The light of Islam should reveal
the essence of God in every life.
If we see that essence, then we will live in unity;
we will eat from the same plate;
we will live as one family
whether some are in a church,
some are in a mosque,
or some are in their homes.
The beggar and the king will be able to pray together.
We will discover our own faults,
discard our own anger,
and embrace one another with love.
That is what the Qur’an says.
That is why we cannot tell lies, indulge in treachery,
or threaten to kill other lives and claim
that it is being done in the name of Islam.
Islam teaches that we must recognize and praise the essence of
as it exists in each and every life.
(M. R. Bawa Muhaiyadeen)
'Al-Ghazali on Disciplining the Soul and on Breaking the Two Desires: Books XXII and XXIII of the Revival of the Religious Sciences'
By Abu Hamid Muhammad Ghazali (Author), T. J. Winter (Translator)
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.