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More than six centuries separate the death of Saint Augustine (354-430) and the
birth of Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali (1058-1111). Each of these two ‘giants of the spirit’ professed a different faith, and struggled with different social and political life. Augustine lived in the fourth and fifth-century Carthage, Rome, Milan and Hippo; Al-Ghazali in the eleventh and twelfth-century Baghdad, Damascus, Mecca and Tus. But the readers of the spiritual autobiographies left behind by Augustine and Al-Ghazali will certainly be amazed to find striking similarities that refl ect a common struggle with the same existential questions about the paradoxes of the human condition and the perpetual search and longing for God. A solid scholarship, a great curiosity and a genuine thirst for certainty were characteristic of both Augustine and Al-Ghazali. Each of these two seekers of God immersed himself bravely in
unfamiliar cultures, bridged different worlds, and subdued whatever he studied to his faith. The process of this cultural digestion did not pass without painful impact on these giant minds, not the least of it is the spiritual restlessness that Augustine and Al-Ghazali had to struggle with, and to make their way through, with a great difficulty and agony. This article emphasizes the quest for spiritual certainty in the autobiographies of Augustine and Al-Ghazali, as opposed to the quest for intellectual certainty, commonly associated with these two seekers of God.