-It cannot be denied that Gazzali's mission was almost
apostolic like that of Kant in Germany of the eighteenth century.
In Germany rationalism appeared as an ally of religion, but she
soon realized that the dogmatic side of religion was incapable of
demonstration. The only course open to her was to eliminate dogma
from the sacred record. With the elimination of dogma came the utilitarian
view of morality and thus rationalism, and thus rationalism completed
the reign of disbelief.
Such was the theological thought in Germany when Kant appeared.
His Critique Of Pure Reason revealed the limitations of pure reason
and reduced the whole work of the rationalists to a heap of ruins.
And justly has he been described as God's Greatest Gift to his country.
Gazzali's philosophical skepticism which, however, went a little
too far, virtually did the same kind of work in the world of Islam
in breaking the back of that proud but shallow rationalism which
moved in the same direction as pre-Kantian rationalism in Germany.
There is, however, one important difference between Gazzali and
Kant. Kant, consistently with his principles, could not affirm the
possibility of knowledge of God. Gazzali finding no hope in analytic
thought moved to mystic experience and there found an independent
content for religion.
In this way he succeeded in securing for religion the right to exist
independently of science and metaphysics.
But the revelation of the Infinite in mystic experience convinced
him of the finitude and inconclusiveness of thought and drove him
to draw a line of cleavage between thought and intuition. He failed
to see that thought and intuition are organically related and that
thought must necessarily stimulate finitude and inconclusiveness
because of its alliance with serial time.