📘 Book Title Ghazalis Unique Unknowable God
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🖨️ Total Pages71
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🌐 LanguageEnglish
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GHAZALI’S UNIQUE UNKNOWABLE GOD 

A PHILOSOPHICAL CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF SOME OF THE PROBLEMS RAISED BY GHAZALI’S VIEW OF GOD AS UTTERLY UNIQUE AND UNKNOWABLE 

BY FADLOU SHEHADI

GHAZALI’S UNIQUE UNKNOWABLE GOD

The view that the divine is unique and unknowable is not recent in the history of religious ideas, nor is it limited to any particular 

religion. 

Similarly, an awareness of the philosophic problems raised by such a view of the divine is to be found at different times in history and in more than one tradition ot religious thought. 

However, it is in the Western philosophical tradition where the treatment of such problems has been most systematic and rigorous, reflecting in part the fullness and fearlessness with which some Western thinkers — 

by no means all— were willing to see and state the logical consequences of maintaining that the divine is utterly different and mysterious. 

In Islam the doctrine of the uniqueness or utter difference ( mukhalafah ) of God, and the  consequent view of the mystery or unknowability of His nature, are basic and explicit. 

While there is undoubtedly an awareness among Muslim thinkers, as well as among Western writers on Islam, of some of the philosophic problems posed by the conception of a unique unknowable God, there is no sustained systematic exploration of such problems, especially of the way in which that 

conception of God has logical bearing on the character of Islam as a theistic religion. 

In our present undertaking we concern ourselves with some of these philosophical problems, all more or less familiar ones.

 But we raise and discuss them in terms of the thought system of one Muslim 

thinker, Abu-Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 1111 A. D.). 

Yet Ghazali’s place in Islam is sufficiently important and representative that much of 

what will be said about him has Islamic application outside the confines of his thought. 

We raise four related problems. 

The first concerns the logical consistency of the very conception of an utterly unique and unknowable God. 

How is it possible to set 

such a limit to thinking without knowing what is beyond the limit and thus contradicting oneself? 

The second problem arises when Ghazali maintains that man was created in the Image of God and that man must seek to become like

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