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Ramadan: Akbar S Ahmad says Imam Ghazali was the biggest Muslim after prophet Muhammad SAW?

Akbar S Ahmad, famous writer and top bureaucrat of Pakistan
says Imam Ghazali has summarized the teachings of Quran in
such a way, that if everything is lost, Quranic teachings can be
reconstructed from his Ahyae uloomuddin and Chemistry of
good fortune.

Have you read any of Imam Ghazali's books?

Do you agree or do not agree with the conclusion of Akbar S
Brothers, Bengal, Chaudri, Jonathan

I am sure you have not read Imam Ghazal RA. It is intellectual dishonesty to comment upon work of an Aalim
without reading it.

I am talking about preserving the teachings of prophet Muhammad SAW. Can you name someone who
has achieved more than Imam Ghazali.
I have read Imam Ghazali Books and they enhance your faith and make acting on Quran and Sunnah easy.
He definitely had an access to guidance from Allah. Only a blessed soul can write such wonderful books.
It is a sign that you are criticizing the works of Imam Ghazali.
Do you know what a great scholar has said? if all Quran is lifted up by Allah and only surah Al-asr is left in the world, it is sufficient for guidance of humanity. It's a figure of speech.
Asked by Muhammad Javed
14:25 24/06/14
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Among the disasters of this Ummah is their disrespect toward the first generations.

If you're talking about the greatest Muslim in this Ummah after Prophet Muhammad shallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, why do you forget his Companions (Sahaba)? Why do you forget the four Rightly Guided Caliphs: Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, 'Uthman ibn 'Affan, and 'Ali ibn Abi Thalib? What about those who were promised with Jannah even when they were still alive: Abu Ubaidah, 'Abdurrahman ibn Awf, Talhah, Zubayr, Sa'id ibn Zaid, and Sa'ad ibn Abi Waqqas? As-Sabiqun al-Awwalun? The people who witness the battle of Badr, Uhud, and fought alongside the Prophet in many battles? Those who give their bay'ah under the tree? And the rest of Muhajirin and Ansar? They are our only connections to our Prophet and guardians of the Prophet teachings, aren't they?

And have you forgotten about the two generations after them: Tabe'een and Tabe' ut-Tabe'een, best generations after Sahaba? They produced the likes of 'Umar ibn 'Abdul 'Aziz, 'Atha ibn Yasar, Hasan al-Basri, Muhammad ibn Sirin, Tawus ibn Kaisan, Abu Hanifa, Malik ibn Anas, Ash-Shafee'ee, 'Abdurrahman ibn Mahdi, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, and ton others? Have you forgotten the guardians of the Prophet Sunnah, the scholars of hadith, the likes of al-Bukharee, Muslim, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa'ee, Abu Dawud, ibn Majah, al-Hafizh ibn Hajar al-'Asqalanee, ibn Rajab al-Hanbalee, and those whose books still being used as references today? Have you forgotten the commentators of the Qur'an: ibn 'Abbas, ibn Mas'ood, Mujahid, 'Ikrimah, at-Tabari, al-Baghawi, ibn Katheer, al-Qurthubee, and those whose books give us more understanding of the Book of Allah? Or Shaikh ul-Islam ibn Taimiyyah and his student, ibn al-Qayyim, who wrote tons and tons of books about various parts of Islam?

I have read Ihyaa 'Ulumuddeen by al-Ghazalee raheemahullaah and so did many scholars before me. Many of them criticized this book because there are tons of dha'eef (weak) and maudhu (fake) hadiths inside it, such as al-Hafizh al-'Iraqi and Ibn al-Jawzee who actually knew more about hadith than al-Ghazalee. Ibn al-Jawzee even wrote a similar book with more sahih hadith than Ihyaa called Minhaj ul-Qasideen which was summarised into Mukhtasar Minhaj ul-Qasideen by ibn Quddamah al-Maqdisee. You can check it out, it came with similar format but more trustworthy hadith. Even al-Ghazalee before his death was studying Shaheeh al-Bukharee and regretted ever putting the way of philosophers and sufi before the way of those who follow the Sunnah and hadith.

Actually, I am more disturbed by Akbar's claim that al-Ghazalee works can replace all Islamic teachings if all other books are lost. In other words, he claims that al-Ghazalee works alone is enough to match all other books written by scholars of hadith and fiqh before (and after) him. Did he forget how many books various scholars have written?

If there is anything that can replace any other books, except of course the Qur'an itself, it is obviously the hadith books, as it collect the teachings of the Prophet himself and all other books were and are written based on the Qur'an and Sunnah. It should be Shaheeh al-Bukharee and Shaheeh Muslim, the two books which the scholars agree as the most trustworthy books after the Book of Allah (Qur'an).

And seriously, exaggeration is bad. Read other books by other scholars who follow the teaching of Qur'an Sunnah, and Sahaba. Expand your horizon. And you will begin to see that there are thousands of scholars that surpass al-Ghazalee. And this is not belittling al-Ghazalee, he did not even claim he was better than other scholars.


I did not deny that al-Ghazali rahimahullah is a scholar, and that his works contribute to this Ummah. Let's be clear on that. Do not accuse me of belittling al-Ghazali or his books.

What I disagree with is your and Akbar's exaggeration on al-Ghazali and his books over the rest of scholars. You two made it seem as though al-Ghazali is the best among the scholars or that his works is the only thing that can enhance your iman or replace other scholars work if everything is lost even if it is just a figure of speech.

There are thousands scholars before and after al-Ghazali with millions of works that have benefited this Ummah. There were many scholars with more knowledge than him. There are many books with better authenticity and benefit more to this Ummah than his works. You can read many books that can enhance your iman and your knowledge to the Qur'an and Sunnah, al-Ghazali books are not the best among them.

There are no scholars or any of their works free from criticism. Only the Qur'an is free from fault. What I did point to you is the fact that al-Ghazali books contain many dha'eef and maudhu' hadith that prevent it to become "the best" works among other scholars'. Do not think every time someone criticize a scholar means they are belittling him. Sometimes, they only want to benefit him and this Ummah. Ibn al-Jawzi even create a more authentic version of Ihya 'Ulumuddin called Minhaj al-Qasidin so this Ummah will benefit from it.

I repeat once again, try to read other scholars' books. Many will benefit you and your iman. Read books about aqeedah, tafseer, hadith, fiqh, and others. Islam is far more wider to confine in one scholar book.

Answered by Irfan
14:25 24/06/14
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