Truth Evident in the Many Beliefs of Al-Ghazali and Aquinas Essay

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Truth Evident in the Many Beliefs of Al-Ghazali and Aquinas At first glance the words “Tradition” and “tradition” may appear to be identical concepts. Upon further study, examination, and contemplation, however, these two words differ in their precise definitions. “Tradition” carries more weight and meaning than the word “tradition.” Similarly, “Truth” and “truth” do not denote the exact same principle. In fact, philosophers and religious scholars have been debating the origins of the latter two doctrines since the Middle Ages. The major dispute associated with “Truth” with a capital T and “truth” with a lower-case “t” focuses around the field of study in which each is used. According to two prominent thinkers of the…show more content…
The general stance of Al-Ghazali is that he eventually “departs from philosophy and becomes a Sufi mystic” (Inglis). Within Sufism, Al-Ghazali defined the difference between Ilham (inspiration) and Ta’allum (reasoning or learning). He believes that inspiration and revelation in union with religion hold a superior position than reasoning that originates from philosophy. Rational knowledge, according to Al-Ghazali, is always relative to the senses. The knowledge of the senses, however, cannot be trusted as valid. True knowledge, known as the Truth, only comes through inspiration and revelation (McCarthy 378). Al-Ghazali introduces the aspect of God, or Allah, in the acquisition of perfect knowledge. “Inspiration can bring one closer to Allah than philosophical learning alone” (Inglis). Ultimately, this idea of Ilham brings with it the Supreme Reality which is equivalent to Truth (McCarthy 378). In practical terms, Al-Ghazali believes that the necessary Truths of the intellect begin from “a light which God most high cast into my breast. That light is the key to the greater part of knowledge” (Al-Ghazali 25). An individual can only experience this light of God if he or she has reached the “state.” According to Al-Ghazali, when an individual is in the “state,” the Truth is revealed to him or her by the divine workings of Allah, and the knowledge of reason has no value. So how does one achieve this great “state?” This

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