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The Muslim thinker al-Ghazali (d. 1111) was one of the most influential theologians and philosophers of Islam and has been considered an authority in both Western and Islamic philosophical traditions. Born in northeastern Iran, he held the most prestigious academic post in Islamic theology in Baghdad, only to renounce the position and teach at small schools in the provinces The Muslim thinker al-Ghazali (d. 1111) was one of the most influential theologians and philosophers of Islam and has been considered an authority in both Western and Islamic philosophical traditions. Born in northeastern Iran, he held the most prestigious academic post in Islamic theology in Baghdad, only to renounce the position and teach at small schools in the provinces for no money. His contributions to Islamic scholarship range from responding to the challenges of Aristotelian philosophy to creating a new type of Islamic mysticism and integrating both these traditions-falsafa and Sufism-into the Sunni mainstream. This book offers a comprehensive study of al-Ghazali's life and his understanding of cosmology-how God creates things and events in the world, how human acts relate to God's power, and how the universe is structured. Frank Griffel presents a serious revision of traditional views on al-Ghazali, showing that his most important achievement was the creation of a new rationalist theology in which he transformed the Aristotelian views of thinkers such as Avicenna to accord with intellectual currents that were well-established within Muslim theological discourse. Using the most authoritative sources, including reports from al-Ghazali's students, his contemporaries, and his own letters, Griffel reconstructs every stage in a turbulent career. The al-Ghazali that emerges offers many surprises, particularly on his motives for leaving Baghdad and the nature of his "seclusion" afterwards. Griffel demonstrates that al-Ghazali intended to create a new cosmology that moved away from concerns held earlier by Muslim theologians and Arab philosophers. This new theology aimed to provide a framework for the pursuit of the natural sciences and a basis for Islamic science and philosophy to flourish beyond the 12th century. Al-Ghazali's Philosophical Theology is the most thorough examination to date of this important thinker.


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The Muslim thinker al-Ghazali (d. 1111) was one of the most influential theologians and philosophers of Islam and has been considered an authority in both Western and Islamic philosophical traditions. Born in northeastern Iran, he held the most prestigious academic post in Islamic theology in Baghdad, only to renounce the position and teach at small schools in the provinces The Muslim thinker al-Ghazali (d. 1111) was one of the most influential theologians and philosophers of Islam and has been considered an authority in both Western and Islamic philosophical traditions. Born in northeastern Iran, he held the most prestigious academic post in Islamic theology in Baghdad, only to renounce the position and teach at small schools in the provinces for no money. His contributions to Islamic scholarship range from responding to the challenges of Aristotelian philosophy to creating a new type of Islamic mysticism and integrating both these traditions-falsafa and Sufism-into the Sunni mainstream. This book offers a comprehensive study of al-Ghazali's life and his understanding of cosmology-how God creates things and events in the world, how human acts relate to God's power, and how the universe is structured. Frank Griffel presents a serious revision of traditional views on al-Ghazali, showing that his most important achievement was the creation of a new rationalist theology in which he transformed the Aristotelian views of thinkers such as Avicenna to accord with intellectual currents that were well-established within Muslim theological discourse. Using the most authoritative sources, including reports from al-Ghazali's students, his contemporaries, and his own letters, Griffel reconstructs every stage in a turbulent career. The al-Ghazali that emerges offers many surprises, particularly on his motives for leaving Baghdad and the nature of his "seclusion" afterwards. Griffel demonstrates that al-Ghazali intended to create a new cosmology that moved away from concerns held earlier by Muslim theologians and Arab philosophers. This new theology aimed to provide a framework for the pursuit of the natural sciences and a basis for Islamic science and philosophy to flourish beyond the 12th century. Al-Ghazali's Philosophical Theology is the most thorough examination to date of this important thinker.

30 review for Al-Ghazali's Philosophical Theology

  1. 5 out of 5

    Arman Firman

    Deep and complex at places, the book discusses many aspects of Ghazali's thought. An absolute masterpiece. I couldn’t read the book at once. It mostly discusses causality. So, to understand and appreciate it fully, I had to read 3 other books on causality and more than 15 research papers. The amount of hardwork and study that Dr Griffel has given behind this book is unthinkable. We generally are even unable to read the whole corpus of a particular author, but Dr Griffel has read all of those, and Deep and complex at places, the book discusses many aspects of Ghazali's thought. An absolute masterpiece. I couldn’t read the book at once. It mostly discusses causality. So, to understand and appreciate it fully, I had to read 3 other books on causality and more than 15 research papers. The amount of hardwork and study that Dr Griffel has given behind this book is unthinkable. We generally are even unable to read the whole corpus of a particular author, but Dr Griffel has read all of those, and with that probably all of the unpublished manuscripts which bear Ghazali's name as well. Furthermore, he made it totally sure that the books that he is reading are critically analyzed. For example, if he is reading the published arabic version of miyar al-ilm, he'll also have a look at the unpublished manuscripts of it to make sure that the publishers didn't make any mistake!!! Every book surely has to have some mistakes, problems. But they should be overlooked, focusing on the outstanding parts of the book. Every book published after 2009, which discusses Ghazali's philosophy and theology, cites this. Eagerly waiting for the two upcoming masterpieces of Dr. Griffel.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Yasin Ramazan

    First of all, it is a provocative book. Of course not in militant sense, but in intellectual. Griffel makes a radically different reading of al-Ghazali's cosmological ideas. Basically, he puts Ghazali in between philosophers and theologians. His conception of God, Griffel argues, is both theologians' and philosophers'. But his God is also neither. Besides its content, the clarity of the arguments in the book and organization are needed to be mentioned here. It makes exhausting literature of al-Gh First of all, it is a provocative book. Of course not in militant sense, but in intellectual. Griffel makes a radically different reading of al-Ghazali's cosmological ideas. Basically, he puts Ghazali in between philosophers and theologians. His conception of God, Griffel argues, is both theologians' and philosophers'. But his God is also neither. Besides its content, the clarity of the arguments in the book and organization are needed to be mentioned here. It makes exhausting literature of al-Ghazali considerably digestible.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Arifa Jauhari

    Buku yang asyik untuk dijadikan bahan belajar menerjemah: tidak terlalu sulit namun juga tidak bisa dikatakan mudah. Saya kagum dengan cara dan kesungguhan Griffel dalam menganalisis sosok serta pemikiran-pemikiran al-Ghazali yang sangat hati-hati dan teliti. Secara keseluruhan, buku ini berhasil memperkenalkan profil al-Ghazali dengan objektif.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Muhammad Ma'mun

    Buku ini bukan sekadar reinterpretasi atas 'teologi filosofis' al-Ghazali, akan tetapi juga atas hayat dan pengaruh ulama Persia ini dalam semesta pemikiran Islam. Dua bab pertama buku ini berisi tinjauan ulang Griffel atas biografi al-Ghazali dan para pengikut awalnya. Ia misalnya, mengusulkan tarikh baru kelahiran al-Ghazali, tahun 1056, bukan 1058 seperti yang diyakini historiografi tradisional. Griffel berusaha menafsirkan ulang hubungan al-Ghazali dengan tradisi falsafah dalam Islam dengan m Buku ini bukan sekadar reinterpretasi atas 'teologi filosofis' al-Ghazali, akan tetapi juga atas hayat dan pengaruh ulama Persia ini dalam semesta pemikiran Islam. Dua bab pertama buku ini berisi tinjauan ulang Griffel atas biografi al-Ghazali dan para pengikut awalnya. Ia misalnya, mengusulkan tarikh baru kelahiran al-Ghazali, tahun 1056, bukan 1058 seperti yang diyakini historiografi tradisional. Griffel berusaha menafsirkan ulang hubungan al-Ghazali dengan tradisi falsafah dalam Islam dengan mendiskusikan dua tema yang selalu diperdebatkan para pengkaji al-Ghazali: teori kausalitas dan kosmologinya. Alih-alih melihat al-Ghazali sebagai pemikir Asy'ari yang menentang falsafah, Griffel melihat al-Ghazali sebagai pemikir yang memiliki peran penting dalam 'asimilasi' dan 'naturalisasi' tradisi filsafat dalam Islam dengan mengadopsi banyak elemen pemikiran Avicenna di dalam kosmologi dan metafisika.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kashif

    Extremely well researched book. I wish there were more books like this on other subjects.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nazmiye Gül

    A masterpiece.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sebastian Bolzan

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

  10. 5 out of 5

    Olga Tortsova

  11. 5 out of 5

    Josiah

  12. 4 out of 5

    Yaseen

  13. 5 out of 5

    Eshan Quyoom

  14. 4 out of 5

    Syamsul Munawwir

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carlos

  16. 4 out of 5

    Muhammad Yusra

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Syafrudin

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ares Tsologiannes

  19. 5 out of 5

    Khalil

  20. 5 out of 5

    Zahir

  21. 5 out of 5

    Malick Diokhane

  22. 5 out of 5

    NH Alam

  23. 4 out of 5

    Seyed Hossein

  24. 4 out of 5

    Celia Daniele

  25. 4 out of 5

    Luís Alexandre Ribeiro Branco

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kantemir

  28. 4 out of 5

    Irfaan Jaffer

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ghafiqi

  30. 5 out of 5

    Saekhu Yantasib

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