The mere perusal of this graded scale of systems and of souls shows at once its extraordinary interest because of its revelation of Ghazzâlî's innermost thought about these things, and because of the piquancy and difficulty of some of the problems raised. In the discussion of the whole subject the reader is referred to, the monograph upon the Mishkât to which allusion has been made. The problems may be indicated here in the form of questions, for the sake of defining them as particularly as possible:--

(1) How is it that some reputable Moslems are grouped with Idolators and Dualists in the second division ("mixed light and dark")?

(2) How is it that Jews and Christians are neither mentioned nor alluded to in this rather full sketch for a philosophy of religion? And where could they have been fitted in if they had been mentioned?


(3) How is it that the later Ash`arites, the standard orthodox Theologians, are placed so low, viz. in the division where there are still veils of darkness?

(4) How is that the Mu`tazilites are neither mentioned nor alluded to; and that, according. to the differentia of the highest section of the second division, it would be inevitable to place them above the orthodox Ash`arites?

(5) How is it that the most pious believers of the earliest and most venerated type come no higher than the lowest section of the third division?

(6) How is it that to such men is ascribed any special concern about Allah as "mover of the Heavens"[1]

(7) How is it that the various doctrines about the mode of this Moving of the Heavens is made the main if not the sole differentia of the (ascending) grades of this division, though in other works Ghazzâlî treats this very matter with marked coolness[2]? How is it that on this

[1. This is all the more marked because the words are Ghazzâlî's own gloss on a quotation from the Koran; see below.

2. E.g. Tahâfut, pp. 57, 60.]


is explicitly said to turn the superiority of the schools of Sûfî's over the pious Believers, and the superiority of one school of Sûfî's over another?

(8) How is it that this matter of Moving the Heavens is considered so particularly to threaten the Unity of Allah, and that that Unity is only saved when He is relieved from even the function of Commanding the (outermost) Heaven to be moved?

(9) And who is this Commander who thus commands, and who orders all things, and who is related to pure Being as the Sun to Elemental Light? And what was "the mystery (in this affair), the disclosure of which this book does not admit of"?

(10) What becomes of a Deity of whom nothing whatsoever can even be said or predicated? And how, then, can a "relation" between Him and His Vicegerent be asserted, still more described as above? And how can this Unknowable, Unimaginable and Inconceivable be nevertheless "reached" by mystic souls?

(11) What was "the book" into which Ghazzâlî himself says he put all his esoteric


teaching (Jawâhir, p. 31); which he implores any into whose hands it may fall not to publish; which Ibn Tufail denies could have been this Mishkât (Hayy, ed. Gautier, pp. 13-15, trans. Gautier. pp. 12-14), nor any other of the supposed esoteric books that "had come to Andalus"?

Mishk‚t Al-Anwar
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