Al-Ghazali’s Concept of Certainty and Modes of Its Accomplishment

By: Muhammad Zulqarnain Zulqar  

This paper encompassed a panorama of certainty and modes of its accomplishment in the light of Al-Ghazali’s teachings. The purpose of this research was to explore the view point of Imam Al-Ghazali about certainty and means of its attainment. The method used for the research was descriptive and qualitative. The review of literature revealed that probably Al-Ghazali was the first and only person in the history, who made such an extreme effort in the quest of certainty. First he put away all prevailing beliefs, got rid of presuppositions and then started his struggle in search of truth by studying, observing and critically analyzing the existing schools of thought as each group claimed to be saved. In search of truth, he did not rely upon believers only but equally regarded the opinions of non believers irrespective of their creed and religion. By having a look upon methodological framework, trial of different creeds and experience for errorless knowledge, the research concluded that Al-Ghazali, in the beginning of his journey, believed in two ways (logic & path of sufis) to attain certainty but later determined that certainty could only be attained by the means of mysticism which in his opinion, is to purify the lower self. Moreover he shared his experience and opened a gateway for further research by providing rational foundations for mystical experience.

Ghazali, Knowledge, Errorless , Certainty
Religious Foundations
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Muhammad Zulqarnain Zulqar

Lecturer, Islamic Studies, NUML, Islamabad, Pakistan
Punjab, Pakistan