Imam Al-Ghazali Influence

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Imam Al Ghazali’s View of the Caliphate

Al Ghazali was a renowned Muslim scholar of the 11th century, he was a versatile genius that contributed to many different aspects of knowledge. His theories included exploration in the sciences, rationality and political theory amongst many. He taught in prestigious institutions of education in Baghdad and then also served as an advisor to the ruler. His contributions in the realm of Islamic philosophy are still considered important today.

It is important for us to note the time in which Ghazali was writing and how the historical factors worked together to shape his views on political philosophy. During this time the Islamic world, though still very powerful was undergoing fundamental changes. The
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The Seljuk Sultans were a force to be reckoned with in the eastern regions of the Islamic World. Hence Al-Ghazali, realizing their political dominance, declared sultanate or the sovereign power of the sultan or king as the protector and defender of the Caliphate, an institution which he considered essential for the unity of the Islamic World. The challenge of the Shia rulers of Egypt, the Fatimids, was still a threat to the Abbasid Caliphate. Also, a new threat had appeared at the very center of Islamic world, in Palestine and Syria. It was the incursion of the West European Crusaders or the Christian warriors of the Cross. They had taken over the kingdom of Jerusalem and threatened to terrorize and pillage other Muslim lands. It was in such circumstances that Al Ghazali had to present a theory to tackle the problems of the divide between the Caliphate and the government, to ensure that the caliphate was the protector of religious authority in the Islamic world backed by armies provided by the Seljuk Sultans, who were equipped with armies to crush invaders to their
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