Al-Ghazali On Love, Longing, Intimacy & Contentment
Kitab al-mahabba wa'l- shawq wa'l-uns wa'l-rida
Book 36 of The Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya Ulum al-Din).
By Imam Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali
Translator : Eric Ormsby
Paperback 244 Pages
Size : 234 x 156 mm
ISBN : 9781903682272
Publisher : Islamic Texts Society (ITS), Cambridge UK
About The Book
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.
Table of Contents
Introduction By Translator: The Love of God as a Paradox
- CHAPTER ONE: An Exposition of the Proof-Texts from Revelation Concerning Man's Love for God
- CHAPTER TWO: An Exposition of the True Nature and Causes of Love, with an Explanation of the Meaning of Human Love for God
- CHAPTER THREE: An Exposition that God Alone Merits Love
- CHAPTER FOUR: An Exposition that the Noblest and Loftiest Pleasure is Knowledge of God and Contemplation of His Blessed Face and Only He Who Is Denied this Pleasure can Conceivably Prefer Another To It
- CHAPTER FIVE: An Exposition of Why the Beatific Vision in the World to Come Surpasses Knowledge in this World
- CHAPTER SIX: An Exposition of the Factors that Strengthen Love of God
- CHAPTER SEVEN: An Exposition of Why there are Disparities among People with Respect to Love
- CHAPTER EIGHT: An Exposition of Why the Human Understanding is Unable to Know God
- CHAPTER NINE: An Exposition of What Longing for God Means
- CHAPTER TEN: An Exposition of the Meaning of God's Love for Man
- CHAPTER ELEVEN: The Distinguishing Marks of Man's Love for God.
- CHAPTER TWELVE: An Exposition of the Meaning of Intimacy with God
- CHAPTER THIRTEEN: An Exposition of the Meaning of the Uninhibitedness and Forwardness which Overmastering Intimacy Produces.
- CHAPTER FOURTEEN: An Exposition of the Merit of Contentment
- CHAPTER FIFTEEN: An Exposition of the Essence of Contentment (and How It Can be Conceived as a Check to Appetite)
- CHAPTER SIXTEEN: An Exposition that Supplication is not in Conflict with Contentment
- CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: An Exposition that Fleeing and Censuring a Country Reputed Sinful Is not Contrary to Contentment
- CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: A Compilation of Anecdotes about Lovers, Together with their Sayings and Innermost Illuminations
- CHAPTER NINETEEN: Conclusion: Various useful Sayings Regarding Love
PROLOGUE: The Meaning of Contentment with God's Decree: Its True Nature and What Tradition Reports of Its Merit.
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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
For Imam Ghazali's Autobiography See: Al Munqidh min al-Dalal al-Ghazali's Path to Sufism, His Deliverance from Error, Iman Abu Hamid al-Ghazali's autobiography.
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