ghazali.org went online on 28-06-2001 as part of Islamic Philosophy online, a site that I am very much proud of. By 2004 the Ghazali material had out grown its original location and it just made much more sense to branch out on its own. Islamic Philosophy Online and ghazali.org were created as project to help me keep track of the various information that I needed for my own research. Some items I easily found while others were near impossible to obtain that it took literally years to find and procure. If I had such a hard time finding the material why should anybody else have to suffer the same fate.
I also took advantage of the existing technology (the web and a scanner). Some material is out of print, while others only certain libraries had them, yet others cost a fortune (equal to the GDP of some nation that al-Ghazali might have visited). While many others were simply missing from the library or loaned out permanently. It seemed that at every turn someone was researching Ghazali.
So the site is made as a research aid to those who really want to study Ghazali through his works, manuscripts, primary research material as well as important secondary sources. It also gives an idea of how much this guy (Ghazali) is studied.
I have been fortunate to meet many scholars and students working on al-Ghazali as well as to attend many conferences. Ultimately, I was able to put together a panel at Annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion in November 2003. This was a success and a achievement of this site.
Currently (Feb 05) there is over 2 Gigabyte of E-texts (2.4 gigs - 9325 files) many in PDF format. There is a lot of Ghazali stuff out there! The materials are in Arabic, English, French, Persian and German. There are Latin (2), Hebrew (1), Turkish (10), Spanish (1), Dutch(1), Hungarian (1) and finally Urdu translations.
I am working on a project to bring manuscripts online. There is an issue of permission that has to be ironed out. However I am looking into other models. Perhaps we can trade copies of manuscripts. If you have Ghazali or Ibn Sina (Avicenna) manuscripts drop me a line.
Editions what can I say. There are a lot of editions of al-Ghazali works in print in Arabic. It seems that every major publisher in Cairo and Lebanon has an edition of the ihya' in print. Some are just plain offset copies of existing in print others have value added like re-typesetting which sometimes introduces more errors. While others work on either the Qur'anic ayat or Hadith verification. Personally I can not resist and I end up buying them. I have 10 editions of the Ihya', 3 I gave out to friends. 5 of the Tahafut; 5 of al-munqhidh. So as you can see this project has turned into a gentle madness of sorts. One wonders if there is a fine line is between bibliomania and scholarship.
Enjoy the site and if you are working on a project related to Ghazali, a scholar studying Ghazali, or even thinking (no dreams please, I am not in that business) about Ghazali I want to hear about it.
Muhammad Hozien (E-mail: mhozien @ gmail . com)
* Page updated on: 2007-09-27.
* Site ę Copyright 2004 by Muhammad Hozien. All rights reserved. This site is dedicated to academic study of Imam abu Hamid al-Ghazali. Individual content may have its own individual copyrights. See copyright information.