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Re-reading al-Ghazālī - orthodoxy, reason and authority in the Kitāb al-Mustaẓhirī

Re-reading al-Ghazālī - orthodoxy, reason and authority in the Kitāb al-Mustaẓhirī

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Published by: WisdomRider on Sep 18, 2011
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02/26/2014

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RE-
READING
AL-GHAZALI:
ORTHODOXY,
REASON
AND
--
AUTHORITY
IN
THE
KITAB
AL-MUSTAZHIRI
by
Farouk
Mi
tha
The
Insti
ute
of
Islamic
studies
McGill
University,
Montreal
June,
1993
A
Thesis
subrnitted
to
the
Facul
ty
of
Graduate
studies
and
Research
in
partial
fulfillment
of
the
requirernents
for
the
degree
of
Master
of
Arts
in
Islamic Studies
(c)
Farouk
Mitha,
1993
 
SilO\{
1
L:,EIJ
VJ:!{SJO:--';
OF
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AL-CIIA%ALl
 
ABs'rRACT
?his
thesis
sets
out
ta
examine
the
siqnificance
ot
al
GhazalI's
text
entitled
Fada'
il:
al-Hc~~iniyya
wa
t.1cl,l'
i
l
al
Mustazhiriyya,
by
placing
1t
ag&inst
the
pnvironment
political
and
social
in
which
it
was
writtcn,
and
by
focussing
on
the varying
styles
of
argumentation contained
ln
it.
Thisexamination
shows
that,
in
addition to
heinq
.l
polemical
tract
against
the IsmacllIs
of
his
time,
al-(,haziilT
also
wrote
this
work
in
orderto
conEront
the
i
nte
1 1
cctua
l
challenges
posed
by
the
so-called
Ism:iCLII
(1octrlnc
01
Challenges
~hich
impinged
on
the
status
of
the
Sunni
caliph
per
se
and,
by
extension,
on
the
Caliph's
r<~lationship
with
the
Saljuq
Sultan.
More
importantly,
tor
al-Ghazali,
these
intellectual
challenges
a1soimpinged
on
tnc
authority
of
Sunni
fiqh
and
kalam,
and hence
carried
lmpllcntionsfor
the
raIe
and
status
of
the
cul
ama
'.
In
rcspondl
ng
to
thc!.;e
challenges,
al-GhazalI
draws
upon
styles
ot
argumentation
shaped
by
the
textual
traditions
of:
adab
a
}-t
i
raq,
kaliim,
fiqh,
siyasa
sharCiyya
and
na?I~at
al-mulük.
The
intellectual diversity
of
the
ideas
and
argumentsin
this
text
is
emblematic
of
the
complex
set
01
conccrnswith
which
al-Ghazal
i
was
engaged,
embracinq
the
broad
th0mes
of
orthodoxy,
reason
and
authority
in
medjeval
Islamic
thought
and
society.
Above
a
Il,
brought
to
bear
a
degree
which
has
hLtherto
been
researchers.in
wri
ting
this
tcxt
a
}-Ghaza
1 i
of
sophistication
and
oriqi
na
1
ty
inadequately
studied
by
other

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