On Disciplining the Soul

Author: Ghazzālī
Publisher: Islamic Texts Society's Al-Gha
ISBN: UVA:X004405002
Release Date: 1995
Genre: Religion

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 God's proximity. This translation of two chapters from The Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din) details the sophisticated spiritual techniques adopted by classical Islam. In the first step, On Disciplining the Soul, 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, Breaking the Two Desires, he focusses on the question of gluttony and sexual desire, concluding, in 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 special interest to those interested in Sufi mysticism, comparative ethics, and the question of sexuality in Islam.

Al ghazali on Disciplining the Soul and on Breaking the Two Desires

Author: Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali
Publisher: Islamic Texts Society's al-Ghazali Series
ISBN: 191114135X
Release Date: 2016-09
Genre: Gluttony

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 God's proximity. This translation of two chapters from The Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din) details the sophisticated spiritual techniques adopted by classical Islam. In the first step, On Disciplining the Soul, 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, Breaking the Two Desires, he focusses on the question of gluttony and sexual desire, concluding, in 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 special interest to those interested in Sufi mysticism, comparative ethics, and the question of sexuality in Islam.

Politics of Piety

Author: Saba Mahmood
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400839919
Release Date: 2011-10-03
Genre: Social Science

Politics of Piety is a groundbreaking analysis of Islamist cultural politics through the ethnography of a thriving, grassroots women's piety movement in the mosques of Cairo, Egypt. Unlike those organized Islamist activities that seek to seize or transform the state, this is a moral reform movement whose orthodox practices are commonly viewed as inconsequential to Egypt's political landscape. Saba Mahmood's compelling exposition of these practices challenges this assumption by showing how the ethical and the political are indelibly linked within the context of such movements. Not only is this book a sensitive ethnography of a critical but largely ignored dimension of the Islamic revival, it is also an unflinching critique of the secular-liberal assumptions by which some people hold such movements to account. The book addresses three central questions: How do movements of moral reform help us rethink the normative liberal account of politics? How does the adherence of women to the patriarchal norms at the core of such movements parochialize key assumptions within feminist theory about freedom, agency, authority, and the human subject? How does a consideration of debates about embodied religious rituals among Islamists and their secular critics help us understand the conceptual relationship between bodily form and political imaginaries? Politics of Piety is essential reading for anyone interested in issues at the nexus of ethics and politics, embodiment and gender, and liberalism and postcolonialism. In a substantial new preface, Mahmood addresses the controversy sparked by the original publication of her book and the scholarly discussions that have ensued.

Mahmud Sami al Barudi

Author: Terri DeYoung
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
ISBN: 9780815653158
Release Date: 2015-06-18
Genre: Literary Criticism

To explore the life of Mahmud Sami al-Barudi is to gain a nuanced perspective on the many facets—the perils and promises—of change in the rapidly modernizing Egypt of the nineteenth century. Al-Barudi, sole scion of a Turko-Circassian elite family that clung precariously to a legacy of position and power, turned his military education into a government career that ended with his elevation to the office of prime minister. He served briefly before the British invasion in 1882 put an end to Egypt’s independence for seventy years. As prime minister, al-Barudi focused on drafting and passing into law Egypt’s first constitution, an achievement that was summarily swept aside by the British occupation. Similarly, the prime minister’s efforts to modernize and improve the educational system were systematically undermined by the policies of colonial rule in the 1880s and 1890s. Although his reforms ultimately failed, al-Barudi was recognized among his contemporaries as the most consistent supporter of liberalism and eventually democratic representation and constitutionalism. For his boldness, he paid a price. He was exiled by the British to Ceylon for seventeen years and returned to Egypt in 1901 as a blind, prematurely aged, and broken man. Even before he made an impact as a political leader, al-Barudi had made a name for himself as the most original and adventurous poet of his generation. DeYoung charts the development of al-Barudi’s poetry through his youth, his career in government, his philosophical and elegiac reflections while in exile, and his return to Egypt at the beginning of a new century. Connecting the themes found in his more influential poems—among the more than 400 lyrics he composed—to the turbulent events of his political life and to his equally fierce desire to innovate artistically throughout his literary career, DeYoung offers a vivid portrait of one of the most influential pioneers of Arabic poetry.

The Perils of Joy

Author: Samuli Schielke
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
ISBN: 9780815651918
Release Date: 2012-12-13
Genre: Social Science

Mulids, festivals in honor of Muslim "friends of God," have been part of Muslim religious and cultural life for close to a thousand years. While many Egyptians see mulids as an expression of joy and love for the Prophet Muhammad and his family, many others see them as opposed to Islam, an expression of a backward mentality, a piece of folklore at best. What is it about a mulid that makes it a threat to Islam and modernity in the eyes of some, and an expression of pious devotion in the eyes of others? What makes the celebration of a saint’s festival appear in such dramatically different contours? The Perils of Joy offers a rich investiga­tion, both historical and ethnographic, of conflicting and transforming attitudes towards festivals in contemporary Egypt. Schielke argues that mulids are characterized by a utopian momen­tum of the extraordinary that troubles the grand schemes of order and perfection that have become hegemonic in Egypt since the twentiethcen­tury. Not an opposition between state and civil society, nor a division between Islamists and secularists, but rather the competition between different perceptions of what makes up a complete life, forms the central line of conflict in the contestation of festive culture.

Al ghazali on Love Longing Intimacy Contentment

Author: Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali
Publisher: Islamic Texts Society Al-Ghazali Series
ISBN: 1911141325
Release Date: 2017-11
Genre: God (Islam)

The Book of Love, Longing, Intimacy and Contentment is the thirty-sixth chapter of Abu Hamid al-Ghazali's Revival of the Religious Sciences. This was the first treatise which established not merely the possibility but the necessity for the love of God. Ghazali argues that all the virtues and spiritual stages that precede love, like repentance, patience and thankfulness, lead to love; and all the spiritual stages that follow on from love are a result of it.

Patience and Thankfulness

Author: Abu Hamid Muhammad Al-Ghazali
Publisher:
ISBN: 1903682649
Release Date: 2011
Genre: Religion

The Book of Patience and Thankfulness is the thirty-second chapter of The Revival of the Religious Sciences which is widely regarded as the greatest work of Islamic spirituality. Written by one of the most famous theologian-mystics of all time, The Book of Patience and Thankfulness discusses two of the virtues of the religious and spiritual life that are of universal interest. --

Al Ghaz l on the Manners Relating to Eating

Author: Ghazzālī
Publisher:
ISBN: 094662173X
Release Date: 2000
Genre: Social Science

The eleventh chapter of The Revival of the Religious Sciences begins the section dealing with man and society. In this volume concentrating on the manners relating to eating, Ghazali first discusses what a person must uphold when eating by himself: that the food is lawful, that both the person and the surroundings should be clean, that one must be content with what is available, and how the person should conduct himself while eating and after eating. Ghazali then proceeds to discuss eating in company and says that to all the above should be added the necessity of courtesy, conversation and the proper presentation of food. Finally, Ghazali expounds the virtues of hospitality and generosity and the conduct of the host as well as that of the guest. Other topics that are discussed are: abstention from food, fasting and general health.

Author: Ghazzālī
Publisher:
ISBN: 1903682665
Release Date: 2011-02-24
Genre: Religion

Written by Abu Hamid Ghazali in the 11th century, “The Revival of the Religious Sciences” is one of the most authoritative texts in Islamic religious literature. Offering a deeper understanding of Islam and its practices, this record contains the only English translation of an essential section from this magnum opus. Admired for the author’s analytical approach and detailed exploration of the psychological and spiritual effects of prayer, this compendium will not only interest academics, but also Muslims who wish to recite the prayers in the original Arabic.

Author: Ghazzālī
Publisher:
ISBN: UVA:X001927196
Release Date: 1989
Genre: Social Science

This is the first English translation of the last chapter of Al-Ghazali's Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din), widely regarded as the greatest work of Muslim spirituality. After expounding his Sufi philosophy of death and showing the importance of the contemplation of human mortality to the mystical way of self-purification, Ghazali takes his readers through the stages of the future life: the vision of the Angels of the Grave, the Resurrection, the Intercession of the Prophet, and finally, the torments of Hell, the delights of Paradise and—for the elect—the beatific vision of God's Countenance.

Al Ghazali on Intention Sincerity and Truthfulness

Author: Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali
Publisher: Islamic Texts Society Ghazali Series
ISBN: 1911141341
Release Date: 2016-11-10
Genre: Intention

The 37th chapter of the Revival of Religious Sciences, this treatise focuses on the subject of intention--which is of crucial importance in ethics--posing questions such as How can someone ignorant of the meaning of intention verify his own intention? How can someone ignorant of the meaning of sincerity verify his own sincerity? And how can someone sincerely claim truthfulness if he has not verified its meaning? Renowned theologian-mystic Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 1111) addresses these questions by expounding the reality and levels of intention, sincerity, and truthfulness and the acts which affirm or mar them. Each of al-Ghazali's responses is based on the Qur'an, the example of the Prophet, and the sayings of numerous scholars and Sufis. As relevant today as it was in the 11th century, this discourse will be of interest to anyone concerned with ethics and moral philosophy.

Marvels of the Heart

Author: Ghazzālī
Publisher:
ISBN: 1887752315
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Religion

Marvels of the Heart is a classic Sufi manual on the `science of the heart.' For Sufis, the heart is more than a physical organ, it is the seat of the soul, which holds the key to the intimate relationship that exists between the body and spirit. Each heart, according to traditional wisdom accumulated over centuries of spiritual practice, possesses four qualities: predatory, animal, demonic, and angelic. The latter represents one's true origin and potential, and through the proper use of the intellect and by engaging in spiritual practices, one can restore equilibrium to his inner core. As the Qur'an says: By the remembrance of God do hearts find peace. Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 1111) was the leading jurist, theologian, and mystic of premodern Islam, and remains its truest advocate in modern times. As a teacher of Sufi initiates he recorded these practical teachings in his four-volume compendium of spiritual knowledge, the Thya' `ulum al-din (The Revival of the Religious Sciences), from which the present work---Book 21---is taken. Imam al-Ghazali uses a series of traditional Sufi teachings and stories to illustrate the theme of the heart as a mirror. The light of the divine can only shine in the heart when the seeker recalls the Prophet's teaching that "everything has a polish, and the polish of hearts is the remembrance of God." Base character traits that accumulate when the true nature of the heart is neglected are like "a smoke that clouds the heart's mirror"; rust corrodes the hearts of all but those who polish them by the remembrance of God. Hearts thus illuminated lead one to success in this life and eternal salvation in the next. Originally translated for a PhD thesis in 1938 as "The Religious Psychology of al-Ghazzali," for years this translation was only available to researchers and cognoscenti. Fons Vitae is proud to offer the complete text to the general public and specialists alike.