Al-Ghazali on Vigilance and Self-examination

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  • Author: Al-Ghazali
  • ISBN: 9781903682333

Book XXXVIII of the Revival of the Religious Sciences
(Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din)
Translated by Anthony F. Shaker

Al-Ghazali on Vigilance and Self-examination is the thirty-eighth chapter of the Revival of the Religious Sciences and follows on from Al-Ghazali on Intention, Sincerity & Truthfulness. Here Ghazali focuses on the different stations of steadfastness in religion (murabata), vigilance and self-examination being its cornerstones. As in all his writings, Ghazali bases his arguments on the Qur’an, the example of the Prophet and the sayings of numerous scholars and Sufis.

Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (1058-1111), theologian, logician, jurist and mystic, was born and died in Tus in Central Asia, but spent much of his life lecturing at Baghdad or leading the life of a wandering dervish. His most celebrated work, of which this is an important chapter, has exercised a profound influence on Muslim intellectual history by exploring the mystical significance of the practices and beliefs of Islamic orthodoxy, earning him the title of Hujjat al Islam, the ‘Proof of Islam’.

Anthony F. Shaker holds a PhD in Islamic Studies from McGill University and is the author, among other works, of Thinking in the Language of Reality: Sadr al-Din Qunavi and the Philosophy of Reason. He writes on the philosophical and Sufi traditions of Islam, contemporary developments around the world, and is a professional consultant and researcher.