Institute of Philosophy
of the Russian Academy of Sciences




  Ilshat Nasyrov. “Al-Gazali. Man heart, rational and religion cognition and cause of human limited nature of the "Knowledge of God" (ma‘rifa)”
Home Page » » History of Philosophy » History of Philosophy, 2009, vol. 14. » Ilshat Nasyrov. “Al-Gazali. Man heart, rational and religion cognition and cause of human limited nature of the "Knowledge of God" (ma‘rifa)”

Ilshat Nasyrov. “Al-Gazali. Man heart, rational and religion cognition and cause of human limited nature of the "Knowledge of God" (ma‘rifa)”

The article is an attempt to present the ontological and gnoseological views of Abu Hamid al-Gazali, an outstanding islamic jurist, theologian and Sufic thinker (1058 – 1111). The Introduction discusses the fundamental concepts of his integral theological and philosophical system, such as unity of being, which is of an Ash’arite character, as well as the conception of “three world’s”; al-Gazali’s concept of ‘aql (reason) and his doctrine of cognition of the transcendental, or “knowledge of God” (ma‘rifa). The author attempted to prove that the study of al-Gazali’s point of view on the topic of ‘aql (reason) is helpful in clarifying the model of the speculative thinking, which was prevalent in medieval Islamic world. 

In the second chapter the Russian reader will find commented translation some excerpts from the different parts of Ihya’ ‘ulum ad-Din (The Revival of the Religious Sciences) by Abu Hamid al-Gazali, made by I. Nasyrov. This al-Gazali’s main fundamental work contains all of his major philosophical ideas. His attempt to solve the irresolvable question of how it is possible to know the uncognisable God presents essential facet of problem of rational cognition of the transcedental. Al-Gazali leads the reader to the idea that the theorizing mind is incapable of solving metaphysical problems (relating to God etc.), for all those things are objects of faith; therefore rational and scholarly knowledge cannot form the foundation for proving God’s existence. His mystical doctrine of the “heart” was oriented toward the restoration of the primordial unity of man and God. He strove to comprehend the secret of relation between God and created world.