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Al-Ghazali as an Islamic reformer (Muslih) : an evaluative study of the attempts of the Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali at Islamic reform (Islah)

Al-Musleh, Mohamed Abubakr A. (2008)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

Notwithstanding the enduring and rich “legacy of islah (Islamic reform)”, the study of it is relatively scarce and remarkably limited to modern times. The present study attempts to shed some light on this legacy by evaluating the contribution of an outstanding pre-modern Muslim scholar, al-Ghazali. Surprisingly, some studies create an absolutely positive picture of him, while others portray him in an extremely negative light. Thus, this study raises the question of whether it is justifiable to classify him as a muslih (Islamic reformer). In the light of the analysis of the concept “islah” and the complexity of Al-Ghazali’s time, the study demonstrates his life-experience and verifies that he devoted himself to general islah at a late period of his life, after succeeding in his self-islah. Further the study assess his islahi teachings in general, namely those formulated in the Ihya’ and evaluates the claimed effects of his attempts at islah. The study also highlights a number of strengths and weaknesses of al-Ghazali’s efforts and critically discusses some of the criticism directed at him. By weighing up the points for and against al-Ghazali, this study concludes by asserting that classifying him as a muslih appears to be fairly justified.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Khir, Bustami
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of Theology and Religion
Subjects:BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
D History (General)
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:2798
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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