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Some Moral and Religious Teachings of Imam Al-Ghazzali
Some Moral and Religious Teachings of Imam Al-Ghazzali
Description

Back of the Book:

Allah has granted the Humanity with both external and internal sense with qualities like peculiar to himself, knowledge, power of generalization, the conception of abstract the idea, possession of intellectual truth etc.

The book presents Imam Ghazzali's approach towards the lifting of the veil from the eyes of heart to see the mysterious relations between man and Allah, the creator of the Universe, Touching all the qualities of man.

PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION:

Some Moral and Religious Teachings of Imam Ghazali was first written in 1920 by one of my colleague Alban G. Widgery, a professor of the Comparative study of Religions at Baroda College. Later on the Request of the Shaikh Mohammad Ashraf, who was associated with works of Islamic Literature in English, I have revised and enlarged the edition. Below I give a short biographical sketch of Al-Ghazali and at the end of the book an illuminating extract from his Manhajul-Aabiedeen's Prologue under the heading, "The Seven Valley." It is expected that the book in its present form will prove more useful and instructive.

Abu-Hamid Mohammad Ibn Muhammand Al-Ghazali Hujjatul-Islam (the proof of Islam) was born at Tus in 450 (A.H.) (1058 A.D.). He received his education at Naishapur under Imam-ul Haramain Juwaini who was a leader of the Asharite School of thought During his studies he freely mixed with the leader of the various sects in Islam and tried to grasp their respective vied-points. This spirit of free inquiry and broadmindedness coupled with his great intellectual powers and genuine search after Truth made him one of the most original thinkers that Islam has produced. In 478 A.H. after the death of his teacher, he left Naishapur and went to the court of Nizamul-mulk the great vizier of the Saljuks who attached him to his retune of theologians until 484 A.H. when he was appointed professor in the Nizamia College at Baghdad. For four years he taught and wrote Fiqh (Canon law) and also controversial books against the batinias and other heretical sects. A critical study of Greek philosophy and its depressing effect on Iman (Faith) dissatisfied him with intellectualism. Philosophy had now no charms theology as taught in those days appeared as a dead letter and all seemed black to him. He would have taken refuge in Sufism but he knew that true Sufism was (ecstatic state of mind) and not (tall talk). A graphic account of this inward struggle is given by Al-Ghazali himself in his Al Munqid min ad Dalal Which he wrote five years before his death. At last unable to bear the mental shock any more he put behind him his brilliant position and worldly honour and fled, so to say, from Baghdad in 488 A.H. Then he made a pilgrimage to Makkah, visited Madinah, Baitul-Muqqaddas and other holy places. Praying by the side of Ibraheem's tomb at hebron he took a vow not to indulge in disputations, not to attend 'Darbars' and not to accept any stipend. The following anecdote will give an idea of how he was purifying his soul. In one of his wanderings while reading "book in running brooks and sermons in stones" he halted at a mosque where from the pulpit he heard the preacher saying, "So says our Imam Ghazali" Said Ghazali to himself, "How pleasing is this remark to thee, O my conceited self, but I would not tolerate the enjoyment of the pleasure any more. Leave this place at once and go where nobody talks of thee." From such strugglings after Truth and purity of heart did Ghazali win to a bright faith, a sure conviction and a power of leading others to that Sirat-e-Mustaqeem (The Straight Path) which was revealed in 'the Quran. He now felt his sacred duty to bequeath to posterity what he had gained, not through speculative methods but by ecstatic experience.

Political conditions of those times gave also stimulus to his resolve. The march of the Crusaders from Christendom and the fall of Jerusalem in 492 A.D.-where in the Great Mosque deplorable scenes which disgraced the conquest of Titus in 70 A.D. were renewed-was a national calamity. And the discord among the Muslim princes and the countries of Islam. Ghazali had to live Palestine; he went to Egypt but soon returned from Alexandria.

During seven years of retreat in different places with periods of return to his family from time to time , he composed his great work Ihya Ulum-id-Din which immortalized his name and earned for him the illustrious title of Imam Hujjatual-islam. In 499 A.H. he was forced by the Saljuk Sultan to teach in the Nizamia College at Naishapur, but he resigned after a short period and returned to his native place in Tus where he died in peace on the 14th of Jamadi-us-sani 505 A.H. (December 19, 1111 A.D.).

In his Literary History of Persia, Vol. I, P. 293, Browne has quoted Tholuck thus:-
"Ghazali," he says: "if ever any man has deserved the name, was truly a divine, and he may justly be placed on a level which Origen, so remarkable was he for learning and ingenuity, and gifted with such a rare faulty for the skilful and worthy exposition of doctrines."

Ghazali's influence on European thought, even the most modern, has been marked. In the Middle Ages it flowed through the pugio fidei of Ramon Marti, and affected first Thomas Aquinas and later Pascal.

NAWAB ALI
Lucknow

CONTENTS

Preface to the Second Editionv
Introduction1
List of Al-Ghazali's Works

18

I. - Extracts Form "Ihya Ulum-ud-Din"
The Nature of Man 25
Human Freedom and Responsibility35
Pride and Vanity57
Friendship and Sincerity71
The Nature of Love87
The Unity of God105
The Love of God and its Signs111
Riza or Joyous Submission to his will

127
II - Extracts From "Minhaj-ul-Aabiedeen"
The Seven Valleys

135
Index142

Some Moral and Religious Teachings of Imam Al-Ghazzali

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Back of the Book:

Allah has granted the Humanity with both external and internal sense with qualities like peculiar to himself, knowledge, power of generalization, the conception of abstract the idea, possession of intellectual truth etc.

The book presents Imam Ghazzali's approach towards the lifting of the veil from the eyes of heart to see the mysterious relations between man and Allah, the creator of the Universe, Touching all the qualities of man.

PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION:

Some Moral and Religious Teachings of Imam Ghazali was first written in 1920 by one of my colleague Alban G. Widgery, a professor of the Comparative study of Religions at Baroda College. Later on the Request of the Shaikh Mohammad Ashraf, who was associated with works of Islamic Literature in English, I have revised and enlarged the edition. Below I give a short biographical sketch of Al-Ghazali and at the end of the book an illuminating extract from his Manhajul-Aabiedeen's Prologue under the heading, "The Seven Valley." It is expected that the book in its present form will prove more useful and instructive.

Abu-Hamid Mohammad Ibn Muhammand Al-Ghazali Hujjatul-Islam (the proof of Islam) was born at Tus in 450 (A.H.) (1058 A.D.). He received his education at Naishapur under Imam-ul Haramain Juwaini who was a leader of the Asharite School of thought During his studies he freely mixed with the leader of the various sects in Islam and tried to grasp their respective vied-points. This spirit of free inquiry and broadmindedness coupled with his great intellectual powers and genuine search after Truth made him one of the most original thinkers that Islam has produced. In 478 A.H. after the death of his teacher, he left Naishapur and went to the court of Nizamul-mulk the great vizier of the Saljuks who attached him to his retune of theologians until 484 A.H. when he was appointed professor in the Nizamia College at Baghdad. For four years he taught and wrote Fiqh (Canon law) and also controversial books against the batinias and other heretical sects. A critical study of Greek philosophy and its depressing effect on Iman (Faith) dissatisfied him with intellectualism. Philosophy had now no charms theology as taught in those days appeared as a dead letter and all seemed black to him. He would have taken refuge in Sufism but he knew that true Sufism was (ecstatic state of mind) and not (tall talk). A graphic account of this inward struggle is given by Al-Ghazali himself in his Al Munqid min ad Dalal Which he wrote five years before his death. At last unable to bear the mental shock any more he put behind him his brilliant position and worldly honour and fled, so to say, from Baghdad in 488 A.H. Then he made a pilgrimage to Makkah, visited Madinah, Baitul-Muqqaddas and other holy places. Praying by the side of Ibraheem's tomb at hebron he took a vow not to indulge in disputations, not to attend 'Darbars' and not to accept any stipend. The following anecdote will give an idea of how he was purifying his soul. In one of his wanderings while reading "book in running brooks and sermons in stones" he halted at a mosque where from the pulpit he heard the preacher saying, "So says our Imam Ghazali" Said Ghazali to himself, "How pleasing is this remark to thee, O my conceited self, but I would not tolerate the enjoyment of the pleasure any more. Leave this place at once and go where nobody talks of thee." From such strugglings after Truth and purity of heart did Ghazali win to a bright faith, a sure conviction and a power of leading others to that Sirat-e-Mustaqeem (The Straight Path) which was revealed in 'the Quran. He now felt his sacred duty to bequeath to posterity what he had gained, not through speculative methods but by ecstatic experience.

Political conditions of those times gave also stimulus to his resolve. The march of the Crusaders from Christendom and the fall of Jerusalem in 492 A.D.-where in the Great Mosque deplorable scenes which disgraced the conquest of Titus in 70 A.D. were renewed-was a national calamity. And the discord among the Muslim princes and the countries of Islam. Ghazali had to live Palestine; he went to Egypt but soon returned from Alexandria.

During seven years of retreat in different places with periods of return to his family from time to time , he composed his great work Ihya Ulum-id-Din which immortalized his name and earned for him the illustrious title of Imam Hujjatual-islam. In 499 A.H. he was forced by the Saljuk Sultan to teach in the Nizamia College at Naishapur, but he resigned after a short period and returned to his native place in Tus where he died in peace on the 14th of Jamadi-us-sani 505 A.H. (December 19, 1111 A.D.).

In his Literary History of Persia, Vol. I, P. 293, Browne has quoted Tholuck thus:-
"Ghazali," he says: "if ever any man has deserved the name, was truly a divine, and he may justly be placed on a level which Origen, so remarkable was he for learning and ingenuity, and gifted with such a rare faulty for the skilful and worthy exposition of doctrines."

Ghazali's influence on European thought, even the most modern, has been marked. In the Middle Ages it flowed through the pugio fidei of Ramon Marti, and affected first Thomas Aquinas and later Pascal.

NAWAB ALI
Lucknow

CONTENTS

Preface to the Second Editionv
Introduction1
List of Al-Ghazali's Works

18

I. - Extracts Form "Ihya Ulum-ud-Din"
The Nature of Man 25
Human Freedom and Responsibility35
Pride and Vanity57
Friendship and Sincerity71
The Nature of Love87
The Unity of God105
The Love of God and its Signs111
Riza or Joyous Submission to his will

127
II - Extracts From "Minhaj-ul-Aabiedeen"
The Seven Valleys

135
Index142

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