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On the Boundaries of Theological Tolerance in Islam: Abu Hamid al Ghazali's Faysal al Tafriqa (Studies in Islamic Philosophy)

4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195797916
ISBN-10: 0195797914
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"We are all in the debt of Sherman Jackson for providing us with so illuminating a translation and commentary."--Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews


About the Author

Sherman. A Jackson is at Michigan State University. Nomanul Haq is at University of Pennsylvania.

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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Islamic Philosophy (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (December 26, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195797914
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195797916
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.6 x 5.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,155,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By David Drennan on August 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"Hujjat al-Islam" (Proof of Islam) Shaykh Abu Hamid al-Ghazali covered a very important topic in his famous book "Faysal at-Tafriqa Bayna al-Islam wa al-Zandaqa" - The Decisive Criterion for Distinguishing Islam from Heresy (or Masked Infidelity).

It's actually a really great read, especially the commentary by Dr. Sherman (Abdul-Hakim) Jackson. Very methodological, but also flows very well, giving great background on Ghazali's life, the development of his work, and the importance of his thought even today.

Dr. Jackson explains the importance of the book: "al-Ghazali's mission is to define the boundaries within which competing theologies can coexist in mutual recognition of each other, i.e., as 'orthodox,' in the sense of passing theological muster. Al-Ghazali's aim, in other words, is not to establish who among the theological schools is 'right', but rather to demonstrate the folly and unfairness of the practice of condemning a doctrine as heresy simply because it goes against one's own theology. Furthermore, he insists, even where a doctrine can be justifiably deemed 'wrong' or heretical, this does not necessarily constitute Unbelief."

It is a very important book, and i really recommend it to anyone interested in trying to make sense of all this stuff. It really helped me a lot, and made me see that this whole idea of who is right, and who is not, the notions people have of "haqq" (truth) and so on, are actually much more complex and deeper than at least I believed previously. I am sure for many others this will be the case too.

In it Ghazali (and Dr. Jackson) mention a number of interesting points. A few that i remember are:

1) Certain matters are Usul (foundations) and others are Furu (branches).
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
An excelent study of Ghazali's Faysal L Tafriqa. The author Dr Sherman Jackson carefully analyzes the context in which the book was written and shows how it is very relevant to our situations in modern times. He elaborates that "al-Ghazali's mission is to define the boundaries within which competing theologies can coexist in mutual recognition of each other, i.e., as 'orthodox,' in the sense of passing theological muster. Al-GhazAli's aim, in other words, is not to establish who among the theological schools is 'right', but rather to demonstrate the folly and unfairness of the practice of condemning a doctrine as heresy simply because it goes against one's own theology. Furthermore, he insists, even where a doctrine can be justifiably deemed 'wrong' or heretical, this does not necessarily constitute Unbelief." Everyone who is interested in reading a sober account of on-going theolgical disputes among contemporary muslims should pick this up.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Khalil on June 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Beginning with an excellent introduction, this translation of Ghazali's work is a valuable resource for intra-Muslim discourse, as it demonstrates that theological tolerance in determining orthodoxy is needed in order to take into account differing viewpoints within Islam, so long as certain precautionary measures are taken.
The introduction is great since it orients the reader and demonstrates the significance of Ghazali's work.
This book is fantastic and I hope to see more works from this author.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Imran Ahmed on March 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Must read for every Muslim, especially those who are trigger-happy with takfir (declaring a Muslim to be a kafir, or unbeliever). The author gives a great introduction putting many parts of the book in their proper context.
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