Page:Alchemyofhappiness en.djvu/15

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7
Introduction.

school of philosophy, we refer to his history and to the two essays, just mentioned. We would observe, very briefly however, that like most of the learned Mohammedans of his age, he was a student of Aristotle. While they regarded all the Greek philosophers as infidels, they availed themselves of their logic and their principles of philosophy to maintain, as far possible, the dogmas of the Koran. Ghazzali's mind possessed however Platonizing tendencies, and he affiliated himself to the Soofies or Mystics in his later years. He was in antagonism with men who to him appeared, like Avicenna, to exalt reason above the Koran, yet he himself went to the extreme limits of reasoning in his endeavors to find an intelligible basis for the doctrines of the Koran, and a philosophical basis for a holy rule of life. His character, and moral and intellectual rank are vividly depicted in the following extract from the writings of Tholuck, a prominent leader of the modern Evangelical school of Germany.

"Ghazzali," says Tholuck, "if ever any man have deserved the name, was truly a divine, and he may justly be placed on a level with Origen, so remarkable was he for learning and ingenuity, and gifted with such a rare faculty for the skillful and worthy exposition of doctrine. All that is good, noble and sublime, which his great soul had compassed, he bestowed upon Mohammedanism; and he adorned the doctrines of the Koran with so much piety and learning, that, in the form given them by him, they seem in my opinion worthy the assent of Christians. Whatsoever was most excellent in the philosophy of Aristotle or in the Soofi mysticism, he discreetly adapted to the Mohammedan theology. From every school, he sought the