Жизнь и творчество Аль-Газали: опыт философского осмысления. Часть 2. Вопрос о постижении истины: об интеллектуальной самостоятельности и новаторстве аль-Газали

Во второй статье цикла, посвященного жизни и творчеству аль-Газали, рассматривается подход мыслителя к вопросам постижения истины, самостоятельного и доктринального (догматического) сознания. Обсуждается методологический характер скепсиса в теории познания, разработанной философом; показана принципиальная невозможность отнесения творчества аль-Газали к рамкам какой-либо конкретной философско-правовой школе традиционного ислама.

Life and Creativity of Al-Ghazali: Experience of Philosophical Comprehension. Part 2. Problem of Comprehending the Truth: On Al-Ghazali’s Intellectual Independence and Innovativeness

The spiritual heritage of Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali, held such a high esteem among his contemporaries that they nicknamed him as the ‘renovator of faith’, ‘argument of Islam’, it does not only represents an integral spiritual heritage of the ‘world of Islam’, but also is one of the essential basis and sources of awareness for humanity. The subject matter of second part of my research is al-Ghazali’s theory of knowledge. For these purposes, I use textual, historical-genetic and historical-philosophical analysis. Al-Ghazali interpreted the prevailing philosophical concepts in the context and from the standpoint of the pressing intellectual tasks of his time. In this sense, we can understand Ihya' `Ulum al-Din (“Revival of the Sciences of Faith”) as reform work that testified to the independence and novelty of the philosophical view of al-Ghazali. “The science of faith” in this case is a collective concept meaning ‘collected’ ethical-cognitive disciplines, and for al-Ghazali, it bears no relevance to literalism (zahiriyah) and conservative guards (salafiya). Even when al-Ghazali, in his phrase, “was healed of skeptic illness with the help of divine afflation,” the last-mentioned should be understood in the context of the realities of the epoch. At the same time, we should distinguish two aspects al-Ghazall’s skepticism: the first refers to his personal spiritual crisis, whereas the second is methodological element of al-Ghazli’s theory of knowledge. As for his ‘anti-philosophical skepticism’, it relates only to interpretation of metaphysical problems by some philosophers. Al-Ghazali’s anti-authoritarianism was formed and developed in the framework of fiqh and kalam, it perfected in the struggle against philosophical school of thought and their representatives. Speaking about the steps and ways of expressing the Sufi experience, al-Ghazali views them only as manifestations of partial knowledge of truth and formulates the task of including an individualistic Sufi world description in the multi-story building of theoretical reflection and turning it into an integral, essential part of moral-colored and ethically-based self-consciousness of both person and whole epoch. The ideas of authenticity and freedom of choice are essential to al-Ghazali’s theory of knowledge. He comes from understanding it as essential knowledge, the prerequisite of noble behavior as the only true and obligatory. There is no true behavior without true authenticity, and true authenticity is nothing but the authenticity of absolute ethics, which is certified by a vivid example of the absolute ethical qualities of a person. In his philosophy, al-Ghazali tried to reveal the freedom to choose an intellectual position by overcoming those obstacles imposed by law, which are based on the logization of faith, the formalization of political history, economic interests and ideological dogmas. He subjects lawyers to powerful ethical criticism. Acknowledging the right of fiqh to perform social and political functions, he tried to desacralize it, to overcome its deadening force prevailing over spirit. The main tool of al-Ghazali’s struggle with the “authorities” of fiqh and kalam is logic: the philosopher made an attempt to give fiqh a very logical form. Al-Ghazali substantiates the idea of the likelihood of judgments of fiqh in order to protect the freedom of fakih in resolving any legal problem. This follows from his conception of fiqh as a discipline that cannot claim the finality of Mujtahids’ point of view. The most important achievement of al-Ghazali is the Sufi synthesis, which placed him in the rank of the greatest representatives of free-thinking. Al-Ghazali, better than any of the thinkers of his era, realized the deadlock nature of intellectual sectarianism and linked the task of overcoming doctrinal dogmatism with the need for constant self-improvement. Thus, I conclude that al-Ghazali’s theory of cognition as the basis of his Sufi synthesis was significantly ahead of its time in its independence and uniqueness.

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  • 1 Peoples' Friendship University of Russia
аль-Газали; исламская философская; теологическая и правовая традиция; Ихйа; суфизм; хадисы; скепсис; истина; доктринальное мышление; свобода выбора; al-Ghazali; Islamic philosophical; theological and legal tradition; sufism; hadiths; skepticism; truth; doctrinal thinking; freedom of choice
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