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AL-GHAZALIS CONCEPT OF CAUSALITY WITH REFERENCE TO HIS INTERPRETATIONS OF REALITY AND KNOWLEDGE

BY

HAMID FAHMY ZARKASYI

INTERNATIONAL ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY MALAYSIA

2007

AL-GHAZALIS CONCEPT OF CAUSALITY WITH REFERENCE TO HIS INTERPRETATIONS OF REALITY AND KNOWLEDGE
BY

HAMID FAHMY ZARKASYI

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

International Institute of Islamic Thought & Civilization International Islamic University Malaysia

APRIL 2007

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study is to examine al-Ghazalis concept of causality from the perspective of his understanding of reality and knowledge. Two important themes around which al-Ghazalis concept of causality revolves are the concept of the reality of thing and the manner of our understanding of that reality. These concepts are two important elements in the Islamic worldview that require metaphysical and epistemological approach. In the second chapter the discussion traces the conceptual background of causality in Islamic intellectual tradition, from the Quranic notion to the discourse in kalm and falsafah. This is to explicate the problem of causality inherited by al-Ghazali. The exposition on al-Ghazalis concept of reality, is presented in chapter three. The fourth chapter elaborates al-Ghazalis concept of knowledge that covers the meaning, the nature, the method of attainment and the concept of certainty of knowledge. In Chapter five, the explication focuses on the concept of causality with reference to al-Ghazalis concept of reality, delineated in the chapter three. Causality is viewed as a part of divine acts of continuous creation and annihilation (dawm altajaddud wa dawm al-inidm). What he actually denies is the mode of connection (wajh al-iqtirn) and not the connection itself (nafs al-iqtirn). It is because the mode of connection is empirically unproved. Therefore, the causal nexus is conceded only within the mental reality and not in ontological reality. The issue of knowledge based on such a mode of causal connection is delineated in chapter six. Al-Ghazali admits the demonstrative science of the falsifah as the tool for the attainment of knowledge, but in so far as it accords with his principle of causality. Here he distinguishes between knowledge of reasoned fact and that of the fact. The former could be attained through qiys al-illah and burhn lima, while the latter could be achieved by qiys al-dillah and burhn inna. The knowledge attained from those methods could provide certainty. This study arrives at the conclusion that al-Ghazzalis concept of causality is based on the principle that causation in the natural phenomena is contingent reality related ontologically to Absolute reality, and hence it is not necessary. Causal nexus as a mental reality is certain, but not necessarily so in external reality. The whole breadth of al-Ghazalis concept causality is an attempt to place philosophical and scientific knowledge within the ambit of revealed knowledge and not an affront to it.

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APPROVAL PAGE

The dissertation of Hamid Fahmy Zarkasyi has been approved by the following:

________________________________________ Cemil Akdogan Supervisor

________________________________________ Osman Bakar Internal Examiner

________________________________________ Alparslan Aikgen External Examiner

________________________________________ Ibrahim Zein Chairman

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DECLARATION

I hereby declare that this dissertation is the result of my own research, except where otherwise stated. I also declare that this has not been previously or concurrently submitted as a whole for any other degrees at IIUM or other institutions.

Hamid Fahmy Zarkasyi

Signature_________________________

Date ____________

INTERNATIONAL ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY MALAYSIA DECLARATION OF COPYRIGHT AND AFFIRMATION OF FAIR USE OF UNPUBLISHED RESEARCH
Copyright @ 2006 by Hamid Fahmy Zarkasyi. All rights reserved. For my late father KH. Imam Zarkasyi whose appreciation to Imam al-Ghazali AL-GHAZALIS CONCEPT OF CAUSALITY, inspired my to INTERPRETATIONS wrestle with WITH REFERENCE TO HIS OF the thought of this brilliant master. REALITY AND KNOWLEDGE No part of this unpublished research may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior written permission of the copyright holder except as provided below: 1. Any material contained in or derived from this unpublished research may only be used by others in their writing with due acknowledgement. IIUM or its library will have the right to make and transmit copies (print or electronic) for institutional and academic purposes. The IIUM library will have the right to make, store in a retrieval system and supply copies of this unpublished research if requested by other universities and research libraries.

DEDICATION

2.

3.

Affirmed by Hamid Fahmy Zarkasyi Signature Date

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Praise belongs to God, the Effuser of Lights, Opener of Eyes, Unveiler of Mysteries, and Lifter of Covering. Praise be to God, Whose praise should preface every writing and discourse. Praise be to almighty Allah for enabling me to complete this humble contribution on path promoting the cause of truth. May God show us the truth as truth and guide us for its attainment. This study is not only the result of my independent research on the subject, but also the outcome of long standing process of my study at International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC). Therefore, I would like thank to several individual who have instigated me to look into gates of knowledge. Special thank is due to Prof. Dr. Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, whose lectures inspired me to understand various problems and their solutions. He supervised me in the first stage of writing this thesis. He suggested and guided me in locating the problem and choosing this topic as well as the framework for dealing with it. My gratitude is also due to Prof. Dr. Cemil Ackdogan, who supervised me in the next stage of this study. His comment, criticism and encouragement are considerably instrumental in completing this study. I also would like to thank to Prof. Dr. Umar Jah, my second supervisor after Prof. al-Attas, and Dr. Ssekamanya Siraje Abdallah, my second supervisor after Prof. Cemil. I am also indebted to Prof. Dr. Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud for his advice and encouragement during my study at ISTAC. I am also grateful to Prof. Dr. Alparslan Aikgen, whose lecture on Islamic Philosophy had enlightened me to understand a conceptual framework within the theory of worldview. I also owe much debt to all Professors at ISTAC for their serious and sincere guidance on their respective subjects. ISTAC academic and intellectual environment promoted by its learned leadership has been very helpful for me. Finally, I wish to record my gratitude for my wife Emira Iffat and my children Nazia Dinia, Ishma Amelia, Himma Hameesha and Zinda Danisha for their patient, understanding and unfailing support. So many weekends and long-evening hours were snatched from them during which they deprived of my personal care and attention. May Allah bless them all.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Abstract ................................................................................................................. ii Abstract in Arabic ................................................................................................. iii Approval Page ....................................................................................................... iv Declaration Page ................................................................................................... v Copyright Page...................................................................................................... vi Dedication ............................................................................................................. vii Acknowledgement ................................................................................................ viii

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION Statement of the Problem .......................................................................... 9 The Source of the Study ............................................................................ 12 Theoretical Framework of the Study ......................................................... 14 The Purposes and the scope of the study ................................................... 18 Literature Review ...................................................................................... 19

CHAPTER TWO: CAUSALITY IN ISLAMIC INTELECTUAL TRADITION A. The Quranic notion of causality .......................................................... 29 1. Terminology and definition of Causality ........................................ 30 2. Causality and the Quranic worldview............................................ 34 3. Causality in the Natural Events....................................................... 37 4. Causality in the Human being ......................................................... 41 B. Causality in kalm Tradition ................................................................. 53 1. The Sources of the Concept ............................................................ 55 2. The Theory of Atom ....................................................................... 57 3. The Theory of Accident .................................................................. 60 4. Accident and Divine Causation ...................................................... 63 5. Theory of Atoms and Causality ...................................................... 67 6. Causality in Human Being .............................................................. 71 C. Causality in Falsafah Tradition ............................................................ 82 1. Al-Kind .......................................................................................... 84 2. Al-Frb ......................................................................................... 89 3. Ibn Sn ........................................................................................... 96 Conclusion ................................................................................................. 104 CHAPTER THREE: AL-GHAZZLS INTERPRETATIONS OF REALITY A. Traditional Definition ........................................................................... 108 B. Al-Ghazzls Definition ....................................................................... 113 C. The Main Elements of Reality .............................................................. 121 1. The Concept of God ........................................................................ 121 a. The Unity of God ............................................................. 125 b. The Attributes of God ...................................................... 135

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2. The Concept of Cosmology ............................................................ 140 a. The Doctrine of Creation ................................................ 141 b. The Cosmic System ........................................................ 148 3. Ontology of Created Being ............................................................ 161 a. Reality of Thing ............................................................... 161 b. Reality of Human Being ................................................. 171 Conclusion ................................................................................................. 178 CHAPTER FOUR: AL-GHAZZLS CONCEPT OF KNOWLEDGE A. Definition of knowledge ...................................................................... 182 B. Meaning of Knowledge......................................................................... 186 C. Knowledge and Reality ......................................................................... 189 D. Nature of Knowledge ........................................................................... 192 1. Religious Knowledge ..................................................................... 193 2. Rational Knowledge........................................................................ 197 E. The Integration ..................................................................................... 203 F. The attainment of knowledge ................................................................ 205 1. Knowledge about God ................................................................... 209 2. Knowledge of external reality ...................................................... 214 a. Psychological Process ...................................................... 214 b. Logical Process ................................................................ 217 G. Knowledge and certainty ..................................................................... 222 Conclusion ................................................................................................ 229

CHAPTER FIVE: CAUSALITY AND REALITY A. His Stance on Kalm ............................................................................ 234 B. His Stance of Falasfah .......................................................................... 237 C. Meaning of Cause : illah and sabab ..................................................... 242 D. Causality and Absolute Reality ............................................................ 245 1. Mode of Divine Action .................................................................. 246 2. Divine Will and Causality ............................................................. 253 E. Causality and Ontology of Created Being ............................................ 258 F. Causality in Human Beings .................................................................. 267 Conclusion ................................................................................................. 276

CHAPTER SIX: CAUSALITY AND KNOWLEDGE A. Dispute with Ibn Rushd ........................................................................ 281 1. On Negation of Knowledge ........................................................... 281 2. On Denial of the Nature of Things ............................................... 283 3. On Definite Pattern Things ............................................................ 286 4. On Denial of Causality Altogether ............................................... 289 B. Causal Reasoning and Demonstrative Science ..................................... 293 C. Substance of Syllogism ........................................................................ 301 D. Causality and Certainty......................................................................... 308 1. Certainty of demonstrative science ................................................. 309 2. Certainty of Causal Events .............................................................. 314

Conclusion ................................................................................................ 318

CHAPTER SEVEN: CONCLUSION................................................................... 321

BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................................................................................. 327

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CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

One of the most crucial points in al-Ghazalis rebuttal against the positions of the falsifah is the theory of causality, the very foundation of Aristotelian natural philosophy (physics). The point that most of the writers refer to is al-Ghazali's notion in his Tahfut al-Falsifah that the connection between what is believed to be the cause and effect is not necessary.1 The causal connection in the phenomenal world is simply habitual order of occurrence. It might appear to us that things occur with cause and effect, but they do not occur because of them. The inanimate thing has no causal action; and that the causal action resides exclusively in God who always acts voluntarily. Thus all events according to this doctrine are the creation of God, either directly or through the mediation of His angels. The theories that al-Ghazali principally criticizes are of al-Frb and Ibn Sn. They are considered not only as the chief and best Muslim exponent of Aristotle philosophy, but also the Muslim Neoplatonists who had vindicated and reformulated the theory of emanative schemes.2 Their theories concerned not only about causality in the physical phenomena, as was expressed by al-Ghazali above, but also in the metaphysical reality, at the heart of which is the question of the nature of divine causality. Ibn Sn established his theory of divine causality based on his concept of God. God, the Necessary Existent is the cause of the world's existence, but the causation

Al-Ghazzl, Tahfut al-Falasifah, edited with introduction by Sulaymn Duny, 7th edition, Dar alMa'arif, Cairo, 1972, 239, hereinafter cited as Tahfut, ed. S.Duny

here can only be properly understood in terms of emanative scheme of Neoplatonism. The model of causation would then consist of God as efficient cause, and the first intelligence directly emanating from Him as the effect. Hence, God is the proximate cause only of this intelligence, the rest of the existent being caused by Him through mediation. The mode by which God causes the world's existence is not of such a creative act, but of necessary causal nexus. God is the necessitating cause Who necessitates the world's existence. The effect of an essential efficient cause coexists with its cause. Gods priority to the world consists exclusively in existential precedence.3 Since the necessitating cause is eternal the necessitated effect is eternal too. At issue here is that God acts by necessity of His nature and not voluntarily. In other words, God is not willful agent. Following the principle of divine causality, Ibn Sn had almost the same notion of causality in the realm of nature. According to Ibn Sn's theory of ontological priority the essential efficient cause is prior to its necessitated effect, when a) both coexist in time and b) the existence of the one can be inferred from the existence of the other.4 Therefore, in this theory, the essential, proximate cause, in the realm of nature necessitates its effect and coexists with it. The example is the hand's movement that turns the key, necessitates the latter's movement and coexist with it.5 Since the falsifahs doctrine of necessary causal nexus in the physical world is originated from the principle of metaphysics, al-Ghazalis repudiation consequently refers to their theory of both natural and divine causality. Even though al-Ghazali ____________________________
According to Al-Frb the Active Intellect and the heavenly bodies are causes of our world. See AlFrb, Kitb al-Siysah al-Madaniyyah, ed. Fauzi M Najjar, (Beirut: Dar El-Mashreq Publisher, 1964): 54-55 and 72-73. 3 Ibn Sn, al-Shif' Ilhiyt, 2 vols, ed. G.C. Anawati, S.Dunya, M.Y.Musa and S.Zayid, (Cairo: Wazrat al-Thaqfah wa al-Irshd al-Qawm, 1960): vol. I, 164-169; vol.II, 264-275. 4 Ibid. 5 Ibid, 165
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buttressed his criticism of necessary causal nexus in the nature with epistemological argument, Ibn Rushd, in his Tahfut al-Tahfut, repudiates him from epistemological perspectives. According to the former the latters denial of necessary causal nexus in the observable phenomena implies the denial of the possibility of knowledge,6 given that knowledge is based on natural causality. Ibn Rushd's criticism, had a negative impact on modern Muslims as well as Western scholars whose scholarship influenced their thought. They erroneously regard al-Ghazali's concept of causality as destroying the foundation of rational science; resulting as they asserted, in the stagnation of the Muslim thought, preventing the Muslim intellectuals from any further philosophical speculation.7 On the one hand, the issue was subsequently transmitted into the Middle Ages' Christian milieu of Europe, and on the other it was claimed with insufficient proof or reason, to be parallel with Christian doctrine. The Western scholars such as Malebranche and David Hume had tailored and developed the idea into such a distinct concept that departs from its original formulation.8 According to Cemil Akdogan David Hume, who is skeptic, evaluates causeeffect relationship after al-Ghazzali but he does it in a secular context.9 Ibn Rushd

Ibn Rushd, Tahfut al-Tahfut, Dar al-Maarif, 3rd edition, vol. 1, n.d., 785, hereinafter cited as Tahfut al-Tahfut; English translation with intorduction, Incoherence of the Incoherence by Van Den Bergh, E.J.W.Gibb Memorial Series vol. 1, London, 317, hereinafter cited as Incoherence, trans. Bergh. 7 There are numbers of such kind of opinion and an example of the most flagrant misconception is to be found in M.T. Ansari, Al-Ghazzls Repudiation of Causality, The Destruction of Philosophical Enquiry in Islam, in M.T. Ansari, (ed), Secularism, Islam and Modernity, Selected Essays of Alam Khudmiri, Sage Publication, New Delhi/London, 2001, 119. Also in J.F.Naify, Arabic and European Occasionalism: A Comparison of al-Ghazzls Occasionalism and its critique by Averroes with Malebranches Occasionalism and its critique in the Cartesian Tradition, Ph.D. Diss., University of California, San Diego, 1975, 7, hereinafter cited as Arabic 8 It is even proven that al-Ghazzl influenced Malebranche, who have exerted a great influence on Hume thinking. See Leo Groarke and Graham Solomon, Some Sources for Humes Account of Cause, Journal of the History of Ideas, No.52, 1991, 660-661; see also Thomas Lennon, Veritas Filia Temporis: Hume on Time and Causation History of Philosophy Quarterly, 2 (1985) 287. 9 Cemil Akdogan, Ghazzzali, Descartes, and Hume: The Geneology of Some Philosophical Ideas, Islamic Studies, vol.42, Autumn 2003, Number: 3, 498
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agrees with the position that the relation between causes and their effects are necessary. His position regarding God's will have some bearing on his concept of reality, natural events and knowledge, which signifies a deterministic scheme of things in the world, as if God has no direct relation with the operation of natural events. Therefore, admitting the concept of God's will, for him, entails the

impossibility of knowledge, because there is no standard of Gods will that can be referred to, whereas true knowledge is only possible through the fixed standard or custom that can be known.10 Those who vindicate Ibn Rushd's position from among the orientalists must have maintained such a concept of God. It is because they have erroneously construed that al-Ghazali's theory of causality and that of miracle indicate the direct and occasional intervention of God towards the natural events. Such a flawed inference is evident in the concept embedded in the term "Islamic occasionalism". It is as if God is located somewhere outside the world and interferes occasionally the process of natural events. The concept is incompatible with the concept of God in the Quran Whose act of creating is direct and continuous. The term "occasionalism" itself is not of Islamic origin. Thus it is neither correct nor proper to speak of "Islamic occasionalism" as used by Majid Fakhry 11 implying hence that God seems to have no direct relationship with the phenomenal events. The foregoing account suggests that if al-Ghazali's concept of causality were viewed from a different metaphysical system and worldview, it would inevitably result in incongruity. For as pointed by al-Attas, each metaphysical system and the worldview it projects is different from one civilization to another; and each has a

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Ibn Rushd, Tahfut Tahfut, 325. See Majid Fakhry, Islamic Occasionalism, and Its Critique by Averroes and Aquinas, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, London, 1958. hereinafter cited as Occasionalism; Also J.F.Naify, Arabic

different interpretation of what is interpreted to be ultimately true and real.

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justice to al-Ghazalis position on the issue of causality, elucidation of metaphysical system and the worldview of Islam that he subscribes is deemed to be of critical importance. Al-Ghazalis theory about cause-effect relation in the phenomenal world is only part of his understanding about reality (al-haqqah), which is associated to the wider concept of God's creation and other related issues, which constitute the Islamic system of worldview. The worldview of Islam, as asserted by Professor al-Attas, is not exclusively limited to the mind's view of the physical world, but encompasses: The vision of reality and truth, which is metaphysical survey of the visible as well as the invisible worlds including the perspective of life as a whole, is not a worldview that is formed merely by the gathering together of various cultural objects, values, phenomena into artificial coherence.13 Thus, proper understanding of al-Ghazali's concept of causality requires metaphysical survey involving both the natural phenomena (al-haqqah) and truth (alhaqq). Therefore, the prevailing exposition of al-Ghazali's concept of causality, which is discerned from the perspectives of different worldviews, requires what is called the paradigm shift, to borrow Thomas Kuhns term. Moreover, it is worth noting that al-Ghazali exposition of the problem of causality in the second part of Tahfut (the 17th Discussion) concerns the natural sciences (ab'iyyt). This persistently follows the first part, in which al-Ghazali criticizes the concept of causal necessity applied to God. This in the mean time constitutes the metaphysical foundation of the second, and even complements the epistemological basis of the 17th Discussion. Specifically in the first three discussions,

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S.M.N. al-Attas, Prolegomena to The Metaphysics of Islam, An Exposition of the Fundamental alements of The Worldview of Islam, ISTAC, Kuala Lumpur, 1995, see Praface, ix; hereinafter cited as Prolegomena

al-Ghazali reiterated his criticism of the doctrine that God's acts proceed, by necessity, from His very essence or nature. Instead, he insisted that the divine act is voluntary and therefore Gods eternal attributes such as life, will, power, and knowledge must be additional to His essence, not identical with it. Otherwise, the divine acts become essential, proceeding the necessary consequence of the divine nature. Accordingly, alGhazali proceeds and infers that only living, knowing, willing being can be an agent while the inanimate has no action.14 All changes are series of creation enacted

voluntarily and directly by God. Thus, al-Ghazali's epistemic argument in the 17th Discussion is relevant to his metaphysics. In other words, the issue is physics (tabi'iyyat) but the final analysis attaches to it is metaphysics, in which the concept of God, His creation and His Attributes occupy central stage. It is by such a kind of approach that the coherence of al-Ghazali's whole concept of causality is vividly discernible. There is a clear indication that al-Ghazali has a concept of his own in interpreting the connection between cause and effect in nature which he looks from both epistemological and metaphysical perspectives. He denies the possibility of proving the necessary causal nexus in nature through observation, and upholds instead the possibility of perceiving correlation or connection between the antecedent event and the consequent one. Then, he interprets it from the metaphysical aspect that such a connection is due to the prior decree of God who creates them side by side and not due to its being necessary in itself.15 If al-Ghazali comprehends natural causality in such a fashion, he must have his own concept of reality and truth that constitutes his ____________________________
Ibid, 1-2. Al-Ghazali., Tahfut, ed. S.Duny, 136. 8 Ibid, 225, Cf. English translation Incoherence of the Philosophers, by S.A.Kamali, Pakistan Philosophical Congress, Second Impression, Lahore, 1963, 185, hereinafter cited as Incoherence, trans.Kamali.
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own metaphysical system, which is at variance with that of his opponents. This metaphysical issue is the first concern of this present research. Our second concern that closely relates to metaphysical foundation of causality is to look as to whether Ibn Rushds accusation that al-Ghazali's concept of causality entails the denial of knowledge is justifiable. If the answer is negative, then each must have his own concept of what should be deemed knowledge and what should be the principle of epistemology behind it. The argument employed by Ibn Rushd in his refutation is that one only has knowledge if that knowledge has a direct relationship with the natural cause that is known. Even assuming that God does create knowledge in a person, that person is said to know only if knowledge "is something dependent on the nature of the existent, because the true is when one believes something to be as it is in existence."16 In other words if God creates a knowledge in us, that knowledge is properly designated as knowledge only if it corresponds to a real nature. Moreover, to provide epistemic argument for the necessary causal nexus Ibn Rushd distinguishes between fact and knowledge of the reasoned fact. The former is the evidential ground for asserting that something is the case, while the latter is the explanation of why something is what it is and does what it does. The former are the empirical ground for knowing the latter and the latter explains the former. The burning cotton, for example is the empirical ground for saying that the fire burns; the stars flicker is the empirical ground for saying that they are quite distant from the earth. These empirical evidences are compatible with interpreting the relations between cotton and fire or flickering appearance and the great distance, therefore Ibn Rushd regards the relation as non-contingent or necessary.

Ibn Rushd seems to have misunderstood al-Ghazali's position, since the latter does not deny the principle that knowledge is always through causes. However, he underlines that our knowledge about real nature is brought about by our habits of knowing that is by experience, and knowledge as such is not knowledge of what is necessary. It is because, for al-Ghazali causes are always contingent on God's will in producing their effects, meaning that God is the real source of necessity in the causal relationship and hence the real source of knowledge. Therefore, knowledge about nature should not exclude supernatural causes. On this ground, it would make sense if we say that for al-Ghazl revelation is the paradigmatic form of knowledge for man to which unaided reason and sense perception should be attached. Moreover, al-Ghazali held that fact and knowledge of the fact are interrelated. What is called fact by the falsifah is something contingent or possible (mumkin) that may or may not happen, and thus not necessary or certain. Consequently, knowledge about natural events, which is claimed by the falsifah as necessary, is only possible for it is habitual course ('dah).17 Here, al-Ghazali implicitly conveys that causal proposition belongs to the contingent and whatever contingent is not necessary. This seems to be mean that metaphysical and epistemic arguments supplement each other. This epistemic argument is also corroborated in another work of al-Ghazali, namely al-Munqidh in which he says that "knowledge of the realities of things" (al-'Ilm bi haq'iq al-umr) presupposes the inquiry of what the true meaning of knowledge is (haqqat al-'Ilm).18 From the foregoing discussion, what is of particular interest to us is to comprehend al-Ghazali's doctrine of causality from both metaphysical and ____________________________
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Ibn Rushd, Incoherence, trans. Bergh, 325. Al-Ghazzl, Incoherence, trans. Kamali, 190.

epistemological foundations to enable us to see its compatibility with other related aspects.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM The problem that can be grasped from the above dispute between al-Ghazali on the one hand and Ibn Sn and Ibn Rushd on the other is in the incongruity of their system of thought. This divergence in wider scope involves some fundamental concepts, which stemmed from their interpretation of reality and knowledge. This in turn had brought about their different conception around the essential meaning to be given to the word "cause", either divine cause or secondary cause. The contrast between the two systems of thought on this issue can be illuminated effectively by brief examination of the definition of causality used by both al-Ghazali and the falsifah. The former developed the conceptual structure of the mutakallimn, whereas the latter based their concept on Aristotle and Neoplatonic system of thought. There are two words employed by both parties to designate cause, sabab and illah. al-Ghazali, who follows the kalm terminology, prefers to use the term sabab rather than illah to convey the idea of cause,19 whereas the falsifah favor to use the term illah, rather than sabab. However, this divergence cannot be taken strictly, either al-Ghazali or the falsifah uses the term sabab and illah interchangeably. There are different interpretations between al-Ghazali and falsifah on the meaning of cause in supra-mundane reality and in the phenomenal world. According

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Al-Ghazali, Al-Munqidh Min al-all, edited and annotated by Jaml alban and Kmil Iyd, Dr al-Andalus, Beirut, 1980, 9 and 11. 19 Al-Ghazzl, Tahfut al-Falsifah, 239.
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to al-Ghazali sabab in relation to the existence of the universe is murajji.20 But in relation to secondary causes and voluntary action sabab is shar (condition) of the effect or whatever contributes to the realization of an event.21 This definition refers to kalm intellectual tradition that concern about the production of temporal events or occurrences within the sphere of the contingent. 22 According to Ibn Sn illah in terms of substantive change in the suprasensible world is ni (maker, or agent),
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and in the phenomenal world is

"condition", that indicates the means by or through which something else is done or produced. When all causal conditions are fulfilled the effect necessarily follows.24 alGhazali, on behalf of the falsifah affirms this that sabab is an instrument, condition, nature, purpose or any cause like these causes.25 However, al-Ghazali admits those meanings of sabab only in the sense of logical reason why something is as it is. Al-Ghazalis definition of causes (asbb) and their effects in the supra-sensible and the phenomenal world does not seem, at least at first reading, to contradict to Ibn Sn and the falsifahs conception. Both parties, for example agree that God is the agent of the worlds existence. However, the harmony of their ideas breaks down over the question of the mode of their causal agency in relationship to worlds actual,

Murajji is that which causes to incline towards or give preponderance to something that render the existence rather than non-existence. al-Ghazzl, al-Iqtid f al-Itiqd, ed.al-Shaykh Muaf Ab alAl. (Egypt: Maktaba al-Jund, n.d.), 30 21 al-Ghazzl, al-Iqtid, 88-89; al-Ghazzl, Iy Ulm al-Dn. ed. Al-Shaykh Abd al-Azz Sirwn. (Beirut: Dr al-Qalam, n.d.): vol.4, 86; al-Ghazzl, al-Maqad al-Asn, ed. Musf Ab al-Al, (Cairo: Maktatabah al-Jundi, n.d): 125. 22 According to the Asharite all causal action consists in the direct voluntary creative act of God. God in this sense is He whose causal action proceeds from the attribute of will and power of a living, knowing being. The observable event we habitually regard as causes and effects are only concomitant event. They are all directly created by God and their regular association are not necessary by itself. They are merely habit (adah) decreed by God. Al-Bqillni, Kitb al-Tamhd, Richard J. McCarthy (ed), Beirut: np. 1957, 36. 23 Ibn Sn, al-Shif: al-Burhn, ed. A.E. Aff revised by I.Madhkr, (Cairo: n.p. 1956): 298; see also Al-Ghazzl , Tahafut, M. Marmura, Problem IV. 24 Ibn Sn, al-Shif: Ilhiyt, (Metaphysics), edited by G.Anawati, S.Dunya and Z.Zyid, revised and introduced by Ibrh Madhkr, 2 vols. (Cairo: 1960), vol. I, 37; Encyclopedia of Islam, 2nd ed. (Leiden: E.J.Brill, 1971, s.v. 'illah'

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physical realization. Inherent in this divergence is their distinct concept of the nature of God. For Al-Ghazali God is voluntary agent Who is willing (murd) and knowing (lim) of what he wills, whereas for Ibn Sn God is necessarily subjected in the exercise of His efficiency, meaning that God is the Necessitating Cause Who necessitates the world's existence.26 The above conception of God brought about conceptual consequences of causality in natural phenomena. al-Ghazali infers that natural things do not possess causal agency, they can be called agents only in metaphorical signification only. This is in complete accord with his affirmation of the Divines status as the voluntary agent and the cause of the existence of the universe.27 Therefore, he denies the efficient cause in the natural phenomena. The only efficient cause in reality is God. In consonant with his concept of God as the agent that necessitates its effect and as the cause (illah) of emanation of the universe (illat fayan al-kull), Ibn Sn deduces that the relation between cause and effect is of necessary. When the causal power is natural and the recipient of the action is present, the effect cannot but follow. The example is that a mans movement precedes (yet coexist with) the movement of his shadow.28 Ibn Rushd also in opinion that the connection observed to exist between causes and effects is one of consequence by necessity (iqtirn talzum bi alarrah).29 The foregoing explication suggests that there are conceptual divergence between al-Ghazl and the falsifah on the problem of causality. The former, so to speak, ascribes the doctrine of creationism, while the latter applies that of ____________________________
Al-Ghazzl , Tahafut, M. Marmura (trans), 28. Ibn Sn, al-Shif' Ilhiyt, vol. I, 164; vol.II, 264. 27 Al-Ghazzl , Tahafut, problem III. 28 Ibn Sn, al-Shif: al-Burhn, ed. A.E. Aff revised by I.Madhkr, 298; see also Al-Ghazzl, Tahafut, M. Marmura, problem IV.
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emanationism. However, this study will not deal with this discrepancy, but elaborate exclusively al-Ghazls concept of causality by referring to his conceptual structure of the causal relation in the supra-mundane region as well as in the realm of nature of the physical world. The study would hopefully shed a light on the question whether alGhazalis doctrine of causality is metaphysically well grounded and epistemologically tenable.

THE SOURCE OF THE STUDY Al-Ghazali's repudiation of falsifah concept of causality is to be found in his Tahfut al-Falsifah, which seems to be most complete treatment among the mediaeval Islamic thinkers. The Seventeenth Problem of Tahfut analyzes the falsifah doctrine of necessary causal nexus in the physical sphere. In this section, the theory of efficient causality in nature finds its most striking repudiation. His total view of causality, however, demand an integrative approach involving other section of Tahfut in which this topic is examined. The work has been organized philosophically. al-Ghazali repudiation of the problem of causality in the second part of Tahfut (the 17th Problem) concerns about the natural sciences (ab'iyyt). This persistently follows the first part, in which alGhazali criticizes the concept of causal necessity applied to God. This means that the sixteen disputations in the first part of Tahfut are connected with the issues of the divine sciences (al-ulm al-Ilhiyyah) including the problem of divine causation while the rest or the second part fall within the ambit of the natural sciences (al-ulm al-abiiyyt). So, the first part constitutes the metaphysical foundation of the second, and even complements the epistemological basis of the 17th Problem. Specifically in ____________________________
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Ibn Rushd, Tahfut Tahfut, 512.

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the first three discussions, al-Ghazali reiterated his criticism of the doctrine that God's acts proceed, by necessity, from His very essence or nature. So, the issue is physics (tabi'iyyat) but the final analysis attaches to it is metaphysics, and involves primarily the concept of God, His creation and His Attributes. In relation to the above issue al-Ghazali treats extensively the problem of world eternity, the everlasting nature of time and motion, and linguistically analyzes the term 'agent" and "maker", "action" and "product".30 Therefore, the seventeenth problem cannot be analyzed either adequately or correctly without attention being paid to the conceptual framework that is developed in sections of the Tahfut prior to that discussion. Theoretically, comprehension of al-Ghazali position on "natural causation" require understanding of how he viewed the implications of the concept behind the terms agent, action, power and cause. Here, he gives his most precise analysis of the structure of the problem of causation in both the supernatural and the natural realm. Al-Ghazali seems to be saying that we cannot deal with the natural causation before we have sound and adequate foundation of divine causation. Even though Tahfut is not the work that provides alternative concepts that he regards as the sound one, one can grasp at least the author's position on certain issue he rebutted. His repudiation follows a demonstrative method of the philosophers, while in his vindication he employs the dialectic method of the theologians. Therefore, the author tells us that the alternative concept is caught in his other work entitled al-Iqtid f al-I'tiqd. In this work al-Ghazali uphold the Ash'arite causal doctrine and discusses causation at some length. However, in this work we do not find any mention of the seocondary causation except his rejection of the Mu'tazilite doctrine of tawallud (generated acts). He identifies the Mu'tazilite doctrine

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