Beginnings and Intensions.

What brings Ibn Rushd and al-Ghazali to the net.

Perhaps al-Ghazali did not know that his work would spark off a debate among the Muslims that would continue for many years after his life but it has. Ibn Rushd wanted to have the final say on this matter and perhaps it did. For not many in the Muslim world touched the kind of philosophy that al-Ghazali attacked in his work. Sure philosophy was done in the Muslim world but most of it was the Sufi type and it was not Aristotelian. The Ottoman Sultan Muhammad Fatih commissioned a study to be made of these books just to figure out who really won the debate. Only one of these was published the other is still in manuscript form. However, history has proved who won that debate.

Here I present for my edification and perhaps some others a research that concerned me regarding the works of these two giants in the field of philosophy. 

I wanted to read these works for a long time and they require quit an effort. I know that the Arabic is not easy to understand. I found a critical edition edited by Prof. Dunya who edited both of these works and a predecessor, namely the work of Ibn Sina, the famed “Ishart”. Prof. Dunya had written a study of al-Ghazali and all his writing with the exception of the ‘Ihya’. Prof. Dunya was the head of the department of philosophy at al-Azhar and a lecturer in Isul ad-Din. He taught students the tahafut of al-Ghazali.

While looking for ancillary works to help me gain further insight into these works a new translation of al-Ghazali’s tahafut was published. This translation is professor Marmaura who is professor of Islamic Studies. This new translation is superior and a more accurate work under the able hands of a scholar. 

In his introduction to the work he pointed out that the translator of Ibn Rushd’s Tahafut –much to my dismay and shock-had committed many errors in reading al-Ghazali’s text. This sparked in me an idea of inserting Marmura’s translation into the translation of Ibn Rushd. This task as not as daunting as it may see at first since Ibn Rushd on more than one occasion ends up quoting  al-Ghazali verbatim.

What you have here is just the text of Ibn Rusd’s work. Simon Van Den Bergh had extensive commentary in footnotes that occupied a separate volume. However the way that the footnotes were organized was in a mad fashion. The footnotes are numbered numerically on each page. The numbers were reset on each new page. This would not translate well into the web without reformatting the whole thing. Reformatting it would be a most ardorus and time consuming task. 

At any rate if you want the footnote your better off just getting the book from a good university library then. If I had a choice of not having the text with the footnotes or with having the text alone I would chose the latter. Someday I might find the time to bring in the notes but that would take much more time than I can afford at this time. If any one out there is interested in this just e-mail me and let me know.

 Necessary Changes:

I have replaced the rather archaic spelling of some words that are in the translation for example: Koran became Qur’an. Further Muhammedan become Muslim. Why? It reads better for me. Enough already! Other than that the text is pretty much the same. Al-Ghazali's quotes are in Red. This version that is here is the original I have yet to insert the text of Marmura. That is forthcoming.



Regarding the copyright. I have no intention of infringing on any copyright that the translations have. I have purchased copies of these books and it is for educational purposes that I post these works. Please be aware that the works are copyrighted by the copyright holder. Bergh’s translation is copyrighted by E. J. W. Gibb memorial trust meanwhile the al-Ghazali’s translation is copyrighted by the Brigham Young University. I am not seeking any monetary gain by this I am simply trying to read these works! Anybody out there don't make my life any harder then it really is, just enjoy this stuff and be bloody thankful its here!


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New York, 5/16/01, revised on 11/29/01


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