Imam Al-Ghazzali

Early Life & Education

Turns to Sufism

Reconciles Sufism & Islam

Ihya Uloom-ud-Din

Role of Mujaheda

Fragrant Flowers From Al-Ghazzali










CO Bar Sufism.gif (1162 bytes)


Reconciles Islam & Sufism

   One of the achievements of Imam Al-Ghazzali was to give Sufism a firm and assured place in the religion of Islam. He brought out not only the deeper meanings of the verses of Qur'an but also showed with copious quotations from the Traditions of the Prophet (sas) that the words of the Sufis in their deeper sense and meanings were not antagonistic to the Scriptures of Islam but were in consonance with them.

   It was, in fact, he who brought the ascetic and quietist Sufis to take to the training of emotions through Sama (Quwwali). His philosophy may be summed up: "Spiritual sciences have for their object the uprooting from the soul of the violent passions, the extirpation from it of the various desires and evil qualities, so that the heart may become detached from all that is non-Allah and devote itself to meditation on the Divine Being."

His peaceful passing away During his last days (1111 A.D.) he was living with his family and used to say: "Having entirely surrendered my own free will to God, my heart no longer felt any distress in renouncing wealth, fame, longer, society or my children." It is recorded about the last minutes of his life: "It was a Monday. Imam Ghazzali woke up hale and hearty from his bed in the morning, offered ablutions and his Namaz. He then called for his coffin cloth and touching it with his eyes spread his feet and, lo, people found him dead and gone. No pains, no last minute excruciations of death. Inna Lillahi-wa-inna alaihi raaji'un (To Allah we belong and to Him we return).

   As author of these historic masterpieces, Imam Ghazzali became one of the greatest Sufis who synthesized various aspects of moral, metaphysical and mystical systems, reconciling Sufism with Islamic orthodoxy and thus proving that "a Muslim's life of devotion to One God could not be lived perfectly save by following the Sufi way." He spent 10 years of his life in practical experiments before writing many works to prove his spiritual experiences and ultimately brought out a veritable encyclopedia, "the greatest book composed by any Muslim", in the form of lhya-ul-Uloom in four massive volumes in Arabic. Here is a skeleton analysis of the contents of Ihya: