Ghazali's Politics in Context
By Yazeed Said
Routledge – 2013 – 224 pages
Imam Abü Hamid al-Ghazali is perhaps the most celebrated Muslim theologian of medieval Islam yet little attention has been paid to his personal theology. This book sets out to investigate the relationship between law and politics in the writings of Ghazali and aims to establish the extent to which this relationship explains Ghazali’s political theology.
Articles concerned with Ghazali’s political thought have invariably paid little attention to his theology and his thinking about God, neglecting to ask what role these have contributed to his definition of politics and political ethics. Here, the question of Ghazali’s politics takes into account his thinking on God, knowledge, law, and the Koran, in addition to political systems and ethics.
Yazeed Said puts forward the convincing argument that if Ghazali’s legal and political epistemology provide a polemic analogous to his writings on philosophy, for which he is more famed, they would reveal to us a manifesto for an alternative order, concerned with a coherent definition of the community, or Ummah. This book will be an invaluable resource for students and scholars of the Middle East, political theology and Islamic studies.
1 Primary Scholarship on Ghazali and Law 2 Politics and Natural Law 3 The Foundation of Ghazali’s Society 4 Ethics and Society 5 Authority and Law Conclusion
Dr. Yazeed Said is an affiliated member of Faculty at McGill University in Montreal and a scholar in residence at Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem. He completed his PhD at Corpus Christi College in the University of Cambridge in 2010 and has lectured widely on subjects related to Ghazali, Islam, political theology, and contemporary issues relating to Israel and Palestine. A Palestinian born Israeli citizen, ordained as an Anglican priest; he has served in the diocese of Jerusalem, Cambridge, Vancouver, and Montreal.