Volume 17, 2018
Hasan Jahangir Alam
Imam Gazzali’s Refutation of the Philosophers Belief in the Impossibility of a Departure from the Natural Course of Events
The philosophers claim that everything in the world is maintained in a disciplined way. They claimed that there is cause-effect relation behind every event. But it is the view of Imam Gazzali that the connection between what is believed to be the cause and the effect is not necessary. For example, This is not That; nor That can be This. Or: the affirmation of one does not imply the affirmation of the other, nor the negation of one implies the negation of the other. The existence of one is not necessitated by the existence of the other, nor its non-existence by the non-existence of the other. There are other examples, as well, such as the quenching of thirst and drinking, satisfaction of hunger and eating, burning and contact with fire, light and the rise of the Sun, death and the severance of the head, healing and the use of medicine, the loosening of bowels and the use of a purgative, or any other set of events observed to be connected together in Medicine, or Astronomy, or Arts, or Crafts. They are connected because of the Decree of God, the Lord of the Universe, which preceded the existence. If one follows the other, it is because God has created them in that fashion, not because the connection in itself is necessary and indissoluble. He has the power to create the satisfaction of hunger without eating, or death without the severance of the head, or even the survival when the head has been cut off, or any other thing for that matter.