Al-Ghazali's Moderation in Belief

Al-Ghazali's Moderation in Belief : New,
Al-Iqtisad fi al-I'tiqad,
*[A5+] Paperback - 338 pages,
by Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali [d.505h],
Transl. with Interpretative Essay -
& Notes by Aladdin M. Yaqub,
Published by University of Chicago Press.


Back in Stock April 2024
Description :

Centuries after his death, Imam al-Ghazali remains one of the most influential figures of the Islamic intellectual tradition. Although he is best known for his Incoherence of the Philosophers, Moderation in Belief is his most profound work of philosophical theology. In it, he offers what scholars consider to be the best defense of the Ash’arite school of Islamic theology that gained acceptance within orthodox Sunni theology in the twelfth century, though he also diverges from Ash’arism with his more rationalist approach to the Qur'an.
Together with The Incoherence of the Philosophers, Moderation in Belief informs many subsequent theological debates, and its influence extends beyond the Islamic tradition, informing broader questions within Western philosophical and theological thought.
The first complete English-language edition of Moderation in Belief, this new annotated translation by Aladdin M. Yaqub draws on the most esteemed critical editions of the Arabic texts and offers detailed commentary that analyzes and reconstructs the arguments found in the work’s four treatises. Explanations of the historical and intellectual background of the texts also enable readers with a limited knowledge of classical Arabic to fully explore Imam al-Ghazali and this foundational text for the first time.
With the recent resurgence of interest in Islamic philosophy and the conflict between philosophy and religion, this new translation will be a welcome addition to the scholarship. 
Reviews :

“Aladdin M. Yaqub’s annotated translation of al-Ghazali’s Moderation in Belief will ultimately be seen as a major turning point—for the better—in the history of Islamic philosophy. He engages the text directly, his eyes riveted on the arguments, which he unravels and reconstructs elegantly.”---Tzvi Langermann, Bar-Ilan University.

“Al-Ghazali is the most important philosophical theologian of classical Islam, and Moderation in Belief is among his most important works. It sets out al-Ghazali’s Ash?arite theology with unusual clarity and provides important background for such well-known works as his autobiographical Deliverance from Error and his attack on Avicenna in The Incoherence of the Philosophers. This first English-language translation, with notes that bring out the argumentation and background of the work, is thus very much to be welcomed.”---Peter Adamson, King’s College London.


“Given the significance of al-Ghazali as one of the leading Muslim thinkers in the Sunni world, it’s remarkable that this important text has not yet been available in English-language translation in one place. Aladdin M. Yaqub provides such a translation, splendidly reconciling the Arabic texts and augmenting them with accurate notes that offer a helpful guide. This is sure to become the standard English edition.”---Oliver Leaman, University of Kentucky.



“Given his enormous influence on Islamic thought, this new translation of al-Ghazali's Moderation in Belief is indispensable for one who seeks to understand his theology. . . . As the first complete English translation of the work, Yaqub’s book represents a significant contribution for the non-Arabic speaker, [but] Arabic speaking audiences will also benefit from Yaqub’s scholarly documentation of the text.”---American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences.

Table of Contents :
---Note on the Translation,
---Translator’s Introduction.

---Religious Preface,

---First Introduction,
------On showing that to wade into this science is important for the religion,
---Second Introduction,
------On showing that to wade into this science, although it is important, is unimportant for some people but what is important for them is to avoid it,
---Third Introduction,
------On showing that the occupation with this science is a collective obligation,
---Fourth Introduction,
------On explaining the methods of proof that we employ in this book.

FIRST TREATISE : Theoretical Reflection on the Essence of God,

---First Proposition: The existence of God,
---Second Proposition: God is eternal anteriorly,
---Third Proposition: God is eternal posteriorly,
---Fourth Proposition: God is not an extended substance,
---Fifth Proposition: God is not a body,
---Sixth Proposition: God is not a mode,
---Seventh Proposition: God is not located in a direction,
---Eighth Proposition: No anthropomorphic description is true of God,
---Ninth Proposition: God is seeable,
------First Aspect: First Rational Approach,
------First Aspect: Second Rational Approach,
------Second Aspect: The Evidence of the Revelation,
---Tenth Proposition: God is one.

SECOND TREATISE : On the Divine Attributes,
First Part,
---First Attribute: Power,
------First Question,
------Second Question,
------Third Question,
---Second Attribute: Knowledge,
---Third Attribute: Life,
---Fourth Attribute: Will,
---Fifth and Sixth Attributes: Hearing and Sight,
---Seventh Attribute: Speech,
------First Objection,
------Second Objection,
------Third Objection,
------Fourth Objection,
------Fifth Objection.

Second Part,
---On the general characteristics of the divine attributes, concerning that which they share and that in which they differ,
---First Characteristic: The attributes are additional to the essence,
---Second Characteristic: The attributes subsist in the essence,
---Third Characteristic: The attributes are eternal,
---Fourth Characteristic: The names that are derived from these divine attributes are true of God eternally.

THIRD TREATISE : On the Acts of God,

---First Proposition : It is possible for God not to create; and if He creates, it is not obligatory for Him to do so; and if He creates people, He might not assign obligations to them; and if He does assign obligations, it is not obligatory for Him to do so,
---Second Proposition : It is up to God to assign to His servants obligations, whether within their ability or beyond their ability,
---Third Proposition : God is able to bring suffering upon an animal that is innocent of any crime and He is not required to reward it,
---Fourth Proposition : It is not obligatory for God to care for the well-being of His servants, but He may do whatever He wills and decree whatever He wants,
---Fifth Proposition : If God assigns obligations to His servants and they obey Him, then it is not obligatory for Him to reward them; rather if He wants to, He may reward them, punish them, or even annihilate them and never resurrect them; He does not care whether He forgives all the infidels and punishes all the believers; and this is not impossible in itself, nor does it contradict any of the divine attributes,
---Sixth Proposition : If the revelation had not come, it would not be incumbent upon mankind to know God and to thank Him for His blessings,
---Seventh Proposition : Sending prophets is contingent; it is neither impossible nor obligatory.


First Chapter,
---On establishing the Prophethood of our Prophet Muhammad, ?,

---The First Way of Proving the Prophethood of Muhammad, ?, by Means of Miracles: the Miracle of the Qur’an,
---The Second Way of Proving the Prophethood of Muhammad, ?, by Means of Miracles: Other Miracles,

Second Chapter,
---On showing that it is obligatory to believe in matters reported in the revelation and deemed possible by reason,
---First Section,
------The Torment of the Grave,
------The Balance,
------The Path,
---Second Section,
------An Intellectual Issue,
------A Semantical Issue,
------A Legal Issue.

Third Chapter,
---On the Imamate,

---First Issue: On showing that appointing an Imam is obligatory,
---Second Issue: On showing who among mankind may be appointed an Imam,
---Third Issue: On explaining the belief of the followers of the Sunna regarding the Prophet’s, ?, Companions and the Rightly-Guided Caliphs

Fourth Chapter,
---On explaining which among the sects must be charged with infidelity.
---Interpretive Essay.

Appendix :

---Index of Qur'anic Verses,
---Index of Hadiths,
---Subject Index.
More Imam al-Ghazali books.

*Dimensions : 23 x 15.3cm.
  • Shipping Weight: 0.595 kgs
  • 2 Units in Stock
  • Written by: Imam al-Ghazali

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