The Revival of the Religious Sciences
The Revival of the Religious Sciences (Iḥyāʾ ʿulūm al-dīn) is widely regarded as the greatest work of Muslim spirituality, and is perhaps the most read work in the Muslim world, after the Qurʾān.
The Revival of the Religious Sciences is divided into four parts, each containing ten chapters.Here to be downloaded:
Part one deals with knowledge and the requirements of faith—ritual purity, prayer, charity, fasting, pilgrimage, recitation of the Qurʾān, and so forth;
Part two concentrates on people and society—the manners related to eating, marriage, earning a living, and friendship;
Parts three and four are dedicated to the inner life of the soul and discuss first the vices that people must overcome in themselves and then the virtues that they must strive to achieve.
The Revival of the Religious Sciences by Imam al-Ghazali can be described as a book that will never die. This is because it contains a vital cognitive force that time cannot obliterate. In it the Imam discusses Islamic rulings, beliefs and character, in the style of an admonisher who understands the psyche and its secrets as well as spiritual diseases. What distinguishes this book from others is its strong spiritual influence on the reader which makes him seek both soundness of heart and his Lord’s pleasure through acts of worship, rather than the mere performance of acts of worship so that they are legally valid. The book is a comprehensive encyclopaedia for all of a Muslim’s religious affairs, including beliefs, acts of worship, dealings and character, as well as for individual and societal welfare. Al-Ghazālī’s style is that of one who practices what he knows, one who is determined to rise from the dry, ordinary manner of teaching to one which encourages action.
The Iḥyâ’ ‘ulûm ad-dîn as abridged by himself.
Translated from the Arabic, and annotated
by Marwan Khalaf
The Shaykh and Imam, the Proof of Islam, Abû Hâmid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazâlî, may Allah be pleased with him, stated: ‘Thank God for all His bounties; for even enabling us to thank Him; and prayers and peace be upon the Master of Messengers, Muhammad, His Prophet, Messenger and Servant, upon his family and Companions, and upon his successors after him, his Ministers in his time. – I missed, in some of my travels, a facility for extracting from the ‘Ihyâ’ ‘ulûm ad-dîn’ its essences, due to the difficulty of carrying it around with me, on account of its bulk. Hence I tackled this matter, seeking success and guidance from God and praising His Prophet. It consists of forty chapters. – And God guides to the truth.’ Look here