Academic journal article International Journal of Islamic Thought

The Objectives and References of Mi'yar Al-'Ilm Fi Fann Al-Mantiq

Academic journal article International Journal of Islamic Thought

The Objectives and References of Mi'yar Al-'Ilm Fi Fann Al-Mantiq

Article excerpt

This study was conducted to investigate, analyze and describe the identity of Mi'yar al-'Ilm fi Fann al-Mantiq work of al-Ghazali. This study also aims to disclose and highlight the importance of Mi'yar in the development of logic in the Islamic world of science. This is due to the book has not been studied specifically, comprehensively and exclusively. Hence this study is an attempt to uplift the status and to gain the benefit from the efforts of the earlier scholars, especially alGhazali in the field of logic.

Mi'yar full title is Mi'yar al-'Ilm fi Fann al-Mantiq (The Criterion or Standard Measure of Knowledge in Logic). Mi'yar was written by al-Imam Zayn al-Din Hujjat al-Islam Muhijjat al-Din Abu Hamid Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Ghazali al-Tusi (Ibn Khallikan 1978, 4: 216). He was born in Dhu al-Qa'dah 450/ December 1058 at the village of al-Ghazalah in the area of al-Tabaran, in the region of Tus (nowadays: Meshed, Iran) (Ibn Khallikan 1978, 4: 216; al-Zabidi 1989, 1: 7; Kahhalah 1960, 11: 266; Corbin 1983: 271). Al-Ghazali died and buried at al-Tabaran on Monday morning, Jumada al-Akhirah 14, 505/ December 18, 1111, at the age of 55 Hegira years or 53 Christian years (Ibn Khallikan 1978, 4: 216; al Safadi 1961: 277; Ibn 'Asakir 1979: 296). Lazarus-Yafeh described al-Ghazali as the greatest Islamic thinkers (1975: 3), the most influential Islamic thinkers (1966: 111), and the most prolific Islamic writer (1975: 9). This is due to the ideas of al-Ghazali which were always looked very modern and expressed in a manner that is very convincing which is able to transcend the limitations of time and religion, and is able to incorporate deeper notions on any research into his writings.

Al-Ghazali's prominence and knowledge were proved by the production of many works. Al-Subki (1999, 3: 434-435) has listed 58 works of al-Ghazali, al-Wasiti (1981: 180-186) has listed of 98, Tashkubra Zadah (1980, 2: 341-342) has listed of 80, al-Zabidi (1989, 1: 37 & 5660) has listed of 82 and Badawi (1961: 1-238) has listed of 457. Some examples of the works of al-Ghazali are al-Mankhul min Ta'liqat al-Usul (jurisprudence), al-Wasit fi al-Madhhab (Islamic law), Ma'akhidh al-Khilaf (difference of opinion), al-Muntahil fi 'Ilm al-Jadal (debate), Iljam al'Awamm 'an 'Ilm al-Kalam (theology), Tahafut al-Falasifah (philosophy), Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din (sufism), and Mi'yar al-'Ilm fi Fann al-Mantiq (logic) (al-Mahdali 1999: 14-19). Thus a relatively large amount of his works had attracted many researchers to study them from different angles.

Research Background

The works of al-Ghazali are in various fields such as philosophy, politics, theology, Islamic law, jurisprudence, Sufism, ethics and logic. In the diversity of scientific fields, researcher had purposely and intentionally chose logic as a domain of study, logic of al-Ghazali as a subject or field of study, and Mi'yar as the focus of analytical study.

In the field of logic, al-Ghazali wrote three forms of works. Firstly; the logic work which is a book of pure logic in the manner of Aristotle, namely Maqasid al-Falasifah (The Aims of the Philosophers), which was completed in 487/1094 (Badawi 1961: 10; Jihami 1993: 9; Bouyges 1999: 261). He wrote this book in order to understand the sciences known by the philosophers, namely mathematics, logic, physics, and metaphysics, before he criticized their id eas, opinions and theories through his work of Tahafut al-Falasifah which was completed on 488/1095 (Hourani 1959: 227; Fakhri 1962: 10; Bello 1989: 9). Secondly; the logic work which is a book of Islamic pure logic, such as Mi'yar al-'Ilm fi Fann al-Mantiq (The Criterion or Standard Measure of Knowledge in Technologic), Mihakk al-Nazar fi al-Mantiq (The Touchstone of Proof in Logic), and al-Qistas al-Mustaqim (The Just Balance). Mi'yar was completed in 488/1095, Mihakk in 488/1095, and al-Qistas in 497/1103 (Jihami 1993: 9; Bouyges 1999: 261-262). Thirdly; the logic work which is also a book of other fields of Islamic sciences that included and synthesized with elements of logic. …

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