William Alexander McCall, the son of Thomas and Emmeline Sangster McCall, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, September the Third, 1897. A graduate of the Providence Technical High School, he entered Lafayette College in the fall of 1919 and received the degree of A. B. in June, 1923.
In May, 1926, he completed his course of studies at Princeton Seminary with the degree of Th. B., as well as meeting the requirements for the degree of M. A. in Semitics from Princeton University.
Appointed in the spring of 1926 to serve under the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions in Syria, he arrived at Beirut in September of that year. After two years of language study in Beirut, he was assigned to Tripoli, where, with the exception of a year of furlough study spent at Hartford in 1931-32, he was principal of the Tripoli Boys' School. The present work, begun at Hartford, was continued in Syria and completed during a year of residence at tae Hartford Seminary Foundation in 1939-40 until the summer of 1939.
TABLE OF CONTEN TS
A. A Biographical Sketch of al-GhazzAli iv
B. Al-Ghazzali's Dependence on Abu lib
C-. A Partial Analysis of the Kitab al-'Ilm xvii
D. A Summary of the Book of Knowledge 1
THE AUTHOR'S INTRODUCTION I
His Table of Contents of the Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din 5
His Division of the Seven Parts of the Book
of Knowledge 14
I. THE EXCELLENCE OF KNOWLEDGE AND TEACHING WITH 16
10. Most of their discussion should be about practical knowledge and about what corrupts it and confounds hearts and incites satanic thoughts and stirs up evil
11. In regard to their knowledge, their dependence should be on their intelligence arid on their understanding with purity of heart,
not on pamphlets and books and not on imi
tation of what they hear from others 327
12. They should be strictly on their guard
against new things, even if a great many should agree on them; and (not be deceived by) people's agreement on what has happened after the time of the Companions
VII. PART SEVEN CONCERNS I ?TELLIGE:i' CE , ITS N03ILITY,
ITS VERACITY, AND ITS DIVISIONS 346
A. An Exposition of the Nobility of Intelligence 346
x3. An Exposition of the Veracity and Divisions
of Intelligence 0.
The name al-'aql is ascribed to four ideas:
1). That quality by which roan is differentiated from the rest of the animals and by which he is prepared to receive the speculative sciences and to manage the hidden reflective arts
2. The knowledge which comes into existence
In the essence of a child (dhat al-tifl) which distinguishes between the possibility of the possible and the impossibility of the impossible
3. Knowledge acquired from the experience of
passing circumstances 356
4. The power of this natural disposition leads
one to know the issue of affairs and to tame and conquer his appetite which tempts him
to follow fleeting delight 357
C. An Exposition of People's Disparity in
Intelligence a_ 363
_NOT'ES TO THE Kitab al-' Ilm :, . Bibliography
A. A Biographical Sketch of al-Ghazzall
When directly in front of me lie approximately ten
books and articles which treat the life of our author, Abu Hami,d Muhammad Bin Muhal mad Bin Muhammad a.1-Ghazzall (450)/1058-505/1111), it would be preseumption on my part to do more than mention the bibliography and add a few observations on certain points.
Though reputed to have been of a critical and sceptical turn of mind even in his youth, he must have absorbed much of the spirit of Sufiism from his early surroundings which prepared him to receive it in his later life, when he was dissatisfied with the results of theology and speculation. So his experience resembles that of a youth, nurtured under the sweet influence of a simple homely relig,iou faith, who goes off to school where more critical ideas disturb his heart and leave him dissatisfied, until he returns again to the shelter of his earlier religious experiences.
In one sense he was not a thorough-going Sflft, because
the influence of theological speculation. He was a mystic
who emphasized the importance of knowledge and learning, having zealously sought it himself. This is illustrated by
one of the traditions which he uses in this book. About
al-Junaid, al-Sari said, "May Allah make you a possessor of tradition as a Sufi, and not make you a Sufi who is a
possessor of tradition", thus indicatin that one who first
acquires tradition and learning and then becomes a Sufi will
succeed, while whoever beco.7es a Sufi before obtaining knowl
edge exposes himself to danger.
He himself became a Sufi after having acquired a solid
foundation of learning which undoubtedly prevented him from
indulging in many excesses of the Sufis and contributed much
to his ability to mediate between unsympathetic orthodox Muslims and the mystical Sufis and finally set ~ufiism on an accredited basis in Islam.
He speaks thus about his zeal for learning, "Accept this advice from one who spent his whole life in it and out
stripped his predecessors in respect to writing, investigating, disputing, and proving. Then, inspiring him to ,think
aright, Allah made him see his fault and forsake it."
In his spiritual crisis and inner struggle about re
linquishing his position at Baghdad many of the Sufi pre5
cepts mentioned in this book were undoubtedly before his
mind: "The learned should avoid mingling with sultans and
not visit them at all as long as there is a way of escape 6
from them"; "The learned are the messengers' trustees for
the people, as long as they do not mingle with the sultans. 7 When they do that, they are unfaithful to the messengers':;
and "If you see a learned person who likes the present world, consider him to be against your religion."
One can imagine his acquaintances trying to persuade him not to give up his position and using his argument: "In exhorting and visiting them you may be able to lead
them out of wrongdoing and establish some perceptions of 9
the divine law", but more than the praise of man was his
fear of his Lord, and he wanted to draw nigh to Him. So the only thing for him to do was to follow his conscience.
Yet for him to be a Sufi did not mean the neglect of study which he continued to the end as de Boer points out: "His closing years were chiefly devoted to pious contemplation and the study of the traditions, which as a youth he
could never remember. A beautifully complete and rounded 10 life, in which the end comes back to the beginning.'=
And what is more beautiful than the account of his death which I quote from Macdonald's Life of al-shazzali, "On aonday, at dawn, my brother performed the ablution and prayed. Then he said, 'Bring me my grave-clothes', and he took them and kissed them, and laid them on his eyes and
said, 'I hear and obey to go in to the King.' And he stretched out his feet and went to meet Him, and was taken
11 to the good will of God Most High."
B. Al-GhazzAli's Dependence on
Abu Talib al-4akki
Al-Ghazzd1i's Position in Islam is indicated by the
tradition quoted by both Scherer and Zwemer: "If there had
been a prophet after Mohammed, it surely would have been al12
"In the opinion of his compatriots", said Schmolders, "hi,s great work, the Revival of the Religious Sciences, of which he always speaks with pride, is his greatedright to
honor. This was the book which earned him the honorary
title 'Proof of Islam' and which was in such vogue among
the faithful that, according to the testimony of one of his biographers, the Muslims were wont to say, 'If all Islam should come to be lost, the loss will be of small import, provided that this work remains. 'U 13
That his works were well known goes without saying. Even today his books are in great vogue in Arabic speaking
countries, while some of them have been translated into
various tongues such as Spanish, Italian, German, French,
and -English; and Schmolders notes Logica et philosophia
Algazelis Arabic, a poorly done Latin translation of
,i'Y ru '1-'llm which appeared as early as 1506, the year
of Columbus' death, but which had become so rare that nei14 them Tiedemann nor Tennemann knew it
Al-Ghazzall has enjoyed and continues to enjoy great renown, as has been indicated; yet there are some who would diminish his fame somewhat by pointing out that he was not such an original scholar as had been supposed.
Writing in 1.842 Auguste Schmolders pointed out that
arrangement of other works. Paraphrased, the passage reads thus: "In this book---he does not seek to oppose them with
arguments drawn from his own philosophy: gathering various
criticisms made by others, he simply arranges them in such
a way as to show that the opinion of one philosopher contradicts that of another, that such and such a system over
turns another; in short, that among the philosophers dissent' reigns perpetually. Such was his aim; so the author himself
declares at the close of the first chapter of his book; and, the remarkable thing is that no modern writer whom I know has noticed this passage; otherwise one should have re
frained from showering on Ghazzali titles which absolutely
do not belong to him and his reputation of philosopher would have been less elevated. The book, Tahafutu 'Z-Fala-
sifa, even as a compilation would not be able to give its author celebrity, for nearly all that is gathered together in it is borrowed from the scholastic theologians who, long
before Ghazza.ll, had hurled the same arguments at the i•°ius
lim philosophers; Ghazzali has simply brought them togeth
er in an orderly manner and given them a kind of methodical arrangement. " 15
Orientalists of the West have realized for some time that the great "Proof of Islam" had drawn from various earlier sources in compiling his own voluminous writings.
In her article, The Forerunner of al-Ghazztll, "Mar
garet Smith begins with this statement: "In his al-Munkidh rein al-Dalal al-Ghazall states that he studied the works of
a1-14uhasibi, together with those of Abu Ta1ib al-JMakki, alJunayd, Shibli, and Abu Yazid al-Biatami, and of these Harith b. Asad al-Muhasibi (ob. 243/857) was the earliest and
the most prolific writer, and to him al-Ghazali owes more
of his teaching than has been generally realized, and much that, hasbeen attributed to al-Ghazall as representing his original ideas, is in fact based upon the earlier teaching:: of a1-Muhasibl and, in many instances, is directly borrowed from him."
"This seems to have been the case witha good deal of al-Ghazdli's eschat4logical teaching, for passa~;e after
passage in, e.g. the Durrat al-Fakhira shows a close resemblance to the contents of al-Muhasibi's al-Ba'th wa 'l-Nushur (MS. Paris, 1913) and the Kitab al-Tawahhum (MS. Oxford Hunt. 611). But it is in his ascetical and mystical teaching that al-Ghazali has built most obviously upon the foundations laid by al-Muhasibi, with an occasional acknowledgment of his indebtedness, but more often by the simple appropriation of al-vIuhasibl's definitions, doctrines, and illustrations, to serve his own purposes. In the account which al-Ghazali gives of his own religious experience, culminating in his conversion, he has very obviously taken al
Muhzsibl's account of his spiritual difficulties and experi16
ences as his model.'
In the Encyclopaedia of Islam Masignon, writing a biographical sketch of Abu Talib Muhammad Bin 'All al-HArithi al-Makki, states, "His principal work is Qt a1-Qulub (Cairo 1310, 2 vols.) whole pages of which have been copied by alGhazall into his Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din." 17
Again in the same work Brockelmann, writing a notice on al-Raghib al-IsfahRni, said, "As a quotation in the preface shows, he had already written his principal work on Ethics, Kitab al-Dhari'a ila Makarim al-Shari'a before the
Kitab Mufradat; al-Ghazzali is said to have always had a copy 18
of this by him."
"Without attempting a complete review", Nicholson says in apeaking of the Kitab al-Luma'., "I would mention as especially novel or noteworthy the chapters on 6uf:istic inter - preiation (istinbQ) of the Koran and the Hadith; those on audition and ecstasy, which embody excerpts from the lost
KitRb al-ward of Abu Said b. al-A'rabi and (which) have 19 been utilized by Ghazzali in the Ihya; ---."
In his Essai, commenting on a1-Ruhasibi's Ri'ayah,
4assignon states in a footnote, "A comparison with Makkl (lat al-qulub) and Ghazzall (Ihya'_) is highly instructive. Nakki gives only a feeble reproduction of Chap. iv (i,75),