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Al Ghazali On Discipling The Soul (En) , By: A.H. Al Ghazali with Intro and Notes by T.J. Winter, The Islamic Texts Society, UK, 1995

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Al Ghazali On Discipling The Soul (En)  , By: A.H. Al Ghazali with Intro and Notes by T.J. Winter, The Islamic Texts Society, UK, 1995 

 

English
By: A.H. Al Ghazali with Intro and Notes by T.J. Winter
Softcover
277 pp
The Islamic Texts Society, UK, 1995
15.5 x 23.5 cm
978-0946-621-43-9 / 9780946621439
Classical - Islamic - Sufi

 

 

The classical writings by Abu Hamid al Ghazali, in the English language: On Discipling the Soul (Kitab Riyadat al nafs) and On Breaking The Two Desires (Kitab Kasr al shahwatayn), Books XXII and XXIII of The Revival Of The Religious Sciences.

The spiritual life in Islam begins with riyadat al-nafs, the inner warfare against the ego. Distracted and polluted by worldliness, the lower self has a tendency to drag the human creature down into arrogance and vice. Only by a powerful effort of will can the sincere worshiper attain that purity of soul which enables him to attain to God's proximity.

This translation of two sections from "The Revival of the Religious Sciences" (Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din) details the sophisticated spiritual techniques adopted by classical Islam. In the first text, "On Disciplining the Soul", which sites copious anecdotes from the Islamic scriptures and biographies of the saints. Ghazali explains how to acquire good character traits, and goes on to describe how the sickness of the heart may be cured. In the second part, entitled 'Breaking the Two Desires', he focuses on the question of gluttony and sexual desire, concluding with the words of the Prophet that 'the best of all matters is the middle way'.

The translator has added an introduction and notes which explore Ghazali's ability to make use of Greek as well as Islamic ethics. The work will prove of especial interest to those interested in Sufi mysticism, comparative ethics, and the question of sexuality in Islam.

Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (1058-1111), theologian, logician, jurist and mystic, was born and died at the town on Tus in Central Asia, but spent much of his life lecturing at Baghdad or leading the life of a wandering dervish. Because of his success in revealing the compatibility of the outward forms of religion with the inner experiences of the Sufi tradition, he is commonly regarded as the 'Renewer' of the fifth Muslim century, and the most influential thinker of medieval Islam.


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