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Abū Ḥāmed Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad al-Ghazālī

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What is the modern view of the impact upon the way Islam is practiced and interpreted, of al-Ghazālī?

How do you think things would differ today, had he never been born?

by on Nov. 22, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Replies (11-20):
Clairwil
by on Nov. 23, 2012 at 2:27 PM
Quoting muhajjirah:
Quoting Clairwil:
Quoting muhajjirah:

Would you like a contact of an Islamic scholar who can provide you with solid information?

Wouldn't a historian be more relevant?  Thank you for the offer, anyway.

I thought because you came to a Muslim group you were looking for Islamic references.

It is a historical issue, rather than a theological one.  But, none the less, a part of history that I thought would have been of interest to Muslim moms, since it impacted how the Islamic faith is practiced.

muhajjirah Group Admin
by on Nov. 23, 2012 at 2:43 PM


Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting muhajjirah:
Quoting Clairwil:
Quoting muhajjirah:

Would you like a contact of an Islamic scholar who can provide you with solid information?

Wouldn't a historian be more relevant?  Thank you for the offer, anyway.

I thought because you came to a Muslim group you were looking for Islamic references.

It is a historical issue, rather than a theological one.  But, none the less, a part of history that I thought would have been of interest to Muslim moms, since it impacted how the Islamic faith is practiced.

I see it as both. But regardless, no one here said it wasnt of interest. Just that more knowledge on the matter needs to be sought out.  The Islamic scholar I know would definitely know the details its impact on history if you want to contact him. Although he has a doctoral in theology from Harvard, Im sure he would definitely be able to get you in contact with a secular historian on the accounts which you see to get clarified if that's what you prefer. Just let me know if you change your mind if you want the contact info. It wouldn't be a problem at all. :)

proud2bmom3 Group Owner
by on Nov. 24, 2012 at 3:26 AM
3 moms liked this


Quoting Clairwil:

What is the modern view of the impact upon the way Islam is practiced and interpreted, of al-Ghazālī?

How do you think things would differ today, had he never been born?

I have not read the replies to this thread, yet, sorry if I am repeating anything any one else had said..  How would thing differ today? had he never been born? I hope I am not too disrespectful, or too bold when I say I dont' think anything would be that different when it comes to how Islam is practiced had Imam al-ghazali Rahimahu Allah, not been born.  he did indeed contribute to Islam, but he also  used weak hadiths and ventured into Sufism in a lot of his works.. and now that he is deceased, we  hold our tongue about him and can only comment on his works.. personally, since there is some degree of controversy concerning his books. and since I am not a scholar that can pinpoint which hadiths are authentic and which are not.. which tafseer of the Quran is purely Tafseer and which is "ilm Kalaam".etc. then I stick to reading other authentic books. 

and since I had not ventured into reading his books, I cannot answer you this question in all honesty. as I , and many other Muslims tend to shy away from Ash'ari or Sufi schools. 

if you had asked that question about Imams like Bukhari, Muslim, Nawawi, or the four Imams, Haneefah, Ahmad, Maalik, and Shaafie, then my answer would be. YES things would have been drastically different in how we understand and practice Islam... NOT because Islam would be incomplete without them... God has promised HIS prophet He would protect this faith, and if it were not for those Imams then there would have been other Imams to do that work in preserving and explaining the faith. mind you. those Imams did not innovate  or add something from OUTSIDE the faith. rather , they explained Jurisprudence to the masses through their knowledge of Quran and Sunnah. Bukhari and Muslim took on the task of recording authentic hadiths.. making it easy for EVERY Muslim to have access to the prophet's Sunnah without fearing they are following a fabricated hadith. as for Nawawi may  Allah be pleased with him.. he explained Hadith, among other things.. and Allah has placed Qubool ( acceptance) in the hearts and minds of Muslims of his books .. 

but I digress.. 

so in a nutshell.. to my limited , VERY limited knowledge. I dont' think Islam would be that much different. may Allah guide us all and have mercy on Imam Gazaali and all the Muslim Scholars.. 

Love and salaam (peace)

 (proud2bmom3 Muslim Moms-- Owner. 

Clairwil
by on Nov. 24, 2012 at 4:08 AM
Quoting proud2bmom3:
Quoting Clairwil:

What is the modern view of the impact upon the way Islam is practiced and interpreted, of al-Ghazālī?

How do you think things would differ today, had he never been born?

he did indeed contribute to Islam, but he also  used weak hadiths and ventured into Sufism in a lot of his works

I've heard it claimed that, without him, there would have been warfare or at least a much larger split with the Sufis.

ummh11
by on Nov. 24, 2012 at 7:40 AM
I think you pretty much covered the main points as to why his works aren't as influential to ahlus sunnah as they are to the soofiyyah and ashariyyah and how other scholars are more noteworthy than him even if they too fell into ilhad at times before they retracted and went back to the sunnah, for example imam an-nawawi.



I wanted to elaborate why the ulemah dont hold him to as high an esteem, and generally advise us to steer clear of his works. And that's because with any scholar who had both good as well as questionable works the ulemah look at the overall influence of his works. If his error was not as significant compared to the overall benefit of his contribution then they clarify his error and promote his works,especially if his works are unique. This is the case with imam an-nawawi who because of the time he was in he did have certain errors he was not aware of. However his books like riyad us-saliheen and arbaeen an-nawawi are unmatched in their benefit for the ummah. Also his errors didnt take him out of the jamaa'ah alltogether. This is why the ulemah still regard him as an imam of the sunnah and recommened his works.



As far as I'm aware Al-ghazali's works have not provided any contribution that cannot be found elsewhere among the scholars of sunnah. And his errors are too significant to ignore or allow the ummah to delve into as they have caused other groups to go far away from the sunnah.. This is why the ulemah advise against reading into his works.


Quoting proud2bmom3:





Quoting Clairwil:

What is the modern view of the impact upon the way Islam is practiced and interpreted, of al-Ghaz�lī?

How do you think things would differ today, had he never been born?

I have not read the replies to this thread, yet, sorry if I am repeating anything any one else had said..  How would thing differ today? had he never been born? I hope I am not too disrespectful, or too bold when I say I dont' think anything would be that different when it comes to how Islam is practiced had Imam al-ghazali Rahimahu Allah, not been born.  he did indeed contribute to Islam, but he also  used weak hadiths and ventured into Sufism in a lot of his works.. and now that he is deceased, we  hold our tongue about him and can only comment on his works.. personally, since there is some degree of controversy concerning his books. and since I am not a scholar that can pinpoint which hadiths are authentic and which are not.. which tafseer of the Quran is purely Tafseer and which is "ilm Kalaam".etc. then I stick to reading other authentic books. 

and since I had not ventured into reading his books, I cannot answer you this question in all honesty. as I , and many other Muslims tend to shy away from Ash'ari or Sufi schools. 

if you had asked that question about Imams like Bukhari, Muslim, Nawawi, or the four Imams, Haneefah, Ahmad, Maalik, and Shaafie, then my answer would be. YES things would have been drastically different in how we understand and practice Islam... NOT because Islam would be incomplete without them... God has promised HIS prophet He would protect this faith, and if it were not for those Imams then there would have been other Imams to do that work in preserving and explaining the faith. mind you. those Imams did not innovate  or add something from OUTSIDE the faith. rather , they explained Jurisprudence to the masses through their knowledge of Quran and Sunnah. Bukhari and Muslim took on the task of recording authentic hadiths.. making it easy for EVERY Muslim to have access to the prophet's Sunnah without fearing they are following a fabricated hadith. as for Nawawi may  Allah be pleased with him.. he explained Hadith, among other things.. and Allah has placed Qubool ( acceptance) in the hearts and minds of Muslims of his books .. 

but I digress.. 

so in a nutshell.. to my limited , VERY limited knowledge. I dont' think Islam would be that much different. may Allah guide us all and have mercy on Imam Gazaali and all the Muslim Scholars.. 

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proud2bmom3 Group Owner
by on Nov. 24, 2012 at 9:00 AM
1 mom liked this

assalamu alaikum sister ummh11 and thank you for your addition. jazaaki Allahu khairan.. though I disagree with you on the comment on Imam Nawawi rahimahu Allah.

. I am fully aware of SOME  of the scholars of Saudi or the Salafi Minhaj who have indeed criticized Imam Nawawi Rahimahu Allah for some of his opinions, However, many other Salafi and Saudi scholars quote and revere him.  like you stated, NONE of his opinions contradicted Sunnah or Quran in ANY way , shape or form. and so, if an opinion of his does not perfectly match that of other scholars, I do not understand how they, or even those of no knowledge, can so easily pass such a judgement as to say  that he fell into Ilhad ( astaghfirullah) and then retracted. that is a very very very dangerous accusation of a very knowledgeable scholar, whose works, as you said, have impacted Islam in the best of ways.. His books: riyadhussaliheen, arba'een annawaiyaa are taught every where and are in almost every Muslim Home. not to mention his book on Athkaar or his explanation of Imam Muslim's Saheeh. 

may Allah have mercy upon him and all our esteemed scholars.. and reward them for all they had given to our Ummah. Ameen. 

please dont take this as a comment on you or a criticism , I really enjoy reading your replies and your posts.. jazaaki Allahu khairan.. I just disagree with this particular comment on Imam Nawawi RahimahuAllah. and felt compelled to reply.. 

if I speak in error then it is from me, may Allah forgive me and guide us all to what pleases Him Ameen. 

Love and salaam (peace)

 (proud2bmom3 Muslim Moms-- Owner. 

ummh11
by on Nov. 24, 2012 at 11:06 AM
1 mom liked this
Sis proud i read your reply and understand your response as he is considered an imam.

As far as i am aware i dont think any scholar from saudi or from the salafi minhaj have taken imam nawawi out of the jamaa'ah. What i was stating was taken from a student of imam ibn uthaymeen rahimahullaah.

I think you might have thought the clarifications have been refutations. As you know all scholars can err. It was also ibn uthaymeen who said regarding imam an nawawi stance on the ta'weel of istawa that it was from his ijtihaad and that he would have one reward due to that. So he is very much respected as one of the imams of the sunnah. Nevertheless the responsibility of the ulemah is to preserve the correct creed and understanding as inheritors of the prophets. So no matter how knowledgeable one imam is any of his errors must be clarified so that it is not repeated. As the imam will have one reward for his ijtihaad but whoever follows another in direct opposition of what has been made apparant in the textual proofs from the quran and sunnah then he is sinful as the hadeeth of the prophet shows when he said to aaishah "whoever introduces a matter into this affair of ours will have it rejected".

Also ilhad is of different levels so this doesnt necessarily mean someone leaves the jamaa'ah if his error can be described as such. For imam an nawawi in his time it was not known to him this error of his falls under ta'weel. So although the view of his can be described as falling under one of the categories of ilhad he is not regarded to be from the mulhidoon if that is what you thought? And this principle is the same as when we refrain from naming one who unknowingly commits acts of kufr or shirk. We dont call them mushrik or kafir. ie we seperate the act from the people and the comment is rather for the action than the being when the error is unknown to them. So in this way the scholars saying an imam had a view which falls under one of the categories of ilhad this doesnt mean he himself is. I hope that clarifies the issue for you.
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proud2bmom3 Group Owner
by on Nov. 24, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Thank you dear sister..

I understood where you were coming from right from the original post :)  my reaction was to the statment of " falling into ilhad then retracting"  as it can be misleading to new Muslims, or sound as if you were talking of the Imam not his opinion on the Sifaat at the time.. I understood from  your words that you hold him at a high regard. but I did come across some who have no knowledge and disrespectfully criticize this great imam..  but thank you very much for the clarification. may it be of benefit to the sisters who are following this thread..

the residing committee of iftaa in Saudi Arabia clearly state that Imam Nawawi is a well respected scholar of the Salaf. and recommend his books... . may Allah have mercy on him .. ameen.

thank you again.. I leave you in the trusted care of Allah.

Quoting ummh11:

Sis proud i read your reply and understand your response as he is considered an imam.

As far as i am aware i dont think any scholar from saudi or from the salafi minhaj have taken imam nawawi out of the jamaa'ah. What i was stating was taken from a student of imam ibn uthaymeen rahimahullaah.

I think you might have thought the clarifications have been refutations. As you know all scholars can err. It was also ibn uthaymeen who said regarding imam an nawawi stance on the ta'weel of istawa that it was from his ijtihaad and that he would have one reward due to that. So he is very much respected as one of the imams of the sunnah. Nevertheless the responsibility of the ulemah is to preserve the correct creed and understanding as inheritors of the prophets. So no matter how knowledgeable one imam is any of his errors must be clarified so that it is not repeated. As the imam will have one reward for his ijtihaad but whoever follows another in direct opposition of what has been made apparant in the textual proofs from the quran and sunnah then he is sinful as the hadeeth of the prophet shows when he said to aaishah "whoever introduces a matter into this affair of ours will have it rejected".

Also ilhad is of different levels so this doesnt necessarily mean someone leaves the jamaa'ah if his error can be described as such. For imam an nawawi in his time it was not known to him this error of his falls under ta'weel. So although the view of his can be described as falling under one of the categories of ilhad he is not regarded to be from the mulhidoon if that is what you thought? And this principle is the same as when we refrain from naming one who unknowingly commits acts of kufr or shirk. We dont call them mushrik or kafir. ie we seperate the act from the people and the comment is rather for the action than the being when the error is unknown to them. So in this way the scholars saying an imam had a view which falls under one of the categories of ilhad this doesnt mean he himself is. I hope that clarifies the issue for you.


Love and salaam (peace)

 (proud2bmom3 Muslim Moms-- Owner. 

ummh11
by on Nov. 24, 2012 at 11:35 AM
Oh ok that's good then. Yeah the statement was not referring to the imam i was speaking generally when talking about retraction. As for the imam i already stated as i am aware he is not considered to have left the jamaa'ah but some of his views have been clarified.
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ummh11
by on Nov. 24, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Edit: *was not.
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