Proofs Of Incorporeality of God In Islam And Judaism: Analysis On The Discourse Of Al-Ghazālī And Maimonides
Keywords:Incorporeality of God, al-Ghazali, Maimonides.
This study aims to examine the concept of incorporeality of God according to al-Ghazālī and Maimonides. Due to the existence of ‘human-like’ attributes and actions in the Hebrew Bible, it entails to various interpretations towards anthropomorphic verses within Muslim and Jewish society. During the golden age of Islamic civilization, fellow Jews and Christian were seen to be engaged in theological discourse with Muslim scholars. The emerging trend during that time in inculcating rational interpretations into religion has triggered scholars to be engaged in the inter-theological dialogue. Prior to this critical situation, al-Ghazālī and Maimonides were seen playing vital roles in affirming the incorporeality of God and refuting anthropomorphism in their respective religions. Therefore, this study will highlight their methods in affirming the incorporeality of God. In sum, it can be observed that al-Ghazālī employed kalām’s method of arguments on jawhar fard while Maimonides’ methods reciprocate Aristotle’s argument on the theory of motion. Through their propositions, both scholars denounced God to be associated to any form of substance, accident and body. Both argued that God is an incorporeal being that does not possess any forms or figures. However, Maimonides arguing through the theory of motion led to the concept of God as the First Mover. Meanwhile al-Ghazālī opposed against the former concept and argued that God particularized (mukhaşşiş) of every creations. In sum, it is apparent that the argument of incorporeality that serves as the fundamental proposition is essential in having the right understanding on the concept of God. Despite having the similarities in arguing on the incorporeality of God, both al- Ghazālī and Maimonides differ in comprehending the concept of God.
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