ghazali.org went online on 28-06-2001 as part of Islamic Philosophy online. By 2004 the Ghazali material had out grown its original location and it just made much more sense to branch out on its own. Islamic Philosophy Online and ghazali.org were created fill a gap that was missing in the early years of the internet and as project to help keep track of the various information that researchers would need for the academic study of the subjects. Some items maybe easily found while others were near impossible to obtain that it took literally years to find and procure. If I had such a hard time finding the material why should anybody else have to suffer the same fate.
I also took advantage of the existing technology (the web, inter library loan system and a scanner) not to mention the many many academic libraries in the united states. Some material is out of print, while others only certain libraries had them. While many others were simply missing from the library or loaned out permanently.
So the site was envisioned as a research aid and store house to help those who really want to study Ghazali through his works, manuscripts, primary research material as well as important secondary sources. It also gives an idea of how much al-Ghazali was studied and continues to be studied.
I have been fortunate to meet many scholars and students working on al-Ghazali as well as to attend many conferences. Ultimately, I was able to put together a panel at Annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion in November 2003. I continue to reach out and attend many of the gathering on al-Ghazali specifically. I have been fortunate and have went to many countries, including Malaysia, England and Germany not to mention travel through out the US.
Currently (Feb 15) there is over 17 Gigabyte of E-texts (2.4 gigs – 12289 files) many in PDF format. There is a lot of Ghazali stuff out there! The materials are in Arabic, English, French, Persian and German. There are Latin (2), Hebrew (1), Turkish (10), Spanish (1), Dutch(1), Hungarian (1) and finally Urdu translations.
Editions what can I say. There are a lot of editions of al-Ghazali works in print in Arabic. It seems that every major publisher in Cairo and Lebanon has an edition of the ihya’ in print. Some are just plain offset copies of existing in print others have value added like re-typesetting which sometimes introduces more errors. While others work on either the Qur’anic ayat or Hadith verification. Personally I try to buy just about any version that is on sale. I have 15 editions of the Ihya’, 5 of the Tahafut; 5 of al-munqhidh. One wonders if there is a fine line is between bibliomania and scholarship.
Enjoy the site and if you are working on a project related to Ghazali, a scholar studying Ghazali, or even thinking (no dreams please, I am not in that business) about Ghazali I want to hear about it.
Muhammad Hozien (E-mail: m @ ghazali . org)