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

Al-Ghazali and the Qur'an

One Book, Many Meanings, 1st Edition

By Martin Whittingham


162 pages

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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.


'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

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

About the Series

Culture and Civilization in the Middle East

This series studies the Middle East through the twin foci of its diverse cultures and civilizations. Comprising original monographs as well as scholarly surveys, it covers topics in the fields of Middle Eastern literature, archaeology, law, history, philosophy, science, folklore, art, architecture and language. While there is a plurality of views, the series presents serious scholarship in a lucid and stimulating fashion.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / Islam / Law
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies