By Farouk Mitha
Al-Ghazali is arguably the most influential thinkers within the background of Islam, and his writings have bought higher scholarly realization within the West than these of the other Muslim student. This examine explores an incredible measurement of his idea that has no longer but been totally tested, particularly, 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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Additional info for Al-Ghazali and the Ismailis: A Debate on Reason and Authority in Medieval Islam
Each assignee, usually a military man (amír), supervised the use of iq†å™ land – at times, the size of an entire province – and, in turn, was directly accountable to the state finance bureau controlled by Niúåm al-Mulk. Apart from restoring a measure of stability, these policies were able to evoke an ideal of Muslim unity and territorial integrity as under the Abbasid caliphs in the preceding century – an ideal which found its most complete expression during the reign of Sultan Malik Shåh, and was elaborated around a delicate balance between a partly centralized and partly decentralized framework of connections between Niúåm al-Mulk in Baghdad and the scattered districts and regions in the empire.
Al-Mustaúhirí, the polemical confrontation went beyond the merely defensive or reactive, but could be characterized as a ‘thinking through’ of the Ismaili (or al-Ta™límiyya) challenge. This ‘thinking through’ sought systematically to dismantle the fundamental Shi™i claims of the ta™lím doctrine, which, in turn, cleared the ground for a 26 Al-Ghazålí and the Ismailis corresponding clarification of Sunni claims – claims which, as is amply borne out in al-Ghazålí’s writings, were just as much in need of a ‘thinking through’.
This ‘thinking through’ sought systematically to dismantle the fundamental Shi™i claims of the ta™lím doctrine, which, in turn, cleared the ground for a 26 Al-Ghazålí and the Ismailis corresponding clarification of Sunni claims – claims which, as is amply borne out in al-Ghazålí’s writings, were just as much in need of a ‘thinking through’. The ta™lím doctrine put forward a model of authority, the infallible teacher, which challenged the very foundations from which the ahl al-sunna wa’l-jamå™a derived their identity.