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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 – 31 Dec 1995

5.0 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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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)
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  • 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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  • Al-Ghazali on Love, Longing, Intimacy & Contentment (Islamic Texts Society Al-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: 15.2 x 3 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 126,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback
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.
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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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