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Al-Ghazali on Disciplining the Soul and on Breaking the Two Desires: Books XXII and XXIII of the Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya' 'Ulum ... (The Islamic Texts Society's Ghazali Series) [Paperback]

Abu Hamid Muhammad Ghazali , T.J. Winter
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
RRP: 20.99
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Book Description

31 Dec 1995 The Islamic Texts Society's Ghazali Series
The spiritual life in Islam begins with 'riyadat al-nafs', the inner warfare against the ego. Distracted and polluted by worldliness, the lower self has a tendency to drag the human creature down into arrogance and vice. Only by a powerful effort of will can the sincere worshipper achieve the purity of soul which enables him to attain God's proximity. This translation of two chapters from "The Revival of the Religious Sciences" ("Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din") details the sophisticated spiritual techniques adopted by classical Islam. In the first step, "On Disciplining the Soul," which cites copious anecdotes from the Islamic scriptures and biographies of the saints, Ghazali explains how to acquire good character traits, and goes on to describe how the sickness of the heart may be cured. In the second part, "Breaking the Two Desires," he focusses on the question of gluttony and sexual desire, concluding, in the words of the Prophet, that 'the best of all matters is the middle way'. The translator has added an introduction and notes which explore Ghazali's ability to make use of Greek as well as Islamic ethics. The work will prove of special interest to those interested in Sufi mysticism, comparative ethics, and the question of sexuality in Islam.

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Al-Ghazali on Disciplining the Soul and on Breaking the Two Desires: Books XXII and XXIII of the Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya' 'Ulum ... (The Islamic Texts Society's Ghazali Series) + Al-Ghazali on the Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife: Book XL of the Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din): The Revival of the ... (The Islamic Texts Society's Ghazali Series) + Al-Ghazali on the Ninety-Nine Beautiful Names of God: Al-Maqsad Al-Asna Fi Sharh Asma' Allah Al-Husna (The Islamic Texts Society's Ghazali Series)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 370 pages
  • Publisher: The Islamic Texts Society (31 Dec 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0946621438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0946621439
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.5 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 110,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By A. Khan
Format:Paperback
I picked this book up just after i was divorced. It helped me to realign a hurt soul, and also to work towards a higher purpose than just to focus on the disruption in my life. It really helped me to gain control. Its not easy to read, but if you read it with your heart rather than your mind, you start entering a higher spiritual dimension. A fantastic book from Al-Ghazali, and a great translation from Mr Winter.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding contribution. 8 Aug 2001
By F. Khan
Format:Paperback
This a very high quality translation of a key section of one of the most important books in Islam. Imam Ghazali goes through the various techniques that can be used to reform the personality and bring the ego under control.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The brilliance of the philosophers of Islam 4 May 2012
By CeeBee
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Consider the link:

Food - sexual desires - anger

Consider that if you control your desire for food, you will consequently control your desire for sex. Fahsha will decrease, as explained by the Qur'an itself - fasting has been prescribed so that people may control themselves, among a variety of other reasons, the biggest of which is that Allah swt commanded it, therefore, it is to be. Now consider this link: When you can control your lusts - you can control your anger, because the one who controls the former, acts as a human being - we were honoured by Allah swt to be created as humans. Then, anger is also easily controlled.

Therefore...control your food! Perfect your salah...and your deen will be yours, as will jannah

May the Lord of the Worlds give all of us, each of us hidayat and grant us jannah Ameen
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sufi classic from a highly regarded writer 29 Nov 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Al Ghazali is regarded as a more cerebral and exoterically inclined Sufi, as a pose to the more esoteric practitioners such as Shibli, Ruzbihan and Bayazid.
As such he is regarded as the 'renewer' of the 5th Muslim Century and to quote the author 'the most influential thinker of medieval Islam'.
He provides a moral framework in this book for clean living that today finds form in many contemporary Sufi Masters writings. The essential thrust of this work is to lay open the anatomy of human weakness, the observations of which are as relevant today as they were in the 11 century when this treatise was written. Fundamentally mans weaknesses boil down to gluttony and sexual desire, out of the lack of disciplining these two urges, spring forth all the manifestations of depravity and moral degeneration.
The greatest mortal vice is gluttony of the stomach- the primer for sexual voraciousness and the provider of fuel for lusting after fame and wealth. Hence in Islamic thought, the great importance attached to fasting, as a means for consciously weakening these base urges, all of which find their well spring in gustatory greed. Al Ghazali does not forbid eating, but advocates moderation, the practice of sharing, and putting the needs of one companions ahead of oneself- this etiquette of feeding being a schooling in higher minded values way beyond the simple practice of eating.
This is a well written and highly readable book, interesting from a historical view and a spiritual view for people of any religious or spiritual tradition. It is stuffed with observations on spiritual shades of character that are simply not found in this detail in any other traditions writings that i can think of.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring 31 Aug 2006
By M. Miah
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The intro is tough-going, but the main body of the book doesn't disappoint. You'll conclude that ascetism is a must for anyone aspiring for spiritual reform.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Georgee
Format:Paperback
Al-Ghazali's work encourages reflection upon our individual lives and challenges us to overcome our base desires, greeds and glorification of the self that have sadly become commonplace characteristics in the modern world.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Al-Ghazali on Disciplining the Soul 18 Sep 2003
Format:Paperback
Although this book is good and TJ Winters has done an excellent transalation, it is very heavy for a seeker as it goes straight for the heart, it also has solutions to many problems of a spiritual nature however we must remember that everything in this book cannot be excercised without the guidance of one who has been through the effort.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
thanks
Published 25 days ago by marsipan
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Book!
Although this is a excerpt of the revival of religious sciences, it is truly amazing. I would RECOMMEND ANYONE to do read this book!!!
Published 9 months ago by Akhtar Hussain
5.0 out of 5 stars Cohesive piece of work
Assalamu Alaykum. This book is perfect for someone who is intellectually blessed. Along with the two chapters of Imam Ghazali Radi Allahu Anhu, the author Dr. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Mr. K. Khan
5.0 out of 5 stars good
Very good and insightful. I thought TJ Winters' notes at the beginning were a bit long though, and found that more difficult to get through that Imam Ghazali's book. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Allison
5.0 out of 5 stars May God reward you well.
May God bless you in this life and the next. Amen. Thanks so much for the book, and also thanks so much for the poems of Rumi book that you sent free with my item. Read more
Published on 31 Oct 2011 by Ibraheem Hakim
5.0 out of 5 stars Discipline that Soul!
An excellent, thought provoking and thoroughly worth while read. All the more relevant In a world consumed by greed, hedonism and persuit of the material. Read more
Published on 3 Jan 2008 by HKS
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
Are you overeating? read this and see if it can't change your mind but there is so much more than this. Working against the ego/naafs is the hardest thing anyone can do.
Published on 3 Nov 2007 by gnostic
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