A list of Imam Ghazali’s famous teachers, those that he learned from:
Abu’l Qasem al-Ismaili: Isamil bin ma’sada bin Ismail bin Imam Abu Bakr Ahmad bin Ibrahim ibn Ismail al-Ismaili. A scholar, Jurist and orator from Jurjan, born in 407 learned from his father and uncle al-mufadal, Ghazali (Tabqat 6:195-196) and others learned from him. He traveled to many countries where he learned and taught some of which are Nishapur, al-Rai and Isfahan. He visited Baghdad on his way to Hajj. He taught Ibn `adi’s book al-Kamil, Tarikh Jurjan and many other works. He is said to have met Abu Ishaq al-Shirazi in Baghdad who came to him and Abu al-Qasim said: “I don’t know by which I am happier by seeing Abu Ishaq or my visit to Baghdad”. He Died in Jurjan in 477. For more information see. al-‘abar 3:286, Tabaqat al-shaifiya al-kubra, 4:294-296, Ibn al-`Imad’s shuthart al-thahab fi akhbar man thahab Beirut: 1989, Dar ibn Kathir; 5:331. al-muntazim, 9:10.
Abu al-maʿali al-Juwanyni: Imam al-Ḥaramyan ʿAbd al-malik bin Abdullah bin Yusef, A Shaʿifi Jurist, learned in Priciples of Jurisprudence, Asharʿī Theologian (mutakalim) born in Juwayin near Nishapur in 419. Traveled to Baghadad, Makkah and Madinah Then returend to Nishapur where he died in 487. He had many famous students among them al-Ghazālī (wafiyat 4:217, Tabqat, 6:196); al-kiya harasi and al-khwafi of whom he was very proud of and used to say in rhyming prose: “al-Ghazali is deep sea, al-Kiya a briliant lion and al-khwafi a burning fire”. Due to Sunni persecution he had to flee his ancestral homelands but after Nizam al-mulk’s regin he was able to come home and was appointed as a head professor in the Nazimayh college opened in honor. Some of his works are al-Burhan, al-Waraqat, al-talkhis (on Priciples of Jurrisprudence), Shamil fi Isul al-din, al-Irshad fi Usul al-I’tiqad, al`aqidah al-nazimya (Asha`ri theology), and Ghiyath al-Umam, Mughith al-Khalq, Nihaya al-Matlab fi Diraya al-Madhhab (Jurrisprudence). Printed works: Kitab al-irshad ila qawati ‘al-adilla fi usul al-i’tiqad (The Guide to the Cogent Proofs of the Principles of Faith), ed. M. Musa and A. ‘Abd al-Hamid, Cairo, 1950. And al-Burhan fi usul al-fiqh (The Proofs of Jurisprudence), ed. A. al-Dib, Cairo: Dar al-Ansar, 1980. For additional information see: Ibn `Asakir, Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari p. 272-278; Wafiyat al-`ayan, vol. 3. p. 167, Tabqat al-shafi`ya al-kubra, vol. 5 p. 165-222, #477. ; al-Dhahabi, Siyar A`lam al-Nubala’ 14:16-21 #4313. Modern bio by Muhammad al-zuhalyi, Dar al-Qalam, Damascus (pdf).
Al-Faramidhi: Abu Ali al-fadil bin Muhammad bin Ali al-Faramidhi hails from Faramidh a village on outskirts of Tus. He was an astetic, Sufi and an orator. Born in 407. He learned from the elder Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (al-kabir). He was also a student and follower of Abu al-Qasim al-Qushari. Al-Ghazali and many others learned from him. He travelled to many lands to preach and he died in Tus in 477. For more information see al-`Abar vol. 3 p. 288; al-Subki’s Tabqat al-shafi`ya al-kubra, 5:304-306; , shuthart al-thahab vol. 3. p. 355.
Nasr al-Maqdisi: Abu al-fath Nasr bin Ibrahim bin Nasr al-Nabilsi al-maqdisi, an Imam and Muhadith, Shaʿifite jurist born before 410. He learned from many scholars throughout the Muslim world inculding such places as Damascus, Gaza, Jerasualem, Sur and many others. He made Jerasulem his home for many years but moved to Damascus towards the end of his life where he lived for 10 years till his death in 490. Many learned from him inculding al-Ghazali (in Damascus in 489, siyar 19:139, Tabqat 6:198) and al-khatib al-Baghdadi. The corner in which al-Ghazali studied is called al-Ghazaliya (Tabaqat 6:197) He is author of many works including al-hujja `ala tarik al-mahajja, and al-tahthib fi al-mathhab. For more information see, al-Dhahabi, al-`Abar fi khabr man ghabr Beirut: 1985, Dar al-kutub al-`ilmyah; 2:363 (pdf); al-Dhahabi, Siyar A`lam al-Nubala’ Beirut: 1996, Mu’asast al-risala; 19:136-143; Ibn al-`Imad’s shuthart al-thahab fi akhbar man thahab Beirut: 1989, Dar ibn Kathir; 5:396-397 (pdf).
Abul fityan al-ru’asi: Umar `Abdelkarim bin sa`adway al-dahistani, Hafiz and Muhadih, widely travelled born in dahistan in 428. Learned from many scholars in many cities throughout the Muslim world, such Nishapur, Baghdad, Dahistan, Damascus, Egypt, Haran. Al-Ghazali narriated from him as well as the Jurist Nasr bin Ibrahim al-Maqadsi and many others he died in Sarkhas in 503. For more information see al-`abar vol. 4:6, Tadhkirat al-hufaz pp. 1237-1239.
Narriations of Hadith: It is said by many of al-Ghazali’s biographers that towards the end of his life he has concentrated on Hadith studies. Some mentioned the following teachers:
Abu Sahl Muhammad bin Abdallah al-Hafsi, He read (Sama`) Sahih al-Bukhari with him.
al-Hakim abu al-fath al-Hakimi al-Tusi: He read (Sama`) Sunan Abu Daud with him.
Abu `Abdullah, Muhammad bin Ahmad al-khawari: he read(Sama`) kitab muwlad al-Nabi (SAW)
Abu al-fityan Umar al-ru’asi: he read (Sama`) with him al-Bukhari and Muslim.
He also studied with Muhammad bin Yahya al-Zuzuni
See al-Subki’s Tabqat al-shafi`ya al-kubra, vol 6: p. 200, 212, 213, 214, 215, 220. (pdf of Ghazali’s bio)