Maqasid Al Falasifah: A Classic Work of Islamic Philosophy by Imam Ghazali
Maqasid Al Falasifah, or Aims of the Philosophers, is a book written by the famous Muslim scholar and mystic Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (450-505 AH) in the 11th century. The book is a summary and critique of the teachings of the Greek philosophers, such as Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates, on logic, metaphysics, natural sciences, and ethics. Imam Ghazali presents the views of the philosophers in a clear and concise manner, and then refutes them from an Islamic perspective, using arguments from reason, revelation, and tradition.
The book is divided into three parts: the first part deals with logic, the second part with metaphysics and theology, and the third part with natural sciences and ethics. In each part, Imam Ghazali explains the main concepts and terms used by the philosophers, such as substance, accident, cause, effect, essence, existence, potentiality, actuality, matter, form, soul, intellect, etc. He also discusses the proofs for the existence of God, the attributes of God, the creation of the world, the nature of angels, jinn, and humans, the resurrection and the afterlife, and the moral virtues and vices.
Maqasid Al Falasifah is considered one of the most important works of Islamic philosophy and theology. It is also a valuable source of information about the history of philosophy and science in the Islamic civilization. The book has been translated into several languages, including English, French, German, Urdu, Persian, Turkish, and Malay. It is widely studied by students and scholars of Islamic studies, philosophy, theology, and history.
If you are interested in reading Maqasid Al Falasifah by Imam Ghazali, you can download a PDF version of the book from this link[^1^]. You can also find other works by Imam Ghazali on this website[^1^].
In this article, we will also introduce you to the life and achievements of Imam Ghazali, the author of Maqasid Al Falasifah. Imam Ghazali was born in 1058 in Tus, a city in Iran, and belonged to a Persian family of modest means. His father was a wool spinner (ghazzal) who died when Imam Ghazali was young. He and his brother Ahmad were then raised by a Sufi friend of their father, who provided them with education and spiritual guidance.
Imam Ghazali showed great intelligence and curiosity from an early age. He studied jurisprudence (fiqh) in his hometown, then moved to Nishapur, where he became a student of Imam al-Juwayni, a renowned scholar of theology (kalam) and law. Imam Ghazali excelled in his studies and impressed his teacher and peers with his sharp mind and eloquence. He also learned philosophy and logic from various sources, and became familiar with the works of the Greek philosophers and their Muslim interpreters.
In 1091, Imam Ghazali was appointed as the head of the Nizamiyya college in Baghdad, the most prestigious academic institution in the Muslim world at that time. He taught law, theology, philosophy, and ethics to hundreds of students, and wrote several books on these subjects. He also engaged in debates and polemics with other scholars, especially those who followed the rationalist school of philosophy known as falsafa. Imam Ghazali criticized the falsafa for relying too much on human reason and neglecting divine revelation and tradition. He wrote two famous books against the falsafa: Maqasid Al Falasifah (The Aims of the Philosophers), which summarized and exposed the flaws of their doctrines; and Tahafut Al Falasifah (The Incoherence of the Philosophers), which refuted their arguments point by point. aa16f39245