The Views of al-Fārābī and al-Ghazālī on Achieving Happiness through the Rational Faculty of the Human Soul
A Comparative Study
Throughout history, Muslim thinkers from various schools of thought have tried to unleash the metaphysical insights of humanity while discovering its link to the material world. Al-Fārābī’s psychology is deeply rooted in the theory of the faculties of the soul, especially the rational faculty, which according to him, is the source of ultimate happiness in this life and the hereafter. A similar view is shared by al-Ghazālī, but the distinguishing factor in his understanding is that he classifies knowledge into two categories, mainly religious and intellectual, and places this rational power of the soul in the religious category, which according to him, ultimately becomes the source of eternal bliss. This paper elaborates on this intellectual faculty of the human soul and its correlation with happiness (sa‘ādah) through the lens of these two renowned thinkers.
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