Credit / Courtesy: Dawn.com
By Nilofar Ahmed
JUST as there is a growing global demand for enlightening modern commentaries of the Quran, there is a persisting dearth of exegetical scholarship, even as the overall body of literature on Islam increases.
In this scenario, it is rewarding to look at Imam Ghazali’s classic theory of Quranic interpretation, presented in one of his most well-known works, Ihya Ulum ud-Din (Revival of the Religious Sciences). Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali (1,058-1,111CE), a great philosopher, cosmologist, jurist, psychologist and theologian-turned-mystic, was born and died in Tus (Khorasan). He was a prolific writer. Many of his books are extant to this day.
The Holy Quran states about itself:
Say, ‘If the ocean became ink for the words of my Lord, surely, the ocean would be exhausted before the words of my Lord came to an end, even though We brought the like thereof as further help.’ (Al Quran 18:110)
To Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth. Indeed, Allah is Self-Sufficient, Praiseworthy. And if all the trees that are in the earth were pens, and the ocean were ink, with seven oceans swelling it thereafter, the words of Allah would not be exhausted. Surely, Allah is Mighty, Wise. (Al Quran 31:27-28)