Al-Ghazali on Vigilance & Self-Examination is Book 38 of the Revival of the Religious Sciences, published by The Islamic Texts Society
The 38th chapter of the Revival of the Religious Sciences, this treatise follows on from Al-Ghazali on Intention, Sincerity & Truthfulness. Here, Ghazali focuses on the different stations of steadfastness in religion (murabaha), 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. As relevant today as it was in the 11th century, this discourse will be of interest to anyone concerned with ethics and moral philosophy.
While this present work is entitled Vigilance and Self-examination, the main virtue is ‘steadfast commitment’ (murabata): vigilance and self-examination being two of its stations. Al-Ghazali refers to the Qur’an and states that God has enjoined upon creation patience and steadfast commitment and that the latter is made up of six stations: agreeing the conditions the soul must follow (musharata), vigililance (muraqaba), self-examination (muhasaba), punishment (mu’aqaba), renewed striving (mujahada) and, finally, censure (mu’ataba). Of these six stations, al-Ghazali gives particular attention to vigilance and self-examination which he considers to be the cornerstone of steadfast commitment.
About The Author
Imam Abu Hamid Muhammad Al-Ghazali was born in 450 AH (1058 A.D) in the Iranian town of Tus, studied Islamic law and theology at the Seljuq College in Nishapur, and became a distinguished professor at the famous Nizamiyya University in Baghdad.
Despite his glittering success, he was inwardly dissatisfied, so he abandoned his career for the life of hardship, abstinence and devotion to worship. During ten years of wandering, he experienced a spiritual transformation, in which the Truth came to him at last, as something received rather than acquired.
Blessed with an inner certainty, he then applied his outstanding faculties and vast learning to the task of revitalizing the whole Islamic tradition. Through his direct personal contacts, and through his many writings, he showed how every element in that tradition could and should be turned to its true purpose.
Imam al-Ghazzali was fondly referred to as the "Hujjat-ul-lslam", Proof of Islam, he is honored as a scholar and a saint by learned men all over the world and is generally acclaimed as the most influential thinker of the Classical period of Islam.
He passed away in 505 AH (1111 A.D).
About The Translator
Anthony F. Shaker holds a Ph.D. 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.
Series: Al-Ghazali The Revival Of The Religious Sciences (Ihya Ulum Al-Din) Book 38
Paperback: 164 pages
Publisher: Fons Vitae
Author: Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali
Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.0 x 0.5 inches