ABSTRACT

As a scholar, a theologian, a jurist, and a Sufi, Ghazālī has long been praised for his contribution to the process whereby classical Sunni Orthodoxy was established, bringing together different strands of knowledge, jāmi' ashtāt al-'ulūm’. 1 As such, he was a true legal and theological giant of Islam, whose vision related to the cohesiveness of religion and society. This is reflected in his own story, which scholars have recounted, 2 as he opens up to different sources of knowledge. There have been a number of attempts to try to provide a chronology of Ghazālī’s works, corresponding to his own story. 3 The most dramatic moment of his life is the crisis that beset him around 1095, marking a moment of shift. Scholars tend to argue that this crisis does not lend itself to clarity, though its effects on Ghazālī’s inner journey are evident by the abundant level of complexity in his ideas. 4