Al-Ghazali did not present his teachings on cosmology in any cohesive way. The reason is that the details of cosmology were not one of the important matters of his theology and ethics. It is most important for humans to understand that God creates all events in this world. How he created them, either by directly creating each event of by employing others of His creatures to “generate” them cannot be known by humans. In both views, however, God is the only cause in this world. Humans must know this and they must draw the right conclusions. Despite realizing that this is a fully determined universe, they must strive to perform actions that will be rewarded in this and the next world. Knowing that good actions are the causal effects of one’s knowledge, humans must aim to acquire the right kind of knowledge that will lead them to perform good actions. Al-Ghazali’s theology is driven by the practical consequences of one’s convictions. For him it is less important to have true convictions, i.e. convictions that represent the world as it truly is, but rather right convictions, i.e. convictions that are the causes of good actions, which will be rewarded in this and the next world.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.