Abu Hamed Mohammed Algazzali, a Moslem philosopher, born at Tus, Persia, about 1058, died in 1111. His father was a dealer in cotton thread (gazzal, whence the name Algazzali), and on his death the son was intrusted to the care of a sufi, or mystical philosopher. He became a professor of theology at Bagdad, and attracted hundreds to his lectures. Anxious to attain to the purest state of which man is capable, he found that for this purpose the soul must be purified from all connection with earth. Accordingly he distributed his wealth, and sought in Syria, in solitary communion with himself, to attain that ecstatic state for which he longed. He spent some time in this manner, and in travelling, settling at last at Nishapoor, and there he passed the remainder of his days, sometimes, as he says, experiencing the highest bliss of the ecstatic state, but only occasionally, and for a short time. He was a very prolific writer, but his works were not all considered entirely orthodox by the Mohammedans, and one of them was condemned to be burned on account of some strictures on the Mohammedan law.

One of his works attained so high a reputation among the Moslems, that they sometimes said, if all Islam were destroyed, it would be but a slight loss provided Algazzali's work on the "Revivification of the Sciences of Religion" were preserved. (See Lewes's "Biographical History of Philosophy.")