Can you tell me about Imam Abu Hamid al-Gazali?
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.
Abu Hamid al-Gazali (May Allah have Mercy on him) was a scholar and jurist of Muslims even though he was a leader of Ashairah and head of the Sufi. He was also a philosopher and logician though he later wrote a book against philosophy. One of his known students Abu Bakr al-Arabi said: 'Our Sheik first swallowed philosophy then he tried to vomit it but he could not do so'.
Al-Gazali wrote many books some of which contained useful material and others did not. Sheik Abu Umar Bin al-Salah said: 'His books contain deviated matters, which the scholars of his school of Fiqh did not agree with them'.
Imam Zahabi wrote about his books that they contain many afflictions, which could not be cured.
Zahabi also wrote about his known book Ihya ul-Uloom (The revival of the religious sciences). 'There are many weak Ahadith in this book. If this book did not contain traditions and etiquattes of Sufisum and philosophers it would be considered a good book'.
Zahabi wrote in his biography 'May Allah have Mercy upon Al-Gazali; now where is a person similar to him? But we do not claim that any person could be free from committing mistakes or errors. Following a person in his mistakes is not permissible.
Therefore a Muslim could derive benefits from his books, especially in Fiqh and Usool ul-Fiqh avoiding his mistakes. On the other hand, good knowledge is always an objective of the Muslim so he should accept it regardless of its source.
Allah knows best.
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