In Service of God and Humanity
The Legacy of Shaykh Muhammad al-Ghazali
By Benaouda Bensaid
Paperback 282 Pages
Publisher: International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT)
About The Book
In his passionate devotion to the task of inviting others to Islam, Muhammad al-Ghazali (1917-1996) presented Muslims with a powerful critique of themselves, not only in their endemic failure to project Islam in the best, most reasoned light, but also in their betrayal of the Qur'an's spiritual principles and the highest standards set by the Prophet Muhammad.
This work analyses al-Ghazali's critique of du'at (those inviting to Islam) and the practice of da'wah work itself (the call to Islam).
It also examines his methodology, various proposed solutions, and the juristic responses to his perspective. The evolution of al-Ghazali's thought and the people and factors influencing him are key elements of the study.
It is hard to conceive where the state of discourse on da'wah and Islamic reform would be without al-Ghazali's outstanding contributions.
The powerful stand he took on the importance of education, the significant weight he gave to a free society, his promotion of a decent standard of living for the poor, the qualities of moral and personal excellence he appealed for, and his compassionate, impassioned role as an educator, all these preserve al-Ghazali's reputation, both in his own lifetime and for many generations to come, as one of the twentieth century's most important Muslim intellectual thinkers and reformers. His legacy is founded on a lifetime of service.
He was one of the most influential Islamic scholars of the twentieth century, both as an author and in the field of Da'wa. Born at Buhayra, Egypt in 1335/1917, he received his schooling at the Alexandria Religious Institute before entering the Faculty of Usul al-Din at the University of al-Azhar.
In 1362/1943, al-Ghazali was appointed Imam and lecturer at al-Makataba al-Khadra in Cairo. He later became a prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood and a close associate of Sheikh Hasan Al-Banna. During the early 1950s he worked for the Islamic Movement in various capacities.
Subsequently his work for Islam extended over many parts of Africa, Asia. Europe and America as well as the Arab countries.
Between 1391/1971 and 1410/1989, Sheikh al-Ghazali rose through the ranks of the Egyptian Ministry of Awqaf, to become Undersecretary for Islamic Da'wa, his academic career included spells of teaching at the universities of Umm al-Qura (Makka) and Qatar: and he served as a Chairman of the Academic Council first of al-Amir 'Abd al-Qadir University, at Constantine, Algeria, and later of the international institute of Islamic Thought at Cairo.
Sheikh Muhammad al-Ghazali published over sixty books, several of which have been published in translation. Probably the most important is "Journey through the Qur'an" (al-Tafsir al-mawdu' li-suwar al-Quran al Karim).
He received many awards in recognition of his contribution to learning and Da'wa. He died in 1416/1996 while attending a conference in Saudi Arabia. Rahimahu 'Llah.
About The Author
Benaouda Bensaid holds a Bachelor's degree in Islamic Studies (University of El-Emir AbdelKadir, Constantine, Algeria), a Master's degree in Islamic Revealed Knowledge (International Islamic University, Malaysia), and a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies (McGill University, Canada).
He is currently associated with the College of Art and Science, Effat University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
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