ABOUT THE BOOK:
This Book can be considered as an Introduction to The Imam's Magnum Opus The Revival of the Religions Sciences (Ihya Ulum al-Din) and directs the reader to the larger work for what lies beyond that. This book may not seem to be suited to the hurried life of a modern city. Yet al-Ghazali’s seriousness and sense of urgency stand out vividly and communicate themselves. The book is interesting, too, in that, though al-Ghazali’s standpoint is almost modern in many ways. It is divided in two Parts, namely acts of obedience and refraining from Sin. It comprise the fundamentals of Din, Important basic issues and excellent virtues. It is brief, yet concise. One of the Scholars has said that the benefit on anything sacred can't be achieved unless one follows its Adab i.e Etiquettes, this book deals with many of the etiquettes of everyday life according to the Sunnah.
Imam Al-Ghazali's Bidaya al-hidaya complements his spiritual autobiography, He emphasizes the importance of knowledge and using it correctly at all times . From acts of obedience to relationship between God and Man. Imam Al-Ghazali shares with us how a man should order his life from hour to hour and day to day. He says:
"Here, then I give you counsel about the beginning of Guidance so that thereby you may test yourself and examine your Heart...No one can reach the ending until he has completed the beginning, no one can discover the inward aspect until he has mastered the outward."
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ABOUT THIS PRINT:
This print is a small and easily carried around and also has allot of notes based on the popular commentaries of this text. It has supplementary notes deducing the origins of ahadiths and statements mentioned in the text. It also contains at the end of the book a short treatise that serves as a set of his beliefs or what the imam considers the fundamentals of orthodox belief in Islam.
إنَّها الرِّسالة الَّتي ذاع صيتها ، وعمَّ نفعها ، وشاعت بركتها ، وتلقَّفها العامَّة والخاصَّة على حدٍّ سواء .من الكتب التي سطرتها بنان الغزالي في المرحلة الأخيرة في حياته .وهي الرسالة التي اعتنى بها كثير من علماء الأُمَّة شرحاً وتدريساً ، وجعلوها منارة هداية ترشد السبيل .وحسبها أنها من كتب الإمام الغزالي ، ذاك العالم الرباني الخبير بالقلوب وأدوائها ، وعللها وأمراضها ، والعليم بالعلاج والدواء ، الموصل إلى نعيم الشفاء .
و« بداية الهداية » كتاب على لطف حجمه من أهم مفاتيح الوصول التي ينبغي لطلاّب الهداية في البداية والنهاية العناية بها غاية العناية .فهي بحقٍّ بداية الهداية ؛ لأنَّها تنير الطَّريق أمام السَّالكين ، وتوجِّه المبتدئين إلى اقتفاء منهج المخلصين ، وتشحذ همم المتقاعسين عن مراتب الصَّادقين ، بأُسلوبٍ جذَّاب رصين ، يشدُّ القارىء إلى رياضها ، ويدفع الطَّالب إلى ارتيادِ مغانيها وارتشاف ضرابها كيف لا . . ومؤلِّفها حجَّة الإسلام ، وبركة الأنام ، الإمام أبو حامد الغزاليّ ؟!
وقد جعلها المصنِّف ـ رحمه الله ـ ثلاثة أقسام :
الأوَّل : في ذكر الطَّاعات وآدابها .
الثَّاني : في اجتناب المعاصي .
الثَّالث : في آداب الصُّحبة والمعاشرة .
وقد ألحقنا في آخر هذا الكتاب عقيدة الإمام الغزالي رحمه الله تعالى ، والتي هي عقيدة أهل السنة والجماعة . والحقيقة أن هذه الطبعة تميزت بأنها مقابلة على نسخة نفيسة كتبت عام ( 596هـ ) أي بعد وفاة المؤلف بـ ( 91 ) عاماً ، وفيها حواشٍ قيمة أبقيناها كما هي وبعد :
فإليك عزيزي القارىء هذه الرِّسالة الفريدة في بابها ، الحافلة بآدابها ؛ فإنَّ فيها بغية المستفيد ، والكنز الَّذي لا يبيد .
والحمد لله رب العالمين
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.