Al-ghazzali (or Ilgazel), Abu Hamed Muhammad

Al-Ghazzali (Or Ilgazel), Abu Hamed Muhammad, a Moslem theologian who met the heretical Arabian philosophers on their own ground, was born in 1058 and belonged to the sect of the Ascharites. At the age of thirty-three he became the head of a theological college at Bagdad, where his lectures were thronged with eager crowds, including all the imams of the country. His mind having revolted against the orthodox Mohammedan creed, he escaped from Bagdad on the plea of making a pilgrimage to Mecca, but went to Syria, and spent ten years in seclusion and meditation at Damascus. While on a journey to Egypt, his private affairs induced him to return to Bagdad, where he reluctantly resumed teaching. There he continued for fifteen years, then retired to Tus, in Khorassan, his native town, and devoted his remaining years to the contemplative life of the Sufis, who had been his earliest instructors. He died in 1111. He attacked the accepted Aristotelianism of the time in a work entitled The Destruction of the Philosophers. For information concerning his philosophical opinions, see Averrhoes, Works, vol. 10, but more especially his spiritual autobiography, translated by Schmolders in his Enssai sur les Ecoles Philosophiques chez les Arabes. See also Von Hammer, introduction to 0 Kind; Munk, Melanges; and Gosche, in Abhandlungen der konigl. Akad. der Wissenschnfnten zu Berlin, 1858.

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