The life of al-Ghazzālī, with especial reference to his religious experiences and opinions[1].- By Duncan B. Macdonald, Professor in Hartford Theological Seminary, Hartford, Conn.


IN the history of the development of Muslim theology two names stand out conspicuously, each marking a great point of departure. They are those of Al-Ash‘arī[2] and al-Ghazzālī. The former was the principal founder of scholastic theology in Islām; it was under the hands of the latter that that theology took its final form, and the Church of Muhammad owes it to his strange experiences in personal religion and in the emotional life that the form was not even harder and more unyielding than we find it now. What rigidity of grasp the band of Islām would have exercised but for the influence of al-Ghazzālī might be hard to tell; he saved it from scholastic decrepitude, opened before the orthodox Muslim the possibility of a life hid in God, was persecuted in his life as a heretic, and now ranks as the greatest doctor of the Muslim Church.

Of Al-Ash‘arī I do not purpose to say anything here. On scholastic theology as al-Ghazzālī found it, I shall let him speak for himself; the strife of dogmaticians so far removed from us in time and interest sounds hollow on our ears. Al-Ash‘arī died about A. H. 320, with a curse of heretics as the last murmur on his lips. Al-Ghazzālī, who knew what it meant to be cursed himself, was slow to curse others, and is memorable among the theologians of Islām in that he, over his formal signature, forbade to curse Yazid, the slayer of al-Husayn the well-beloved.[3] It is necessary to make mention of Al-Ash‘arī, if only to show the [72] recoil and compromise in the work of al-Ghazzālī. We have here, as everywhere in the development of an idea, the movement of the Hegelian dialectic. The two streams of tendency - dogmatism on the one hand, logical, legal, systematic, and mysticism on the other, transcendental and -intuitional - had separated far back; and the separation had kept becoming more and more pronounced until the one crystallized in lifeless form and the other ran wild in shapeless fantasy. Al-Ghazzālī, by training a theologian and lawyer, bridged the widening gap, took over mysticism with its intuitionalism and spiritual life into the dry body of theology, and gave the Church of Islām a fresh term of life. It is this spiritually real and living side of his character and work that constitutes his abiding interest for us. Other theologians of Islām are important as links in an historical chain; he, in virtue of what he was in himself, of the conversion he went through and the experiences he bad. I propose in a subsequent paper to translate one of the books of his great work the “Revivifying of the Sciences of the Faith,”[4] and to endeavour by this means to throw some light on his position as a theologian and a thinker generally. I have chosen the book which deals most with his mysticism, as his attitude to that constitutes his principal claim on our interest. But the careful reader of the forbidding it is eminently characteristic of the man, of his balance of mind and agnostic position : It is forbidden to curse a Muslim ; Yazid was a Muslim. It is not certain that he slew al-Husayn, and it is forbidden to think ill of a Muslim. We cannot be certain that he ordered his death ; really we cannot be certain of the cause of the death of any great man, especially at such a distance of time. We have also to remember the party spirit and false statements in this particular case. Again, if he did kill him, he is not an unbeliever because of that ; he is only disobedient to God. Again, he may have repented before he died. Further, to abstain from cursing is no crime. No one will be asked if he ever cursed Satan ; if he has cursed him he may be asked, Why? The only accursed ones of whom we know are those who die infidels. See, further, on this Ab?sing of Yazid, Goldziher, Muham. Studien, ii. 97, and especially the case of the Hanbalite theologian, 'Abd al-Mughith b. Zuhayr al-Harri, who actually wrote a book Fi fada‘il Yazid. [73] little treatise will find much more in it than simple theology. It deals formally and at length with the whole subject of the relation of music and song to the emotional nature ; it asks and endeavours to answer the question of the meaning of music in itself-how far it has such a definite meaning, and how far its influence is dependent on the mood of the hearer; the question also of the moral effect of music, when it is for good and when for evil. I know nothing in English dealing with the same problem in the same way except the curiously mis-named book of Mr. Haweis, “Music and Morals,” and it is surprising at what similar results the Arabic and the English writer have arrived. It raises the whole question of the professional as opposed to the amateur; it shows how the Qur’?n suffers from possessing no human element ; it considers the question of recreation in a delightfully reasonable fashion, - such are some points in which it will interest those to whom Muslim dogmatics are not in themselves interesting. I shall give later an analysis of the whole.

As al-Ghazzālī’s theological position sprang directly from his spiritual experiences, so the best introduction to an understanding of that position is the story of his life. We are fortunate in that he has left us a book,[5] almost unique to my knowledge in the [74] literature of Islām, in which he tells us about his early doubts and struggles ; how at one time all light had died out from his mind, how he gradually came back to some certainty, passed through a slow but real conversion, and reached a faith which nothing could shake. It is essentially an Apologia pro Vita Sua, a defence of his life as a mystic against all his assailants, theological and philosophical ; and in its autobiographic element may stand beside that of Newman. But it is also a defence of the faith written for a time of universal, all-threatening doubt, and sketches the attitude which the believer should take and the arguments which he should use against the unbeliever and the heretic. In the following outline of al-Ghazzālī’s life, fuller and more accurate, I believe, than any hitherto given, I have used this autobiography as a basis. Other records are largely mixed with legendary and mythical elements,-al-Ghazzālī in Islām became a wonder-working saint, possessed of miraculous powers, by earlier writers ascribed to him after his death, by later even during his lifetime,-and it is difficult to avoid mere subjective standards in separating what may be regarded as historically authentic from what must be viewed as the play of devout fancy. Very early such stories began to gather round his figure, and even his immediate contemporaries cannot be literally believed.

Abū Hāmid Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Muhammad at-Tusi al-Ghazzālī was born A. H. 450, at Tus, now a ruin in the neighbourhood of the modern Meshhed.[6] There had already been two scholars in the family ; one, known thereafter as al-Ghazzālī al-kabir,[7] at whose tomb in the cemetery of Tus prayer was answered, a paternal uncle of his father, and the other a son of the same. The elder al-Ghazzālī had taught law (fiqh) to the al-Farmadi who was later one of the teachers in Sufiism[8]  of our al- [75] Ghazzālī, and died in A. H. 477. But the fame of the younger scion of the family completely obscured these earlier names, and in later times many, as adh-Dhahabi and the father of Ibn as-Subkī,[9] were found to doubt their very existence. The story is told, apparently on the authority of al-Ghazzālī himself, that when death drew near for his father, he committed his two boys, Abū Hāmid and Ahmad, to the care of a trusted Sufi friend to educate and bring them up. Education had been the unfulfilled desire of his own life, and he determined that his boys should not miss it. So he left in trust to his friend for that purpose what little money he had.[10] The friend was faithful, and taught them and cared for them till the money was all gone. Then he advised them to go to a Madrasa and become students there, “ seekers of science,” in the Arabic phrase ; they would thus get food for their need. Apparently for professed students there was provided some means of subsistence at Madrasas ; or they may have wandered like the soup-eaters of the Spain of Cervantes.[11] Al-Ghazzālī used in later life to tell this story of how he and his brother first turned to theology, and would add the remark, “We became students for the sake of something else than God, but He was unwilling that it should he for the sake of aught but Himself.” The little anecdote is significant for al-Ghazzālī’s attitude towards religion down to the time of his conversion. It is evident from the whole development of his life and character that his theological and legal studies and labours down to that time were on a purely business basis, and that he thought only of the [76] reputation and wealth which they were bringing him. He himself tells us that he broke from taqlid,[12] simple acceptance of religious truth on authority, from his earliest youth, and that his investigation of theological differences began when he was under twenty. At Tus he studied jurisprudence under Ahmad b. Muhammad ar-Radhkani, and thereafter travelled to Jurjan and studied further under the Imām Abū Nasr al-Isma`iIi. With this teacher he took copious notes, but neglected to impress on his memory what be had written. This was characteristic of him, and the results are evident all over his work. His quotations are exceedingly careless, and it was one of the great charges brought against him by his assailants that he falsified traditions ; the fact was that be quoted from memory and very freely. But on his way back to Tus from Jurjan he was to get a lesson. He tells the story himself. Robbers fell upon him, stripped him, and even carried off the bag with his manuscripts. This was more than he could stand ; he ran after them, clung to them though threatened with death, and entreated the return of his notes-they were of no use to them. Al-Ghazzālī has a certain quality of dry humor, and was evidently tickled by the idea of these desert thieves studying law. The robber chief asked him what were these notes of his. Said al-Ghazzālī with great simplicity, “They are writings in that bag ; I traveled for the sake of hearing them and writing them down and knowing the science in them.” Thereat the robber chief laughed consumedly and said, “How can you profess to know the science in them when we have taken them from you and stripped you of the knowledge and there you are without any science?” But lie gave him them back. “And,’  says al-Ghazzālī, “this man was sent by God to teach me.” So al-Ghazzālī went back to Tus and spent three years there committing his notes to memory as a precaution against future robbers. But he was a man of too large calibre to watch his quotations, and they were loose to the end of his life.[13] The meaning stood to him, as his defenders said, for more than the letter. Thereafter [77] -I cannot give dates for this part of his life-in a company of youths from Tus, be went to Nayshābūr and attached himself to the Imām al-Haramayn, for whom Nizam al-Mulk had founded the Nizamiya Madrasa.[14] He became one of the Imām’s favourite pupils, and stayed with him until his death on the 25th of Rabi' II, 478. During his life at Nayshābūr, which must have extended over several years, his studies were of the broadest, embracing theology, dialectic, science, philosophy, logic. He easily took a commanding place among the other scholars, and wrote and disputed his way up the ladder of reputation. He may, like his contemporary al-Khawafi, have been an under-tutor with the Imām ; at any rate `Abd al-Ghafir tells us (Mehren, p. 322) that be would “read to his fellow-students and teach them, and in a short time he became infirm and weak.” We have the common case of a country boy going to college and wearing out all his health in the vigor of his onset upon knowledge. Perhaps he never recovered from this and we have to find here the cause of his early death. The Imām said of him and two others, “Al-Ghazzālī is a sea to drown in, al-Kiya (Mehren, p. 321 ; Ibn Khall. ii. 229) is a tearing lion, and al-Khawafi (Mehren, p. 321) is a burning fire.” Another saying of his about the same three was, “ Whenever they contend together, the proof belongs to al-Khawafi, the war [78] like attacks (? hrbat) to al-Ghazzālī, and clearness to al-Kiya.” To this period of his life belongs this remark also, made by some one unnamed, “The Imām showed externally a vain-glorious disposition, but underneath there was something that when it did appear showed graceful expression and delicate allusion, soundness of attention, and strength of character.” I cannot ascertain whether while be was still at Nayshābūr he touched those depths of scepticism of which he speaks in the Munqidh. They must certainly have been reached some time before the year 484, and must have been the outcome of a long drift of development ; but probably so long as he was under the influence of the Imām al-Haramayn, a devout Sufi, he would be held more or less fast to his old faith.

But now came a great change which led him into public life. His master the Imām died in 478, and this death seems to have set hint free, or driven him away from Nayshābūr. He went out to seek his fortune, and it brought him to the camp-court[15] of the great Wazir Nizam al-Mulk. On this man had weighed for more than twenty years the burden of the empire of the Seljuqs. He had served Alp-Arslan, the successor of Tughril Beg, the first great Seljuq (Ibn Khall. iii. 224 ff.). In 429 Merv and Nayshābūr had fallen to the Seljuqs ; in 447, three years before al-Ghazzālī was born, Tughril Beg had entered Baghdad, been proclaimed Sultan, and freed the Khalifa from the Shiite yoke of the Buwayhids; and before 470 all western Asia, from Afghanistan, where the Ghaznavids still somewhat held their own, to the border of Egypt with its Fatimid dynasty, and to the Christian power of the Greek Empire, had become Seljuq and orthodox Sunni. To Alp-Arslan, the successor of this Tughril Beg, Nizam al-Mulk had been Wazir since his accession in 455. On the death of Alp-Arslan in 465, he had secured the Empire to his son, Malik Shah, and, from that time until his assassination on the 10th of Ramadan 485, was the greatest man in the Empire and its real ruler. When he fell, the united Empire fell with him ; Malik Shah survived him but thirty-five days, and civil war broke out. Science, too, felt his fostering care. I need not tell again the story of bow he and 'Umar Khayyam and al-Hasan b. asSabbah studied together at Nayshābūr and promised one another [79] that whichever of the three came to eminence would help the others. The story is probably not true,[16] but it is true that 'Umar lived peacefully in the shadow of his beneficence, helped to reform the calendar, and wrote his Algebra, to say nothing of his Ruba'iyat, which he probably did not flaunt before the world. Further, if Nizam al-Mulk was not the first to found Madrasas, he at least extended them largely. His influence went also to restrain the strife of sects. Up to his accession to the wazirship, the Ash'arites bad been cursed in the Friday prayers along with the Rafidites-a very strange combination due, apparently, to Seljuq incuriousness in theological matters ; but he did away with that, and it was again possible for Ash'arite theologians to live under the Seljuqs. It was, then, at the camp-court of this man that al-Ghazzālī sought advancement. There, among the scholars and theologians that surrounded the Wazir, he had the same success as at Nayshābūr, and in 484 he was appointed to teach in the Madrasa at Baghdad.[17] Thus embarked on a career as an independent teacher, his lectures drew crowds. He taught, he gave fatwwas, or legal opinions of weight and determining influence, he wrote, and all seemed to go smoothly until, so it seemed from the outside, he was struck down by a mysterious disease ; his speech became hampered, his appetite failed, his stomach could digest nothing. His physicians gave him up ; they said that the malady lay in the heart, and that there was no hope for him if he could not overcome the mental unrest that had befallen him. Then he suddenly quitted Baghdad in Dhu-l-Qa'da 488, ostensibly on pilgrimage to Mecca.[18] He appointed his brother Ahmad to teach in [80] his place in the Madrasa, and abandoned all his property except so much as was necessary for his own support and that of his children-he had only daughters;[19] what he kept he secured by waqf so that the income should be paid to him or his descendants so long as there were any, and when heirs failed should revert to the establishment, masjid or madrasa as the case might be, that had charge of it. This retirement from a splendid position was unintelligible to the theologians of the time. Those in al-Iraq criticised him with one accord ; none of the motives they could think of was good. The best they could say was that it was a calamity thrown on Islām by destiny. Those at a distance thought that his flight was dictated by fear of the government. This hypothesis seemed plausible, though the efforts made by the government to detain him showed its falsity. Ground for fear there might be. The times were out of joint. In 483 al-Hasan b. as-Sabbah bad seized Alamut; since then big power had been steadily growing, and his sect of the Ismā‘īlites was developing into what we know as the Assassins. In 485 Nizam al-Mulk, the patron of al-Ghazzālī, had been assasS?n?ted, and shortly after, in the same year, died Malik Shah. Then came civil war, confusion,. and the breaking into pieces of the Seljuq empire. In 487 Barqiyaruq became Great Seljuq, but with shorn dominions. At the beginning of the same year al-Mustazbir became Khalifa, and in the civil war between Bargiyaruq and his uncle Tutush he espoused the cause of Tutush. At one point victory for Bargiyaruq seemed absolutely impossible, and the Khalifa committed the imprudence of inserting Tutush’s name in the public prayers. But the situation suddenly changed, and in Safar 488 Tutush was defeated and killed. Under such circumstances the Khalita might well feel uncomfortable, and the theologians and advisers of big court might begin to look out for themselves. Other political entanglements and responsibilities seem to fall at this time. One of these connects al-Ghazzālī with the extreme West. In 479 the epoch-making battle of az-Zalaga[20] was fought in Spain, and Alfonso of Castile[21] was driven back by the combined Muslim [81] princes of Spain (the Reyes de Taifas) aided by the Murabit Sult?n of the Maghrib, Yusuf b. Tashfin. After the battle Yusuf b. Tashfin returned to the Maghrib, but in 484 he came again, and Muslim Spain was annexed to his own empire. This addition seems to have compelled him to see to the legitimacy of his title as a Sult?n of the Muslims. Ibn al-Athir (d. 630) in the Kamil, after his account of the battle of az-Zalaqa, says that the ‘Ulama of Spain represented to Yusuf that, to make his title perfect, he would require to seek formal investiture from the 'Abbasid Khalifa ; that he did so, and that al-Muqtadi, the Khalifa of the time (d. 487), gave him the titles of Amir of the Muslims and Nasir ad-Din. At his account of Yusuf’s death Ibn al-Athir repeats this information, with the difference that the Khalifa is said to have been al-Mustazhir, who immediately succeeded al-Muqtadi. here there is no mention of al-Ghazzālī ; but if this investiture dates after 484, when he was appointed to teach in the Madrasa at Baghdad, there can be little doubt that he, the principal theologian at the court of the Khalifa, bad some part in it. The point in question was the legality of the claim of Yusuf to sovereign authority under the Khalifa, and that could only be settled by trained theologians. The story as told by Ibn Khaldun[22] is longer and more complicated. Between 481 and 483 Yusuf obtained fatwàs from the 'Ulama of Spain and from foreign theologians, among them al-Ghazzālī and at-Tartushi (Ibn Khall. ii. 665), legalising his position and giving him the right to depose the Muslim princes of Spain (the Reyes de Taifas). In this connection there is no mention of[23] the Khalifa. Again, after 493, he sent an embassy to the Khalifa al-Mustazhir (Ibn Khaldun gives the names of the ambassadors) to ask formal investiture as a sovereign prince and the use of the title Amir of the Muslims which he had himself assumed. This was granted him by the Khalifa, and al-Ghazzālī and at-Tartushi again supported him with fatwàs. It is curious that 'Abd al-`Wahid, who wrote in 621, makes mention of neither investiture nor fatwàs. He calls Yusuf Amir of the Muslims from the very beginning of his story (see, e. g., p. 91 of Dozy’s edition). In the Qarbas a dis-[82] tinction is made between him and his father. His father is called the Amir simply ; but (p. 88 of Tornberg’s edit.) we are told that Yusuf was saluted by the kings of Spain as Amir of the Muslims after the battle of az-zalaqa, and that he struck coins acknowledging the 'Abbasid Khalifa al-Muqtadi.

Such is one public act in which we can perhaps trace al-Ghazzālī. Another and more certain one lay nearer home. Almost immediately after his accession al-Mustazhir commissioned him to write a book against the Ta'limites, as the Isma‘ilites or Batinites were called in Khurasan. This book was the Mustazhiri of which he speaks in the Munqidh.

I have already shown how al-Ghazzālī’s conversion and great renunciation must have looked from the outside. Fortunately, be has laid bare before us in the Munqidh the true causes of this step, so mysterious at the time and so momentous in the future for the Church of Islām. In that book, as said above, he tells us the story of his spiritual development from the earliest stage up to the time of his writing, when he was over fifty (lunar) years old, i. e., after 500. In his earliest youth be bad given up acceptance of religious truth on authority; that his masters so taught him was no longer a sufficient reason for his belief. Further, when he was under twenty, he began to examine theological questions and quarrels, and the effect upon him must have been very much the same as that which befell Gibbon. So he drifted on, probably restrained only by the influence of his great teacher, the Imām al-Haramayn, a man of the deepest religious character ; but at the camp of Nizam al-Mulk, if not earlier, the strain became too great, and for two months he touched the depths of absolute scepticism. He doubted the evidence of the senses ; he could see plainly that they often deceived. No eye could perceive the movement of a shadow, but still the shadow moved ; a gold piece would cover any star, but still the star was a world larger than the earth. He doubted even the primary ideas of the mind. Is ten more than three ? can a thing both be and not be ? Perhaps ; he could not tell. His senses had deceived him, why not his mind ? May there not be something behind the mind, transcending it, which would show the falsity of its convictions even as the mind showed the falsity of the information given by the senses? May not the dreams of the Sufis be true, and their revelations in ecstasy the only real guides ? When we awake in death, may it not be into. a true but different existence? All this,-perhaps. [83] And so he wandered for two months. He saw clearly that no reasoning could help him here ; he had no ideas on which he could depend, from which he could begin. But the mercy of God is great ; He sends His light to whom He wills, a light that flows in, and is given by no reasoning. By it al-Ghazzālī was saved ; he regained the power to think, and the task which he now set before him was to use this power to guide himself to truth. When be looked around, he saw that those who gave themselves to the search for truth might be divided into four groups. There were the scholastic theologians, who were much like the theologians of all times and faiths. Second, there were the Ta'limites, who held that to reach truth one must have an infallible living teacher, and that there was such a teacher. Third, there were the followers of philosophy, basing on logic and rational proofs. Fourth, there were the Sufis, who held that they, the chosen of God, could reach knowledge of Him directly in ecstasy. With all these he had, of course, been acquainted before to a greater or a less degree ; but now he settled down to examine them one by one, and find which would lead him to a certainty by which he could hold, whatever might come. He felt that he could not go back to the unconscious faith of his childhood; that nothing could restore. All his mental being must be made over before he could find rest. He began with scholastic theology, but found no help there. Grant the theologians their premises, and they could argue ; deny them, and there was no common ground on which to meet. Their science had been founded by Al-Ash‘arī to meet the Mu`tazilites[24] ; it had done that victoriously, but could do no more. They could hold the faith against heretics, expose their inconsistencies and weaknesses; but against the sceptic they could do nothing. It is true that they had attempted to go further back and meet the students of philosophy on their own ground, to deal with substances and attributes and first principles generally ; but their efforts had been fruitless. They lacked the necessary knowledge of the subject, had no scientific basis, and were constrained eventually to fall back on authority. After study of them and their methods it became clear to al-Ghazzālī that the remedy for his ailment was not to be found in scholastic theology. [84] Then he turned to philosophy. He had seen already that the weakness of the theologians lay in their not having made a sufficient study of primary ideas and the laws of thought. Three years he gave up to this. He was at Baghdad at the time, teaching law and writing legal treatises, and probably the three years extended from the beginning of 484 to the beginning of 487. Two years he gave, without a teacher, to the study of the writings of the different schools of philosophy, and almost another to meditating and working over his results. He felt that he was the first Muslim doctor to do this with the requisite thoroughness. And it is noteworthy that at this stage he seems to have again felt himself to be a Muslim, and in an enemy’s country when he was studying philosophy. He speaks of the necessity of understanding what is to be refuted ; but this may be only a confusion between his attitude when writing after 500 and his attitude when investigating and seeking truth fifteen years earlier. He divides the followers of philosophy in his time into three : Materialists, Deists (Tabi`iyun, i. e. Naturalists), and Theists. The materialists reject a creator ; the world exists from all eternity; the animal comes from the egg and the egg from the animal. The wonder of creation compels the deists to admit a creator, but the creature is a machine, has a certain poise (i`tidal) in itself which keeps it running; its thought is a part of its nature and ends with death. They thus reject a future life, though admitting God and His attributes. He deals at much greater length with the teachings of those whom he calls theists, but throughout all his statement of their views his tone is not that of a seeker but that of a partisan ; he turns his own experiences into a warning to others, and makes of their record a little guide to apologetics. Aristotle he regards as the final master of the Greek school ; his doctrines are best represented for Arabic readers in the books of Ibn S?n? and al-F?r?b?-the works of their predecessors on this subject are a mass of confusion. Part of these doctrines must be stamped as unbelief, part as heresy, and part as theologically indifferent. He then divides the philosophical sciences into six, mathematics, logic, physics, metaphysics, political economy, ethics, and discusses these in detail, showing what must be rejected, what is indifferent, what dangers arise from each to him who studies or to him who rejects without study. Throughout, he is very cautious to mark nothing as unbelief that is not really so ; to admit always those truths of [85] mathematics, logic, and physics that cannot intellectually be rejected ; and only to warn against an attitude of intellectualism and a belief that mathematicians, with their acuteness and success in their own department, are to be followed in other departments, or that all subjects are susceptible of the exactness and certainty of a syllogism in logic. The damnable errors of the theists are almost entirely in their metaphysical views. Three of their propositions mark them as unbelievers : .First, they reject the resurrection of the body and physical punishment hereafter ; the punishments of the next world will be spiritual only. That there will be spiritual punishments, al-Ghazzālī admits, but there will be physical as well ; Second, they hold that God knows universals only, not particulars ; Third, they hold that the world exists from all eternity and to all eternity. When they reject the attributes of God and hold that He knows by His essence and not by something added to His essence, they are only heretics and not unbelievers. In physics be accepts the constitution of the world as developed and explained by them ; only all is to be regarded as entirely submitted to God, incapable of selfmovement, a tool of which the Creator makes use. Finally, he considers that their system of ethics is derived from the teachings of the Sufis. At all times there have been such saints, retired from the world-God has never left Himself without a witness ; and from their ecstasies and revelations our knowledge of the human heart, for good and evil, is derived.

Thus in philosophy he found little light. It did not correspond entirely to his needs, for reason cannot answer all questions nor unveil all the enigmas of life. He would probably have admitted that he had learned much in his philosophical studies-so at least I gather from his tone ; he never speaks disrespectfully of philosophy and science in their own sphere ; his continual exhortation is that he who would understand them and refute their errors must first study them; that to do otherwise, to Ab?se what we do not know, brings only contempt on ourselves and on the cause which we champion. But he cannot found his religion on intellect; nor can I understand that a man of al-Ghazzālī’s temperament could ever have persuaded himself to find peace in pure thought. He could be indifferent, a keen legal-minded onlooker upon the theological fights round him, such as we find him in his earlier life; but once the religious instinct was aroused, nothing could satisfy him except what he eventually [86] found. It is absurd to speak of him as a renegade from philosophy, as one who turned his back on the light in which he had walked for a season and went again into the darkness of the obscurant. He was never a cold-brained student like al-F?r?b?, Ibn S?n?, or, later, Ibn Rushd. He had never given his allegiance to pure reason, he had hardly even been a student of philosophy until he took it up in his search for help in the darkness ; he had been a student of law, and what went with it, scholastic theology; but when his heart awoke and cried out and he found himself standing alone with the great world stretching around him, he could have followed no other path than that in which he did tread. It is still more absurd to speak of him as a conscious traitor, as one with a secret teaching only confided to his closest pupils, an unbelieving philosophy running in the teeth of his public utterances. His story rings true from beginning to end; his mental development is clear; we can see how, point by point, such and such only could he have been.[25] And so, two possibilities and two only were before him, though one was hardly a real possibility if we consider his training and mental powers. He might fall back on authority. It could not be the authority of his childish faith; “our fathers have told us,” be himself confesses, could never again have weight with him. But it might be some claimer of authority in a new form, some infallible teacher with a doctrine which he could accept for the authority behind it. As the Church of Rome from time to time gathers into its fold men of keen intellect who seek rest in submission, and the world marvels, so it might have been with him. Or again he might turn directly to God and to personal intercourse with Him ; he might seek to know Him and to be taught of Him without any intermediary, in a word, to enter on the path of the mystic.

He came next to examine the doctrine of the Ta`limites. And here we touch at last a dating point. He tells us that just when he felt driven himself to study this sect, the Khalifa of the time laid on him a command to write a book against their teachings. We must remember that he was an eminent professor in the Madrasa at Baghdad, was in the odour of orthodoxy, and would naturally be called upon to write against any heretical sect that might be troublesome at the time. The book which he wrote [87] was the Mustazhiri, which shows that the Khalifa in question must have been al-Mustazhir, who succeeded al-Mugtadi on 15th Muharram 487. As al-Ghazzālī finally left Baghdad in Dhu-l-Qa'da 488, he must have been studying the Ta‘limites early in 487.[26] He says that they were a sect which had recently appeared; and from the Khalifa’s command we can see that their teachings were making rapid strides, and that orthodox Islām felt it necessary to enter the field against them. From the nature of their doctrines as developed by al-Ghazzālī, it is evident that we have here the sect of the Isma°ilites that was founded by al-Hasan b. as-Sabbah. Ash-Shahrastani[27] has described his teaching, and shows that it began and ended with the claim that only by an infallible teacher could truth be reached, that his sect had such a teacher or Imām, and that no other sect had. This is exactly the position which we find al-Ghazzālī combatting. He does it with a warmth which shows how close the battle was. He gives in detail how such a claim should be met, what arguments may be used against it, and what are useless. I need not give these arguments here. They would add nothing to our knowledge of al-Ghazzālī at this point of his life, as they were intended for the assistance of good Muslims at the time of his writing the Munqidh. It is enough that al-Ghazzālī found the Ta'limites and their teachings eminently unsatisfactory; they had a lesson which they went over parrot-fashion, but beyond it they were in dense ignorance. The trained theologian and scholar had no patience with their slackness and shallowness of thought. He [88] laboured long, as ash-Shahrastani confesses be too did, to penetrate their mystery and learn something from them, but beyond the accustomed formulae there was nothing to be found. He even admitted their contention of the necessity of a living, infallible teacher, to see what would follow-but nothing followed. “You admit the necessity of an Imām,” they would say, “it is your business now to go and seek him; we have nothing more to do with it.” But though neither al-Ghazzālī nor ash-Shahrastani, who died 43 (lunar) years after him, could be satisfied with the Ta'limites, many others were. The conflict was hot, and al-Ghazzālī himself wrote several books against them ; the Mustazhiri already mentioned ; a Hujja al-haqq, also written in Baghdad but perhaps during his second residence there ; a Mufassil al-khilaf written at Hamadan (when he was there I do not know, perhaps during his ten years of wandering life); a Kitab ad-durj, written in tAb?lar form, the record of a controversy at Tus ; also in his Qistas, an attempt to lay down a rule of guidance in theological dispute, there is a demonstration that those who have such a rule have no need of an Imām.

The other possibility, the path of the mystic, now lay straight before him. In the Munqid he tells us how, when he had made an end with the Tallimites, he began to study the books of the Sufis, without any suggestion that he bad had a previous acquaintance with them and their practices. But probably this means nothing more than it does when he speaks in a similar way of studying the scholastic theologians ; namely, that he now took up the study in earnest and with a new and definite purpose. His native country was steeped in Sufiism ; his old teacher, the Imām al-Haramayn, bad been a devout Sufi ; according to the tradition the friend to whom his father had entrusted his brother and himself had been a Sufi. The Sayyid Murtada also enters into some details on his Sufi studies, though these, of course, cannot be depended upon absolutely and are largely mixed with legend. His principal teacher-this on the authority of ‘Abd al-Ghafir is certain-was the Imām, the Zahid, Ab? ‘Al? al-Fadl b. Muhammad b. ‘Al? al-Farmadi at-Tusi (SM. p. 19; I give the name in full, as the only reference I can find to him is a mere mention in Yaqat under Farmadh), one of the chiefest of the pupils of al-Qushayri,[28] the author of the celebrated Risala, and, on the [89] authority of as-Sam‘ani in his Ansab (SM. p. 19), a pupil of the older al-Ghazzālī, the grand-uncle. Al-Farmadi died in Tus in 477, and there al-Ghazzālī studied with him.[29] `Abd al-Ghafir tells how, after he had made great progress in science, he was seized with disgust and weariness at it, and turned to what would avail for the future life. Al-Farmadi guided him, and he followed his path[30] and imitated all the practices that were put before him. He took part in dhikrs,[31] and passed through all the laborious and wearying life of the Sufi neophyte, but did not attain what he sought. Obviously, his time was not yet come ; his mind was not yet prepared to open to spiritual light. So he went back to his worldly studies, to the weighing of proofs and the settling of legal difficulties. But, at last, in 'Abd al-Ghafir’s picturesque phrase, a door of fear was opened upon him, and the change described above came. Further, there is mentioned a certain Yusuf as-Sajjaj, or, an-Nassaj, of whom elsewhere I can find no trace. The following story goes back directly to al-Ghazzālī through the autograph manuscript of Qutb ad-D?n Muhammad b. al-Irdibili (SM. p. 9.): “I used at first to deny the ecstatic states of the saints and the grades of advancement of the initiated until I companied with my shaykh Yusuf an-Nassaj in Tus, and he kept polishing at me with exercises until I was graced with revelations and I saw God in a dream and He said to me, ' O Ab? Humid !' I said, 'Is Satan speaking to me ?' He said, ` Nay, but I am God that encompasseth all thy ways; am I not [thy Lord]?” Then He said, ' O Ab? H?mid, abandon thy formal rules, and company with the people whom I have made the resting-place of My regard in My earth ; they are those who have sold the Two Abodes for My love.[32] Then I said, 'By Thy might, I adjure Thee to give [90] me again to taste good thought of them!' Then He said, ' I do so ; that which separated between thee and them was thy being occupied by the love of this world, so come out from it by free will before thou comest out from it abjectly [at death]. I pour forth upon thee lights from the protection of My holiness, so seize them and apply thyself.’ [33] Then I awoke in great joy and went to my shaykh Yusuf an-Nassaj and related to him the dream. And he smiled and said, ‘O Ab? H?mid, these changing states and grades we obliterate with our feet ; yea, if thou companiest with me the glance of thy insight will be kohled with the ithmid of succor until thou seest the Empyreal Throne and those around it, Then thou wilt not be satisfied with that until thou witnessest that to which glances can not attain, and thou wilt be purified from the uncleanness of thy nature and ascend beyond the limits of thy reason and hear discourse from God Most High like Musa, Verily, I am God, the Lord of the Worlds.’ ”[34] Another story is traced back through 'Abd al-Wahhab ash-Sha‘r?n? : “ Al-Ghazzālī was wont to say, ‘ When I wished to plunge into following the People and to drink of their drink, I looked at my soul and I saw how much it was curtained in,'-at this time he had no shaykh, - ‘ so I retired into solitude and busied myself with religious exercises for forty days, and there was doled to me of knowledge what I had not bad, purer and finer than what I had known. Then I looked upon it, and lo, in it was a legal element. So I returned to solitude and busied my [91] self with religious exercises for forty days, and there was doled to me other knowledge, purer and finer than what had befallen me at first, and I rejoiced in it. Then I looked upon it, and lo, in it was a speculative element. So I returned to solitude a third time for forty days, and there was doled to me other knowledge; it was finer and purer. Then I looked on it, and lo, in it was an element mixed with a knowledge that is known [i. e. not simply perceived, felt], and I did not attain to the people of the inward sciences.[35] So I knew that writing on a surface from which something has been erased is not like writing on a surface in its first purity and cleanness, and I never separated myself from speculation except in a few things.’ ” On this there is the remark, “May God have mercy on Ab? H?mid, how great was his justice and his guarding of himself from making any claim !”

We may take these stories for what they are worth. The last, which evidently describes his effort to free his mind from the burden of all his legal and theological studies and present it as a tabula rasa to the new impressions, has great psychological probability. But in the Munqidh we have numerous details as to his struggles at this period and how he came out of them, which must be regarded as authentic. He recognized that for him study of the doctrines of the Sufis as contained in their books was easier than following their practices. He therefore read carefully the Qut al-qulub of Abu Talib al-Makki,[36] the works of al-Harith al-Muhasibi,[37] the fragments of al-Junayd, [38] ash-Shibli,[39] and Abu Yazid al-Bistiami.[40] He had also the benefit of oral [92] teaching; but it became plain to him that only through ecstasy and a complete transformation of the moral being could be really understand Sflfiism. He saw that it consisted in feelings more than knowledge ; that he must be initiated as a Sufi himself, live their life and practice their exercises, to attain his goal. On the .way on which he had gone up to this time, he had gained three fixed points of faith. He now believed firmly in God, in prophecy, and in the last judgment. He had also gained the belief that only by detaching himself from this world, its life, enjoyments, honours, and turning to God could he be saved in the world to come. He looked on his present life, his writing and his teaching, and saw of how little value it was in the face of the great fact of heaven and hell. All he did now was for the sake of vain glory and had in it no consecration to the service of God. He felt on the edge of an abyss. The world held him back; his fears urged him away. He was in the throes of a conversion wrought by terror; his religion, now and always, in common with all Islām, was other-worldly.[41] So he remained in conflict with himself for six months, from Rajah of 488. Finally, his health broke down under the strain. In his feebleness and overthrow he took refuge with God as a man at the end of his resources. God heard him and enabled him to make the needed sacrifices. As I have already described, lie abandoned all and wandered forth from Baghdad as a Sufi. He had put his brilliant present and brilliant future absolutely behind him, had given up everything for the peace of his soul. This date, Dhu-l-Qa'da 488, was the great era in his life ; but it marked an era, too, in the history of Islām. Since Al-Ash‘arī went back to the faith of his fathers in 300 and cursed the Mu'tazilites and all their works, there had been no such epoch as this flight of al-Ghazzālī. It meant that the reign of pure scholastic theology was over; that another element was to work openly in the future Church of Islām, the element of the mystical life in God, of the attainment of truth by the soul in direct vision. But to trace these consequences belongs to a history of Muslim theology.

He betook himself at once to Syria, and remained there almost two years, living in strict retirement and giving all his time to [93] the religious exercises of the Sufis[42] with prayer and contemplation. While at Damascus he used to go up into the minaret of the mosque,[43] shut the door upon himself, and there pass his days. From Damascus he went to Jerusalem and shut himself up similarly in the Dome of the Rock.[44] Now he began to feel himself drawn to make the pilgrimage to Mecca. It had been under pretense of a pilgrimage that he had stolen away from Baghdad and fled to Damascus ; but apparently at that time he could not bring himself to such a step. Whether he felt himself too unclean, or his religious faith was too uncertain, might be hard to settle ; at any rate it was only now, after long meditation and discipline, that he at length performed the culminating act of the religious life of a Muslim. From Jerusalem he went to Hebron to visit the grave of Abraham, al-Khalil, the Friend of God, and thence to the Hij?z and Mecca and Medina. With this religious duty his life of strict retirement ended. It is evident that he now felt that he was again within the fold of Islām. In spite of his former resolution to retire from the world, he was drawn back. The prayers of his children[45] and his own aspirations broke in upon him, and though he resolved again and again to return to the contemplative life, and did actually often do so, yet events, [94] family affairs, and the anxieties of life, kept continually disturbing him. This went on, he tells us, for almost ten years, and in that time there were revealed to him things that could not be reckoned and the discussion of which could not be exhausted. He learned that the Sufis were on the true and only path to the knowledge of God ; that neither intelligence nor wisdom nor science could change or improve their doctrine or their ethics. The light in which they walk is essentially the same as the light of prophecy; Muhammad was a Sufi when on his way to be a prophet. There is none other light to light any man in this world. A complete purifying of the heart from all but God is their Path ; a seeking to completely plunge the heart in the thought of God is its beginning, and its end is complete passing away in God. This last is only its end in relation to what can be entered upon and grasped by a voluntary effort ; in truth, it is only the first step in the Path, the vestibule to the contemplative life. Revelations (mukashafat, unveilings)[46] come to the disciple from the very beginning ; while awake they see angels and souls of prophets, hear their voices, and gain from them guidance. Then their State[47] passes from the beholding of forms [95] to stages where language fails and any attempt to express what is experienced must involve some error. They reach a nearness to God which some have fancied to be a hul?l, fusion of being, others an ittih?d, identification, and others a wusul, union ; but these are all erroneous ways of indicating the thing. Al-Ghazzālī notes that in his Maqsad al-aqsà[48] he has explained wherein the error lies. But the thing itself is the true basis of all faith and the beginning of prophecy; the kar?m?t[49] of the saints lead to the miracles of the prophets. By this means the possibility and [96] the existence of prophecy can be proved, and then the life itself of Muhammad proves that he was a prophet. Al-Ghazzālī goes on to deal with the nature of prophecy, and how the life of Muhammad shows the truth of his mission ; but enough has been given to indicate his attitude[50] and the stage at which he had himself arrived. During this ten years he had returned to his native country and to his children, but had not undertaken public duty as a teacher. Now that was forced upon him. The century was drawing to a close. Everywhere there was evident a slackening of religious fervor and faith. A mere external compliance with the rules of Islām was observed ; men even openly defended such a course. He adduces as an example of this the Wasiya of Ibn S?n?. The students of philosophy went their way, and their conduct shook the minds of the people; false Sufis abounded, who taught antinomianism ; the lives of many theologians excited scandal ; the Ta‘limites, of whom we have already heard, were still spreading. A religious leader to turn the current was absolutely needed, and his friends looked to al-Ghazzālī to take tip that duty; some distinguished saints had dreams of his success ; God had promised a reformer every hundred years, and the time was up.[51] Finally the Sult?n laid a [97] command upon him to go and teach in the Madrasa at Nayshābūr, and he was forced to consent. His departure for Nayshābūr fell in Dhu-l-Qa'da 499, exactly eleven years after his flight from Baghdad.

So far I have followed in this sketch of al-Ghazzālī’s wandering life his own account in the Munqidh., but it can be supplemented from other sources. These, it is true, contradict one another flatly and tell many things that are evident impossibilities, but some gleanings of fact are possible. Ibn al-Athir (d. 630) in the Kamil (hawadith of 488), tells us that al-Ghazzālī composed the Ihyāʾ at this time, returned to Baghdad after pilgrimaging in 489, and from there went to Khurasan. This is all probably correct, though it is difficult to make up al-Ghazzālī’s “ almost two years” between Dhu-l-Qa'da 488 and Dhu-l-Hijja 489. That the Ihyāʾ was written about this time his biographers agree, and we may accept it as tolerably certain. The stories which they tell of his life at Damascus are by no means so certain, though some of them seem to go back through adh-Dhahabi (d. 748) to Abul-Qasim b. ‘Asakir, the author of the great history of Damascus, who died in 571. After al-Ghazzālī himself, the best authority on his life is undoubtedly the ‘Abd al-Ghafir already mentioned, who was an immediate contemporary and personal friend. What he tells us of al-Ghazzālī’s life must have been gained from personal knowledge or go back immediately to al-Ghazzālī. According to him, al-Ghazzālī set out on pilgrimage to Mecca (qasada hajja bayti-llahi as in SM., not qasada bayta-llahi wahajja as in Mehren), then went to Syria, and remained there wandering from place to place and shrine to shrine nearly ten years. At this time he composed several of his works, the Ihyāʾ and books abbreviated from it such as the Arba'in and Rasa'il, besides laboring at his own spiritual advancement and growth through the religious exercises of the Sufis. Then he returned to his home (watan) and lived there a retired life for some time, absorbed in meditation, but gradually becoming more and more sought after as a teacher and guide in the spiritual life. At length Fakhr al-Mulk ‘Ali b. Nizam al-Mulk Jamal ash-Shuhada, who had previously been Wazir to Barqiyaruq,[52] became Wazir to Sinjar[53] the son of Malik Shah at Nayshābūr, and by him such pressure [98] was put on al-Ghazzālī that be finally consented to resume teaching in the Maymuna Nizamiya Madrasa there. As Fakhr al-Mulk was assassinated[54] by a Batini on the day of ‘ashura, i. e. the tenth of Muharram, 500, it is evident that al-Ghazzālī’s own date of Dhu-l-Qa‘da 499 is the latest possible, and is thus protected against the suspicions of Gosche. It may also be worth noticing that Barqiyaruq bad died in Rabi' II, 498 ; this may have removed an obstacle to al-Ghazzālī’s return to public life. It will be remembered that his flight from Baghdad fell after the final victory of Barqiyaruq over Tutush, and that the Khalifa, at whose court he was, had declared for Tutush.

It remains now to endeavor to gather up what can be gained from other sources with regard to this mysterious ten years. Ibn al-Athir (loc. cit.) tells us that on his journey he composed the Ihya', and that many heard it from him in Damascus ; and that after he had pilgrimaged be returned to Baghdad. ‘Abd al-Ghafir has already told us about the writing of the Ihya', and this dating point renders possible the dating of some other of his books. In the Maqasid al falasifa (p. 4 of Beer’s text) he states that he intends to follow it immediately with a book to be entitled Tahafut al-falasifa. There is a corresponding statement in the prologue to the Tahafut (p. 6 of edit. of Cairo 1303), only there the Maqasid is called Mi‘yar al-’ilm ; but Gosche has already noticed that these two are titles of one book. Further, in the Tahafut, p. 21, it is explained that it in turn is to be followed by a Qawa’id al-‘aqa’id. Such a book does not appear in the SM.’s list, but stands 41 in the list in Wüstenfeld’s Academien[55]. I would suggest that the book in the Ihya' which bears this title is meant, the second of the first Rub'a. These three books are all closely related to one another, and al-Ghazzālī in the places cited has explained their relationship. The Maqasid is a compendious statement of the true teachings of the philosophers in all those subjects where doubt can enter, that is logic, physics, and theology. Arithmetic and geometry are excluded as resting on an absolutely demonstrable basis. You may be a believer or not, but you must accept their results in these subjects. All that he intended in this book was to state the facts as to the views of the philosophers. Then in the Tahafut these views are overthrown [99] by argument; the aim is purely destructive. Finally, in the Qawa‘id a system of positive truth is built up to take the place of the errors of the philosophers. Thus the three books follow and complement one another. If, then, the Qawa‘id here spoken of is the book so called in the Ihya', written in the earlier part of his retreat, are we to see in the Maqasid and Tahafut the results written at Baghdad of his study of philosophy there ? This seems highly probable ; we can then regard the Maqasid as in a sense notes of his two years' reading, and the Tahafut as the fruit of his further year of meditation.

To return to his stay at Damascus ; that he taught the Ihya' there may be taken as tolerably certain. Adh-Dbababi (d. 748) gives us from Ibn 'Asakir (but the SM. could not find it in Ibn `Asakir’s text) that he used to sit a great deal in the corner (zawiya) of the Shaykh Nasr al-Maqdisi in the Umawi Jami', which is on that account called the Ghazzālī corner. This must be Abu-l-Fath Nasr b. Ibrahim al-Magdisi, no. 41 in Wtistenfeld’s Academien.' Ibn Shuhba (died at Damascus 850 or 851) says there (p. 5 of the Arabic text) that Abu-l-Fath became acquainted with al-Ghazzālī there and learned from him. As he died in Muharram 490, al-Ghazzālī must have been at Damascus for some time before that date. Wüstenfeld (p. 33) says that in this corner the Madrasa Ghazzālīya was afterwards established. That may well have been the case, but I have found no authority for his statement. Adh-Dhahabi goes on to say that he was finally driven away from Damascus by hearing himself quoted formally as an authority by a teacher in the Aminiya Madrasa. This story can not be true as it stands, for that Madrasa was not founded till 514; and the further stories with which he follows it up are equally impossible. Al-Ghazzālī is said to have gone to Alexandria, to have stayed there a time, and to have determined on setting out to Yusuf b. Tashfin, the great Murabit Sultan of the West on whose behalf we have already found him giving fatwàs, when the news of the latter’s death arrived. ‘Ali, the son and successor of Ynsuf b. Tashfin, did not show the gratitude for those fatwàs which might have been expected. Some such influence as that of al-Ghazzālī could have been was badly needed in the West. The study of the Qur’an, of tradition, and of theology in the narrower sense (kalam), fell into complete disrepute, and [100] fiqh or canon law was the only branch that continued to receive attention. When al-Gbazzali’s books began to arrive, the western faqihs speedily saw that the return to Qur’an and tradition and to the study of kalam championed in these ran in the teeth of their own interests. The result was a fatwà issued by Abd ‘Abd Allah Muhammad b. Hamdin, the chief Qadi of Cordova, and supported by the other Qadis, solemnly condemning the books of al-Ghazzālī and forbidding the study of them. This fatwà was accepted by ‘Al?, and copies of the books were burned at Cordova and other Spanish cities, while the reading or possession of them was prohibited on pain of death. No date is given;. ‘Al? reigned from 500 to 537. This is the story as told in part by ‘Abd al-Wahid (wrote in 621 ; pp. 123 ff. in Dozy’s edition). Dozy (Histoire, iv. 253 ff.) refers also for some of the above details to the Hul?l. I can find nothing in the Qart?s, in Ibn al-Athir, or in Ibn Khald?n. The subject will come up again in connection with the miracles ascribed to al-Ghazzālī.

To return ; that al-Ghazzālī should have been prevented from setting out for Y?suf b. Tashf?n in 500 by the report of the death of the latter is impossible, as we have seen that he was summoned to teach at Nays?b?r by Fakhr al-Mulk, who was assassinated in the first month of 500. Further, according to the SM. (p. 44), he was accompanied in his wanderings by a certain Ab? Tahir Ibrahim b. al-Mutahhar ash-Shaybani. The latter had been a pupil of the Imām al-Haramayn at Naysab?r, but went with al-Ghazzālī to Al `Iraq and Syria, then returned to his native place in Jurjan, taught and preached there, and died a martyr in 513. The SM. tells also of another pupil of al-Ghazzālī at Damascus. He was Abu-l-Hasan 'Ali b. Muslim b. Muhammad b. ‘Ali as-Salmi, Jamal al-Islām (Mehren, p. 328), and studied with al-Ghazzālī all the time of his stay at Damascus. When al-Ghazzālī left Syria he said, “I have left behind in Syria a youth who, if he lives, will amount to something.” These statements I am unable to control, except as regards as-Salmi, and give for what they may be worth ; but it is different with an anecdote of his life at Jerusalem. AsSam'ani relates (SM. p. 44, foot) that he heard Ab?-l-Futuh Nasr b. Muhammad b. Ibrahim al-Maragha al-Adharbajin? dictating at Amul in Tabaristin as follows: “There came together the Imāms Abu Hamid al-Ghazzālī and Isma‘il al-Hakimi and Ibrahim ash-Shibaki[56] and Abu-l-Hasan al-Basri, and a large number of [101] foreign elders, in the Cradle of 'Isà[57] (upon him be peace!) in Jerusalem, and he (al-Ghazzālī, apparently) recited these two lines,

‘May I be thy ransom! were it not for love thou wouldst have ransomed me, but by the magic of two eye-pupils thou hast taken me captive.

I came to thee when my breast was straitened through love, and if thou hadst known how was my longing, thou wouldst have come to me.’

Then Abu-l-Hasan al-Basri constrained himself to an ecstasy[58] which affected those that were present, and eyes wept and garments were rent, and Muhammad al-Kazaruni[59] died in the midst of the assembly in ecstasy. I was myself present and saw it.” For the people of Jerusalem, according to SM. (p. 42), he wrote the Risala al-Qudsiya, as Gosche has already guessed (p. 251). The full title is Ar-risala al-qudsiya bi'adillatiha al-burhaniya f i ‘ilm al-kal?m; a sharh, to it was written by the author. All this must have been before 492, for in Sha'ban of that year Jerusalem was captured by the crusaders after having been taken in 491 from the Seljuqs by the Fatimids. It seems possible to fix with tolerable definiteness another point in his wandering life. Adh-Dhahabi says that he returned to Baghdad, and taught the Ihy? and preached there. That he was a preacher is certified by his book of sermons, Al-Majalis al- Ghazzālīya (SM. p. 42). As-Subk? narrates that when he acted as preacher at Baghdad, people [102] crowded to hear him, and Said b. Faris, known as Ibn al-Labban, sat in the background and took down his sermons to the number of 183 ; then he read them over to al-Ghazzālī, who corrected them and gave him an ij?za[60] to teach them. The following story is told of his life at this time. I have no other authority for it than the mere name of Ab? Said an-Nawgani as quoted by SM. (p. 25), but it fits psychologically into this period of al-Ghazzālī’s life. He says that al-Ghazzālī once when teaching.the Ihy? at Baghdad began to quote,

“He has made beloved the homes of men, as abodes of desire which the heart has decreed them;

Whenever they remember their homes these remind them of the pledges of youth there, and they long thither.”

Then he wept and those present wept with them. Thereafter some one saw him in the open country with a patched darwishgarment on, a water-vessel and an iron-shod. staff in his hand,all in strange contrast to the state in which he had seen him before, with three hundred pupils around him including one hundred of the chief men of Baghdad. So he said, “ 0 Imām, is not the teaching of science more fitting ?” But al-Ghazzālī looked at him with red eyes and said, “ When the full moon of happiness rises in the firmament of will, the sun of setting departs in the East of union.”[61] Then he recited,

“I abandoned the love of Layla and my happiness was far, and I returned to the companionship of my first alightingplace ; then cried to me my longings, ‘Welcome ! these are the alighting-places of her whom thou lovest, draw up and alight.’”

What he thought of preaching, and how dissatisfied he was with himself as a preacher, is evident from the following quotation which as-Sam‘?n? (SM. p. 12) gives from a letter of his, “.I do not think myself worthy to preach; for preaching is like a tax, and the property on which it is imposed is the accepting of preaching [103] to oneself. He, then, who has no property, how shall he pay the tax? and he who lacks a garment, bow shall he cover another? and ‘ When is the shadow straight and the wood crooked ?’ And God revealed to ‘?sà (upon him be peace !), ‘Preach to thyself ; then, if thou acceptest the preaching, preach to mankind, and if not, be ashamed before me.’”

So he came back at last to T?s, his native place, towards which he had so longed, and settled down to study and the contemplative life. We have already seen what theological position he had reached. Philosophy had been tried and found wanting. In the Tah?fut he had smitten the philosophers hip and thigh ; he had turned, as in earlier times al-Ash‘arī, their own weapons against them, and shown that with their premises and methods no certainty could be reached. In that book he goes to the extreme of intellectual skepticism, and, seven hundred years before Hume, be cuts the bond of causality with the edge of his dialectic and proclaims that we can know nothing of cause or effect, but simply that one thing follows another. He combats their proof of the eternity of the world, and exposes their assertion that God is its creator. He demonstrates that they cannot prove the existence of the creator, or that that creator is one ; that they cannot prove that lie is incorporeal, or that the world has any creator or cause at all; that they cannot prove the nature of God, or that the human soul is a spiritual essence. When he has finished there is no intellectual basis left for life ; he stands beside the Greek skeptics and beside Hume. But his end is very different from that of Hume. We are thrown back on revelation, that given immediately by God to the individual soul or that given through prophets. All our real knowledge is derived from these sources. So it was natural that in the latter part of his life he should turn to the study of the traditions of the Prophet. The science of tradition must certainly have formed part of his early studies, as of those of all Muslim theologians, but he had not specialized in it; his bent had lain in quite other directions. His master, the Imām al-Haramayn, had been no student of tradition ; among his many works is not one dealing with that subject (Wüstenfeld, Schâf?’iten, p. 252). Now he saw that the truth and the knowledge of the truth lay there, and he gave himself to the new pursuit with all the energy of his nature. Ibn asSam-ani (SM. p. 19) tells us that he invited the h?fiz Ab?-l-Fity?n ‘Umar b. Ab?-l-Hasan ar-Ru’?s? ad-Dihist?n? to T?s, and heard [104] from him the two Sah?hs, that of al-Bukh?r? and that of Muslim. The names of others with whom he studied had?th are given by his biographers, and all agree in the fact of his change of study. The only point of doubt is whether it fell before or after his call by Fakhr al-Mulk to teach at Nays?b?r. For he did not teach there long; before the end of his, life, which was near, we find him back at T?s, living in retirement among his personal disciples, and having in charge a Madrasa for students and a Kh?nq?h, or monastery, for Sufis.[62] There every moment was filled with study, teaching, or devotion, until the end came. The keenness of his intellectual life and the austerities and privation of his long wanderings early wore him out. Nor was his latter end one of peace. ‘Abd al-Ghafir tells us that it was clouded with controversy, envy, and slander, and perhaps in that lay the cause of his removal so soon from Nays?b?r to T?s. Ibn as-Sam‘?n? (SM. p. 12) tells a story that seems to fit in at this point, and which shows us al-Ghazzālī’s position and influence. He gives it as having been heard by him in Marw directly from the narrator, the muqri’ Ab? Nasr al-Fail b. al-Hasan b. ‘Al?, “I went in to the Imām Ab? H?mid to take leave of him, and he said to me, ‘ Carry this letter to al-Mu‘?n Ab?-l-Qasim al-Bayhaq?.’ Then he added, ‘There is a complaint in it against al-‘Az?z, the superintendent of waqfs in T?s' [al-‘Az?z was the nephew of al-Mu‘?n]. Then I said, ‘ I was at Har?t with his uncle al-Mu‘?n, and a deputation came from T?s with a petition praising al-‘Az?z, and your writing was in it. His uncle had rejected him and driven him away, but when he saw your writing and your praise of him he received him back into favor.’ Then the Imām said, ‘ Give the letter to al-Mu‘?n and write in it this line,

“I have never seen tyranny like the tyranny he has brought on us; he does evil to us, then commands us to be grateful !”

A man of this kind in such a position could not easily keep out of trouble. Yet his friends recognized how much he was changed [105] from the supercilious, self-confident, fighting al-Ghazzālī of his earlier life. ‘Abd al-Gh?fir has a remark which throws a flood of light upon him at both periods:[63] “However much he met of contradiction and attack and slander, it made no impression on him, and he did not trouble himself to answer his assailants. I visited him many times, and it was no bare conjecture of mine that he, in spite of what I saw in him in time past of maliciousness and roughness towards people, and how he looked upon them contemptuously through his being led astray by what God had granted him of ease in word and thought and expression, and through the seeking of rank and position, had come to be the very opposite and was purified from these stains. And I used to think that he was wrapping himself in the garment of pretence, but I realized after investigation that the thing was the opposite of what I had thought, and that the man had recovered after being mad.”[64] We see here the difficulty that his acquaintances had in grasping the change that had been worked in the brilliant legist. Again, no one ever accused him of a desire for gain. According to Ibn ‘As?kir (SM. p. 11) he had by inheritance[65] and by what he had earned a fortune sufficient to supply his own needs and those of his family and children. He never needed to appeal to any one in worldly goods, and though fortune presented itself to him he would not receive it, but turned aside from it and was satisfied with that amount by which he could protect his religion and escape the need of asking from any one. How rare this was among Muslim scholars, it is hardly necessary to say.

Another curious illustration of the completeness of the change that came over him and how it was recognized by others is to be found in the fate of his book, the Manh?l. It was written in his latter period, for in the Mustasfà (SM. p. 42), after mentioning [106] the Ihy?, the K?miya as-sa‘?da, and the Jaw?hir al-Qur’?n, he goes on, “Then the divine decree drove me to promotion to teaching (s?qan? il?-t-tasadduri lit-tadr?s), and they (my pupils) wrote down some of my notes in the science of the bases of filth and obtained a composition whose like never happened in the orderly statement of the bases. Then when they had completed it they offered it to me, and I did not reject their labor but named the book the Manh?l.” But in this book were certain grievous statements[66] with regard to the Imām Ab? Hanifa. They are to be found also in the life of the Imām in the Ta’r?kh of the Khatib[67] and in the Muntazim of Ab?-l-Faraj al-Jawz?,[68] and do not seem, as given in these last, to have referred to points of doctrine.[69] Al-Ghazzālī was a Sh?fi‘ite and he did not spare the feelings of the Hanafites. These met the attack in different ways. Some answered railing with railing. So al-Kardar? ;[70] he attacked in his reply both al-Ghazzālī and ash-Sh?fi‘i. Others, again, could not understand bow the writer of the Ihy?, with its words of praise and respect for Ab? Han?fa, could say these things of him. Ibn Hajar considered either that the book was forged or that these passages were interpolated. Some went the length of saying that there was a certain Mahm?d al-Ghazzālī,[71] a Mu‘tazilite, to whom the book ought to be ascribed. But Ibn as-Subk? and [107] others, especially pupils of at-Taftaz?n?,-and this is the point to which I would draw attention,-considered in the teeth of al-Ghazzālī’s own statement, or in ignorance of it, that the Manh?l was a work of his youth, of his green and fighting days before his conversion. From the way in which Ibn Hajar speaks it is evident that there was a great gulf recognized between his two periods. In the first he was an unregenerate lawyer, jealous for his own party and given up to dialectic controversy of a burschikos nature, if I understand rightly the Arabic bi-huz?zi talabati-l-‘ilm; in the second he was a theologian, grave and reverend in his attitude and methods, though in the Ihy? he sometimes displays a vein of humorous sarcasm that must have made him a terror in his younger days, as when, in defence of the singing of poetry, he explains elaborately that nightingales do not recite from the Qur’?n.

The last of his works[72] was the Minh?j al-'abidiin, a guide on the way to the other world for those who were not fitted to understand the Ihy?. Muhy? ad-D?n Ibn ‘Arab? claimed it for a certain Ab?-l-Hasan ‘Al? b. Khalil as-Sibti.

Al-Ghazzālī died on Monday, the fourteenth of Jumada II, 505 (Dec. 18th, 1111). His brother Ahmad (quoted by SM. p. 11 through Ibn Jawz?’s Kit?b ath-thab?t ‘ind-al-mam?t) gives the following account of his death : “On Monday, at dawn, my brother performed the ablution and prayed. Then he said, ‘Bring me my grave-clothes,’ and he took them and kissed them, and laid them on his eyes and said, ‘ I hear and obey to go in to the King.’ And he stretched out his feet and went to meet Him, and was taken to the good will of God Most High.” He was buried at, or outside of, T?br?n, the citadel of T?s, and Ibn as-Sam‘?n? visited his grave there.

Such is the simple story of his death and burial which his immediate biographers give; but the pious imagination could not be so easily satisfied, and legends soon began to spring up. One of them is given by the SM. (p. 11) from the Bahja an-n?zir?n wa’uns al-‘?rif?n by Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-‘Az?m al-Uzumm?r? ;[73] a source which I am unable to verify. His story runs, “ When death drew near to the Imām Ab? H?mid al-Ghazzālī, he [108] commanded his servant, an excellent and religious man, to dig his grave in the middle of his house and to summon the people of the neighboring villages to attend his funeral ; that they should not touch him, but that a company of three men unknown in the region of al-Iraq would come out of the desert, that two of them would wash him and the third would undertake the prayer over him without the advice or command of anyone. Then, when he died, the servant did according to all that he had commanded, and required the presence of the people. And wlien the people gathered to attend the funeral, they saw three men who had come out of the desert. Two of them began to wash the corpse, while the third vanished and did not appear (wakhtafà-th-th?lithu walam yazhar, but?). But when they had washed him and arranged him in the grave-clothes and carried his bier and laid it on the edge of the grave, the third appeared wrapped in his robe with a black border[74] on both sides, turbaned with wool, and he prayed for him and the people prayed with him. Then he gave the benediction and departed and hid from the people. And some of the excellent of the people of al-‘Ir?q who were present at the funeral had noticed him carefully, but did not know him until some of them heard a H?tif [75] in the night saying to them, ‘ The man who led the people in prayer is Ab? ‘Abd Allah Muhammad b. Ish?q Amghar, the Shar?f. He came from the farthest Maghrib, from ‘Ayn al-Qatr (?), and those who washed the corpse are his comrades Ab? Shu‘ayb Ayy?b b. Said b. Uzummur and Ab? ‘?sà Wazjih.’ [76] And when they heard that they journeyed from al-‘Ir?q to Sanhaja of Uzumm?r, to the farthest Maghrib, and when they had reached them and asked of them their prayers, they returned to al-‘Ir?q and related it to the Sufis and published their miracle (kar?ma). Then a company of them, when they heard that, went to visit them and found them to be those whom they had noticed carefully, and they asked of them their prayers. And this is a strange story.”  [109] There is also a story [77] told of a celebrated saint, the Qutb Shihab ad-D?n Ahmad as-Sayyad al-Yamani az-Zabidi,[78] a contemporary of al-Ghazzālī, that he said, “ While I was sitting one day, lo, I perceived the gates of heaven opened, and a company of blessed angels descended, having with them a green robe and a precious steed. They stood by a certain grave and brought forth its tenant and clothed him in the green robe and set him on the steed and ascended with him from heaven to heaven[79] till he passed the seven heavens and rent after them sixty veils, and I know not whither at last he reached. Then I asked about him, and was answered, `This is the Imām al-Ghazzālī.’ That was after his death ; may God Most High have mercy on him!” The same writer tells us on the authority of Sa‘?d al-‘Am?d? that al-Ghazzālī enjoyed the supreme dignity of qutb [80] for three days. Naturally, the working of miracles (kar?m?t) was ascribed to him,[81] and we can trace the development of belief in this. ‘Abd al-Ghafir, his personal friend, does not seem to ascribe kar?m?t to him anywhere, but Ab? Bakr ash-Sh?shi (d. Shawwal 507, rather more than two years after al-Ghazzālī ; see Mehren, p. 324, and Ibn Khall. ii. 625) has a story that is worth telling. “In our time there was a man in Egypt who disliked al-Ghazzālī and abused him and slandered him. And he saw the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace!) in a dream ; Ab? Bakr and ‘Umar (may God be well pleased with both of them!) were at his side, and al-Ghazzālī was sitting before him, saying, ‘O Apostle of God, this man speaks against me!’ Thereupon the Prophet said, ‘Bring the whips!’ So the man was beaten on account of al-Ghazzālī. Then the man arose from sleep, and the marks of the [110] whips remained on his back, and he was wont to weep and tell the story.” The Muslim imagination was evidently tickled by this kind of dream, for a similar story is told, with a long isn?d, of Ibn Hirazaham al-Magbrib?,[82] another assailant of al-Ghazzālī. At first the miracles were ascribed to al-Ghazzālī after his death. Fakhr ad-D?n ibn ‘As?kir (d. 620) says that God distinguished him with different kinds of kar?m?t in the other world, as He had distinguished him with various sciences in this ; but ‘Abd al-Q?d?r (quoted above) boldly changes (margin of SM. p. 28) ,with various sciences” (bi fun?ni-l-‘ilm) into “ with them” (bih?), and gives him miracles in both worlds. In some cases these later miracles involve chronological difficulties so serious that even the SM. sees them. Several (pp. 10 and 22) are connected with the burning of the Ihy? at al-Mar?ya by order of the last Murabit Sult?n, ‘Al? b. Y?suf b. Tashf?n (reg. 500-537).[83] According to the story the fortune of the Sult?n changed immediately thereafter, and the success of the Muwahhid leader ‘Abd al-Mu’min b. ‘Al? was due to the insult to al-Ghazzālī. Certainly the punishment was long in coming if we are to believe another story, which dates the burning on the eleventh of Muharram or Safar 500.[84] On that date a certain Ab? ‘Abd Allah Muhammad ‘Abd al-Mun‘im al-‘Abdari saw in sleep at Alexandria the sun rising in the west. Dream-readers interpreted this as of some strange event happening there, and in a few days news arrived of the burning. But the most impossible of all chronologically is a story of the fate of the Q?d? ‘Iy?d who gave a formal fatwà condemning the books of al-Ghazzālī. He is said (in its later forms the story is long and picturesquely told) to have died suddenly in the bath at the moment when al-Ghazzālī cursed him.[85] Even the SM. stumbles at this, and points out that the Q?d? ‘Iy?d died 544, thirty-nine years after al-Ghazzālī.[86] Further, this must be some quite different story of the condemnation and burning of the Ihy?, for in ‘Abd al-W?hid’s narrative and that in the Hul?l (vide supra) the [111] Q?d? Ab?-l-Fadl ‘Iy?d does not come in at all. Nor can I find in the lives of him in Ibn Khallik?n, in the Sila of Ibn Bashkuwal (no. 972), or in the Mu‘jam of Ibn al-Abb?r (no. 279), any reference to this incident, or to that other story of his death which the SM. tells, bow the people of his district accused him to Ibn T?mart, the Mahd?, of being a Jew because he did not come among them on the Sabbath,-this was really because he was writing at that time his great book the Shifa,-whereupon the Mahd? had him put to death. In such a bundle of anachronisms it is a mere detail that the Mahd? died in 524, twenty years before his victim. It is, further, hardly necessary to point out that the burning cannot be dated in 500 on any hypothesis, least of all if the Q?d? ‘Iy?d is to be made responsible for it ; at that date he was only twenty-four.

But there does seem to be foundation for the story which ascribes to al-Ghazzālī an early influence on the life of Muhammad b. ‘Abd Allah b. T?mart, the Mahd? of the Muwahhids, or Almohades, called shortly Ibn T?mart or al-Mahd?.[87] The materials for his life are tolerably copious and most intolerably contradictory. I have been unable to find any that can be regarded as first-hand sources. I have here to deal only with that part which brings him into contact with al-Ghazzālī. ‘Abd al-W?hid (wrote 621) says that Ibn T?mart traveled in the East in pursuit of knowledge in 501 (this makes Ibn Khallik?n’s statement that be was born in Muharram 485 scarcely possible), and that be met al-Ghazzālī in Syria in the latter’s ascetic days-but God knows best. (‘Abd al-W?hid’s doubt is justifiable, for we have seen that al-Ghazzālī’s wandering life ceased in 499.) Further, that al-Ghazzālī was told in Ibn T?mart’s presence about the burning of his books, and thereupon cursed ‘Al? and prayed that his kingdom might pass away and his children be slain, “And I do not think that he who is entrusted with that is any but one present in our assembly,” al-Ghazzālī added. Then Ibn T?mart returned to the Maghrib by way of Alexandria by ship. On the voyage he so worried the crew with his exhortations to piety that they flung him overboard. He is kept afloat and alongside the ship for half a day till the crew see he is a saint. Ibn al-Athir (d. 630) sub anno 514 also gives a life of Ibn T?mart : he [112] travels as a youth in al-'Iraq and studies under several theologians; the story of his meeting al-Ghazzālī is an invention of the Maghrib? historians ; he makes a stay at Mecca and returns to al-Mahd?ya in Africa in 505. Ibn Khallik?n, iii. 205 ff., gives a long life : Ibn T?mart went in pursuit of knowledge to al-‘Ir?q, there met al-Ghazzālī and others, pilgrimaged, and stayed a long time at Mecca, returned home by way of Cairo and Alexandria, and arrived at al-Mahd?ya some time between 505 and 512 ; al-Qift? (d. 646) is quoted as dating his departure from Egypt in 511. In the Qart?s (edit. Tornberg, pp. 110 ff.) we have a similar story : he studied with al-Ghazzālī, who paid great attention to him and said he showed the qualities of a founder of empire. He spent three years with him, and left the East finally in 510. Ibn Khald?n (Histoire des Berbères, trad. de Slane, ii. 163 ff.; and on Ibn T?mart as Mahd?, Prolegomenes, trad. de Slane, i. 53) tells of an interview of Ibn T?mart with al-Ghazzālī, who encouraged him in his design ; but from the tone it is doubtful whether Ibn Khald?n believed this. It seems to be certain that Ibn T?mart travelled and studied in the East during the latter part of al-Ghazzālī’s life, and perhaps after his death. An early and persistent tradition among Western historians makes him a pupil of al-Ghazzālī, and in this tradition there is nothing impossible. That he commissioned Ibn T?mart to avenge the burning of his books we may leave alone; it is improbable that that event took place during his life-time. Even that he saw in Ibn T?mart a future regenerator of religion in the West may be regarded as unlikely. He had not long before given a fatwà in support of Y?suf b. T?shf?n, the father, and the corruption of manners and hostility to the study of theology could not, before his death, have gone so far that he would turn against ‘Al?, the son. But it is undoubted that the victory of the Muwahhids was a victory for the theology with which al-Ghazzālī had identified himself.[88] Though Ibn T?mart professed to be the Mahd? and a descendant of  ‘Al? b. Ab? T?lib, he was an orthodox Ash‘arite in all but two points : he held the impeccability of the Imām ; and inclined to Mu‘tazilite views as to the Qualities (sif?t) of God, running perilously near, if not entirely  [113] into pantheism. Otherwise he laboured, though in a very different way, to bring about in the West the same revival of faith and religious life to which al-Ghazzālī gave himself in the East. That is the evident historical and theological fact ; and, on the side of legend, only in this way can we explain the persistence of the tradition among the Muwahhids that their Mahd? had been a favorite pupil of al-Ghazzālī’s, marked out by him for great things.[89] How far this went with them is evident from the story of the death of Ibn T?mart as told in the Qart?s (pp. 116 ff.). There, at death, he commits to his brethren the book al-Jafr “ which had journeyed to him from the presence of the Imām Ab? H?mid al-Ghazzālī.”[90] All this is evidently pure legend, and [114] legend, too, constructed by some one who had no very intimate acquaintance with al-Ghazzālī’s views. We have seen what he thought of the Ta'limites with their infallible Imām. I have not yet found any allusion in him to the Jufr, but he probably thought the same of it and of the believers in it. Evidently he was regarded by the Muwahhids as its custodian till it passed into the hands of Ibn T?mart, the Mahd? and its final interpreter.[91] The story goes in the same class with that of his three days Qutb-ship ; I have no further light on either.


So much it has seemed necessary to add concerning al-Ghazzālī’s position in the popular mind after his death, and the legends that gathered round his figure. It now remains to consider somewhat more systematically his theological and philosophical position, and especially, the charge which has been brought against him of insincerity and of having a secret doctrine. This consideration of his intellectual position can lay no claim to be exhaustive-the time has not yet come for such a treatment ; its aim is only to bring out the salient points of his teaching and to render somewhat more intelligible his mystical views.

And here, in the first place, it must be said that his views tend upon examination to lose their peculiar individuality. He does not cease to be either a mystic or a sceptic, to lead men back to the study of Scripture and Tradition, or to arouse their consciences by the fear of hell, but we find that others-his predecessors, contemporaries, and successors-were and did the same. Thus the Mutakallims, Ash‘arite, Mataridite, and Mu‘tazilite, were sceptics before him ; all, philosophers and theologians, were mystics more or less ; reform in Islām and re-arousing of religions life bad always come and have always come through a return [115] to the study of the simple Word and a realization of the terrors of an avenging God. Al-Ghazzālī becomes part of a stream of tendency, and shows his greatness in that, with the same views and starting-point as those around him, lie has transcended all the other doctors of Islām and graven his name ineffaceably in the record of the toils and triumphs of the human mind.

His views on science, as we have already seen, were the same as those of the contemporary students of natural philosophy. Their teachings he accepted, and, so far, can be compared to a theologian of the present day who accepts evolution and explains it to suit himself. His world was framed on what is commonly called the Ptolemaic system.[92] He was no flat-earth man like the present `Ulama of Islām ; God bad “ spread out the earth like a carpet,” but that did not hinder him from regarding it as a globe. Around it revolve the spheres of the seven planets and that of the fixed stars ; Alfonso the Wise of Castile had not yet added the crystalline sphere and the primum mobile. All that astronomers and mathematicians teach us of the laws under which these bodies move is to be accepted. Their theory of eclipses and of the other phenomena of the heavens is true, whatever the ignorant and superstitious may clamor. Yet it is to be remembered that the most important facts and laws have been divinely revealed; as the weightiest truths of medicine are to be traced back to the teaching of the prophets, so there are conjunctions in the heavens which only occur once in a thousand years and which man can yet calculate because God has taught him their laws. And all this structure of the heavens and the earth is the direct work of God, produced out of nothing by His will, guided by His will, ever dependent for its existence on His will, and one day to pass away at His command. So al-Ghazzālī joins science and revelation. Behind the order of nature lies the personal, omnipotent God who says, “Be!” and it is. The things of existence do not proceed from Him by any emanation or evolution, but are produced directly by Him. The Sufiism in which he had found light tended later to ally itself with a form of Neoplatonism,[93] [116] assimilating to itself the system of Plotinus with its ??, its????, its ????, its receptive and active intellects, its being and nonbeing, a tendency which so increased in time that Sfifiism came to mean pantheism;[94] but al-Ghazzālī is still a strict theist.

Further, there is another side of al-Ghazzālī’s attitude towards the physical universe that deserves attention but which is very difficult either to grasp or to express. Perhaps it may be stated thus : Existence has three modes ; there is existence in the ’?lam al-mulk, in the `?lam al jabarict, and in the ’?lam al-malak?t.[95] The first is this world of ours which is apparent to the senses; it exists by the power (qudra) of God, one part proceeding from another in constant change. The ’?lam al-malak?t exists by God’s eternal decree, without development, remaining in one state without addition or diminution. The  ’?lam al-jabar?t[96] comes between [117] these two ; it seems externally to belong to the first, but in respect of the power of God which is from all eternity (al-qudra al-azaliya) it is included in the second. The soul (nafs) belongs to the ’?lam al-malak?t, is taken from it, and returns to it. In sleep and in ecstasy, even in this world, it can come into contact with the world from which it is derived. This is what happens in dreams-sleep is the brother of death, says al-Ghazzālī (Madn?n, p. 42); and thus, too, the saints and prophets attain divine knowledge. Some angels belong to the world of malak?t; some to that of jabar?t, apparently those who have shown themselves here on earth as messengers of God (Durra, p. 2). The things in the heavens, the Preserved Tablet, the Pen, the Balance, etc., belong to the world of malak?t (Iml?, pp. 216 ff.). On the one hand, these are not sensible, corporeal things ; and on the other these terms for then are not metaphors. Thus al-Ghazzālī avoids the difficulty of Muslim eschatology with its bizarre concreteness. He rejects the right to allegorize-these things are real, actual; but he relegates them to this world of malakut.[97] Again, the Qur’?n, Islām, and Friday (the day of public worship) are personalities in the worlds of malak?t and jabar?t (Durra, pp. 107 ff.). So, too, the world of mulk must appear as a personality at the bar of these other worlds at the last day. It will come as an ugly woman, but Friday as a beautiful young bride.[98] This personal Qur’?n belongs to the world of jabarut, but Islām to that [118] of malak?t, thus agreeing with the later position of ‘Abd ar-Razz?q (l. c. pp. 166 ff.), who gives as a name for the ‘?lam al jabar?t, the umm al-kit?b, and for the universal soul which exists in the ‘?lam al-mnalak?t, the lawh al-mahf?z.

But, just as those three worlds are not to be thought of as separate in time, so they are not separate in space. They are not like the seven heavens and seven earths of Muslim literalists, which stand, story-fashion, one above the other. Rather, they are, as I expressed it above, modes of existence, and might be compared to the speculations on another life in space of n dimensions framed, from a very different starting point and on a basis of pure physics, by Balfour Stewart and Tait in their Unseen Universe. On another side they stand in close kinship to the Platonic world of ideas, whether through Neoplatonism or more immediately. Sufiism at its best, and when stripped of the trappings of Muslim tradition and of Qur’?nic exegesis, has no reason to shrink from the investigation either of the physicist or of the metaphysician.[99] And so it is not strange to find that all Muslim thinkers have been tinged with mysticism to a greater or less degree, though they may not all have embraced formal Sufiism and accepted its vocAb?lary and system. This is true of al-F?r?b?, who was avowedly a Sufi;[100] true also of Ibn S?n?, who, though nominally an Aristotelian, was essentially a Neoplatonist, and admitted the possibility of intercourse with superior beings and with the Active Intellect, of miracles and revelations;[101] true even of Ibn Rushd, who does not venture to deny the immediate knowledge of the Sufi saints, but only argues that the experience of it is not sufficiently general to be made a basis for theological science.

In ethics, as we have already seen, the position of al-Ghazzālī is a simple one. All our laws and theories upon the subject, the analysis of the qualities of the mind, good and bad, the tracing of hidden defects to their causes, and the methods of combatting  [119] these causes,-all these things we owe to the saints of God to whom God Himself has revealed them. Of these there have beea many at all times and in all countries,-God has never left himself without a witness,-and without them and their labors and the light which God has vouchsafed to them, we could never know ourselves. Here, as everywhere, comes out clearly alGhazzālī’s fundamental position that the ultimate source of all knowledge is revelation from God. It may be major revelation, through accredited prophets who come forward as teachers, divinely sent and supported by miracles and by the evident truth of their message appealing to the human heart, or it may be minor revelation-subsidiary and explanatory-through the vast body of saints of different grades to whom God has granted immediate knowledge of Himself. Where the saints leave off, the prophets begin ; and, apart from such teaching, man, even in physical science, would be groping in the dark.

This position becomes still more prominent in his philosophical system. I have already sketched his agnostic attitude towards the results of pure thought. It is essentially the same as that taken up by Mansell in his Bampton Lecture on The Limits of Religions Thought. Mansell, a pupil and continuator of Hamilton, developed and emphasized Hamilton’s doctrine of the relativity of knowledge, and applied it to theology, maintaining that we cannot know or think of the absolute and infinite, but only of the relative and finite. Hence, he went on to argue, we can have no positive knowledge of the attributes of God. This, though disguised by the methods and language of scholastic philosophy, is al-Ghazzālī’s attitude in the Tah?fut. Mansell’s opponents said that he was like a man sitting on the branch of a tree and sawing off his seat. Al-Ghazzālī for the support of his seat went back to revelation, either major, in the books sent down to the prophets, or minor, in the personal revelations of God’s saints. But in this sceptical attitude al-Ghazzālī was not original ; it had been already held by the Mutakallims, or scholastic theologians, and for an excellent development of their philosophical system reference can be made to Ritter’s Essay Uber unsere Kenntniss der arabischen Philosophie.[102] This I consider the best part of [120] his treatment of the Arabic philosophy, and his judgment that it is rather in the schools of the Muslim dogmatic theologians than in those of the Arabic Aristotelians that the real Arabic philosophy is to be sought, to be the truest word yet spoken on this subject. Further, it was not only in the Muslim schools that this attitude towards philosophy prevailed. Yehuda Halevi (d. A. D. 1145 ; al-Ghazzālī d. 1111) also maintains in his Kusari the insufficiency of philosophy in the highest questions of life, and bases religious truth on the incontrovertible historical facts of revelation. And Maimonides (d. 1204) in his Moreh Nebuchim takes essentially the same position.[103]

Of his views on dogmatic theology little need be said. Among modern theologians he stands nearest to Ritschl. Like Ritschl, he rejects metaphysics, and opposes the influence of any philosophical system on his theology. The basis must be religious phenomena, simply accepted and correlated. Like Ritschl, too, he was emphatically ethical in his attitude ; he lays stress on the value for us of a doctrine or a piece of knowledge. Our source of religious knowledge is revelation, and beyond a certain point we must not enquire as to the how and why of that knowledge ; to do so would be to enter metaphysics and the danger-zone where we lose touch with vital realities and begin to use mere words. On one point be goes beyond Ritschl, and on another Ritschl goes beyond him. In his devotion to the facts of the religious consciousness Ritschl did not go so far as to become a mystic ; al-Ghazzālī did. But, on the other hand, Ritschl refused absolutely to enter upon the nature of God or upon the divine attributes-that was mere metaphysics and heathenism ; al-Ghazzālī did not so far emancipate himself, and his only advance was to keep the doctrine on a strictly Qur’?nic basis-so it stands written ; not, so man is compelled by the nature of things to think.

Passing from these general considerations to details, any one who will read his creed, translated by Ockley and prefixed by him to his History of the Saracens, and compare it with that of al-Ash‘ari,[104] or with such a standard creed as that of an-Nasafi,[105] will see that be stood on the basis of orthodox Islām. It is true that [121] he was attacked by the theologians of his own time and later. Among them were al-M?zar? (d. 536; Ibn Khall. iii. 4), at-Tart?sh? (d. 520; Ibn Khall. ii. 665), Ibn as-Salah (d. 643 ; Ibn Khall. ii. 188), and Ibn Qayyim-(d. 751; HKh. sub Shems ad-D?n Mohammad b. Ab? Bekr) ; but the points which they raise are either trifling or show that their objection is to his method of approaching theology, that is either to his philosophical or to his Sufi studies. In this connection it must always be borne in mind that being a Sufi says nothing as to a theologian’s dogmatic position. He may be orthodox or heretical, an Ash‘arite, a M?tur?dite, or a Mu‘tazilite, a theist or a pantheist, a Sh?fi‘ite or a Hanafite. Thus al-Ghazzālī was a theist, an Ash‘arite, and a Sh?fi‘ite, but, so far as his Sufiism was concerned, he might have been anything else. One of the most important of the points raised against him was that be said that this was the best possible world, and that he therefore limited the power of God. The SM. (i. pp. 32 ff.) deals with this point himself ; but it had arisen even in al-Ghazzālī’s time, and he has treated it at length in the Iml?, (edit. on margin of SM. i. 92 ff.). Taq? ad-D?n as-Subk? also wrote a defence of al-Ghazzālī, and the SM. (i. p. 31) quotes an interesting passage from it, in which he compares al-Ghazzālī to a Muslim champion who attacks the unbelievers, defeats them, and drives them in flight ; then be returns, bespattered with their blood, washes it off before the people, and engages in public prayer; some Muslims imagine that he has not washed it off completely, and blame him. Evidently as-Subk? felt that some experiences of al-Ghazzālī in his polemic life might have been compromising, or some of his utterances rash, but that he bad later cleared himself, and that these should be passed over for the services done by him to the Faith. Another point often raised against him was that he degraded the scientific study of theology and opposed to it the pietism and ecstasies of the Sfifis. All his theological opponents seem to have alleged this (for an account of these attacks generally see SM. i. pp. 28-40), and we find it also brought forward, from a philosophical standpoint, by Ibn Rushd.[106] Yet no reader of the little treatise which I have translated can fail to notice the emphasis which al-Ghazzālī throws upon ‘ilm, or science, in theology. [122] It is a case of the common inability of one theological mind to appreciate or to do justice to the position of another. In this respect the history of Muslim polemics is even more exasperating to the student than that of Christendom; and in this case Ibn Rushd, the Aristotelian philosopher, is quite as blind a partisan as any of the theologians ; Ibn Tufayl (Hay b. Yaqz?n, pp. 18 ff.) shows much more appreciation and insight. From the account which has preceded of al-Ghazzālī’s experiences in his own search for truth, the relation which he laid down between scientific theology and the immediate insight of the Sufi should be clear. He had gained a knowledge of, and a belief in, God, prophecy, and the future life, through thought; but it was not an absolutely certain knowledge. It did not stand so sure to him as that the whole must be greater than the part; but yet it was a satisfactory, sufficing knowledge and belief. It had broken down before, it might break down again ; yet, where one could not have any more, it was ample for the religious life, and the man who had it should call himself a believer. But through the vision of the Sufi it became absolutely certain and immediate; these things from objects of thought changed to objects of direct knowledge. And so he held that any one who wished to reach such absolute certainty and immediate knowledge must follow the path of the mystic; only so could he find rest. But, again, no one except one who was theologically schooled should venture to enter upon that path. It was beset with pitfalls; at every turn lay the risk of some frightful blasphemy. Many had been ruined in this way, and none could pass safely but the scientific student.

I give now a brief statement of al-Ghazzālī’s work and influence in Islām. It may be said to have been four-fold : First, he led men back from scholastic labours upon theological dogmas to living contact with, study and exegesis of, the Word and the Traditions. What happened in Europe when the yoke of medieval scholasticism was broken, what is happening with us now, happened in Islām under his leadership. He could be a scholastic with scholastics, but to state and develop theological doctrine on a Scriptural basis was emphatically his method. We should now call him a Biblical theologian. To get back in this way to fundamental facts, and away from the reasoning about facts, has always proved, and it alone can prove, the exit from scholasticism. Al-Ash‘arī had done the same two hundred years before. One hundred years later Ibn Rushd again attempted it. In our [123] own time Aloys Sprenger tried the same path to introduce new life into Indian Islām,[107] but he failed. The bones were too dry, or he had not the faith and personality of al-Ghazzālī.

Second, in his preaching and moral exhortations he re-introduced the element of fear. In the Munqidh and elsewhere[108] he lays stress on the need of such a striking of terror into the minds of the people. His was no time, he held, for smooth, hopeful preaching; no time for optimism either as to this world or the next. The horrors of bell must be kept before men ; he had felt them himself. We have seen how other-worldly was his own attitude, and how the fear of the Fire had been the supreme motive in his conversion ; and so he treated others.

Third, it was by his inflnence that Sufiism attained a firm and assured position within the Church of Islām. He did not first introduce it to orthodox Islām ; from its earliest beginnings it had been within the pale ; though, it is true, there had always been a pantheistic Sufiism without the pale, compromising that which was within.[109] The Imām al-Haramayn had been a devout Sufi : al-Qushayri, the well-known author of the Ris?la, had been a Sufi; many besides of his teachers had been Sufis. But just as Al-Ash‘arī’s introduction of Kal?m, or scholastic theology, had been but the final stage of a long previous development, culminating in his personal experience and public work,[110] so it fell to al-Ghazzālī to give tasawwuf formally a place in the system of Islām. With the names of those two men are associated the two greatest turning-points in the history of the Muslim Church; both were great leaders, men of intense personality and force, yet both were, in a singular degree, children of their times.

Fourth, he brought philosophy and philosophical theology within the range of the ordinary mind. Before his time they had been surrounded, more or less, with mystery. The language used was strange; its vocAb?lary and terms of art bad to be specially learned. No mere reader of the Arabic of the street or the mosque or the school could understand at once a philosophical tractate. Greek ideas and expressions, passing through a Syriac version into Arabic, had strained to the uttermost the [124] resources of that most flexible tongue. A long training had been thought necessary before the elaborate and formal method of argumentation could be followed. All this al-Ghazzālī changed, or at least tried to change. His Tah?fut is not addressed to scholars only ; be seeks with it a wider circle of readers, and contends that the views, the arguments, and the fallacies of the philosophers should be perfectly intelligible to the general public (edit. of Cairo, 1303, p. 5). This is what peculiarly arouses the wrath of Ibn Rushd in the tractate with which I shall come immediately to deal more fully. Here he, the supposed scientificminded and thorough-going Aristotelian philosopher, is much more an obscurant than al-Ghazzālī. He would have the state step in and absolutely forbid the treatment of these subjects in books intended for general reading, and also the general circulation of books dealing with these subjects. On this account the destruction and prohibition of al-Ghazzālī’s works met with his approval, and be would have approved of such another burning.[111] It is true that al-Ghazzālī in many places urges caution in the communication of doctrines, proofs, and theological reasonings generally, to those who are not fitted to receive and understand them ; but he did not do this to the degree that Ibn Rushd required. The position of the latter was that in the presence of the great multitude all reasoning about religion should be dropped, and the simple doctrines of the Qur’?n taught in the literal sense. Al-Ghazzālī perceived that the time had gone by for such trifling, and that philosophy and theology must come into the open if religion were to be saved.

Of these four phases of al-Ghazzālī’s work, the first and the third are undoubtedly the most important. He made his mark [125] by leading Islām back to its fundamental and historical facts, and by giving a place in its system to the emotional religious life. But it will have been noticed that in none of the four phases was he a pioneer. He was not a scholar who struck out a new path, but a man of intense personality who entered on a path already trodden and made it the common highway. W e have here his character. Other men may have been keener logicians, more learned theologians, more gifted saints ; but he, through his personal experiences, had attained so overpowering a sense of the divine realities that the force of his characteronce combative and restless, now narrowed and intense-swept all before it, and the Church of Islām entered on a new era of its existence.

This view of his character and work, if it is just, itself disposes of the third question to which I now turn. Had al-Ghazzālī an esoteric teaching, did he secretly accept and teach the positions of the Aristotelian philosophers, while publicly branding them as unbelief ? I cannot believe that the attentive student of his life will hesitate as to the answer to this question. The psychological development which. I have traced above speaks for itself. Al-Ghazzālī has taken us into his confidence, and laid before us, step by step, his doubting youth, his descent into the abyss of scepticism, and his gradual re-ascent to light and faith. From point to point each change is motived, and organically united with what precedes and follows it. Only at the supreme moment does the chain break; then all al-Ghazzālī can say is that God had mercy upon him, and gave him back the power to think and a trust in the operations of the mind. And this is psychologically true : arrived at such a point, no formula, no argument, could have saved him ; there had to come, as did come, the free spirit of God, the wind that bloweth where it listeth.

The evidence for an esoteric teaching is twofold. It consists, first, of what he has said himself in his acknowledged works against the communication of certain doctrines and reasonings to those who are not fitted to receive them ; and, second, of what has been said by others concerning alleged esoteric books of his, and the contents of these books when they can be found. As to the first point, it is perfectly true that lie preached an economy of teaching. In the Iml? (SM. i. pp. 159 ff. and 247 ff.) we have a formal defence of the practice of keeping certain theological [126] reasonings and developments secret from those who are not in a position to hear them understandingly and who would therefore be led by them either into unbelief or into actions contrary to the Law. But we must distinguish this sharply from an esoteric teaching in the ordinary sense. In this advanced teaching there was nothing contrary to that of the earlier stages ; it simply went further into details of doctrine and of argument. It was in fact an application of the principle of bil? kayfa, i. e., ‘without enquiring how,’ which had long been laid down and accepted in Muslim dogmatics. Spitta[112] has traced for us excellently the early development of kal?m, and how the orthodox theologians fought against its introduction. Ash-Sh?fi‘? (d. 204) said that whoever busied himself with kal?m should be fettered to a post and carried through the land with a herald proclaiming, “This is the reward of him who abandons the Revelation of God and the Sunna of the Prophet to take up kal?m.” Yet he is said to have admitted that a few men might take up the study in order to protect the Faith against heretics; only the study should not be allowed to become public, and those who did undertake it should be of approved diligence, intelligence, and moral conduct. Al-Ash‘arī (d. 324) introduced kal?m, as we have seen, into orthodox Islām, but under limitations. When he considered that further public examination or discussion of a doctrine was unadvisable, he cut it off with the above phrase, since then famous, bila kayfa. Thus, in his creed (Spitta, pp. 45 and 96) he lays down that God has two hands and two eyes, “without inquiring how.” To advanced students, who were capable of entering upon such studies without injury to themselves and to whom such studies for the defence of the Faith were necessary, he permitted to go further ; but that was all. Now this was essentially al-Ghazzālī’s attitude. In the Munqidh he warns against the study of philosophy ; but he warns those who, in his opinion, are unfitted for it and would be injured by it, not those who, on account of their intelligence and character, could go through its fires untouched. In the Ihy? he divides knowledge (‘ilm) into useful and harmful, and thus greatly shocks Gosche, who considers that Ibn Rushd stands incomparably freer in his estimation of philosophy (pp. 256 ff.). But the fact is that Ibn Rushd took up exactly the same position, and in his turn was shocked because al-Ghazzālī had not gone so far in it as he him [127] self thought right. In the collection of Ras?’il[113] mentioned above, Ibn Rushd makes it absolutely clear how he felt on this matter generally, and how the thing to which above all others be objected in al-Ghazzālī was the openness and publicity with which al-Ghazzālī had discussed difficult and contested points of theology. As his theological attitude in this respect seems to be little known and is of the first importance for our understanding and judging that of al-Ghazzālī, it will be necessary to enter into some details. The Ras?’il in question were written in 575, when the author was in favour with the Muwahhid Sult?n, Yusuf b. ‘Abd al-Mu’min id. 580). Their object was to bring about a reform of religion in itself, and also of the attitude of theologians to students of philosophy (p. 26 of translation). In them he sums up his own position under four heads : First, that philosophy agrees with religion and that religion recommends philosophy. Here lie is fighting for his life. Religion is true, a revelation from God, and philosophy is true, the results reached by the human mind ; these two truths cannot contradict each another. Further, men are frequently exhorted in the Qur’?n to reflect, to consider, to speculate about things ; that means the use of the intelligence, which follows certain laws long ago traced and worked out by the ancients. We must, therefore, study their works and proceed further on the same course ourselves; i. e. we must study philosophy.

Second, there are two things in religion, literal meaning and interpretation. If we find anything in the Qur’?n which seems externally to contradict the results of philosophy, we may be quite sure that there is something under the surface. We must look for some possible interpretation of the passage, some inner meaning; and we shall certainly find it.

Third, the literal meaning is the duty of the multitude, and interpretation the duty of scholars. Thus the external content of religion for different classes must vary. Those who are not capable of philosophical reasoning must hold the literal truth of the different statements in the Qur’?n. The imagery must be believed by them exactly as it stands, except where it is absolutely evident [128] that we have only an image. On the other hand, philosophers must be given the liberty of interpreting as they choose. If they find it necessary, from some philosophical necessity, to adopt an allegorical interpretation of any passage or to find in it a metaphor, that liberty must be open to them. There must be no laying down of dogmas by the Church as to what may be interpreted and what not. In Ibn Rushd’s opinion the orthodox theologians sometimes interpreted when they should have kept by the letter, and sometimes took literally passages in which they should have found imagery. He did not accuse them of heresy for this, and they should grant him the same liberty.

Fourth, those who know are not to be allowed to communicate interpretations to the multitude. So ‘Al? said, “Speak to the people of that which they understand ; would ye that they give the lie to God and His messenger ?” Ibn Rushd considered that belief was reached by three different classes of people in three different ways. The many believe because of rhetorical syllogisms (khit?b?ya),[114] i. e. those whose premises consist of the statements of a religious teacher (maqb?l?t), or are presumptions (mazn?n?t). Others believe because of controversial syllogisms (jadl?ya), which are based on premises which are conventional principles (mashh?r?t) or admissions (musallam?t). All these premises belong to the class of propositions which are not absolutely certain. The third class, and by far the smaller, consists of the people of demonstration (burh?n). Their belief is based upon syllogisms composed of propositions which are certain. These consist of axioms (awwal?y?t) and five other classes of certainties. Each of these three classes of people has to be treated in the way that suits its mental character. It is wrong to put demonstration or controversy before those who can understand only rhetorical reasoning. It destroys their faith and gives them nothing to take its place. The case is similar with those who can only reach controversial reasoning but cannot attain to demonstration. Thus Ibn Rushd would have the faith of the multitude carefully screened from all contact with the teachings of philosophers. Such books should not be allowed to go into general [129] circulation, and if necessary the civil authority should step in to prevent it. If these principles were accepted and followed, a return might be looked for of the golden age of Islām, when there was no theological controversy and men believed sincerely and earnestly.

But, in the second place, the existence has been alleged of esoteric books by al-Ghazzālī which taught doctrines directly opposed to those in his public writings. Ibn at-Tufayl (d. 1185 ; pp. 18 ff., ed. Pococke) treats of al-Ghazzālī in his Risala, and tells that there were certain books of his asserted to be of an esoteric nature, but they had not come to Spain, so far as he knew. Some of an alleged esoteric character had reached Spain, such as the Ma`arif al-`aqliya, the Nafkh wat-taswiya, and the collection of Masa’il, but he himself could find nothing peculiar in their teaching. Ibn Rushd speaks more dogmatically and goes much further. Ibn at-Tufayl appears to have thought that these esoteric books-if they existed, which he doubted-only entered into greater mystical detail, and were heretical by admixture of pantheistic Sufiism. Ibn Rushd, on the other hand, sees in al-Ghazzālī a philosopher who, for the sake of peace and worldly profit, has given himself up to the enemy and professed to embrace their faith, though all the time holding and teaching secretly the doctrines of the philosophers whom he has betrayed (Renan, Averroes et l’Averroïsme, 98 and 164). Over some of the proofs of al-Ghazzālī’s duplicity brought forward by Ibn Rushd we do not need delay. They are simply bits of wrongheadedness, perhaps wilful, like the accusation against Ibn Rushd himself that he taught that the planet Venus was a divinity (Renan, p. 22). For example, Ibn Rushd alleges (trans. p. 67) that al-Ghazzālī said in his Jawahir that the positions of his Tah?fut were purely dialectic, while be had laid down the truth in his Madn?n. When we consider that in the Tah?fut there is no attempt to establish anything at all, but only to destroy the positions of the philosophers, we can easily see how al-Ghazzālī came to express himself so.

But the weight of the whole accusation is founded on the book entitled Al-madn?n bihi ‘ala ghayri ‘ahlihi, “That which is to be reserved from those who are not worthy of it.” Its existence is certain ; there are MSS. of it, and it has even been printed in Cairo, 1303. [Along with it is printed the Nafkh wat-taswiya spoken of by Ibn at-Tufayl, and I agree with him in being unable [130] to find in that any points of heresy.] The title has been a stumbling-block to many European writers, but, after what has been said above, it should be clear that it may mean only a further development for professional students of doctrines known and admitted. But many Oriental writers assert specifically that in it he taught the eternity of the world, that God does not know particulars, and that existence in the next world will not be physical-all in flat contradiction to his position elsewhere. It is not specially surprising that his opponents should have spread this assertion--controversy among Muslims, as among ourselves, is sometimes conducted very curiously ; but I do not understand bow the SM., who knew the Madn?n, accepts, as he does, what is said of it. On pp. 43 f., after the list of al-Ghazzālī’s genuine works, he adds four which, he says, are ascribed to him, but falsely. They are (1) As-sirr al-makt?m fi asr?r an-nuj?m, some ascribe this work to Fakhr ad-D?n ar-R?z?; (2) Tahsin az-zunun, Ibn `Arabs (d. 638) rejected al-Ghazzālī’s authorship; (3) An-nafkh wat-taswiya; (4) Al-madn?n, Ibn as-Subk? said that Ibn as-Sal?h (d. 643) mentioned its being assigned to al-Ghazzālī, but that he rejected it himself ; in it, according to the SM. who had a copy, the eternal pre-existence of the world and the denial that God knows particulars, are taught. Ibn ‘Arab? assigned the book to ‘Al? b. Khalil as-Sibt?, a contemporary of his own, to whom he also assigned the Minhaj al-‘abidin; and Ab? Bakr Muhammad al-M?laq? (d. 750) wrote a reply to it. If the Madn?n spoken of by these is our printed Madn?n, I cannot understand their position. In it, on p. 3, he expressly teaches the creation (khalq) of the substance (madda) of the world. On pp. 32 ff. and 38 ff. he teaches the return of souls (arw?h) to bodies (abd?n) at the resurrection, treating it as a second creation (nash‘a), and that the pleasures and pains of the next world will be physical (hass?, i. e. sensuous) as well as imaginative (khay?l?) and rational (‘aql?). The book is dedicated to his brother Ahmad (pp. 2 and 45), and is intended to be read by theologians fitted to understand and follow it. There is no suggestion of anything to contradict his other teaching; he only goes into more detail in the way of proof and to show the reasonableness of the several doctrines; he deals also with knotty questions that would only occur to a professional student. On God’s knowledge of particulars I can find nothing direct, but the whole tone of the passages in which the Qualities (sif?t) are spoken of implies that he has such knowledge.

[131] Of course it is quite possible and in accordance with the rules of Muslim polemic that there should also have been in circulation a false Madn?n teaching these heretical doctrines. Many such cases occur. A book against the belief in saints was ascribed to Ab? Bakr ar-R?z? (d. cir. 290-320),[115] and, it was suspected, falsely, in order to bring him into discredit. The same thing happened to ash-Sha‘r?n?. One of his enemies obtained a copy of his Al-bahr al-mawrud, left out parts, and inserted others of an heretical nature, and then spread it as the original. work. In defence ash-Sha‘r?n? was compelled to lay before the `Ulama of Cairo his original copy signed by themselves, and so demonstrate the spuriousness of the other. Again, ash-Sha‘r?n? had to defend Ibn ‘Arab? against a similar injury. Some hostile theologians interpolated his F?tuhat with heresy. Even Fakhr ad-D?n ar-R?z? suffered from this ; and there were enough such cases for ‘Al? b. Muhammad al-Misri to make up a list of them. So we need not be at all surprised if this befell al-Ghazzālī also ; Goldziher (loc. cit.) indeed says that it did.

The latest attempt to prove a secret teaching on the part of al-Ghazzālī is by Dr. Heinrich Malter in his Abhandlung des Abû Hâmid al-Gazzâlî. Antworten auf Fragen die an ihn gerichtet wurden. (Frankfurt a. M., 1896). Dr. Malter has evidently read the printed Madn?n, and sees that it can form no basis for a charge of heresy. Instead, he falls back on the little tractate which be has here edited. It exists only in Hebrew, but has been translated apparently from Arabic. In its MSS. it is ascribed to al-Ghazzālī, as also in a commentary by Moses Narbonnensis on a Hebrew translation of the Maqasid. Otherwise it is unknown to the biographers of al-Ghazzālī, Eastern and Western. Dr. Malter (p. xv, note 1) suggests that this lack of mention is of no force, as we know many books of al-Ghazzālī which are unknown to the native bibliographers. In saying this he can hardly have reckoned with the list in Wüstenfeld’s Academien or with the still fuller and more careful one in the SM. i. pp. 41-44. Schmoelders, on whom Dr. Malter relies, had a very incomplete acquaintance with this bibliography.

The tractate is made up of extracts from the Maqasid and the Astronomy of al-Farghani (d. circ. A. D. 830), and in it the [132] eternal pre-existence of matter and time is distinctly taught (pp. 24 ff.). These extracts are put together very clumsily (see especially pp. 7 and 16), and this alone, to my mind, would prevent the ascription of the book to al-Ghazzālī; I doubt, even, if it were ever current among Muslims. Certainly if he, after writing the Tah?fut, had wished, even in a secret tractate to draw back from the position there assumed, he would have taken a little more care in what he wrote, and not simply thrown together passages from one of his former works and extracts from a handbook of astronomy. The opinion of the commentator Narboni[116] is worth nothing critically, as every one who has studied such questions knows. The other points brought forward by Dr. Malter are of little weight. The form of treatment in the tractate was common to the time, and the saying ascribed to ‘Al? b. Abi Talib,[117] “Speak to the people according to their understanding,” was quoted by all-a very large number, including as we have seen Ibn Rushd-who held that different methods must be used in approaching different grades of intelligence. Dr. Malter’s description (p. xii) of al-Ghazzālī as a man who tried to keep on good terms with all parties, though based on Ibn Rushd, is singularly opposed to the facts of the case. Rather, he got himself into trouble with all parties. He had a combative nature, especially in his earlier life, and later it took much grace and discipline to keep it down.

If the charge of a secret doctrine is to be proved against al-Ghazzālī, it must be on other and better evidence than that which is now before us.




[1] MacDonald, Duncan B. “The Life of al-Ghazzālī, with Especial Reference to His Religious Experiences and Opinions” Journal of the American Oriental Society, Volume 20 (1899), 71-132.

[2] On Al-Ash‘arī see Spitta, Zur Geschichte Ab? 'l-Hasan al-Ash`ari’s, Leipz. 1876, and Mehren, Expose de la reforme de l'Islāmisme commences au iiieme siecle de l'Hegire par Abou-'l-Hasan Ali el-Ash'ari et continuee par son ecole. Avec des extraits du Texte Arabe d'Ibn Asakir. Vol. ii. of the Transactions of the Third Session of the International Congress of Orientalists. I shall refer frequently to the biographies of Ash'arites given there from Ibn 'Asakir.

[3] See the life of al-Kiya in Ibn Khall. ii. 229 ff. Al-Kiya was asked the same question, was it legal to curse Yazid, and authorised the cursing with great alacrity and at great length. Al-Ghazzālī’s reply

[4] The text which I have used is that of the edition of Cairo 1302. I have employed also the commentary of the Sayyid Murtada, Ithaf as-sada, 10 vols., Cairo 1311. The text as given by the SM. (so I abbreviate throughout) is sometimes slightly different ; that given on the margin of his commentary is the ordinary Cairo printed text. Without the preliminary matter of the SM., vol. i. pp. 1-54, I could not have compiled the following life.

[5] This is the Munqidh min ad-dalal. I have used of it the editio princeps in Schmoelders' Essai, the translation of the same by Barbier de Meynard in the Journal Asiatique, 7 teme ser., tome ix., and the Arabic text of Cairo 1303. It forms the basis of my work, and the result of a careful study of it has been to convince me of the essential truth of the picture which al-Ghazzālī there gives us of his life. I thus cannot agree at all in the attitude assumed toward it by Gosche. I have also found very valuable the extracts from early biographers given in the preliminary matter of the SM. This is especially true of 'Abd al-Ghafir and Ibn as-Sam‘?n? ; the first knew al-Ghazzālī intimately and discusses his character with great freedom ; the second belonged to the next generation. For 'Abd al-Ghafir I have been able to compare the text given in Mehren’s Expose, referred to above. The life in Ibn Khall. (ii. 621 of de Slane’s translation, which I use throughout except when some other reference is necessary) I have found of comparatively little value. Of European productions the life by Schmoelders in Ersch and Gruber is the best. Gosche (Ghazzālī’s Leben u. Werke, from the Abhandl. der konigl. Academie der Wissensch. zu Berlin, 1858) has collected much valuable material. Munk’s Melanges has been inaccessible to me. My materials have thus been printed only. By consultation of as-Subk?’s Tabaqat, as-Sam‘?n?’s Ansab, and the others referred to, I have no doubt that much that is here obscure and uncertain could be cleared up. The publication of as-Sam‘?n? is especially to be desired.

[6] Curzon, Persia, i. 174.

[7] Died 435; Wustenfeld, Schafi'iten, 244f. But Wustenfeld, while calling him al-Ghazzālī al-kabir, speaks of him as uncle to our al-Ghazzālī. If I understand rightly the somewhat confused quotations in the SM. (pp. 18 f.) he was a granduncle, and had a son yet more learned than himself.

[8] The Sufi is the Muslim mystic. On the derivation and use of the term see Noldeke in ZDMG. xlviii. 45 ff. On Sufism generally see Hughes, Dict. of Islām, 608 ff.; but it should be noticed that he ignores the important division of the Sufis into Monotheists and Pantheists; see on this von Kremer, Herrschende Ideen. It is also worth noticing that the statements found in Hughes refer to a Sufism of a later date and a more advanced development than that of the school of al-Ghazzālī. For definitions of terms, etc., the Risala of al-Qushayri is a more contemporary authority. The Iml? of al-Ghazzālī himself (on margin of SM. i. pp. 41-252) is also of value for this. It should be noticed that the text of the Iml? is disarranged in this edition. The breaks come on p. 164, line 4, p. 204 at §, p. 222, line 29, and p. 241 at §. The order should be pp. (41-164) + (222-241) + (204-222)+(164-204)+(241-252). Be

sides this the text is often defective and corrupt.

[9] See on the as-Subk?s (father and son), Ibn Khall. i. p. xxviii.

[10] According to Leo Africanus (Fabricius, Bibliotheca Graeca, xiii. 274) his father had been wealthy. The source for this I have not found.

[11] In de Slane’s Ibn Khall., i. p. xxviii, there is a quotation from as-Subk? by as-Suyuti to the effect that, though Nizam al-Mulk was not the first to establish Madrasas, yet he was probably the first to establish in them a fixed allowance for the support of students.

[12] He uses the term taqlid in a broad sense. For the narrower and commoner usage see Goldziher’s Zahiriten, 30 ff.

[13] Perhaps the most astonishing case of this is where he quotes 1 Corinth. ii. 9 as though it were a passage from the Qur’?n. The matter is further interesting as it involves the New Testament origin of a tradition ascribed to Muhammad. In al-F?r?b?’s Philosophische Abhandlungen (edit. Dieterici, p. 71) is the earliest occurrence I have found. It runs, describing al-malakut, the Unseen Universe : ma la 'ayna ra'at wala'udhna sami'at wala khatara 'ala qalbi bashar. That it is a tradition is evident from another occurrence in Ibn Rushd’s Tah?fut attahafut (p. 140 of edit. of Cairo 1302) : waqala-n-nabiyu, 'alayhi-s-salam, fiha ma Ia `ayna ra'at wall 'udhna sami'at wala khatara 'ala qalbi bashar. In the Tah?fut of al-Ghazzālī I find it twice : p. 2 exactly as in al-F?r?b? ; p. 86, after waqawluhu ta'ala and a quotation from the Qur’?n, comes : waqawluhu a'dadtu li-'ibadi-s-salihina ma la 'ayna ra'at. That the source is Corinthians, and not Isaiah lxiv.4, is evident. The same saying is also quoted by Reland (De Rel. Moh., lib. ii. c. xvii., p. 203 of ed. Utrecht, 1707), through Hyde in his notes to Bobovii Turcarum Liturgia (p. 21 of edit. of Oxford 1690, p. 284 of edit. of Hyde’s works, Oxford, 1767), from a Moroccan ambassador, who says paradisum esse talem locum cui in hoc mundo nihil assimiletur, talem quem non oculus vidit, nec auris audivit, nec in animum hominis intravit. It occurs also in al-Ghazzālī’s Madn?n, p. 41 of edit. of Cairo, 1303. On the currency among Sufis of quotations from the Christian Scriptures see Goldziher’s article in ZDMG. xxxii. 352. [Dr. C. C. Torrey tells me that the tradition is found in the Futuh Misr of Ibn 'Abd alHakam (died A. H. 257) in the fuller form quoted above from the Tah?fut of al-Ghazzālī, p. 86.]

[14] Ibn Khall. ii. 120; Mehren, p. 317.

[15] Mehren, p. 238, most strangely reads Mo`asker as though it were a proper name.

[16] Chronologically it is impossible, and historically it has no foundation. See Houtsma’s preface to his edition of al-Bondart, p. xiv, note 2.

[17] Ibn al-Athir, sub anno 485, the year of the death of Nizam al-Mulk, and under 456, the year of the death of 'Amid al-Mulk al-Kunduri, Wazir to Tughril Beg and a violent anti-Sh?fi‘ite. He persuaded Tughril Beg to order that the Rafidites be solemnly cursed from the pulpits, and added the Ash'arites apparently on his own responsibility. He appears to have been a Hanafite and therefore a follower of al-Maturidi, the rival of Al-Ash‘arī in scholastic theology. This led to a four years' exile of al-Juwayni at Mecca, and gained him the name of Imām alHaramayn. See Ibn Khall. iii. 290. [On this persecution see now Schreiner, ZDMG. III. 488 f.]

Houtsma, al-Bondari, 80.

[18] Going on pilgrimage was a not infrequent way of retreating from an untenable position in public life. It may be questioned to what extent al-Ghazzālī’s contemporaries were deceived by the pretext.

[19] SM. p. 11, line 17.

[20] With single 1 according to the MS. of 'Abd al-Wahid, edit. Dozy, 94, 16.

[21] This was the Alfonso of the Cid Campeador, who died at Valencia, A. D. 1099 = A. H. 493.

[22] Hist. des Berberes, trad. de Slane, ii. 79-82.

[23] See generally Dozy, Histoire, iv. 234 ff. As-Suyuti in the Ta'rikh al-khulafa says that the taqlid was sent by al-Muqtadi in 479. This is probably nothing but an erroneous abbreviation of Ibn al-Athir’s first statement.

[24] See on them generally Steiner, Die Mu'taziliten, and Zur Geschichte des As`aritenthums, in Actes du huitieme Congres International des Orientalistes. Sec. i. Fasc. i., pp. 77 ff., Leide, 1891 ; Spitta and Mehren, opp. citt.

[25] See further on this, pp. 125 ff.

[26] There is a curious mistake in Stanislas Guyard’s article in the Journal Asiatique, Zteme ser., ix. 324 ff., “ Un grand maitre des assassins.” On pp. 338, 339, he datea the Munqidh before the rise of Hasan b. as-Sabbah, and before the development of the Ism?‘?lian heresy into a political sect at open war with all around. But Hasan seized Alamut in 483, and the Munqidh was written after 500; between, to follow certain historians, came some of the most important assasS?n?tions in their record, Ni?am al-Mulk, Malik Shah, Fakhr al-Mulk. There must be another reason for the moderate terms which al-Ghazzālī uses towards them in the Munqidh. Even the Mustazhiri was written after the seizure of Alamut, which may, indeed, have been its cause.

[27] Haarbriicker’s translation, i. 225. Ash-Shahrastani was a younger contemporary of al-Ghazzālī. He went to Baghdad in 510. I do not attempt here to enter on a consideration of the truth of the history of Hasan and his sect as commonly received. It is in great part based on very late authorities, and seems open to grave doubt.

[28] Ibn Khall. ii. 152; Mehren, p. 315.

[29] Mehren has curiously misunderstood and mistranslated what 'Abd al-Ghafir says, making al-Ghazzālī study at Nays?b?r after his ten years of wandering life. But al-Farmadi, as we have seen, died in 477.

[30] The “Path” (tariqa) of the Muslim mystic is the discipline which he follows on his way to his ideal of absolute communion with the Divine. See Hughes, Diet. of Islām, pp. 608 ff., and Flügel’s article on ash-Sha‘r?n? in ZDMG. xx. 41, note 52.

[31] For the religious services called dhikrs see Hughes, Diet. of Islām, pp. 793 ff., Lane, Modern Egyptians, chap. xxiv.

[32] Qur. vii. 171; a celebrated passage where God takes a covenant from all men, as the seed of Adam, on the day of his creation, that they will acknowledge Him on the day of Resurrection as their Lord. There are many references to the day of alastu

[33] I am not certain that I have read or rendered the last two words rightly. I read fafuz wanul.

[34] Qur. xxviii. 30. All Muslims, heretical and orthodox, laymen, theologians, and philosophers, believed and believe in dreams. Dreaming is one six and fortieth of prophecy, according to the tradition, and in dreaming the soul is set free to visit the upper world of the Unseen and learn its mysteries. This is a formal part of both philosophy and theology, and is presupposed by al-F?r?b?, Ibn S?n?, Ibn Rushd, al-Ghazzālī, and all the rest. The ordinary man is freed from the darkening veil of the body in sleep, but then only, and not at his own will. The saint can also rise to spiritual intuition by ecstasy, which he can himself bring on. On ordinary-non-religious, mystical-dreams, see Ibn. Khall. i. 47 and iii. 32. He evidently believed that he had actually seen Surayj and Mubarrad. On seeing God in a dream, see i. 46, note 7, and references there ; also al-Ghazzālī’s Madn?n, edit. of Cairo, 1303, pp. 5ff. See, too, Patton, Ahmed Ibn Hanbal, 192, note 4. Curiously enough, Patton seems to regard it as a proof of peculiar superstition in Ibn Hanbal that he believed in dreams.

[35] Al-‘ul?m al-ladun?ya. Al-Ghazzālī in the Ihy? (vii. p. 260) explains this by a reference to Qur. xviii. 64, wa-‘allamn?hu min ladunn? ‘ilman. All knowledge is from God, but that which is immediately revealed by Him in the secret heart, f? sirri-l-qalbi, without any intermediary is called ‘ilm ladun?. Compare de Sacy, les sciences qui sont en Dieu (Notices et Extraits, xii. 303, note 3), and Goldziher, die geheime Wissenschaft, ZDMG. xxviii. 321.

[36] Ibn Khall. iii. 20. Died 386. He was not “ originaire de la Mecque,” as Barbier de Meynard says, but only a resident there, a J?r All?h or N?zil Makka.

[37] Ibn Khall. i. 365; Patton, Ahmed ibn Hanbal, 41 ff.

[38] Ibn Khall. i. 338 ; also references in Flügel’s article on ash-Sha‘r?n? in ZDMG. xx. 41, note 53.

[39] Ibn Khall. i. 511.

[40] Ris?la of al-Qushayr?, p. 17 of edit. of Cairo 1304. Barbier de Meynard prints the name Zeid, but that is an error.

[41] On the other-worldliness of Islām compare the case of Ibn Rushd, a man at the opposite pole of thought from al-Ghazzālī, Philos. u. Theol. von Averroes, übers. von M. J. Müller, 18.

[42] What these exercises were may be learned best from the tractate which I translate. I may be permitted to refer to one result of interest for the history of Old Testament prophecy. That a theologian of the rank and learning of al-Ghazzālī could have part in the darwish-performances of the Sufis shows that Wellhausen’s strict division between Samuel, on the one hand, and the roving bands of neb?’?m, on the other, cannot stand. Samuel would have had no difficulty in taking part in any dhikr, and would have been among the prophets as much as Saul.

[43] For the minaret of al-Ghazzālī at Damascus see Le Strange, Palestine under the Moslems, 246 and 264, quotations from Ibn Jubayr and Y?q?t. It is that on the S.W. of the Umayyad J?mi‘ and according to Baedeker (Palast. u. Syrien, 332), the only one accessible to non-Muslims. Yet Lady Burton had no difficulty in visiting both the others.

[44] Muj?r ad-D?n (d. 927), in his History of Jerusalem, p. 265 of edit. of Cairo 1283, says that he lodged in the Zawiya, on the east of Jerusalem, beside the Bab ar-Rahma known before as a Zawiya Nasiriya, but thereafter, as the Ghazzālīya on his account. In the time of Mujir ad-D?n it was ruined. [There is still a Zawiya Ghazzālīya in Jerusalem.] Further, some said that he wrote the Ihy? there.

[45] It is worth noticing, though in a Muslim biography not strange, how few are the references to his daughters, and that there is no reference at all to his wife or wives. Some of the letters that passed between himself and his children would be more valuable to us than the whole introduction of the SM.

[46] According to al-Qushayri in the Risdla (p. 50 of edit. of Cairo 1304), mukashafa comes after muh?dara and precedes mushahada. Muh?dara is simply a presenting of the heart before God, on the part of the worshipper. Mukashafa joins to this the quality of explaining (bayan), without the need in this state of considering a guide or a means, and no one seeks aid against causes of error, and no one is curtained off from the Unseen World. Mush?hada follows, and in it there is the presence of the Truth itself without any anxiety remaining ; there are no veiling clouds, and the sun of witness shines brightly. Al-Junayd said, “ It is the presence of the Truth along with the lack of Thee.” Al-Qushayri adds much more. See, further, Flügel’s article on ash-Sha‘r?n?, ZDMG. xx. 25, note 6 ; al-Ghazzālī’s Iml?, margin of SM. i. p. 54.

[47] State (h?l and h?la, pl. ahw?l) is a term which will occur very frequently in the translation from al-Ghazzālī, sometimes in its ordinary meaning and sometimes in the technical meaning here intended. Al-Qushayri in the Ris?la (pp. 40 ff.) explains it, and distinguishes it.carefully from maq?m, station. It is a condition of joy or sorrow, of elation or depression, of longing, of reverence, etc., which descends upon the heart without intention or assertion or seeking on its part. States are pure gifts, but stations are sought-for gains. States come without effort, but stations are gained by the utmost application. He who is in a station remains there, but he who is in a state is always mounting higher from that state. Further details follow in the Ris?la as to the possibility of the continuance of states. See, too, al-Ghazzālī’s Iml?, margin of SM. i. p. 52.

[48] In Ibn Tufayl’s Risala Hay b. Yaqzan (edit. Pococke, p. 22) this is Al-maqsad al-asna. A Maqsad al-aqsà is described by Gosche (p. 251) as on the Names, but there must be some mistake ; Gosche’s descriptions of the MSS. used by him are not faultless, e. g. that of the MSS. of the Durra, see Gautier, pp. viii ff. In the SM.’s list there is neither a Maqsad al-asnà nor al-aqsà but there is a Kitab al-asm? al-husn?, evidently on the Names. In HKh. vi. 89 there is al-Maqsad al-asna fi sharh al-asma al-husna, apparently the book in the SM.’s list. So, also, is the title in the list of books by al-Ghazzālī in Casiri, i. 465, no. 1125. (Note, contra Gosche, that there is no evidence that this list is of date A. H. 611.) Aziz b. Muhammad an-Nasafi wrote a Maqsad al-aqsà (HKh. l. c.), translated by Palmer in his Oriental Mysticism, Cambridge, 1867, the contents of which seem the same in character as those of the book mentioned here. Evidently the title could apply to a book of the nature required by this reference and by that in Ibn Tufayl.

[49] With the karam?t of the saints (awliy?) Lane compares the ?????????, 1 Corinthians xii. 9, and suggests as a rendering ' thaumaturgy.' They are wonders granted by God to His walls, who may be ignorant that they are working them, and who ought rather to conceal them than to show them openly. They are sharply distinguished from the mu‘jiz?t, or miracles of the prophets, which are evidentiary signs proving the truth of the claim to prophecy, and therefore of a public, open nature. The prophet works mu‘jiz?t at his will ; the saint has wonders worked for him by God, and he may not know it. But kar?m?t are granted also to the prayer of the saint, and it is lawful for him to show them to chosen persons. So the essential difference is that they are not used as proofs and coupled with a claim to prophecy. See the Risala, pp. 207 ff. of Cairo edit. 1304 ; the Ishar?t of Ibn S?n? (edit. Forget, pp. 207 ff.) ; al-F?r?b?’s Philosoph. Abhandl., edit. Dieterici, p. 72 (on miracles of prophets and their possibility in the scheme of nature) ; the SM. in his commentary, vol. ii. pp. 203 ff.; al-Ghazzālī himself, vol. vii. pp. 244 ff. (in ‘Aj?'ib al-qalb); at-Taftazani’s Sharh on the ‘Aqa’id of an-Nafasi, edit. Constant. 1310, pp. 175 ff. ; Dict. of Tech. Terms, 1. 444 ff., under khariq, i. e. what violates the ordinary course of nature. Also Fl?gel’s article on ash-Shar‘?n? in ZDMG. xx. p. 34, note 36, and p. 42, note 58 ; al-Ghazzālī’s Iml?, margin of SM. i. p. 204; Ibn Khald?n, Muqaddama, pp. 395 ff. of edit. of Bulaq.

[50] There is a curious parallelism in al-Ghazzālī s attitude here to the latest phase in Christian apologetics. The argument from miracles seems now to be practically thrown aside ; the doctrine rather must prove the miracle. The unique fact of the life and person of Christ is emphasized ; it is shown how it appeals immediately to the human consciousness, and on that the proof of the truth of His mission is built up. Logically this position is faulty ; and practically it proves whatever you wish. Al-Ghazzālī uses it to prove the truth of the mission of Muhammad. Miracles are difficult, almost impossible to prove-here we have again his attitude of historical agnosticism ; but if any one will read the record of Muhammad’s life, he will receive a general impression that will assure him of the truth of the mission. The personality of Muhammad will be its own proof.

[51] The SM. devotes an entire section to the tradition promising a renewer of religious life every hundred years. He then gives lists of all those for whom the honour of being such a reformer had been claimed. At the end of the first century came 'Umar b. `Abd al-'Aziz, the pious Umayyad Khalifa, who died in 99. At the end of the second, ash-Shafi‘i, who died in 204. The honour of reforming the fourth century was claimed for Al-Ash‘arī (d. 320?) and also for Ibn Surayj (d. 806). For the fifth century three names are given, al-Isfaraini (d. 406), as-Subuki (d. 387 or 402 or 404), al-Baqilani (d. 403). The position of al-Ghazzālī as reformer of the sixth century seems undisputed, though, at one time, the Khalifa al-Mustarshid was set up against him (Mehren, p. 181).

[52] Ibn al-Athir, A. H. 488, haw?dith.

[53] Ibn Khall. i. 600.

[54] Ibn al-Athir, A. H. 500; Houtsma, al-Bondari, 265 ; Weil, Chalifen, iii. 209.

[55] See, too, Mehren, p. 320; Ibn Khall. i. 42.

[56] Is this a nisba to Shibak in Yaqut?

[57] On the little Masjid near the Stables of Solomon called Mahd 'Isra, see Le Strange, Palestine under the Moslems, 166, and Baedeker, Palast. u. Syrien, 54.

[58] From the root wjd, meaning 'to find,' then 'to know' by means of the intellect, and 'to love passionately,' come a number of words of the greatest importance in Snfiism. Among them are wajada, 'to fall into an ecstasy,' tawajada, 'to constrain oneself to an ecstasy,' by the will ; wajd, Ian ecstasy'; wujud, ' knowing.' On the progress toward God, first comes tawdjada, he constrained himself to an ecstasy: then wajd, the ecstasy itself ; then wujud, the actual knowledge. The use of takalluf, or straining to attain ecstasy, is defended by the tradition of the Prophet, “ Weep, and if you cannot weep, then strive (or feign) to weep.” See Risdla, pp. 43ff., and al-Ghazzālī’s Iml?, SM. i. pp. 60 and 65, margin.

[59] This cannot be the Muhammad al-Kazruni in Ibn Khall. i. 377; he died 455.

[60] An ij?za is the formal certificate given by a master that his pupil has learned such and such from him, and has liberty to teach it to others.

[61] Perhaps he means that his will has at last become strong enough to turn him to his home and the contemplative life. Thus the moon of true happiness is rising and the sun of public work is passing away into union with God. But this is very doubtful.

[62] ‘Abd al-Gh?fir (Mehren, p. 324), with regard to his retirement from public teaching, says, “Thereupon he retired from that before he was compelled to retire, and returned to his house,” etc., but I am very doubtful if I have read the passage correctly. It runs thumma taraka (?)dhdlik? gabla ’an yutraka (?) wa‘ada ’il? baytihi. Compare the similar retirement of his contemporary Sahl b. Ahmad al-H?kim, who died 499; Wüstenfeld, Schâfi’iten, No. 527.

[63] I have put this together from Mehren, p. 323, and SM. p. 8. The readings in Mehren’s text are sometimes better, but he has altogether omitted the most important part. His abbreviation of Ibn ‘As?kir is unfortunate, and the further abbreviation in the French version is often misleading.

[64] The honesty of this opinion is shown by the fact that ‘Abd al-Gh?afir in some respects thought more highly of al-Kiy? ; see Mehren, p. 321, and Ibn Khall. ii. 229.

[65] This seems in contradiction with the story told of the small sum left by his father in charge of his Sufi friend, above, p. 75.

[66] Here I use the Khayr?t al-his?n fi ‘man?qib al-Imām Abi Han?fa by Ibn Hajar al-Haytam?, pp. 4 and 17 of edit. of Cairo 1304.

[67] Died 463. Ibn Khall. i. 75; compare on these animadversions of his on Ab? Han?fa, Ibn Khall. iii. 562.

[68] Died 597. Ibn Khall. ii. 296; but al-Jawz? was noted as a fanatical Hanbalite and assailant of all the other Imāms and their sects.

[69] Schmoelders in his life of al-Ghazzālī in Ersch and Gruber says that al-Ghazzālī’s attack evidently bore on very slight details of the ceremonial law. He bases this view on the counter-attack of Muhammad al-‘Im?d? al-Kurdi, which he examined in the Ref?iyyah MS. 152. With this falls to the ground the note of Gosche (p. 308, note 63). He endeavors to prove from al-Ghazzālī’s having fallen foul of Ab? Hanifa, his wide divergence from orthodox Islām. It was really a case of the ta‘assub that always raged to a greater or less degree among the, followers of the different Imāms.

[70] Bi fathi-l-k?f, Ibn Hajar, p. 16. Is this al-Kurd?, the author of Refâiyyah 152?

[71] HKh. iii. 352, No. 5897, on the authority of al-Fath b. Kh?q?n (author of the Qal?‘id), who had found a marginal note to that effect in a MS. Yet mystics were hostile to Ab? Han?fa ; see Goldziher in ZDMG. xxviii. 303.

[72] SM. p. 43, and Schreiner in ZDMG. xlviii. 43, with references there.

[73] Ab?-l-Fid?, Geography, p. 125 of Arabic text. In Y?q?t there is only a line saying that Uzumm?r belongs to Sanh?ja.

[74] ‘Alam ? see Lane, p. 2140a, sub voce and p. 2870c on n?r. I do not know what fraternity of Darw?shes is thus indicated.

[75] The H?tif is the Hebrew Bath Qôl, a wandering voice which comes, warning or informing or inspiring. It seems to be a form of appearance of the Jinn. Cf. Wellhausen, Reste arabischen Heidentumes, 139, note.

[76] De Slane, transl. of Ibn Khald?n’s History of the Berbers, ii. 159.

[77] From the Ta’r?f al-ahy? bi fad?’il al-Ihy? by `Abd al-Q?d?r b. Shaykh b. ‘Abd All?h b. Shaykh b. ‘Abd All?h al-‘Aydar?s B?‘Alaw?; 978-1038. He is No. 54 in Wüstenfeld’s Cufiten in Süd-Arabien, and this book is No. 12 on p. 33 of the same. He, therefore, cannot be the al-‘Aydar?s of whom the SM. speaks on p. 18 as his shaykh, and says that he heard from him. On the meaning of ‘Aydar?s and B?‘Alaw? see Wiistenfeld’s book above.

[78] I can find no trace of him. The SM. also was from Zab?d, and his nisba is not Zubayd? as sometimes written.

[79] Compare the Durra (edit. Gautier), 11 ff.

[80] Goldziher, Muham. Studien, ii. 288, and the passages there referred to. Also Flugel in his article on ash-Shar‘?n?, ZDMG. xx. 37 ff., notes 45-50.

[81] Goldziher, ii. 372 ff.

[82] SM. p. 27. Compare HKh. i. 81 and vii. 570, where the story is given at length.

[83] Ibn. Khall. iii. 208 and iv. 462

[84] Vide supra, where, however, the Ihy? is not specially mentioned and nothing is said of al-Mar?ya. In the narrative here I use the SM.

[85] Compare the story of at-Tart?shi and how he killed al-Afdal Sh?hinsh?h ; Ibn Khall. ii. 666.

[86] Ibn Khall. ii. 417.

[87] The SM. givess him in the list of al-Ghazzālī’s pupils (p. 44), but has no details.

[88] Since writing the above I find the same general conclusion reached by Goldziher in his article on the Almohades in the ZDMG. xli. 30-140; see especially p. 66.

[89] It may be worth noticing that Ab? ‘Abd Allah al-M?zar? (d. 536; Ibn Khall. iii. 4) regarded the Ihy? as made up of a mixture of the doctrines of the Muwahhids, the Philosophers, and the Sufis. Al-M?zar?’s chronology is shaky, but he gives early testimony to the belief in a connection between al-Ghazzālī and Ibn T?mart. The SM. (p. 28) quotes him apparently through Ibn as-Subk?, who goes on to discuss his position, and explains it as due to Malikite, especially Maghrib?, anti-Sh?fi‘ite jealousy. Al-M?zar? further asserts that al-Ghazzālī based on the books of Ab? Hayy?n at-Tawh?d? ; this is combatted by Ibn as-Subk?, who says that rather the reverse is true, al-amru bi-khil?fa dh?lika. If this is the Ab? Hayy?n at-Tawh?d? of Ibn Khall. i. 50 and iii. 264, who was a shaykh of the Sufis and was alive in 400, I do not understand how he could say so ; but I can find no other Ab? Hayy?n at-Tawh?d?. HKh. gives many of his books. It is also a possibility that al-M?zar?’s reference may not be so anachronistic after all. He may not have meant the political sect of the Muwahhids, which was only rising to importance in his day, .or the pantheistic views of Ibn T?mart in which he separated from the Ash'arites (see his Tawh?d formula in Goldziher, ZDMG. xli. 72 ff.). There may have been a religious sect of old date holding the same or similar pantheistic views, and the curious nisba, at-Tawh?d?, may be related to it. The explanations of the nisba given by Ibn Khall. and the Ansab writers are evidently absurd. Tawh?d as a theological formula usually refers to God’s oneness ; but it may also have had another, narrower, and somewhat pantheistic nuance. Ibn Khall. iii. 20 tells us that Ab? T?lib al-Makk?, a high Sufi and the author of the Q?t al-qul?b, wrote on Tawh?d.

[90] On the original book al-Jafr, left by 'All, but only to be interpreted finally by the Mahd?, see Dict. of Technic. Terms, i. 202 f.; Ibn Khald?n, Muqaddama, Bul?q ed. 278 f.; HKh. ii. 603 ff. On ‘Ilm al-Jafr and the literature it produced see Ahlwardt in Berlin Cat., iii. 551 ff.; Rieu, Suppl. to the Cat. of Arab. MSS. in Brit. Mus., No. 828, and literature there ; Steinschneider in ZDMG. xxviii. 630 and 653. Compare, too, on the whole subject, Goldziher, Literaturgeschichte der ?î‘a, 54 ff.; de Goeje, Mémoire sur les Carmathes, 115 ff.; Goldziher, ZDMG. xli. 123 ff.; Kay, Early Mediaeval History of Yaman, pp. 19, 145, 249. M. P. Casanova, in an exceedingly interesting and important Notice in a recent number of the Journal Asiatique (qie-e ser., xi. 151 ff.), brings together the equally mysterious Jami'a, the Ikhw?n as-Safa, and the Assassins. His promised article in the Notices et Extraits will evidently throw much light on all three.

[91] Compare the similar story given from a Turkish MS. by Goldziher in ZDMG. xli. 124, note 1.

[92] The system of Dante and Milton and Shakspere ; see a good description of it and of its use by Dante in The Quarterly Review for April, 1898.

[93] How far al-Ghazzālī would have assented in its details to the view of the origin of the universe developed on Aristotelian and Neoplatonic lines by al-F?r?b? in his ‘Uy?n al-mas?’il (edit. Dieterici, pp. 56ff.), might be difficult to say. But that tractate gives a good idea how the origin was viewed by Muslim philosophers in general ; and I do not think that al-Ghazzālī would have modified it much, except to lay somewhat more stress on the fact that the w?jib al-wuj?d and as-sabab alawwal was God Most High, and that all depended absolutely on His will.

[94] For a good example of this, and an acute discussion of some of these developments, see the translation of ‘Abd ar-Razz?q’s (first half of xiv cent.) treatise on the freedom of the will by S. Guyard in the Journal Asiatique, 7ième sér., i. 125 ff. From al-Ghazzālī’s position, in which all existence depends on the will of God, it is not hard to come to that of ‘Abd ar-Razz?q that God is all. Along another line the Aristotelian philosophers advanced to the position that all, i. e. the universe with all its spheres, is God. Thus the two pantheistic positions developed within the fold of Islām.

[95] Iml? on margin of SM. i. 218 f. Comp. Dict. of Technic. Terms, p.. 1339, foot.

[96] I suspect that these three terms go back to the Christian phrase “ the kingdom, the power and the glory” (cf. Goldziher, Muham. Studien, ii. 386); but “some suspicion is a sin” (Qur. xlix. 12), and that especially in things critical. The facts in the case seem to be as follows : The lexicographers (Lis?n, s. v., xii. 382) give mulk and malak?t (and malkuwa) as meaning exactly the same thing, i. e. in the case of God ‘azamatuhu wasult?nuhu, and in the case of man ‘?zzuhu wasult?nuhu ; you can say of a man, lahu mulku-l-‘Ir?q or lahu malak?tu-l-‘Ir?q. With this agrees the Qur’?nic usage ; mulk and malak?t seem to be interchangeable. On vi. 75 al-Bayd?wi remarks, al-malak?t a‘zamu-l-mulk wat-t?’ f?hi lilmub?lagha. Jabar?t, or jubur?t, does not occur in the Qur’?n, but in two traditions (Lis?n, s. v., v. 182, 11. 18 and 23 ff.; see, too, Lane, s. V., 374a, and Ghar?b al-had?th, s. v.), subh?na dhi-l jabar?t wal-malak?t,. and thumma yak?nu mulkun wajabar?tun. The word is defined as thequality denoted by the epithet jabb?r. I can give nothing to bridge the gap between these usages and those of al-Ghazzālī. Al-F?r?b? already appears to have the same view of the words as al-Ghazzālī ; see his Philosophische Abhandlungen, pp. 69 and 71, §§ 13 and 26, in the Arabic text of Dieterici’s ed.-the German transl. is hardly adequate. But after him ‘Abd ar-Razzāq (l. c. p. 164) explains the world of jabarūt as that of the angels, whose qualities and perfections repair the imperfections of the other beings, or who constrain the other beings to seek perfection, according to the two meanings of the root JBR ; and (p. 107) the world of malak?t as that which moves by the permission of God, sets everything in motion, and directs the affairs of the universe, evidently thinking of the name as meaning reigning, ruling. The world of m?lk is referred to by ‘Abd ar-Razz?q as the world of shah?da, i. e. of witness, or the sensible world.

[97] Durra, 70. With an appreciation of this falls to the ground Noldeke’s criticism of al-Ghazzālī in his review of the Durra in the Liter. Centralblatt, Jan. 12, 1878, col. 56.

[98] Is there a connection here with the Sabbath Bride (Heine’s Princess Sabbath) of Judaism ?

[99] The later Sufiism of Ibn ‘Arabī and his followers seems to have borne much the same relation to the Sufiism of al-Ghazzālī and his times that in Neoplatonism was borne by the Syrian thaumaturgic school of Jamblichus and his followers to the earlier Alexandrian school of Plotinus.

[100] See his life by al-Qift? in Dieterici, Philos. Abhandl., 116.

[101] Mehren, Vues d'Avicenne sur l'astrologie, etc., 3 ff. and Ibn S?nā, Le livre des theorèmes, edit. Forget, 207 ff.

[102] G?ttingen, 1844. Not so good in his Geschichte der Philosophie, Hamburg, 1844, vii. 703 ff. The strict founder of the sceptical school of scholastic theologians appears to have been al-Baqilani (d. 403) ; see on him Schreiner, Zur Geschichte des A?'aritenthums, 108 ff.

[103] Ueberweg, History of Philosophy, pp. 427 ff. of the English trans. of 1876.

[104] Spitta, Al-A?‘ari, 88 ff.

[105] Translated and commented on in The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, xii. 93 ff., and xiii. 140 f.

[106] The SM. mentions Ibn Rushd’s reply to the Tah?fut, but does not seem to know anything more about him. His book on the relation of philosophy and theology, to which we shall come shortly, was evidently unknown to him.

[107] For an account of this see ZDMG. xxxii. 12.

[108] See Goldziher in ZDMG. xxviii. 323.

[109] On this most interesting and essential distinction see von Kremer’s account of the origins of Sufiism in his Herrschende Ideen, 59 ff.

[110] Spitta, Al-A?‘ar?, 9 f.

[111] M. J. Muller, Philosophie u. Theologie von Averroes, Münch. 1875, p. 17. This is a translation of Ibn Rushd’s Fasl al-maqāl and other Rasā’il, of which Muller had published the Arabic text in 1859. It is a curious proof of Ibn Rushd’s complete failure to make any impression on Islām that his answer to the Tahāfut of al-Ghazzālī and a reprint of this text edited by Müller are the only works of his which have appeared in type in the East. The answer to the Tahāfut was printed along with it and the third Tahāfut by Khawaja Z?da at Cairo in 1303, apparently from an earlier Constantinople edition, and the reprint of this present work appeared in 1313. That it is a reprint of Müller’s text is evident by its reproducing his conjectural emendations even in cases where they were unnecessary. Compare with the Cairo text Müller’s translation, p. 22, note 3 ; p. 23, note 1 ; p. 27, notes 1 and 3 ; p. 116, note 5 ; p. 120, note 4.

[112] Al-A?‘arî, 52 ff. For later developments see Schreiner, Zur Geschichte des A?‘aritenthums, and Goldziher, Zahiriten, 133 ff.

[113] That the translation appeared so long after the text (see note above, p. 124), seems to have prevented much notice being taken of either. Renan in his Averroes et l’Averroïsme, 167 ff., knows the text but makes little use of it. I doubt if he had read it. It appeared too late to be used by Munk, who has given an analysis from a Hebrew version.

[114] On these different types of syllogism see the Risāla Shams?ya, edit. Sprenger, pp. 27 ff. In Müller’s translation the point is left unexplained, and the passage is thus very puzzling. Without doubt, this is because he did not live to publish the translation himself.

[115] Goldziher, Muham. Studien, ii. 373, note 5 ; ZDMG. xx. 2, and 4, xxxviii. 681.

[116] Delitzsch in Cat. codd. hebr. bibl. Lips., No. 26. Narboni, like Ibn Rushd, exhibits a personal hatred of al-Ghazzālī which shows how hard a blow the latter had struck.

[117] In the Iml?, margin of SM. i. pp. 123 and 225, it is ascribed to the Prophet himself.

[The name of al-Ghazzālī is now generally written with single z, al-Ghaz?l?. My reasons for adhering to the older spelling will be given at length elsewhere.-D. B. M.]