Showing all 2 results
If a list of the half dozen most important figures in the historical elaboration of Islam were to be drawn up, there can be no doubt that Abu Hamid Ghazali would figure on that list. As a versatile and gifted scholar and, more importantly, a believer of great spiritual insight, he confronted all the intellectual and spiritual currents of his day and elaborated what might be called a defining synthesis of Sunni Islam. He achieved this result through both lengthy personal experience and erudition, and this lecture deals, therefore, both with his life and his works, as well as attempting to assess his impact on the religious history of Islam.
A feature of the Quran that deserves careful attention is that while it unambiguously asserts the finality of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), it also devotes considerable attention to the prophets that came before him. This is not by way of ecumenical goodwill to the followers of religious other than Islam, the prophets in question are all legitimately regarded as prophets of Islam and portrayed, moreover, in ways radically different from the relevant biblical narratives. This is especially true of Jesus, upon whom be peace; his true character is revealed to us by the Quran to have been that of a prophet sent to reaffirm the law of the Torah, while modifying certain parts of it, and to proclaim the coming of the last and most perfect of the messengers, Muhammad (PBUH). He was born without paternity, whether human or divine, and he was neither killed on the cross, nor even placed on it, being instead raised by Allah unto Himself. Both his entry to this world and his departure from it are, then, of a strictly mysterious nature. The Quran alludes, in addition, to his return to earth at the end of time, a theme more fully elaborated in hadith. Given the fallible nature of the Gospels, it may safely be asserted that the Quran, as revelation, is the only source of true and certain knowledge concerning this messenger of Allah.