Book: The al-Ghazali Enigma and why Shari'a is not Islamic Law
Chapter: Chapter 1: The Contexts: Al-Ghazali and His Worlds (1917–1996)
The story of Ghazali starts with his contexts. The book suggests that what is Islamic about a particular law, rule, or a legal argument is embedded in how this argument or rule managed the tension generated from relating an ever-changing set of circumstances (contexts), to unchanging scriptural contents, often in reference to an variety of fiqh precedents that this process generated (texts). Following this outline, the first chapter explores this Shaykh’s intellectual and personal backgrounds as well as his career path. It highlights key features that decided Mohammad al-Ghazali’s great sway among his people, such as communal memories and the institutional affiliations that helped or hindered this influence.