Macalester Islam Journal

Article Title

Ghazali vs. The Philosophers: The Inevitable Predicament


In this paper, I explore the arguments for and against Imam Ghazali’s treatise as a means to achieve certainty, which in Ghazali’s epistemological framework meant knowledge of the truth and ontology. More specifically, I argue for the ingenuity of Ghazali’s epistemological platform that is grounded in subjectivity. I contend that Ghazali left a lasting legacy on Islamic philosophy only because of his distinctive paradigm that made his epistemology and ontology compatible with each other. Ergo, he carved a middle path that did not alienate the masses in their understanding and approach to questions of theology and philosophy in predominantly Muslim majority societies. Furthermore, I express the arguments used by rationalists and philosophers to contest Ghazali’s assertions. Lastly, I show the limitations of engaging in dialectic between Ghazali and the philosophers given their distinct and irreconcilable projects.