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Fons Vitae is honored to be bringing out the entire Ihya Ulum Al-din in four volumes over the next several years. As we are coming out with a Youth version at the same time as the adult, we hope to bring our Books 1 & 2 Vol. 1 in all three versions (plus a workbook) in late 2014. The rest will come in successive years.
 
 

 

Hamza Yusuf - "The Critical Importance of Al-Ghazali in Our Times" (Fons Vitae Press) from Fons Vitae Press on Vimeo.

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One of the most remarkable documents to have come down from classical Islamic civilization, this autobiography of the most influential thinker of medieval Islam (1058-1111) describes his education and his intellectual crisis, which left him so paralyzed by doubt that he was forced to resign the most distinguished academic appointment.
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It is fair to say that the "Book of Faith in Divine Unity and Trust in Divine Providence " plays an axial role in Ghazali's celebrated compendium, the Ihya Ulum al-din. What is at issue is not Divine Unity itself, but the implications for the community arising from the idea that everything comes from God and that "there is no agent but God."
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This revised edition of Kojiro Nakamura’s acclaimed translation into English of Book IX of The Revival of the Religious Sciences, forms the second in the Islamic Texts Society’s al-Ghazali series. Although prayerfulness and the remembrance of God suffuse all the formal practices of Islam, there are times when the Muslim simply ‘sits alone with his lord’ to repeat formulas drawn from the Qur’an and the sayings of the Prophet, seeking remission of his sins and the purification of his heart.
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An old disciple of al-Ghazali had studied the Islamic sciences, including the many works of his master, for most of his life. Faced with the proximity of death, he turns again to his master this time asking for a summary of all his teachings. Letter to a Disciple is Abu Hamid al-Ghazali's response.
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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.
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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.
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"This text has long been recognized as not only an Islamic "classic," but also as one of the great "spiritual autobiographies" of the world's greatest religious thinkers. It is also the narrative of how one dedicated "seeker" after true knowledge and salvation, having probed various systems of thought and differing paths of learning and enlightenment, discovered the peace of the inner life and discipline of mystical spirituality--in Ghazali's case, the spirituality of the Sufis."
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This is a classic Sufi manual on the 'science of the heart.' For Sufis, the 'heart' is more than a piece of flesh, it is the seat of the soul, and holds the key to the intimate relationship which exists between soul and body.
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In this work, here presented in a complete English edition for the first time, the problem of knowing God is confronted in an original and stimulating way. Taking up the Prophet’s teaching that ‘Ninety-nine Beautiful Names’ are truly predicated of God, the author explores the meaning and resonance of each of these divine names, and reveals the functions they perform both in the cosmos and in the soul of the spiritual adept.
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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.
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Born in 1058 in Tus, Khorasan, in present-day Iran, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali was one of the most original thinkers the world has known. He influenced major figures of medieval philosophy such as Thomas Aquinas and Moses Maimonides, who shaped the philosophy of the Latin West. This film sets out to discover who al-Ghazali was and whether we, living in the 21st century, can still find relevance in his teaching.
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Al-Ghazali lived at a time such as the one we live in today, when the inward and outward practices of Islam had become divided and a collective spiritual crisis of the heart prevailed. He realized that in spite of all his knowledge he was of no use battling this crisis because his own heart was filled with pride. How could he aid his brothers in the transformation of their hearts, when his own heart was diseased?
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Imam al-Ghazali (d.1111), known as the ‘Proof of Islam’, authored over a hundred books on all the Islamic scholarly disciplines. But he is most celebrated for his Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya’ Ulum al-Din), a compendium of spiritual guidance which he wrote to revive the flagging fortunes of the Islamic world in his age.
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