By Farouk Mitha
Al-Ghazali is arguably some of the most influential thinkers within the historical past of Islam, and his writings have acquired higher scholarly awareness within the West than these of the other Muslim student. This learn explores a big size of his proposal that has now not but been totally tested, specifically, his polemical engagement with the Ismailis of the Fatimid and early Alamut periods.Published in organization with The Institute of Ismaili reports.
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Extra resources for Al-Ghazali and the Ismailis: A Debate on Reason and Authority in Medieval Islam
Thereafter it consolidated into an intellectual class within Fatimid society. At the height of Fatimid power the da™wa had become an elaborate organization with the dual mandate of, on the one hand, administering and directing the religious affairs of the Fatimid empire and, on the other, of maintaining a strategic programme of conversion outside the Fatimid empire. In effect, the Fatimid da™wa had two distinct faces, one belonging to the centre and the other to the periphery. At the centre, which was Cairo, it was headed by the då™í aldu™åt (chief då™í) who, in terms of authority and status, stood on an equal footing with the Fatimid wazír.
Al-Ghazålí’s writings on the Ismailis were undoubtedly polemical through and through. Yet, especially in the K. al-Mustaúhirí, the polemical confrontation went beyond the merely defensive or reactive, but could be characterized as a ‘thinking through’ of the Ismaili (or al-Ta™límiyya) challenge. This ‘thinking through’ sought systematically to dismantle the fundamental Shi™i claims of the ta™lím doctrine, which, in turn, cleared the ground for a 26 Al-Ghazålí and the Ismailis corresponding clarification of Sunni claims – claims which, as is amply borne out in al-Ghazålí’s writings, were just as much in need of a ‘thinking through’.
As regards the difference between waqf and iq†å™, apart from the fact that one is a charitable trust and the other a revenuegenerating assignment of land, there is also a further distinction arising from the fact that the founder of a waqf stipulated not only the conditions of administration but also the exact terms of its inheritance and perpetuity. The amír in control of an iq†å™ had no such rights: every iq†å™ was subject to the Qur¢anic laws of inheritance and its legal status was specified by the prevailing opinions of the fuqahå¢ (jurists).