Category : Islamic Scientist
Abū Ḥāmid Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad al-Ghazālī (1058–1111) (Persian, often Algazel in English, was born and died in Tus, in the Khorasan province of Persia.
He was an Islamic theologian, jurist, philosopher, cosmologist, psychologist and mystic of Persian origin, and remains one of the most celebrated scholars in the history of Sunni Islamic thought.
He is considered a pioneer of methodic doubt and skepticism, and in one of his major works, The Incoherence of the Philosophers, he changed the course of early Islamic philosophy,
shifting it away from an Islamic metaphysics influenced by ancient Greek and Hellenistic philosophy, and towards an Islamic philosophy based on cause-and-effect that was determined
by God or intermediate angels, a theory now known as occasionalism.
Ghazali has sometimes been acclaimed by secular historians such as William Montgomery Watt to be the greatest Muslim after Muhammad (traditionally among Muslims, the greatest Muslims
after the Prophet, according to authentic hadith, is the generation of his contemporaries). Besides his work that successfully changed the course of Islamic philosophy—the early Islamic
Neoplatonism developed on the grounds of Hellenistic philosophy, for example, was so successfully refuted by Ghazali that it never recovered—he also brought the orthodox Islam of
his time in close contact with Sufism. The orthodox theologians still went their own way, and so did the mystics, but both developed a sense of mutual appreciation which ensured that no
sweeping condemnation could be made by one for the practices of the other.