Muslim Contributions to Philosophy

Al-Ghazali was born in 450 AH or between March 1058 to February 1059 CE with the original name of Abu Hamind ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali. To many Westerners he is known as Algazel. Al-Ghazali was a Muslim theologian, jurist, philosopher, and a mystic descending from the Persians.

Many Muslim scholars made acquiring knowledge their life goal. Perhaps the most notable of these scholars is Al-Ghazali, a Sufi Muslim who in the 11th and 12th centuries revolutionized early Islamic philosophy by helping develop Neoplatonism, which is often described as the “mystical” or “religious” interpretation of Greek philosophy. At the time of Al-Ghazali’s writing, Muslim philosophers had read about the ideas of ancient Greece, but these ideas were generally perceived to be in conflict with Islamic teachings. Al-Ghazali helped synthesize these elements by adopting the techniques of Aristotelian logic and the Neoplatonic ways to diminish the negative influences of excessive Islamic rationalism.