ABOUT THE BOOK:
The Path of the Worshipful Servants to the Garden of the Lord of All the Worlds (Minhaj al-'Abidin ila Jannati Rabbi 'l-'Alamin) by Imam Hujjat al-Islam Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali The author tells us how he implored Allah "to make it possible for me to compose a book-one that would meet with unanimous approval, and the reading of which would result in positive benefit-and He inspired me with a marvellous arrangement, the like of which I did not recall in any of the previous compositions dealing with the secrets of religious practices."
"We therefore looked into the subject of worshipful service, and made a careful study of its path, from its beginnings to its destinations, which are the desired goals of its travellers. It is indeed a rugged path and a hard road, fraught with many obstacles, serious hardships, remote distances, enormous difficulties, frequent hindrances and impediments. It is beset with deadly perils and interruptions, abounding in enemies and highway robbers, and offering very few companions and followers. This is exactly how it needs to be, since it is the path of the Garden of Paradise..."
He also said, "Worshipful service is the fruit of knowledge, the benefit of life, the income of strong servants, the stock-in-trade of the saints [awliya'], the path of the truly devout, the allotted portion of the mighty, the goal of those endowed with aspiration, the emblem of the noble, the vocation of real men, and the choice of those with faculties of vision. It is the way of good fortune and the path [minhaj] of the Garden of Paradise."
This Book covers the complete seven Hurdles
- The Hurdle of Knowledge
- The Hurdleof Repentance
- The Hurdleof Impediments
- The Hurdleof Hindrances
- The Hurdle of Incentives
- The Hurdle of Impairments
- The Hurdle of Gratitude
Widely considered to to be Abu Hamid al-Ghazali's last book, the Minhaj al-Abidin, is the summary of his philosophy which charts the pitfalls and obstacles to be overcome in order to enter the kingdom of Heaven. Dictating his words to a group of elect students, al-Ghazzali acknowledges his own nearness to death and instructs seekers of eternal life to resist hindrances such as fear and impairments such as conceit in order to find salvation in the essentials of God. This books is considered by many as a summary of Al Ghazzali's Ihya Ulum al-Din (The Revival of the Religions Sciences ) which is widely regarded as one of the great works for the Self-Development of Muslims and has for centuries been a widely read and respected work in the Muslim world. Imam Al Ghazali dictated this book to a very few and selected students in his very last days.
ABOUT THIS PRINT:
This print contains some background research on the penmanship of this work by al-Ghazzali, his efforts and aims in rendering this work. Biographical background of the author. Excellent Dar al-Minhaj edition as usual.
ABOUT IMAM AL-GHAZZALI:
He is Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad, Abu Hamid Hujjat ai-Islam al-Ghazzali al-Tusi, the Shafi'i Imam, Proof of Islam, and Sufi adept born in Tabiran, near Tus Gust north of present day Mashhad, Iran, in 450/1058. The Imam of his time, nicknamed Shafi'i the Second for his legal virtuosity, he was a brilliant intellectual who first studied jurisprudence at Tus, and then travelled the Islamic world, to Baghdad, Damascus, Jerusalem, Cairo, Alexandria, Mecca, and Medina, taking Sacred Knowledge from its masters, among them the Imam of the Two Sanctuaries al-Juwayni, with whom he studied until the Imam's death, becoming at his hands a scholar in Shafi'i law, logic, tenets of faith, debate, and in the rationalistic doctrines of the philosophical schools of his time, which he was later called upon to refute.
When al-Juwayni died, al-Ghazzali debated the Imams and scholars of Baghdad in the presence of the vizier Nizam al-Mulk, who was so impressed that he appointed him to a teaching post at the Nizamiyya Academy in Baghdad, where word of his' brilliance spread, and scholars journeyed to hear him. His worldly success was something of a mixed blessing, and in mid-career, after considerable reflection, he was gripped by an intense fear for his soul and his fate in the afterlife, and he resigned from his post, travelling first to Jerusalem and then to Damascus to purify his heart by following the way of Sufism. In Damascus he lived in seclusion for some ten years, engaged in spiritual struggle and the remembrance of Allah, at the end of which he emerged to produce his masterpiece lhya' 'ulum aI-din [Giving life to the religious sciences], a classic among the books of the Muslims about internalizing god fearingness (taqwa) in one's dealings with Allah, illuminating the soul through obedience to Him, and the levels of believers' attainments therein.
The work shows how deeply al-Ghazzali personally realized what he wrote about, and his masterly treatment of hundreds of questions dealing with the inner life that no one had previously discussed or solved is a performance of sustained excellence that shows its author's well-disciplined legal intellect and profound appreciation of human psychology. He also wrote nearly two hundred other works, on the theory of government, Sacred Law, refutations of philosophers, tenets of faith, Sufism, Qur'anic exegesis, scholastic theology, and bases of Islamic jurisprudence. Some of the imam works are the following as a short list of his major works:
- al-Munqidh min al-dalal (Rescuer from Error)
- Hujjat al-Haq (Proof of the Truth)
- al-Iqtisad fil-i`tiqad (Median in Belief)
- al-maqsad al-asna fi sharah asma' Allahu al-husna (The best means in explaining Allah's Beautiful Names)
- Jawahir al-Qur'an wa duraruh (Jewels of the Qur'an and its Pearls)
- Fayasl al-tafriqa bayn al-Islam wa-l-zandaqa (The Criterion of Distinction between Islam and Clandestine Unbelief)
- Mishkat al-Anwar (The Niche for Lights, a commentary on the Verse of Light)
- Tafsir al-yaqut al-ta'wil
- Mizan al-'amal (Criterion of Action)
- Ihya' ulum al-din, "Revival of Religious Sciences"
- Bidayat al-hidayah (Beginning of Guidance)
- Kimiya-yi Sa'adat (The Alchemy of Happiness) [a résumé of Ihya'ul ulum, in Persian]
- Nasihat al-muluk (Counseling Kings) [in Persian]
- al-Munqidh min al-dalal (Rescuer from Error)
- Minhaj al-'Abidin (Methodology for the Worshipers)
- Maqasid al falasifa (Aims of Philosophers) [written in the beginning of his life, in favour of philosophy and presenting the basic theories in Philosophy, mostly influenced by Avicenna's works]
- Tahafut al-Falasifa (The Incoherence of the Philosophers), [in this book he refutes the Greek Philosophy aiming at Avicenna and Al-Farabi; and of which Ibn Rushd wrote his famous refutation Tahafut al-tahafut (The Incoherence of the Incoherence)]
- Miyar al-Ilm fi fan al-Mantiq (Criterion of Knowledge in the Art of Logic)
- Mihak al-Nazar fi al-mantiq (Touchstone of Reasoning in Logic)
- al-Qistas al-mustaqim (The Correct Balance)
- Fatawy al-Ghazali (Verdicts of al-Ghazali)
- Al-wasit fi al-mathab (The medium [digest] in the Jurisprudential school)
- Kitab tahzib al-Isul (Prunning on Legal Theory)
- al-Mustasfa fi 'ilm al-isul (The Clarified in Legal Theory)
- Asas al-Qiyas (Foundation of Analogical reasoning)
He died in Tabiran in 505/1111.