ABSTRACT

In Chapter 4 we began to unravel the theological foundation of Ghazālī ’s vision of society, beginning with his definition of fiqh, and how the observation of the faith by the community requires the Imāmate if it is not to slip into fresh distortions, as was shown with the Bāṭinites. In Chapter 5 we argued that this stands in the framework of Natural Law thinking if one considers the reasons behind such conclusions and the ethical requirements of the common good. God does not hinder our understanding of nature, but allows us to see the true face of nature. With these requirements, Ghazālī relates to the Muslim community as an organic construction modelled on the calling of the human being. Like the Koranic reading of history, the political body is more an organism than simply an institution. Two facts emerge from this construction: first, the order for Ghazālī ’s political system is not a simple choice, a satisfying alternative among a number of others; second, the Caliph’s stability cannot rest upon his sole power without justice and therefore without accountability for the end of his office. As argued in Chapter 2, Ghazālī witnesses a political society that is an organic unity, created by the act of God just as history itself is viewed as an organic whole.