Biography

Dr. Farouk Mitha
Curriculum Development Coordinator

Introduction

Dr. Farouk Mitha is a lecturer in the Faculty of Education at University of Victoria, Canada. He was Academic Course Director at the Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS), for the Secondary Teacher Education Programme (STEP) from 2008-2011, and is currently involved with the IIS in developing curricula for Human Resource Development Programmes. He has a B.A. in History from the University of Toronto, a M.A in Islamic Studies from McGill, a M.A in International Education from the University of London, and a Ph.D. in English Literature and Education from the University of Victoria. His current research is on the teaching of Shakespeare in secondary schools; and debates on the concept of culture in educational research.

He has published in the area of medieval Islamic thought and on the state of liberal education in contemporary Muslim societies, as well as on Canadian literature and Iranian cinema.

His book, Al-Ghazali and the Ismailis: A Debate on Reason and Authority in Medieval Islam was published by I.B Tauris in 2001.

 

Al-Ghazali and the Ismailis: A Debate on Reason and Authority in Medieval Islam

Al-Ghazali and the Ismailis: A Debate on Reason and Authority in Medieval IslamAbu Hamid al-Ghazali (AH 450/1058 - 505/1111 CE) is arguably one of the most influential thinkers in the history of Islamic thought and modern scholarship has awarded him a greater share of attention than any other mediaeval Muslim figure. As part of his corpus of some forty or more works, al-Ghazali wrote a number of treatises in which he attempted to refute the doctrines of the Ismailis. The purpose of the work was to systematically analyse and dismantle the Ismaili doctrine of ta‘lim, the ‘authoritative instruction’ of the imaminfo-icon of the time, as expounded by Hasan-i Sabbah (d. AH 518/1124 CE), the head of the Ismaili da‘wainfo-icon organisation in Persia at the time. Al-Ghazali’s debate with the Ismailis constitutes an important chapter in the history of Islamic thought. By exploring the wider intellectual and political significance of this encounter, and building upon the work of other scholars, this study presents novel insights into al-Ghazali’s work and the influential role of Ismaili thought in mediaeval Islam.