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Title: Al-Shaykh Muḥammad al-Ghazālī : a dā'iyah caught between traditionalism and modernity
Author: Mohammad, Ibrahim Khalid Ibrahim Darwish
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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Shaykh Muhammad Al-Ghazali (1917-1996) was one of the most influential figures of twentieth century Islamic activism. He was an Azharite who embodied the traditional teachings of Al-Azhar and was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood until his expulsion in 1954. He described himself as a dā'iyah, while his followers considered him a thinker and reformer. His career has spanned more than half a century during which he wrote more than sixty books covering many aspects of Islamic thought, mainly the dilemma faced by Muslims in modern times due to their lack of understanding of the sources of their religion. This thesis will show how al-Ghazali presented his critique of the Muslim mind, and explore as well as analyse his life, the forces that shaped and exposed him to the issues he would later tackle, the development of thematic interpretation of the Qur'ān and his contribution to this field through his thematic commentary of the Qur'ān. His views on sunna is examined as well as the way he re-evaluated certain aḥādīth considered by the muḥaddithūn as sound, thus putting him at odds with salafī forces in Saudi Arabia. Al-Ghazali's views on theology, namely kalām, Sufism, salafiyya, the place of reason in Islam, issues concerning women and their rights in Islam, as well as his views on women's participation in public life, their political rights, women's testimony and the status of Muslim women's marriages to non-Muslims will also be looked at. This thesis explores how al-Ghazali revised his ideas over time to take into account the events unfolding before him and developments in the world, as well as in reflection of his own maturity as a thinker. It propounds the view that with the advent of the recent Arab Spring his outlook is now needed more than ever before.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral