions of intellect and knowledge in Islam, and how deeply related they are to faith and the moral faculty. The entire Engslish translation of Imam Ghazali's encyclopedia of core religious knowledge encompassing all necessary areas leading to the higher teachings of Islam that pertain to spirituality is called "Ihya Uloom-ud-Deen" or "Revival of Knowledge of the Path to God" or "Revival of Religionâs Sciences" in being made available for the first time in the form of English audio book. Apart from Shaykh al-Mufid and other Shi'i scholars, a number of classical Sunni fuqaha and 'ulama,' even those considered to be conservative, like Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, regarded emulation or imitation (taqlid) as religiously unauthorized and harmful. He claims that much before Francis Bacon the principles of scientific induction were emphasized by the Qur'an, which highlights the importance of observation and experimentation in arriving at certain conclusions. God’s messenger [Mohammed]—peace be upon him—was asked about spiritual expansion of the senses in which is found the word of God: … He said, ‘It is a light which God the Almighty throws upon the heart’ … It is to this light that one should look for inspiration … [K]now that in the quest of truth one must strive for perfection, even to the point of seeking the unseekable. A validation e-mail has been sent to your e-mail address. Al-Ghazalis Tahatut al-falasifah is probably the first philosophical treatise that made use of the linguistic analytical method to clarify certain philosophical issues. This attitude, they do not realize, is self-contradictory and self defeating for their own cause. These were the times, when Muslims were dominating Europe, Asia and Africa, due to the effect of new culture of these countries they were deviating from the true teachings of Islam. The last stage is attainable by an elect few. This is what Imam Nawawi has said about Imam Al Ghazali "if all the books of Islam were lost, the Ihya would suffice them all", such is the depth and detail of this remarkable work." One may find elements of mystic experience in the writings of Muslim philosophers. Other words associated with writing occur in 319 verses. Knowledge in the Western world means information about something, divine or corporeal, while 'ilm is an all-embracing term covering theory, action and education. 1. Divine Justice, and imamah are also fundamentals of faith) on rational grounds or on the basis of one's existential experience. of the Iranians, which introduced philosophy in the Muslim world, is equally unfounded and a conspiracy against the history of Muslim philosophy and its significant contribution to the development of sciences which not only benefited Muslim world but also contributed to the enrichment of human learning, culture and civilization. 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I would like to cite here a tradition of the Prophet (S) narrated by Amir al-Mu'minin 'Ali ibn Abi Talib: Once Gabriel came to Adam. Rosenthal, highlighting the importance of this term in Muslim civilization and Islam, says that it gives them a distinctive shape. Al-Ghazzali’s writings built on ancient Greek philosophical and scientific thought, whilst also rejecting significant aspects of it. True and firm believers in Islamic creed, like al-Ghazali, Ibn Rushd, Ibn Bajah, al-Haytham, Ibn 'Arabi and Mulla Sadra, and in recent times Sayyid Ahmad Khan, Iqbal and al-Mawdudi were not spared fatwas of kufr by the partisans of blind imitation who were hostile to the principle of ijtihad, research and critical thought. Imam Ghazali Philosophy of Education By: Sadaf Walliyani 2. According to Ghazali, there are four categories of Knowledge: This general belief is a misconception in the light of Islam's emphasis on 'aql. It combines knowledge, insight, and social action as its ingredients. In the same way, one might ask oneself about the reality of beliefs one has acquired through one’s senses or by logical thought … Being awake would be like the dreams of that state, which in turn show that the illusion (of the certainty) of rational knowledge is nothing but vain imagination. Similarly, the Mu'tazilah, known as the first rationalists among Muslims, consisted of Arabs. It is important to note that pen and book are essential to the acquisition of knowledge. His method of doubt paved the way for a healthy intellectual activity in the Muslim world, but because of historical and social circumstances, it culminated in the stagnation of philosophical and scientific thinking, which later made him a target of criticism by philosophers. He was appointed as a professor at Nizamiyah University in Baghdad, one of the greatest universities in the world at the time—when universities barely existed in the Christian west. 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