Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Discuss the contributions of Imam Ghazali as a social thinker

Imam Ghazali 

Bibliographical Sketch :
Abu Muhammad bin Muhammad Al-Ghazali has an important place among Muslim thinkers of social and political thought. His honour lies in the skill of dialects and philosophy.‘ In addition to Islamic world, Western thinkers of social and political thought also recognize his grandeur and get guidance from his thoughts in many problems. He was born in Toos city of Kharasan in 1085. He got knowledge to his fill from the institutions of Jurjan, Nishapur and Baghdad. He remained a minister in the court of Sultan-ul-Muluk Shah Suljooqi because of his ability and wisdom. He taught in Madrassa Nizamia and afterwards he established his own school and died in Toos city in 1139.
His topic of teaching was politics. However, his thoughts in sociological learning are effective. He wrote many books on different breaches of knowledge including religion, philosophy, logic, didactics, theology, hadith, tafseer and declamatory speeches. His famous books are lhyai Aloom, Kimiai Saadat and
Fateh-ul-Aloom which contain sociological and political thoughts.

Social Thoughts:
The center of his thoughts whether political or sociological, is social life. His sociological thoughts are even today a great wealth of sociology. A few of these are given below :

1. Concept of Social Life :
Imam Ghazali has presented a very valuable theory and concept of social life. He has discussed the individual character in detail in the formulation of society and to fulfil his.basic needs. The important points of which are given below :

1. Man is though social but as far as his natural quality is not brought into action, this quality remains meaningless.

2. Social life has two reasons at its base. Survival of self or generation and fulfilment of necessities of life.

3. Social life is evolutionary: Man by making progress has reached the limit from where retreat is difficult rather the characteristics of being social have taken practical shape and evolution will continue in them.

4. Four things are necessary to human for being social :
i. food for preserving life.
ii. Suitable dress to save from severe weather changes.
iii. Provision of residence.
iv. Profession and trade for economy.

5. Mutual relation to live an integrated social life for stability and pleasantness, justice is necessary. Mutual relation fulfils all needs and plays an important part. Without this, life cannot be complete stages of evolution.

6. A society should be divided into three parts to maintain social life. According to Imam Ghazali, the first class should consist of agriculturist herds men and skilled people - weavers, masons and artisans of other
articles. The second class should consist of Soldiers and administrators of matters and the third class should consist of learned people writers and scholars.

7. Social life is the name of competition and every person tries to exceed the other. These feelings of competition give rise to social evolution.
Imam Ghazali is the first Muslim political and social philosopher who thought society quite according to the demands of human nature. He not only admits men social but being social is his obligation that has been produced by himself and this obligation is increased more when he gave evolution to social life. Social life has differentiated between man and animal. Imam Ghazali says that need of a person increases as he busies himself in worldly matters and the fulfilment of these needs ,cause social progress and evolution.

2. Social Action :
Imam Ghazali says regarding social action that the difference between men and animal is to achieve the stages of progress by using sense and to adopt different skills and arts to complete his needs respectively. Imam Ghazali holds that the need of man and woman for the survival of race is necessary and to use
woman to reproduce is not sufficient but she can do many social actions with man and she should give these duties but conditions should be produced as to create ability to get education from them. He further holds that the classification of human beings should be based on their skill and art and to teach them skills must
be made to promote these arts.

3. Theory of Justice :
According to Imam Ghazali, justice is a social security, entrusted by God to rulers and God does not like that the ruled should be subjected to cruelty because of authority and superiority, because people do not know their unjust desires and he holds that the progress and stability of every country depends upon justice. There is no example in the history where injustice produced stability and progress of a country. Justice is such an element that promotes progress, welfare of a society and that there is satisfaction among the individuals of a society.
According to his saying, where there is economical unbalance and injustice, there will be no trust of people on the rulers and there will be no rest and peace. There will be no pleasantness in the lives of the people and they Will not be sure of the safety of their rights. Its result will appear at that time when an external force attacks that state to capture it because people will not side with the ruler of the time.

Imam Ghazali has quoted examples of political conditions of many states in his book ‘Kimiai Saadat’ where states suffering from injustice of rulers sided with external attackers by their own will.

1. Ruler or justice should not be impressed by the social status or position of the parties and should be impartial to have the confidence of the parties.

2. The justice should not be prejudiced religiously and while deciding a case human values should be kept in view.

3. The justice should encourage the parties because doing justice for help will create a passion of loyalty to love and virtue and crimes will decrease, cruelty will be uprooted and the rights of the people will be given to them.

4. The justice should be simple, free from pomp and show life and should get means of living in a just manner. Lavish expensive style of life hinders justice because lavishness is such a taste which increases day by day.

5. A justice should avoid delay in deciding matters because delay encourages cruelty and the cruelty stricken is discouraged and this creates a problem for law and order.

6. No justice should have false slow and pride because it creates anger which injures justice badly because of personal emotions.

7. A justice should attend to the fact that decision is being acted upon or not, because unimplemented justice is meaningless and causes rebellion.


moin malayamma 16 November 2016 at 18:35  

pls add reference for this study....

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