Al-GHAZALI, AHMAD B. MUHAMMAD, brother of the more renowned Muhammad Ghazali, the Sufi and popular preacher, made his way via Hamadan to Baghdad, and took his brother’s place when the latter retired from teaching at the Nizamiyya. He died in 520/1126 in Kazwin. He wrote an abridged version of the K. al-Ihya’ of his brother, which has not survived; an exposition in sermon form of his confession of faith, al-Tajrid fi kalimat al-tawhid (Turkish translation by M. Fewzi, el-Tefrid fi terjemet el-Tejrid, Istanbul 1285); a discussion of the admissibility of sama’ (Sufi music and dancing), Bawarik al-ilma’ fi ‘l-radd ‘ala man yuharimu ‘I-sama’, ed.  J. Robson in Tracts on listening to music (Or. Transl. Fund, NS v), London 1938; a subtle psychology of love, Sawanih, ed. H. Ritter (Bibl. Islamica, xv) 1942; (probably) the Risalat al-Tayr, which was the inspiration for the Mantik al-tayr of Farid al-Din ‘Attar (see H. Ritter, Das Meer der Seele, 8-1o); and other minor writings which have not yet been investigated. His sermons were very popular in Baghdad, and were collected in two volumes by Sa`id b. Faris al-Labbani; of these however, only extracts are preserved in Ibn al-Jawzi. In them he undertook the defense of Satan (al-ta’assub li-lblis), popular in many Sufi circles since Hallaj, which was soon afterwards further developed by ‘Attar (see Das Meer der Seele, 536-5o), and which presumably gave the so-called Devil worshippers, the Yazidis, the justification for their worship of Satan (Ahmad Taymur Pasha, al-Yazidiyya, Cairo 1352, 59-61).

Bibliography: Brockelmann, S 1, 756, 1=, 546; `Umar Rida Kahhala, Mu’ajam al-mu’allifin, Damascus 1957, iii, 147; L. Massignon, Recueil de textes inidits concernant l’histoire de la mystique en pays d’Islam, Paris x929, 95-8; H. Ritter, Das Meer der Seele, Leiden 1955, index; Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Muntazam, S. A. 520; idem, Akhabar al-kussa wa ‘l-mudhakkirin, ms. Leiden 2156, fol. 77 a-b; Ibn Khallikan, no. 37; Subki, Tabakat al-sufiyya, iv, 54.

(H. Ritter)

See also: Encylopedia Iranica's article as well as Ahmad al-Ghazali (d. 517/1123 or 520/1126) and the metaphysics of love (Ahmad ibn Muhammad Ghazzali). Lumbard, Joseph Edward Barbour, PhD. YALE UNIVERSITY, 2003. 367 pp.

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