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Al-Ghazali's Philosophical Theology$
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Frank Griffel

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195331622

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331622.001.0001

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A Life between Public and Private Instruction

A Life between Public and Private Instruction

Al-Ghazālī’s Biography

Chapter:
(p.19) 1 A Life between Public and Private Instruction
Source:
Al-Ghazali's Philosophical Theology
Author(s):

Frank Griffel (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331622.003.0002

Reviewing the early sources on al-Ghazali’s life and comparing them with information that he himself gives in his Persian letters leads to the conclusion that he was born around 1056, roughly two years than usually assumed. His family was more prominent among the scholars of Iran than the Muslim historians like to admit. An early contact with his later mentor Nizam al-Mulk is likely. Al-Ghazali’s so-called “crisis” in 1095, when he left Baghdad, was the result of a log-lasting development and was triggered by his changed attitude towards the Seljuq state authorities. His subsequent “seclusion” was merely a deliberate absence from schools (madrasas) that were supported with state funds. He continued to teach, however, at small private madrasas and at no point did al-Ghazali seclude himself from his students and followers.

Keywords:   al-Ghazali’s life, Nizam al-Mulk, Sanjar, Tus, Nishapur, Baghdad, seclusion, ‘uzla, Abbasids

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