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Home » Imam Ghazali » Can we rely on Spiritual Experiences and Miracles as a Basis of Faith?-Imam Ghazali Answers

Can we rely on Spiritual Experiences and Miracles as a Basis of Faith?-Imam Ghazali Answers


Struck with the contradictions which I encountered in endeavoring to disentangle the truth and falsehood of these opinions, I was led to make the following reflection: “The search after truth being the aim which I propose to myself, I ought in the first place to ascertain what are the bases of certitude.” In the next place I recognized that certitude is the clear and complete knowledge of things, such knowledge as leaves no room for doubt nor possibility of error and conjecture, so that there remains no room in the mind for error to find an entrance. In such a case it is necessary that the mind, fortified against all possibility of going astray, should embrace such a strong conviction that, if, for example, any one possessing the power of changing a stone into gold, or a stick into a serpent, should seek to shake the bases of this certitude, it would remain firm and immovable. Suppose, for instance, a man should come and say to me, who am firmly convinced that ten is more than three, “No; on the contrary, three is more than ten, and, to prove it, I change this rod into a serpent,” and supposing that he actually did so, I should remain none the less convinced of the falsity of his assertion, and although his miracle might arouse my astonishment, it would not instill any doubt into my belief.



  1. The Heretic Miracle Worker

    It is reported that Imâm Layth b. Sa’d – Allâh have mercy on him – said, “Even if I saw a heretic (follower of bid’ah) walk on water, I would not accept him.” This was reported to Imâm Al-Shâfi’î – Allâh have mercy on him, to which he replied, “He didn’t go far enough. Rather, if I saw one walk in the air, I would not accept him.”

    Al-Lâlakâ`î, Sharh Usûl ‘I’tiqâd Ahl Al-Sunnah Vol.1 p228; Ibn Battah, Al-Ibânah Al-Kubrâ Vol2. P175; Ibn Al-Jawzî, Talbîs Iblîs p14 – with slightly variant wordings.

    ‘Aqîdah, Bid’ah
    Al-Layth b. Sa’d, Imām Al-Shāfiʿī


  2. […] I mentioned in a previous post  ,  we can not rely on spiritual experiences to base our belief in a religion, but rather on logic […]


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