Imam al-Ghazzali’s works influenced the way Islam was propagated in the Malay world. Today the region is one of the main spheres of Muslim world with the largest Muslim populated country. Malay scholars introduced and spread the teaching of Imam al-Ghazzali through: direct translations and interpretations; spreading the teachings of Islamic scholars who came after Imam al-Ghazzali and who used Imam al-Ghazzali thought as a basis for their works; and producing their own works based on Imam al-Ghazzali thought. This Malay knowledge tradition has in turn shaped or influenced many areas of leadership, economics, education and social dynamics in the Malay world. It has inspired from Sultans to traders to lay folks in the Malay world over the centuries. Had only Imam al-Ghazzali’s thought not reached the Malay world, the region will have seen a very different historical experience and be in a very different reality today.
For more reading
“Al-Ghazzali’s Influence on Malay Thinkers: A Study of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Samad al-Palimbani” authored by Dr. Megawati Moris from IIUM (link)
A beautifully written and decorated copy of the third book of Sayr al-sālikīn, a copy from Aceh, probably 19th c. National Library of Malaysia, MSS 2399, ff. 2v-3r.