Al-Ghazali and the Qur'an : One Book, Many Meanings book cover
1st Edition

Al-Ghazali and the Qur'an
One Book, Many Meanings

ISBN 9780415663946
Published March 8, 2011 by Routledge
176 Pages

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Book Description

This book is the first of its kind to focus entirely on the Qur’anic interpretation of Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (1058-1111), a towering figure of Sunni Islam. Martin Whittingham explores both al-Ghazali’s hermeneutical methods and his interpretations of particular Quranic texts, and covers al-Ghazali’s mystical, legal and theological concerns.

Divided into two parts:

  • part one examines al-Ghazali’s legal and Sufi theoretical discussions
  • part two asks how these theories relate to his practice, analysing the only three of al-Ghazali’s works which are centrally concerned with interpreting particular Qur’anic passages: Jawahir al-Qur’an (The Jewels of the Qur’an); Al-Qist as al-mustaqim (The Correct Balance); and Mishkat al-anwar (The Niche for Lights).

Providing a new point of access to the works of al-Ghazali, this book will be welcomed by scholars and students of Islamic studies, religious studies, hermeneutics, and anyone interested in how Muslims understand the Qur’an.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Al-Ghazali’s Hermeneutical Theories  1. ‘The Activities of This World’ (I): Fays Al Al-Tafriqa Bayna’l-Islam Wa’l-Zandaqa  2. ‘The Activities of This World’ (Ii): Al Mustas Fa Min ‘Ilm Ul  3. ‘The Activities of the Hereafter’: Four Texts Showing Sufi Influence  Part 2: Al-Ghazali’s Hermeneutical Practice  4. ‘Sailing to the Midst of the Fathomless Ocean’: Jawahir Al-Qur’an  5. ‘Syllogisms as the Steps to Heaven’: Al-Qist Al-Mustaqim  6. ‘The Coherence of the Philosopher’: Mishkat Al-Anwar




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Martin Whittingham is currently working with Muslim-Christian Links, based in Edinburgh.


'This is undoubtedly a well-researched book which marks a milestone in the thriving study of al-Ghazali and, more importantly, in the study of classical Muslim hermeneutics.' - SHURUQ NAGUIB, University of Lancaster, UK - Journal of Semitic Studies, vol 54, no 2, August 2009