Al-Ghazali on Love, Longing, Intimacy & Contentment is a translation of the thirty-sixth chapter of The Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya Ulum al-Din).
This chapter falls in the last of the four sections of the Ihya, the section dealing with the virtues or what is conducive to salvation. This work was of radical importance to the history of Sufism and the arguments that al-Ghazali sets out in it formed the basis of the development of whole schools of Sufi theory and practice of mystical love, including the extensive Sufi poetry of Rumi and Hafiz.
The text starts by elucidating the love of God for humanity and the love of man for God, and proceeds to discuss the deepening of this love to include different degrees of longing, intimacy and contentment.
About The Author
Abu Hamid Muhammad, famous in the world of learning as al-Ghazali was born in 450 AH (1058 A.D). in Persia . He graduated from the Nizamia Madressa at Nishapur, with distinction, a very famous educational institution in Nishapur. Later he was appointed as a teacher at the Nizamia College in Baghdad, where he proved very successful in imparting knowledge to the scholars under his care. This valuable gift of sustaining interest of his pupils and passing on his knowledge to them made him so famous that students from all parts of the country flocked to study under him.
Imam al-Ghazzali was fondly referred to as the “Hujjat-ul-lslam”, Proof of Islam, He is honoured as a scholar and a saint by learned men all over the world.
Al-Ghazali is generally acclaimed as the most influential thinker of the Classical period of Islam, in his autobiography The Deliverance from Error, the Imam describes his education and his intellectual crisis, which left him so paralysed by doubt that he he gave up his academic pursuits and worldly interests and became a wandering ascetic. This was a process (period) of mystical transformation.
Later, he resumed his teaching duties, but again left these. An era of solitary life, devoted to contemplation and writing then ensued, which led to the authorship of a number of everlasting books (Many of which have been translated in English). Imam al-Ghazzali’s life was spent in self-sacrificing service of God and his fellowmen. He left behind him a fine example for all men to follow. He died in 505 AH
Title: Al-Ghazali on Love, Longing, Intimacy & Contentment: Book 36 of The Revival of Religious Sciences (Ihya Ulum al-Din).
Translator: Eric Ormsby
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