He is Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad at-Tūsi, Abu Hāmid al-Ghazzāli, with double 'z' as stated by Ibn as-Sam‘āni, Ibn al-Athīr, An-Nawawi, Ibn Khallikān, Ibn Daqīa al-‘Īd, Adh-Dhahabi, As-Subki, As-Sakhāwi, and Al-Murtada az-Zabīdi. There is a difference of opinion in this regard; however, this is the approved opinion. He was born in 450 AH. He was a Shāfi‘i and an Usūli scholar of Fiqh (specialized in studying the fundamentals of Fiqh). He authored many books like 'Ihyā’ ‘Ulūm ad-Dīn' and 'Al-Mustasfa fi Usūl al-Fiqh'. He wrote Fiqh books like 'Al-Wajīz', 'Al-Wsīt', and 'Al-Basīt'. He engaged in philosophy, but then he gave it up and refuted its claims. Then, he engaged in what is called '‘Ilm al-Kalām' (scholastic theology) and he mastered its principles and introductions, but again, he refrained from it after finding out its corruption and contradictions and its people's futile arguments. He was a Mutakallim (scholastic theologian) during the period when he rebutted the philosophers' claims and he was, thus, called 'Hujjat al-Islam' because he succeeded in confuting them. Later, he followed the Bātinyyah (esoteric) Sect and learned their sciences; but then, he renounced their beliefs and exposed their invalidity and exposed how they manipulate the Shariah texts and rulings. After that, he adopted Sufism. Ibn as-Salāh said about him: "Abu Hāmid said a lot, and a lot was said about him. As for these books - referring to his books which contradict the truth - they are not worthy of looking into; and as for the man himself, nothing should be said about him and his affairs should be entrusted to Allah." Adh-Dhahabi said: "He wrote the book of 'At-Tahāfut' in criticizing the philosophers and exposing them. He agreed with them on certain points assuming that this was right or that it complies with religion. He had no knowledge of the textual reports and no experience of the Prophetic Sunnah that refutes reason. He was addicted to reading 'Rasā’il Ikhwān as-Safa' (Epistles of the Brethren of Purity), which is an incurable evil, a fatal illness, and a deadly poison. Had it not been for his high intelligence and his ultimate sincerity, he would have gone astray. So, beware of such books and flee with your religion from the misconceptions of the past or else you may fall into the pit of confusion." Abu Bakr ibn al-‘Arabi said: "Our Shaykh Abu Hāmid had swallowed the philosophers, but when he wanted to vomit them up, he could not." Al-Qādi ‘Iyād said: "Shaykh Abu Hāmid, the one with the horrible reports and terrible writings, had exaggerated in adopting Sufism and was devoted to supporting their doctrine and became a preacher in this regard. He wrote his famous book - referring to 'Al-’Ihyā’' - on this topic and was criticized for certain points therein, and many thought ill about him, and Allah knows best about his intention. Our Sultan's command was implemented, and the scholars of Fiqh issued a Fatwa that it (his book) should be burnt and abandoned, and this is what happened." Ibn al-Jawzi said: "Abu Hāmid authored 'Al-Ihyā’' and filled it with false Hadīths, without knowing that they were false. He also talked about Kashf (inspiration on some matters of the unseen) and he trespassed the law of Fiqh." He died in 505 AH.
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