Purification is the Key to prayer. It is essential for all religions. In Islam, It occupies a significant position. Purity is essential not for the body but soul also. In this book the stage of Purity and its benefits have been interpreted clearly.
Though one of the most important works coming down to us from Medieval Islam, no single part of the Ihya' 'Ulum al-Diri appeared III English, or any European language at that, until Duncan B. Macdonald published in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (1901, pp. 195-252, 705-748, and 1902, pp. 1-28) an English version of Book VIII of the second quarter of the Ihya', i.e., the Kitab Adab al-Sama' w-al- Wajd (On Audition and Grief). The second complete part of the Ihya' was Edwin E. Calverley's translation of Book IV of the first quarter, i.e., the Kitab al-Salali (Madras, 1925). Except for a few extracts and selections, no complete translation of any part of the Ihya' appeareed in English until 1962 when two books from it were finally published: Book I of the first quarter, namely, the Kitab al- 'Ilm (The Book of Knowledge), translated by the present writer and published by M. Ashraf, Lahore, and Book III of the fourth quarter, namely, the Kitab al-Khawf w-al- Raja (On Fear and. Hope), translated by William McKane and published by Brill of Leiden. The following year, 1963, saw also the publication, in English, of two other books of the Ihya': Book X of the second quarter, on the Conduct of Life as Exemplified by the Prophet (Adab al-Ma'ishah. wa- Akhlaq al-Nubuwah), translated by 1. Zolondek and published also by Brill; and Book II of the first quarter, i.e., the Kitab Qawa'id al-'Aqa'id (The Foundations of the Articles of Faith), translated by the present writer and published also by M. Ashraf.
The following pages present in English garb Book III of the first quarter, namely, the Kitab Asrar al-Taharah (On the Mysteries of Purity). Though not one of the more profound contributions of al- Ghazzali, it still remains an integral part of the Ihya' and should not, therefore, be neglected. The translation is based on three printed texts and one in manuscript form. The printed texts are: first, that Printed at Kafr al-Zaghari in A.H. 1352 from the older Cairo edition of A.H. 1289; second, that contained in the text of the Ithaf al-Sadah al- Muttaqin bi-Sharh. Ihya' 'Ulum al-Diti of al-Sayyid al-Murtada al-Zabidi (d.1791) third, that reproduced in the margin of the same Ithaf al- Sadah; and fourth, the text preserved in a four volume manuscript in the Garrett Collection of Arabic Manuscripts in the Princeton University Library (No.1481). In the translation of Quranic verses, I have depended mainly on J. M. Rodwell's version.
It is my hope that by making still another Book of the Ihya' available in. English, non-Arabic- speaking scholars will draw a benefit, even from my mistakes.
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