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AL-GHAZALI : THE MARVELS OF THE HEART , by Walter James Skellie

  • AL-GHAZALI : THE MARVELS OF THE HEART
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Paperback - 242 pages                                                            Kitab Sharh 'Aja'ib al-Qalb

       


Science of the Spirit
Book XXI of the Ihya Ulum al-Din

 Translated from the Arabic by Walter James Skellie

Introduction by T.J. Winter [Shaykh Abd'al Hakim Murad]

This is a classic Sufi manual on the 'science of the heart.' For Sufis, the 'heart' is more than a piece of flesh, it is the seat of the soul, and holds the key to the intimate relationship which exists between soul and body.

 

Each heart, according to this traditional wisdom accumulated over centuries of spiritual practice and experience, possesses four qualities: predatory, animal, demonic, and divine. The latter represents our true origin and potential, and by use of the intelligence and spiritual practices enabled by God's grace, we may restore equilibrium to our inner core. As the Noble Qur'an says: 'By the remembrance of God do hearts find peace.'

 

Imam al-Ghazali May Allah be pleased with him, uses a series of traditional Sufi teaching stories to illustrate the theme of the heart as a mirror. The light of the divine sun can only shine in the heart when the seeker recalls the Prophet's May Allah bless him and grant him peace, teaching that 'everything has a polish, and the polish of hearts is the remembrance of God.' Bad character traits, acquired through faulty upbringing, are like 'a smoke which clouds the heart's mirror'; this is the 'heart's rust' mentioned in the Koran. But the one who has polished his heart is made luminous by God's light, and brings that light to others, which is the quality of sainthood.  


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