The Reconciliation of Reason and Revelation through the “Rule of Interpretation” (Qānūn al-taʾwīl)
Al-Ghazali’s inquiry into the epistemological status of philosophical arguments in his Incoherence of the Philosophers is highly relevant for his legal assessment of the philosophical movement. He accepts the principle that any teaching that goes against the outward wording of the Muslim revelation (Qur’an and hadith) and that can successfully be demonstrated forces the Muslim scholar to adopt an allegorical interpretation of revelation. This “Rule of Interpretation” leads directly into a discussion of what can and what cannot be demonstrated. Once the scholars have achieved clarity about this issue through their adaptation of Aristotelian logic, so al-Ghazali, there will no longer be disputes about what should be accepted on the authority of reason (al-ma’qul) and what on the authority of revelation (al-manqul). The universal adaptation of syllogistic logic in Islam will make an end to all doctrinal disputes.
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