“The more things change, the more they stay the same.” (Author unknown)
In his search for true and distinct knowledge, after overcoming skepticism, al-Ghazali found there to be essentially four groups of those who sought the truth in the Islamic world of his day. Al-Ghazali sought to align himself with the one and only true and correct source out of the four. Similarly, in the modern Western world, there are four equivalent sources to which one might turn for truth. Although the Islamic world of al-Ghazali’s day and the modern Western world are very different, these sources of knowledge are very much the same.
The four sources of knowledge in the Islamic world of al-Ghazali’s day were the mutakallimun, who were conservers of the creeds of orthodoxy; the Batinites, or Ta’alimites, who and their Infallible Imam; the philosophers, who relied strictly upon reasoning and logic; and the sufis, who were mystics who sought come closer to God by ridding themselves of all that is ungodly. The four modern-day Western equivalent sources of knowledge in the modern Western world are the Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox churches as conservers of the creeds of orthodoxy, Protestantism with its theological concept of solo scriptura, the philosophers, and the restored Church.