Al-Ghazālī's View on Causal Necessity and the Theory of Divine Custom

Abstract

Amongst Muslim theologians, the Ash'arite theological school in general and al-Ghazālī, in particular, opposed the necessity between cause and effect and rejected it by proposing the alternative theory of “Divine custom”. The purpose of this article is to examine the motivations, arguments and critiques of al-Ghazālī's view in denying the causal necessity and the theory of Divine custom. The findings of the present study show that his main motivation in opposing the causal necessity was theological teachings such as miracles, God’s omnipotent and active monotheism. This research paper is a library-based theoretical analysis reviewing and examining al-Ghazālī's written works to produce an account of his view on causal necessity. Then, critiques raised by Averroes on al-Ghazālī’s view will be evaluated, and at the end, a proposal will be made to develop al-Ghazālī's view.

Keywords: Causal necessity, Ash'arites, Al-Ghazālī, Islamic theology, divine custom


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