IBN TAYMIYYAH ON GHAZZALI
Ibn Taymiyah wrote about Al-Ghazali in his “Bughyatul Murtad”:
Likewise he (Al-Ghazali) said in the book “Mishkat ul Anwar” when speaking about the niche (mishkat), the lamp (misbah), the glass, the tree, the oil and the fire, and he (Al-Ghazali) established the niche as the physical soul (Ar-Ruh Al-Hisi), the glass as the soul of imagination (Ar-Ruh Al-Khiyali), the lamp as the reason (Al-‘Aql), that tree as the soul of reflection (Ar-Ruh Al-Fikri), the oil as the holy prophetic soul (Ar-Ruh Al-Qudsi An-Nabawwi) that is restricted to the Prophets and to some of the Awliya.
This book (“Mishkat ul Anwar”) is like the root of the Madhab of the people of Ittihad affirming the creed of Wahdatul Wujud (unity of existence), though the author of this book did not say such, rather we indeed do Takfeer of those who say such, but it contains some generality sometimes, and some philosophy and showing of the intentions of the philosophers in the prophetic words and the Tawil (extrapolation) of them sometimes, and (it contains) opposition to what the Book, the Sunnah and the consensus show, rather opposition to what is known by clear reason sometimes, and from matters that their speech necessitate.
This is why the Imams of Islam rejected harshly this book and similar to it, until this reached proportions that is too long to describe.
He divided the book into three chapters:
First chapter about mentioning that the true light is Allah (Ta’ala) and the name of light for others is pure metaphor, having no reality, then he turned his speech to say that “light” has the meaning of “existence” (Wujud). Ibn Sina before him took this way in joining the Shari’ah and the philosophy, and likewise did the Ismailis Batinis in their books such as “Rasail Ikhwan Safa” and likewise did Ibn Rushd after him.
And likewise the people of Ittihad, they establish His manifestation and His appearance in the forms as His existence in them.
And the speech upon this is very vast and mentioned in another place, but the aim here is to show that their speech follow the philosophers from the Sabeans.