al-Ghazali website


Main: Subject: Influence on Jewish thought and philosophy


a Preliminary work in progress (seed article)

In some of the works he is described in Hebrew letters "Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, the memory of the righteous be blessed" the usual designation for a pious Jew.

Pre-Translation Period: through 13th Century

In this period works were used in Arabic although some were written in Hebrew script  in some of the existing manuscripts

  • Judah Halevi (utilized the tahafut)

  • Ḥasdai Crescs (utilized the tahafut)

  • Abraham Ibn Da'ud (Emunah Ramah "Exalted Faith") (utilized the maqasid) uses the parable of the pilgrim from al-Ghazali's maqasid.

  • Maimonides: striking similarities between of the Ihya's Book of Knowledge and the first book of the Mishneh Torah. (See S. Harvey 2005)

Translation Period: 13th Century and beyond

  • Tahfut al-Falasifah Translations:

    • Zerahyah ha-Levi (1411), Title: happalat ha-Filosofim

    • Nathan of Cordova (14th Century) Title: Ma'amar bi-Teshuvot She'elot Nish'al Mehem (published 1897)

    • Jacob ben Makhir (d. 1308) Title: Moznei ha-Iyyunim.

    • Simon Duran (d. 1444) quotes the Moznei in his Keshet u-Magen

  • Mishkat al-Anwar Translation:

    • Zerahyah ha-Levi (1411), Title: Maskit ha-Orot be-Pardes ha-Niẓẓanim.

    • Moses ibn Ḥabib quotes the Mishkat in his commentary on Beḥinat olam.

    • Johanan Alemanno compares metaphor of lights to the symbolic system of the Kabbalah in Ḥeshek Shelomoh

  • Mizan al-'amal Translation:

    • Abraham ibn Ḥasdai ben Samuel ha-Levi of Barcelona, Title: Moznei Ẓedek. were he replaced Qur'anic text with parallel from Biblical and Talmudic sources.


  • M. Steinschneider, Uebersetzungen (1893, [1956]), 296–348. (pdf) 
  • Steinschneider, Moritz. 1893. Die hebraeischen uebersetzungen des mittelalters 
    und die Juden als dolmetscher. Ein beitrag zur literaturgeschichte des mittelalters, 
    meist nach handschriftlichen quellen. 
    Berlin: Kommissionsverlag des Bibliographischen bureaus.
  • “Issac Albalag,” in: Sefer Tiqqun ha-Deʿot, ed. Georges Vajda (1973)
  • S. Harvey, “Why Did Fourteenth-Century Jews Turn to Al-Ghazali’s Account
    of Natural Science?” in: JQR, 91:3–4 (January–April 2001), 359–76.
  • B.S. Kogan, “Al-Ghazali and Halevi on Philosophy and the Philosophers,” in: 
    Medieval Philosophy and the Classical Tradition (2002), 64–80; 
  • H. Malter, Die Abhandlungen des Abu Hamid al-Gazzali Antworten auf Fragen, die an ihn
    gerichtet wurden (1894); 
  • J. Wolfsohn, Der Einfluss Gazālī’s auf Chisdai Crescas (1905). 
  • Abraham ibn Ḥasdai ben Samuel ha-Levi, Moznei Ẓedeḳ, ed. J. Goldenthal (1839). 
  • A. Eran, “Al-Ghazali and Maimonides on the World to Come 
    and Spiritual Pleasures,” in: Jewish Studies Quarterly, 8 (2001), 137–66; 
  • H.A. Davidson, Proofs for Eternity, Creation and 
    the Existence of God in Medieval Islamic and Jewish Philosophy (1987), 196–203; 
  • S. Harvey, “Alghazali and Maimonides and their Books of Knowledge,” in: J.M. Harris (ed.), 
    Be’erot Yitzhak – Studies in Memory of Isadore Twersky (2005), 99–117; 
  • S. Pines, “The Philosophic Sources of the Guide of Perplexed,” in his translation of Maimonides’
    Guide of Perplexed, 1 (1963), cxxvi–cxxxi.

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* Page created on 20-09-2007 mostly based on an article in Encyclopedia Judaica 2nd ed. vol. 7 pp. 572-3. Page was last updated on: 2007-12-25.

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