ABOUT THIS BOOK:
This book title Mihak al-Nazar fi fanni al-mantiq (Touchstone of Reasoning in Logic) by Imam Hujjat al-Islam Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali is one of his smaller works on Mantiq, Logic. This work is not to be confused with his larger work on the subject, Mi'yar al-'Ilm fi fanni al-Mantiq. In this work he does not labour in producing the lexicon of Logic or Mantiq science. He tries to cover the breath of the subject without extensive assessment, unlike the Mi'yar or his Usuli works.
ABOUT THIS PRINT:
This print is extremely well edited and researched by the scholarly board of Dar al-Minhaj. This print is produced from seven different early manuscripts. The board took effort in producing the references the Imam uses as well as the quotes he mentions. They have explained some of the problematic words or more obscure statements mentioned in the book. At the end of the book you may find an extensive content page.
ABOUT IMAM ABU HAMID AL-GHAZZALI:
He is Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad, Abu Hamid Hujjat ai-Islam al-Ghazzali al-Tusi, the Shafi'i Imam, Proof of Islam, and Sufi adept born in Tabiran, near Tus Gust north of present day Mashhad, Iran, in 450/1058. The Imam of his time, nicknamed Shafi'i the Second for his legal virtuosity, he was a brilliant intellectual who first studied jurisprudence at Tus, and then travelled the Islamic world, to Baghdad, Damascus, Jerusalem, Cairo, Alexandria, Mecca, and Medina, taking Sacred Knowledge from its masters, among them the Imam of the Two Sanctuaries al-Juwayni, with whom he studied until the Imam's death, becoming at his hands a scholar in Shafi'i law, logic, tenets of faith, debate, and in the rationalistic doctrines of the philosophical schools of his time, which he was later called upon to refute.
When al-Juwayni died, al-Ghazzali debated the Imams and scholars of Baghdad in the presence of the vizier Nizam al-Mulk, who was so impressed that he appointed him to a teaching post at the Nizamiyya Academy in Baghdad, where word of his' brilliance spread, and scholars journeyed to hear him. His worldly success was something of a mixed blessing, and in mid-career, after considerable reflection, he was gripped by an intense fear for his soul and his fate in the afterlife, and he resigned from his post, travelling first to Jerusalem and then to Damascus to purify his heart by following the way of Sufism. In Damascus he lived in seclusion for some ten years, engaged in spiritual struggle and the remembrance of Allah, at the end of which he emerged to produce his masterpiece lhya' 'ulum aI-din [Giving life to the religious sciences], a classic among the books of the Muslims about internalizing god fearingness (taqwa) in one's dealings with Allah, illuminating the soul through obedience to Him, and the levels of believers' attainments therein.
The work shows how deeply al-Ghazzali personally realized what he wrote about, and his masterly treatment of hundreds of questions dealing with the inner life that no one had previously discussed or solved is a performance of sustained excellence that shows its author's well-disciplined legal intellect and profound appreciation of human psychology. He also wrote nearly two hundred other works, on the theory of government, Sacred Law, refutations of philosophers, tenets of faith, Sufism, Qur'anic exegesis, scholastic theology, and bases of Islamic jurisprudence. Some of the imam works are the following as a short list of his major works:
- al-Munqidh min al-dalal (Rescuer from Error)
- Hujjat al-Haq (Proof of the Truth)
- al-Iqtisad fil-i`tiqad (Median in Belief)
- al-maqsad al-asna fi sharah asma' Allahu al-husna (The best means in explaining Allah's Beautiful Names)
- Jawahir al-Qur'an wa duraruh (Jewels of the Qur'an and its Pearls)
- Fayasl al-tafriqa bayn al-Islam wa-l-zandaqa (The Criterion of Distinction between Islam and Clandestine Unbelief)
- Mishkat al-Anwar (The Niche for Lights, a commentary on the Verse of Light)
- Tafsir al-yaqut al-ta'wil
- Mizan al-'amal (Criterion of Action)
- Ihya' ulum al-din, "Revival of Religious Sciences"
- Bidayat al-hidayah (Beginning of Guidance)
- Kimiya-yi Sa'adat (The Alchemy of Happiness) [a résumé of Ihya'ul ulum, in Persian]
- Nasihat al-muluk (Counseling Kings) [in Persian]
- al-Munqidh min al-dalal (Rescuer from Error)
- Minhaj al-'Abidin (Methodology for the Worshipers)
- Maqasid al falasifa (Aims of Philosophers) [written in the beginning of his life, in favour of philosophy and presenting the basic theories in Philosophy, mostly influenced by Avicenna's works]
- Tahafut al-Falasifa (The Incoherence of the Philosophers), [in this book he refutes the Greek Philosophy aiming at Avicenna and Al-Farabi; and of which Ibn Rushd wrote his famous refutation Tahafut al-tahafut (The Incoherence of the Incoherence)]
- Miyar al-Ilm fi fan al-Mantiq (Criterion of Knowledge in the Art of Logic)
- Mihak al-Nazar fi al-mantiq (Touchstone of Reasoning in Logic)
- al-Qistas al-mustaqim (The Correct Balance)
- Fatawy al-Ghazali (Verdicts of al-Ghazali)
- Al-wasit fi al-mathab (The medium [digest] in the Jurisprudential school)
- Kitab tahzib al-Isul (Prunning on Legal Theory)
- al-Mustasfa fi 'ilm al-isul (The Clarified in Legal Theory)
- Asas al-Qiyas (Foundation of Analogical reasoning)
He died in Tabiran in 505/1111.