The wisdom of one of the greatest scholars of Islam can be a companion on your own spiritual journey.
Considered by many to be the all-time greatest scholar of Islam, Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (1058–1111) was also one of the foremost sages of theology, philosophy and Sufism. His writings on the interrelation of law, theology and mysticism were central in establishing Sufism as a core dimension of orthodox Islamic practice. Muslim communities all across the world today still base much of their practice of Islam on Ghazali's writings.
The Forty Foundations of Religion, Ghazali’s own summary of his magnum opus, The Revival of the Religious Sciences, serves as a brief and powerful summary of Islamic faith, worship, law and spirituality. It outlines the basis of Islamic belief, the foundational matters of ritual and practice, and the character traits a person must cultivate and avoid in the perfection of faith.
Now you can experience the wisdom of Ghazali even if you have no previous knowledge of The Forty Foundations of Religion or Islam. This SkyLight Illuminations editionthe first publication of significant portions of The Forty Foundations of Religion in Englishprovides original translations of selected highlights accompanied by insightful commentary that makes the core message of this great spiritual master relevant to anyone seeking a balanced understanding of Islam.
About the Author
Aaron Spevack, PhD, is assistant professor of Islam in the Religious Studies Department at Loyola University, New Orleans. He specializes in Islamic intellectual history, including law, theology and Sufism. He is also a founder and director of Boston's Bukhari Institute, which offers educational programs on the arts and sciences of the Islamic world.
M. Fethullah Gülen is an authoritative and popular Turkish Muslim scholar, imam, preacher and civil society activist. He has extensive knowledge and teaching experience in Islamic scholarship, and is a prolific author with more than sixty books translated into many languages.
Table of Contents
Foreword: Al-Ghazali and the Tradition of Islamic Renewal ixIntroduction xvAl-Ghazali's Introduction 3
BOOK IThe Science of BeliefThe First Foundation: Allah's Entity 9The Second Foundation: His Sacredness 13The Third Foundation: Allah’s Omnipotent Power 17The Fourth Foundation: Allah’s Omniscient Knowledge 19The Fifth Foundation: Allah’s Will 21The Sixth Foundation: Allah’s Hearing and Seeing 25The Seventh Foundation: Allah’s Speech 27The Eighth Foundation: His Actions 29The Ninth Foundation: The Last Day 33The Tenth Foundation: Prophecy 37Conclusion 39
BOOK IIOutward ActionsThe First Foundation: Ritual Prayer 43The Second Foundation: Poor Tax and Charity 51The Third Foundation: Fasting 59The Fourth Foundation: Hajj, the Pilgrimage to Mecca 63The Fifth Foundation: Recitation of Qur’an 69The Sixth Foundation: Regarding Remembrance of Allah Mighty and Majestic in Every State 79The Seventh Foundation: Seeking the Permissible 85The Eighth Foundation: Establishing the Rights of the Believers and Keeping Good Company 91The Ninth Foundation: Commanding the Right and Forbidding the Wrong 99The Tenth Foundation: Regarding Following the Sunnah 105Conclusion: Regarding the Ordering of Your Litanies That Incline You Toward These Ten Foundations … 109
BOOK IIIPurification of the HeartThe First Foundation: The Evils Related to Food 115The Second Foundation: The Evils Related to Speech 121The Third Foundation: Anger 131The Fourth Foundation: Envy 135The Fifth Foundation: Stinginess and Love of Wealth 141The Sixth Foundation: Frivolity and Love of Prestige 151The Seventh Foundation: Love of the World 163The Eighth Foundation: Arrogance 171The Ninth Foundation: Pride 181The Tenth Foundation: Ostentation 187Conclusion: The Entirety of [Blameworthy] Character Traits and the Places Where You Fall into Delusions with Regard to Them 205
BOOK IVMeritorious Character TraitsThe First Foundation: Repentance 213The Second Foundation: Fear 219The Third Foundation: Abstinence 225The Fourth Foundation: Patience 233The Fifth Foundation: Gratitude 241The Sixth Foundation: Sincerity and Truthfulness 245The Seventh Foundation: Reliance on Allah 257The Eighth Foundation: Love 267The Ninth Foundation: Contentment with Divine Destiny 281The Tenth Foundation: Remembering Death and Its Reality, and the Categories of Spiritual Punishments 287Conclusion 295
Epilogue 296Notes 297Selected Bibliography 300