Imam Al Ghazali Biography and quotes:- Ever since I was a child, it has been my habit to analyze everything and think about any information. I mingled with each sect and group and tried to be aware of their beliefs and ideas. As a result, the bond of Taqlid or blind obedience gradually left me. The creed that had been ingrained in my brain since childhood was shaky and weak. I noticed that a Christian and a Jew were nurtured on their respective ‘beliefs’. The real knowledge is that there will be no room for doubt or apprehension.
For example, I firmly believe that the number ten is greater than three. Now if someone says, “Three numbers is more and I can make this stick of mine into a snake in support of my claim”, then even if he makes it and shows it. it will not create so much doubt or doubt in my knowledge. I’ll be surprised, but it won’t crack my steadfast faith. I believe that ten will be more than three. I pondered and realized that such definite knowledge was confined to the realm of perceived and essential truth. But as I pursued more and more, I realized that there was still room for doubt. I saw that the most powerful of the five senses is sight, but it is also wrong. (Imam Ghazali)
This suspicion of mine grew so far that there was no certainty as to whether my senses were certain. Again I thought deeply about intelligence. But I found him more suspicious than sensual. For about two months, I continued to be in a state of flux, and the Sophistic doctrine prevailed over me. Then Allah Pak healed me from this disease and I regained my health and balance and I was satisfied with the essential truth based on intellect and logic, but it was a sudden flash of Allah-given light in my soul.
After recovering from this disorder, I now have four groups in front of me those who seemed to be truth-seekers. Mutakallimin those who claimed to have knowledge and intellect; The Batenians claimed that they had special teachings and secrets and that they had acquired the truth of ‘Ilm’ from the innocent Imam (Imam Ma’soom); The philosophers say that only they are rational and only they speak on the basis of evidence. (Imam Ghazali)
The Sufis consider themselves possessed of Kashf and a Positive mind, that is, the knowledge of insight and observation. I studied the bibliography and thought of each group. But I could not be sure about them. I read books written by experts on this subject (Muhaqqiq) about knowledge in Kalam and I also write books on this subject myself. I found that although it was a subject that served its purpose, it was not enough to comfort me. This is because it is based on all the propositions put forward by the opponents and the mutakallimeen (theologians) who have accepted them only because of blind obedience or It is not a matter of consensus or of the Qur’an and Hadith.
These things are not very effective in dealing with a person who admits nothing but a reasonably essential truth. In order to form an opinion about philosophy, at first, I thought it necessary to do it with a research mindset, although there is very little time for lectures as I am very busy teaching and writing books. Three or three hundred students from Baghdad used to participate in my dars mahfil (Program) .
Nevertheless, I took some time out for this and within two years I studied the knowledge of philosophy. Then I thought about it for a year. I saw that their knowledge is of six types ঃ namely: mathematics, logic, naturalism or natural sciences, politics, ethics, and theology. Religion has nothing to do with the first five types of knowledge, and there is no need to deny them in order to prove the positive aspects of religion. In some respects, religion clashes with the natural sciences, but only in certain things. (Imam Ghazali)
In this regard, it is necessary to uphold the ‘belief’ that nature is in the hands of Allah and science is not autonomous and self-governing. Of course, all those knowledge and articles are the goal of the philosophers’ intellect and insight. When they are usually frightened and terrified and think that they have such rights in all branches of knowledge! However, it is not necessary that a person has incomparable skills and experience in a particular branch of knowledge and science, so he will have skills in all its branches. Then when they notice the irrationalism and denial of religion in all these lakes, they try to deny religion and lighten the role of religion out of blind allegiance to these sages and scientists.
On the other hand, some ignorant friends of Islam consider it their duty to reject every view and opinion of the philosophers and their every demand and they consider it as a service to Islam. They even went so far as to deny all their research and observations in the natural sciences. One of the detrimental effects of this is that people who are convinced of the veracity of their scientific views and attitudes and who have been proved to be at the pinnacle of truth, their faith in Islam is shaken by the above fanaticism, and instead of denying philosophy, they are hostile to Islam. Keep pushing the idea.
By the way, I have come to the conclusion that my mind cannot be comforted by philosophy and that the intellect alone cannot master all the aims and objectives or even the ability to overcome all difficulties.
The Batenia community remained. In writing my book ‘Mustajahiri’ about this, I got an opportunity to study their madhhab very well. I found that their beliefs depended on the teachings of the Imam of the founding era. But the existence of the Imam of the age and his authenticity is subject to proof and both are full of extreme doubts. All that was left was Tasawuf. I concentrated on Tasawuf all the time. (Imam Ghazali)
Tasawuf is a cognitive subject as well as a practical one. Cognitive matters were a lot easier for me. I read the books written by Abu Talib Makki’s ‘Tul-Qub, Harish Muhasibi’ and the ‘Malfuzat’ of Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi, Hazrat Shibli, Hazrat Abu Yazid Bistami (RH) and achieved everything that can be achieved through the path of knowledge. Then I realized that the real truth could be reached not through education, but through direct experience, taste, intense pursuit, and change of circumstances.
The knowledge that was my capital, whether it was intellectual related to the Shari’ah, I had a strong faith in the existence of Allah, Prophethood, and the Hereafter (the afterlife). Of course, I gained it not only on the basis of documentary evidence but also through those causalities, chronology and diverse experiences which are difficult to describe in detail. It became very clear to me that the only way to attain The afterlife happiness was to adopt taqwa, that is, the fear of God, and to keep one’s instincts away from one’s desires. The strategy to be adopted for this is to give up the illusion of this mortal world and increase the attraction towards The afterlife and cut off the irresistible natural attraction of the heart from the world by concentrating on Allah with full concentration and devotion. And that can only be possible by giving up the lure of worldly pleasures, wealth, dignity and lust. I monitored my condition closely.
I realized that From head to toe was stuck in the hard peak of worldly addiction. It is worth mentioning that education was my best practice. But after a deep search, I realized that my whole pursuit and concentration was on the sciences which was not signify so much as it was not in the interests of the Hereafter. I thought about the motive behind my teaching and realized that it was not for the sole purpose of Allah, but the mentality of gaining worldly glory, influence, and fame was most active behind it. I am convinced that I am standing on the bank of the river of destruction. If I don’t try to improve my condition, it will be a big danger for me.
For a long time, I kept thinking about leaving Baghdad. But I failed to reach a final decision. Six months passed in the midst of such a dilemma. Sometimes worldly desires attracted me, and sometimes my faith would call to me, “The time of the journey is near, life is short, but the journey is long. All this “knowledge and practice is nothing but hypocrisy and deception.” Sometimes my nafs (satanic instinct) would say to me, “These are just temporary mental disorders. Whatever influence and prestige Allah has bestowed to you, if you ever returns after leaving Baghdad, it will be difficult for you to return. Six more months passed between these two tensions, even the situation got out of my control. The language of my mouth is closed, as if someone had locked my mouth. I try to teach everything on the same day for the minds of the people who come and go to me (students and guests). But what to do, my tongue was not helping me and not a word was uttered with my mouth.
This numbness of the tongue and mouth caused anxiety and pain in my heart, as a result of which my digestive power began to overflow, and even drinking a sip of water and digesting a few of the food became difficult for me. Gradually my physical strength also ebbed. In the end, the doctors also became frustrated with my treatment and said: In fact, the disease is in your heart and its reaction is happening all over your body. No treatment will be effective until the disease is eradicated from your mind. I took refuge in Allah and cried out to Him in a very helpless moan. As a result, it seemed easy for me to give up all influence, prestige, wealth, and family. I expressed my intention to go to Mecca Sharif. I had this desire in my heart that I would also visit Syria. Then, very nicely, I made arrangements to leave Baghdad.
When the Iraqis became aware of my intentions, they started harassing me from all sides. Because they thought that there could be a religious reason for giving up so much. Because in their opinion, I was in the highest position for religious service. Then various speculations started in the minds of the people. Those who lived far away from the capital felt that there were hints from government officials that government co-operatives were behind my decision. But those who were closely associated with the government saw that the government was trying so much to stop me. They said that this radiant astrology of Islam has been neglected by someone, and that is why he has abandoned everything and set foot on the path of disappearance. What else can they have to say!
Speaking of which, I left Baghdad. I left everything I had, something to walk on, and distributed everything else. I came to Syria from Baghdad and stayed there for about two years. My work there was nothing but meditation and Mujahadah, living a lonely life and resorting to solitude. I gained something from Ilme Tasawuf. According to that, I am engrossed in the task of purifying my heart for the sake of self-purification, refinement of character, refinement, and remembrance of Allah. For a long time, I was praying in the mosque of Damascus. I used to climb the minaret of the mosque and sit there all day with the door closed.
Finally, I came to the Temple (Baitul-Muqaddas). There, too, I would go to the daily mosque inside Sakhra and spend time with the door closed. Then, after the pilgrimage of Sayyiduna Hazrat Ibrahim (a), the strong desire of Hajj Baitullah and the pilgrimage to Rawaja Pak (SAW) awoke in my mind and I realized that I would benefit from the blessings of Makkah Mukarramah and Madinah Munawwara. Then I went on Hajj. After the Hajj, I had to return to the country with a natural attraction towards my family and the call of children, but one day when I heard the name of the country, I would run a few miles. Even when I went there, I managed to cut through the loneliness, not indulging in so much laziness about self-purification. But the flow of events, family worries, and economic needs, as well as the urge for a livelihood, created a chaotic state in my nature and cosmos, and the concentration of the mind and peace of mind did not join uninterrupted.
But I would not be disappointed; From time to time, I would have benefited from this. I spent ten years like this. It is not possible to describe in detail the mysteries that have been revealed to me in these lonely moments and what I have gained. But for the benefit of the reader, I must say that I have been informed for sure that only Sufis are the wayfarers of Allah. Their Sirat (biography) is the best Sirat, their path is the strongest, their morality is the most trained, pure, and correct. Even if the intellect of the intellectuals, the wisdom of the wise, and the knowledge of the subtle mystics of the Shari’ah are combined, if they want to bring something better from their biography and moral character, it is not possible. All their visible and invisible motions and steadfastness emanate from the lamp of the Prophethood and there is no greater light than the light of the Prophethood in the chest of the world from which the light particles can be obtained.
Returning to the rally: –
It was possible that Imam Ghazali (RH) lived in the midst of this lonely life and solitude and spent the rest of his life in the midst of spiritual bliss and comfort and satisfaction and concentration. But for the great service that Allah wanted to take from him, it was essential that he would come out of solitude and take charge of reading, compilation, and social life so that the welfare of the Whole creation would be achieved, the apostate doctrine and philosophy would be rejected. And the superiority and truthfulness of Islam are proved by cognitive and intellectual means. In particular, Allah brought him to such a level of certain knowledge, belief, and observation that there was no one in the Muslim world at that time who was more right and worthy than him.
Since this action was due to the permission of Allah and Islam was also in dire need of it, it was inspired by his own mind and This idea also prevailed it is the treasure of meditation and it represents Ambiya-i-Kiram (AH), The demands of the age and the best worship. He describes his own feelings as well as his reasons for returning to the masses from a lonely life.
I have seen that under the influence of philosophy, due to the erroneousness of many of Tasawuf’s claimants, the impractical life of many ‘Alim-ulama’ and the erroneous and weak representation of Mutakallima, the faith of most classes have faltered and faltered and It is having a very bad effect on the creed. Many philosophers follow the public rules and regulations of the Shari’a, but they do not believe in the reality of prophethood and religion. Some people pray only with the idea of physical exercise, some pray only for the sake of society and the habits of the townspeople and for their own protection. Some of them follow the Shari’ah rules and regulations with the idea of gaining material benefits and If they do not observe them, they do so with the assumption that there will be a worldly loss. I see that I have the ability to dispel those doubts and can do so easily, even sending those people Behind the scenes seems easier to me than drinking water.
At this point, I had a strong idea that I should do this and that this is the essential responsibility and duty of the time. I said to myself, “When and when did this lonely and unrelated life become permissible for you? Anger has spread all around. The doctor himself is angry today. The world created by God has come to the brink of destruction today. ‘ Then I said, “How can this so great and great responsibility be fulfilled by you. The present age has come a long way from the age of the Prophet. The kingdom of cancellation is all around. If you try to take God’s creation away from their favorite and familiar objects, then all world will be against you. How will you deal with them alone and how will you live?
This is possible only when the times are favorable and the contemporary sultans also become in favor of honesty. ‘ I made up my mind to say that it was permissible for me to live a lonely and lonely life. But Allah had granted something else. He himself brought about a revolutionary change in the mind of the then Sultan. He (Sultan) instructed me to return to Nishapur to deal with this fitna. This instruction of the Sultan was at this stage that I felt that if I did not obey this order, the consequences would reach the displeasure of the Sultan. I thought that this time there was no excuse left for me. Even then, if I resort to solitude and choose a lonely life, it will be in the name of easing my laziness, ease, and the burden of responsibility and duty, in order to avoid trials and tribulations, while Allah (SWT) says:
أنسب الناس أن يتركوا أن يقولوا امثا وهم يفتنون – ولقد قثا الذين من قبلهم فليعلمن الله الذين صدقوا وليعلمن الكذبين
“Do people think that we have faith?”That said, they will be released without examination! We tested those before them; Allah will surely reveal who is truthful and who is the liar. ” | -Surah Ankabut, 2-3 verses. Moreover, the Prophet (SA), who was the most honorable of his servants, said:
ولقد كذبت رسل من قبلك فصبروا على ماقبوا وأوثوا حتى أتاهم نصرنا – ولا مبدل لكلمات الله – ولقد جاءك من با المرسلين
“Even before you, many apostles were called liars; But in spite of calling them liars and torturing them, they persevered until My help came to them. No one can change by the command of Allah. Some news of the messages must have come to you. ‘
– Surah An’am, verse 34.
I consulted with some Sufi and spiritual men about this. They all agreed and advised me to leave the solitude. In support of this, many pious servants of Allah dreamed at once, from which I became aware that this step of mine would be a cause of great welfare and blessings, and with only one month left at the beginning of the fifth century AH, there would probably be some great and great reform work. This is because it is stated in the hadith, “Allah creates a man at the end of every century who brings the religion of this Ummah to life.” In view of all these signs and causes, such hope awoke in my mind.
Allah arranged for me to visit Nishapur and I made the intention for this great service. This is the event of the month of Jil-Qad in 499 AH. I left Baghdad in the month of Jil-Qaeda in 48 AH. This shows that I have lived in solitude for 11 years. All this is just a planned arrangement of destiny. It never occurred to me to leave Baghdad and say goodbye to the prestige and status there, but by the command of Allah, it became easy. In the same way, in the days of my solitude, the idea of going back from lonely life to the midst of the masses did not come to my mind, but in time, its arrangement was completed.
In short, in the month of Zil-Kada in 499 AH, Imam Ghazali again turned towards Nishapur. He started teaching at Nizamiya Madrasa. And re-engaged in teaching and welfare work. But Imam Ghazali(RA). There was a clear difference between this time of Ghazali’s (RA) dars and tadris i.e. recitation, reform, and showing the right path and previous recitation activities, waz-nasihat and Irshad. Then he himself wrote in clear language:
I feel that although I have returned to the propagation of knowledge, it would not be right to call it a return to my first stage. There is a difference between heaven and earth between my past and future. At first, I preached the knowledge that was the means of increasing influence and rank and I used to invite it by my words and deeds and that was my aim and purpose. But now I invite you to the knowledge that causes you to lose the illusion of rank and influence forever. Now I want to reform and refinement of myself and others. I do not know whether I will be able to reach my goal or whether I will have to leave the world of action before that.
But on the basis of my own belief and observation, I believe that the real power is the power of Allah. Because of this, people can avoid misguidance and evil and gain the power of guidance and obedience. In fact, I am not active on my own, Allah has made me active and dynamic. I did not start work on my own, God has put me to work. My supplication, may Allah correct me first, then correct and correct others by me; Get me in the way first, then take the job of guiding others by me. May the truth be revealed to me, and may I have the privilege of obedience; Let the void shine brightly in my eyes and let me protect to follow it.
Imam Ghazali’s work of reform and Islamic renaissance:-
Imam Ghazali’s subsequent work of reform and Islamic renaissance can be divided into two parts:-
1. Coping with the increased flood of philosophy and Bateni doctrine and attacking the root of the foundation of that doctrine on behalf of Islam.
2. Islamic and moral review of society and personal life and criticism and reform on all of them.
Effective operation on philosophy:-
The details of his first and greatest authoritative contribution are that what was being done against the heretical doctrines and the Batenians was defensive and limited to replying. Until that time, philosophy was attacking Islam and the Mutakallims were defending Islam. Philosophy would strike at the root foundations of Islam and Kalam of Ill’m would try to be the shield of Islam. Until then, none of the Mutakallims and ulama in Islam had dared to strike at the foundations of self-philosophy. The philosophy that stood on all the imaginary and fictional subjects, struck at all of them for centuries and did not dare to criticize all of them wisely. With the exception of Imam Abul Hasan Ash’ari (who did not have a direct confrontation with philosophy), Whole In Ilm, Kalam’s voice and mannerisms were defensive.
Imam Ghazali (RA) was the first person to study philosophy in detail and in critique. He then wrote a book on the aims and objectives of philosophers. In this, he uses analytical methods in simple language, He summarizes logic, metaphysics, and natural sciences and records the views and discussions of philosophers with complete impartiality. In the introduction to the book, he openly states that there is no room for discussion or debate in mathematics and that it has nothing to do with religion. But the real conflict of religion is with metaphysics. There are very few mistakes in logic. If there is any disagreement it is in terms of terminology. In nature, of course, there is a mixture of truth and falsehood, that is, truth and falsehood. That is why his subject matter is actually metaphysics and to some extent natural science. And logic is only for introduction and terminology.
At the end of this book, which was very much needed in the camp of Ilm Kalam, he wrote his famous book ‘Tahaftul-Falasifa’ (Misconceptions and Inconsistencies of Philosophers) for which he wrote Mak ‘C’ du’l-Falasifa ‘. In it, he criticizes philosophy, metaphysics, and naturalism from an Islamic perspective. And reveals his cognitive weakness, the futility of his reasoning, and the contradictions and differences of philosophers with full force and courage. The text is full of his voice and accent, his language is strong and flourishing, somewhere it follows a sarcastic and arrogant manner, which. Whether it was needed for the frightened and overwhelmed quarters for fear of philosophy. Reading it, it is felt that the author of the book is free and holy from the slightest mixture of inferiority complex in comparison to the philosophers, full of confidence and conviction, and he is not so terrified or overwhelmed about philosophy.
He considered the Greek philosophers to be his equal people and spoke to them on the basis of equality and in the language of rivalry. At that time, there was a need like this man who could speak with an eye on philosophy and attack philosophy with full force instead of playing a defensive and accountable role. Imam Ghazali (RA) has performed this service in his book Tahaftul-Falasifa He wrote in the introduction of the book:
In our age, there have been some people whose idea is that their hearts and minds, that is, their minds and brains, are more prominent than ordinary people. All of these people look down on religious rules and obligations. The only reason for this is that they have heard the frightening names of Socrates, Hippocrates (48036 BC), Plato, and Aristotle, and in their honor have heard the great hymns and long-winded circuses of their devotees. They found that they (philosophers such as Socrates) showed great insight into mathematics, logic, and metaphysics and that their intelligence and talents were unmatched. They denied the existence of religion and its ancillary subjects with their advanced brains and talents.
To them, the principles and rules of their religion were fabricated and artificial. Of course, they also made it a fashion to deny religion by imitating in the blind obedience of their gurus(leaders). They, In order to satisfy their desire to be called educated and progressive, they continued to deny religion in order to make them feel superior to the common people. And so that they may join the ranks of the wise and intelligent. It is on this basis that I wish to show the errors of all those wise philosophers who have written on theology (metaphysics) and to prove that in their crises, problems and principles. Childish and many of their utterances and views are ridiculously limitless.
Going to the front of this book, his narrative and satirical writing style became sharper and more arrogant, and he wrote a complete genealogy of philosophers about the essence and attributes of God, the philosophies, the intellect, and the whole genealogy of the heavens which wrote by philosophers.
ثلنا ماذكرتموه تحكمات وهي على التحقيق ظلمات فرق للمات لو حكاه الانسان عن منام راه لاستدل على سوء مزاجه
This elaborate description of you is nothing but boastful claims and arbitrariness, but in fact, it is just a coating of darkness over darkness. Even if a person describes a dream he has seen on his own, it will be evidence of a brain disorder. He further wrote:
الست أدري كيف يقنع المجنون من نفسه بمثل هذه الأوضاع فضلا عن العقلاء الذين يشقون الشعر بزعم في العقولات.
I wonder how even a madman can be satisfied with such self-made and self-conceited words. It is unthinkable to think of wise men and intellectuals there, who analyze the hairs within the constraints and possibilities of their own ideas. Write elsewhere?
انتهى بهم التعمق في التعظيم الي أن أبطلوا كل مايفهم من العظمة وقربوا حاله الميت الذي لاخبر له بما يجري في العالم الا انه فارق الميت في شعوره بنفسه نقط – وهكذا يفعل الله بالزانغين من سبيله والناكبین من طريق الهدى المنکرین لقوله تعالى ما أشهدهم خلق السموات والأرض ولا خلق أنفسهم الظانين بالله ظن السوء المعتقدين أن الأمور الربوبية نستعلی کنهها القوى البشرية المغرورين بعقولهم زاعمين أن فيها مندوحة عن تقليد الرسل واتباعهم فلا جرم اضطروا الى الاعتراف بان لباب معقولاتهم رجع الى مالوحكي في المنام لتعجب منه
The exaltation and exaggeration of the first self has led him (the self or the first creator) to such an extent that they have rejected all the conditions and essentials of dignity and have made Allah (in their vision) like a corpse that does not know That is, what is happening or is happening in the outer world. Of course, in this respect, he (the Creator, Himself) is more fortunate than the corpse that his perception and feeling power is not lapped, but it exists (and the dead corpse has no perception, consciousness, or feeling). Allah causes such people to deviate from the path of Allah, abandon the truth and deny the following verses:
ما أشهدهم خلق السموت والأرض ولا خلق أنفسهم
And We did not make those who disbelieved and those who associated with Allah as witnesses in the creation of the heavens and the earth, not even in the moment of their creation”, those who turn away from Allah and have bad faith, who think that the truth of Allah’s Lordship Human power can influence those who are proud of their own knowledge and intelligence and feel that there is no need to imitate and obey the prophets in their presence and present. The consequence of this, of course, is that with all the ridiculous talk that comes out of their mouths (in the name of reason), if anyone describes such a dream, people will be amazed. Influence of Tahaftul-Falasifar This bold critique of philosophy and its contempt and disregard for it to a certain extent created a new era in the history of Ilam-i-Kalam for which Imam Ghazali deserves all the credit.
Later, Shaykh al-Islam Imam Ibn Taymiyah (Rh)gave the fullness it and performed the “post mortem” of the corpse of philosophy and logic. This style of operation of philosophy also originated from the books written by Imam Ghazali (R). ‘Tahaftul-Falasifa’ is an effective blow to the fictional fallacy of philosophy and severely damages its superiority, dignity, and intellectual purity. The composition of this book gives birth to instability, agitation, and anger in the world of philosophy. But no remarkable book has been written in response to this for hundreds of years, even at the end of the sixth century AH Ibn Rushd (died 595 AH), an eminent philosopher and follower of Aristotle, wrote the answer in a book called “Tahaftu’attahafut”. Western scholars say that Ibn Rushd’s support revived him for a hundred years, a philosophy that had almost died in the invasion of Ghazali. 1. Tahaftul-Falasifa, 31 p. 2. History of Islamic Philosophy in the East and the West – Muhammad Sufi Jum’a, p. 72.
Attack on Bateni doctrine. Apart from philosophy, Imam Ghazali (RA) also pointed out the fetna of Bateni doctrine. While teaching at the Nizamiya Madrasa in Baghdad, he wrote a book, Al-Mustajahir, at the behest of the then Caliph, which he referred to in his autobiography, Al-Munki Ya Minaddadal. In addition to this book, he has three other books on the subject which are probably the works of his travels: Hujjatul-Haq, Mufassalu’l-Khilaf, and Qasamul-Batenia. The list of his books includes two more books on the subject, Laura and Bluly. In fact, it was difficult to find a suitable candidate for the rejection of the Batenia doctrine in the Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jama’at. He was well versed in philosophy, Tasawwuf, Zahiri Ilm, and the alleys of both reality and Ma’rifat, and he could easily unravel the mysteries of the Bateni doctrine and their intellectual conspiracies.
The great essence of Bateni doctrine was philosophy and its terminology. Only a mature person and a critic of intellect like Imam Ghazali (RA) could do the job of rejecting all that. In fact, he does. He turned philosophy into a dull and insignificant object in terms of knowledge.
Islamic review of life and society
Another reforming work of Imam Ghazali (RA) was the Islamic review of life and society and the efforts for its reform and revival. A successful result of his efforts was his living and eternal book “Ahiyau Uloomiddin”. The name “Ehiyau Uloomiddin” is one of the few books in the history of Islam that has had the greatest impact on the hearts and minds of Muslims and their lives.
Hafiz Zainuddin al-Iraqi (d. 606 AH), the author of the book Al-Fiyah, who found it in the hadiths mentioned in it, said: This is one of the best books of Islam of Imam Ghazali (RA). said: Abdul Ghafir Farsi, a contemporary of Imam Ghazali and a disciple of Imamul-Haramayun, said: No such book has been written before Ehiya Ulumuddin. Shaykh Muhammad Garuni claimed, “If all the treasures of the world were wiped out. Then I will resurrect it by “Ehiya Ulumuddin”. Hafiz Ibn Jawhi, in spite of differences of opinion on some issues, acknowledged the influence and widespread popularity of this book and wrote a summary of it under the title “Minhazul-ka se deen”:
This book is written with special conditions, attitudes,s, and special motivation and enthusiasm. The journey that Imam Ghazali (RA) started from Baghdad in search of truth and strong conviction and faith, which ended with success after ten long years of hard work, struggle, and solitude, was the highlight of the journey Which he (Ghazali) carried for his countrymen. It was a mirror of his heart’s expressions and reactions, of cognitive experience, of reformist meditation, and of the heart’s self-evident emotion and intoxication.
Maulana Shibli Nu’mani writes in his book Al-Ghazali:
He became very interested in realizing the truth. He scrutinizes all the religions and beliefs prevalent in the world. But none could give him full satisfaction, no reassurance. Eventually, he leaned towards Tasawwuf. But it was not something to be said orally, it was something to be felt from head to toe. There were objects to be realized through practice. And its holy beauty (3) is the inner reform, that is, the purification of the nafs, that is, the purification of the soul. Imam Ghazali’s busyness and occupation was an obstacle in this path. On the one hand, popularity, name, fame, status, honor, prestige, discussion, and on the other hand, the purification of the soul. The distance between the two is a thousand yajnas. In the end, he left everything and left Baghdad wearing only a blanket. From then on his desert life began.
Then, after strict Riazat and Mujahadah(yoga and meditation), he gained access to the secret garden of Tasawwuf. After arriving here, Intoxicated in his own state, condition and feared that he would become unaware of life and the world. But even in this situation, he had a keen eye on the welfare of the people. He saw that the condition of the masses had deteriorated. The moral character of the rich and the poor, the rich and the poor, the wise and the foolish, the virtuous and the vicious, have either been destroyed or are about to be destroyed. The community of ulama, who could be the document of the true path, is the poorest in stature and rank. These scenes hurt him. And in response, he wrote this book.
In the introduction, he(Imam Ghazali) himself writes, “I saw that the diseases has spread all over the world and the road to after death happiness has been closed. The ulama(Scholer), who were the document of the true path, is gradually decreasing their existence. The so-called ‘Alims'(Scholer) who are now here, have nicknamed them’ Alims, personal interests, and motives have tied them on all side . According to them, “Ilm is just the name of three things, namely: Munajarah or mutual debate (which is a means of gaining pride, arrogance, and fame); Waz or discourse (in which colorful and rhythmic rhymes, poems, and verses are recited for the entertainment of the public) and issuance of fatwas (which are the means of adjudicating various cases). What remains is the knowledge of the Hereafter. This is the main point, but most scholars have forgotten it. At this point, I could not bear it anymore. My silence was shattered. ”
Review and reckoning
The purpose of compiling Imam Ghazali’s book was to reform and train. And for this, it was important to identify all the weaknesses and bad aspects that existed in the educational and religious centers and in the Muslim community in general. What was more important was how the nafs and the devil deceived different classes of people, how the realities changed, how the people deviated from the realities and trapped themselves in the outer covering, glamor, and rituals, that is, the main goal of life, the Hereafter happiness, To make the public aware of how they have become oblivious to the pleasure of Allah and Allah. To this end, he thoroughly reviews and examines the way of life of his age and the activities of contemporary society, and describes in detail the anguish and errors of each class, and distinguishes between objectives and means, ‘knowledge.’ Among these, he categorized the religious ‘Ilm and worldly’ knowledge, then the acclaimed ‘knowledge’ and the reprehensible knowledge, then the ‘fard-i-ain’, ‘fard-i-kifaya’ etc.
He drew everyone’s attention to the demands of time, essential responsibilities and duties and also to the main work. He describes the irresponsibility, negligence of the rich and the affluent and their special and just diseases and disorder. He boldly criticized the people of the Sultanate and the ruling elite and condemned their oppression and persecution, their illegal activities, and their laws. He also gave a detailed account of the diseases of the people, the perverted practices of different classes and places, the reprehensible practices, and the anti-Islamic religious practices and theological practices.
In short, this book is the first detailed and logical proof of Islam in which there is a complete record of whole life and the deteriorating Islamic society and the source of the disorders of moral character and its causes and its treatment methods are explained.
Ulama and pious personalities
According to Imam Ghazali (RA), the ulama who are the biggest custodians of global unrest, catastrophe, and religious and moral degradation are the salt in the life of the Muslim Ummah. Is there anything that can make him better if he loses his temper? In the language of the poet :
با معشر القراء يا ملح البلد + ما يصلح الملح اذ الملح فسد
Oh, a community of ulama! Those of you who are like the salt of the city, tell me, if the salt itself is wasted, what else can be done to make it better? In describing the causes of the prevalence of heart disease and the negligence of ordinary people In one place he wrote:
الثالثة وهو الداء العضال فقد الطبيب فان الاطباء هم العلماء وقد مرضوا في هذه الاعصار مرضا شديدة وعجزوا من علاجه
The third reason and is the disorder that has no cure and that is that the diseases are present, but the doctor is missing. The ulama(Scholars) are the physicians of the society and they are fatally afflicted with the disease at this age. So they are unable to treat.
According to him, the reason for the deterioration of the sultans and the ruling class is the incompetence of the ulama(Scholars) and their negligence in performing their duties. At one point he wrote:
وبالجملة انما فسدت الرعية بفساد الملوك وفساد الملوك بفساد العلماء فلولا القناة السوء والعلماء السوء لقل خوفا من انگار هم
In short, the reason for the badness of the people is the badness of the king and the people in power, and the badness of the ulama is the reason for the badness of the king and the ruling class. Had it not been for the God-fearing qazis and ulama (‘Alim, a worldly man of nonsense, ideals and characterless interests), the ruling class would not have deteriorated in this way, but they would have been afraid of the criticism of the ‘Alims(Scholars).
Imam Ghazali’s (as) complaint about the scholars of that era is that they, like the scholars of the previous era, did not order Amr Bil-Ma’ruf wa Nahi Anil Munkar, that is, Order of honest work and Prohibition from evil deeds and not fulfilling his duty to speak the truth in front of the oppressive ruler. According to him, the reason for this is that the ‘ulama-ulama(Scholars) have become worldly and are chasing after rank. Turning. He said after recording the influential incidents of the truthful ulama’s(Scholars) bravery, fearlessness and reckoning and denial in front of the sultans and rulers of that era:
This was the mode of action of the scholars and the condition of Amr Bil-Ma’roof and Nahi Anilmunkar. They did not care so much about the splendor of the king. They relied on God’s grace and were assured that God would protect them. They also agreed with Allah’s decision that martyrdom should befall them. Since their intention was good, their words melted the stone like a candle and affected even the largest stone heart.
Now the situation is that the Infatuation of the world has made mad the scholars and they are completely silent. And if they ever open their mouths, it is seen that there is no harmony between their words and deeds. As a result, their words have no effect. If they still work with devotion and honesty today and try to realize the right of knowledge, then surely they will succeed. Because the bad behavior of the people is the result of the bad behavior of the ruling class. And the bad aspects of the behavior of the ruling class are nothing but the consequences of the bad behavior of the scholars. The reason for the evil of the scholars is the love of worldly wealth and high position. Because the one on whom the love of the world rests does not have the courage to criticize the high-ranking people or kings and emperors, nor does he dare to take account of even a low-ranking people and point out his mistakes.
In the time of Imam Ghazali (RA), the world of a scholar was limited to the trivial and detailed aspects of jurisprudence. Meetings of discussion and debate are held from house to house, all over the country. All these madhhabs and fiqh debates were also held in the court of the kings. The preoccupation and exaggeration of the ulama( scholars)and the students in this regard increased so much that all other disciplines of science, profession and religious service were to be neglected. Its limits were so wide that all attention was diverted from the knowledge and endeavor on which the reformation of the soul, the decency of character, and worldly happiness depended. Commenting on this situation, Imam Ghazali wrote:
“If a jurist is asked about one of those things (patience, shaker, hope and fear or envy, hatred, jealousy, ingratitude, deception, deception, etc.) or the way of survival from sincerity, tawakkul and riya that he knows If there is a danger of ruining the Hereafter in the case of obligatory law and such negligence towards it, then he will not be able to answer. And if he is asked about (a) Li’an, (b) Zihar, and (c) Rami, he will answer all the subtle and nuanced things which have not been needed for a long time and if ever Then there is no shortage of lakes in the city to issue fatwas on this. However, it is seen that all these ‘scholars’ are busy day and night only with such details and memorizing them. On the other hand, they are averse to the things that are important to them religiously. If ever they were asked about it, they said; We are preoccupied with this knowledge because it is religious knowledge and obligatory kifaya.
al ghazali quotes