Author: Abu Hamid Muhammad Ghazali
Categories: Islam, English,Religion
Publisher: ilqa publishers
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 worshipper achieve the purity of soul which enables him to attain to God s proximity. This translation of two sections, Books XXII and XXIII, from The Revival of the Religious Sciences details the sophisticated spiritual techniques adopted by classical Islam. In the first text, which cites 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 focusses 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 Ghazalt s ability to make use of Greek as well as Islamic ethics. The work will prove of especial interest to those interested in Sufi mysticisim, comparative ethics and the question of sexuality in Islam. In this new edition, the Islamic Texts Society has included a translation of Imam Ghazal s own Introduction to the Revival of the Religious Sciences which gives the reasons that caused him to write the work, the structure of the whole of the Revival and places each of the chapters in the context of the others.