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Home :: Islamic Books :: SUFISM / SPIRITUALITY :: Al-Ghazali - The beginning of Guidance

Al-Ghazali - The beginning of Guidance

Al-Ghazali - The beginning of Guidance
 
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The Beginning of Guidance, a translation of Ghazali's Bidaya al-hidaya complements his spiritual autobiography and sets out his ideal of how the religious man should order his life from hour to hour and day to day.

Abu Hamid ibn Muhammad Ibn Muhammad al-Tusi al-Shafi'i al-Ghazali was born in 450/41 AH/1058 C.E. in Tus in Khorasan, (a region of modern day Iran). His father died while he was still very young but he had the opportunity of getting education in the prevalent curriculum at Nishapur and Baghdad. Soon he acquired a high standard of scholarship in religion and philosophy and was honoured by his appointment as a Professor at the Nizamiyah University of Baghdad, which was recognised as one of the most reputed institutions of learning in the golden era of Muslim history. After a few years, however, he gave up his academic pursuits and worldly interests and became a wandering ascetic. This was a process (period) of personal 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 author- ship of a number of everlasting books. He died in 505 AH/1111 C.E. at Tus.

Al-Ghazali's major contribution lies in religion, philosophy and Sufism. A number of Muslim philosophers had been following and developing several viewpoints of Greek philosophy, including the Neoplatonic philosophy, and had lead to conflict with several Islamic teachings. On the other hand, the movement of sufism was assuming such excessive proportions as to avoid observance of obligatory prayers and duties of Islam. Based on his unquestionable scholarship and personal mystical experience, Ghazali sought to rectify these trends, both in philosophy and sufism.

He was a prolific writer. His books include Tahafut al-Falasifa (The Incoherence of the Philosophers), Ihya Ulum al-Din (The Rivival of the Religious Sciences), "The Beginning of Guidance and his Autobiography", "Deliverance from Error". Some of his works were translated into Latin in the Middle Ages, where he was known as Algazel and via the translation of a truncated work, the Maqasid al-Falasifa [The objectives of the Philosophers.]

Al-Ghazali's influence was deep and everlasting. He is one of the greatest theologians of Islam and his influence penetrated Europe, influenced Jewish and Christian Scholasticism, and several of his arguments seem to have been adopted by Thomas Aquinas in order to similarly reestablish the authority of orthodox Christian religion in the West.


# Cover: Paperback
# Author: Imam Ghazali / Trans. Professor Mashhad Al-Allaf
# Pages: 192
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