Al-Ghazali's integral epistemology: A critical analysis of the jewels of the Quran

Amani Mohamed Elshimi


The Jewels of the Quran by renowned Islamic scholar Abu Hamid al-Ghazali has usually been published as a two-volume publication, consisting of al-Ghazali’s hierarchy of sciences, followed by a thematic classification of verses from the Quran. A recent edition of the book includes a third chapter which is often published alone as The Book of Forty Religious Principles, but which al-Ghazali makes reference to in his introduction. A thorough, contextualized, critical analysis of the 3-chapter publication reveals al-Ghazali’s more comprehensive integral framework of knowledge – one which stems from and is held by a core experience of the Divine, and where levels of knowledge, practice, intuition, endowed spiritual states and evolving stations form an integral cycle of learning. The new outline of Al-Ghazali’s theory explains his earlier skepticism and emotional crisis, and justifies his post-crisis views on the methodologies of philosophy, science, mysticism and law.