Al-Ghazālī’s Most Influential Students and Early Followers
Al-Ghazali was the most influential writer about religious and philosophical subject during the 12th century in Islam. Every author of this period had to address his work, and in the most cases that happened quite prominently. This chapter explains the close connections of six important thinkers of the early 12th century to al-Ghazali. Abu Bakr ibn al-‘Arabi was his most important student who left us valuable descriptions about his teaching activity. Others, like Ibn Tumart and ‘Ayn al-Qudat al-Hamadhani never met al-Ghazali, but were heavily influenced by his teachings and made these popular in the Muslim west or among the Sufis of Iran. Finally, this chapters studies the lasting influence of al-Ghazali teachings in the substantive rulings of Islamic law (furu’) where the active teachings tradition in Nishapur moved to Damascus during the 13th century.
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