Birth Name: Abu Hamid Ghazali
Born in: Iran, in the year (450-505 AH/1058-1111 AD)
In the Middle Ages he was known as Algazel, the mystic and theologian. He mastered Arabic at a very young age and was fluent in his native Persian tongue as well. His education was far reaching within Islamic learning. He completed his education in theology and law in Nishapur where he also was schooled in Islamic mysticism, also known as Sufism.
At the age of 33, Imam Ghazali (, may Allah be pleased with him) was sent to be a professor at the famous Nizamiyya school founded by Vizier Nizam al-Mulk. Lecturing on law and theology, Imam Ghazali (, may Allah be pleased with him) had become one of the most prominent men of the capital at that time.
While reaching the end of his fourth year as a professor, Ghazali entered a period of skepticism.
He was saved by God in a moment of pure enlightenment.
Becoming aware of the absolute futility of the life he was living, he began a mental journey to break away from the life he was living, to live the life of a hermit in rapt contemplation. He had to be careful so that none of his colleagues or friends would try to stop him so he made it known that he had planned a pilgrimage to Makkah, which satisfied even his closest of allies.
He explains in another of his books titled Al-Munqidh Min al-Dhalaal (Deliverance from Error) that he had mastered all the zahiri (manifest) knowledge like shari’ah(sacred law) and fiqh (jurisprudence) as well as what the philosophers had to say, but he yearned to achieve yaqin (certitude).
To acquire this, he decided in Dhul Qa’da 488 A.H, to entirely give up his position, status and fame and to adopt the life of a dervish. He had realised that achieving personal religious experience was the only way to gain this certitude. He supplicated to Allah to make it easy for him to renounce the world (duniya) and Allah accepted his dua.
He went for Hajj and Ziyara to Makkah and Madinah, as well as to Bayt ul Muqaddas and Damascus where he went into khalwa (spiritual retreat) in the khanqa (or spiritual lodge) of the Jami Mosque. Since then, the khanqa has been named after him.
Ten years after his pilgrimage, he was influenced to once again return to teaching, which he did so at his original place of lecturing, at the Nizamiyya school. He returned knowing that his inner peace had been met and that through his outward appearance and lectures he could further renew the faith and pass the word of the importance of spiritual renewal. His followers in Sufism believed that it was his destiny to be the one to renew their religion, a promise made by Rasulallah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, for the end of the century.
Imam Ghazali (, may Allah be pleased with him) is well known for his strong faith.
He may not have held a high seat of royalty, but his scope and breadth of religion and mysticism was immense for the period in which he lived. He saw the need for mysticism to flow freely throughout the whole Islamic land, spreading to the farthest parts and smallest corners. In his books and lectures, he repeatedly emphasized the need for spiritual enlightenment, sighting that Sufism is the only true cure for skepticism, as well as the highest way of life.
In spreading the word of Sufism, Imam Ghazali (, may Allah be pleased with him) was able to address the highest of society as well as the most uneducated.
He could speak the language of the elite, and the ghetto without hesitation. He realized how much information could be handled by the masses, seeing that too much is not a good thing. Being able to bridge the gap in the levels of the entire Islamic community allowed him to reach many more people. Sufism became available to everyone, irregardless of the level of education. Imam Ghazali (, may Allah be pleased with him) had made mysticism available, understandable and easy to follow.
Imam Ghazali (, may Allah be pleased with him) has been termed a moderate mystic, though he believed undeniably that God is the true reality in all that is faced. Uncompromising in his beliefs, he wrote many books on the subject, reaffirming his belief in the following of Sufism and being truly spiritual. The end result of following the mystic path, for Imam Ghazali (, may Allah be pleased with him) was uniting with God; a majestic path to follow and one that was rewarding for the mind, body and soul.
English Books of Imam al-Ghazali – Available for Download
- Bidayat al-Hidayah – “The Beginning of Guidance” by Imam al-Ghazali
- Mishkat al-Anwaar – “The Niche of Lights” by Imam al-Ghazali
- Ayyuha al-Walad – “Beloved Son” by Imam al-Ghazali
- Naseehat al-Muluk – “Counsel for Kings” by Imam al-Ghazali
- Ihya Ulum Al Din Vol 1 to 4 (complete) by Imam Ghazali
History and Biography:
Imam Ghazali ka pora naam Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali hai ap 450 hijri mein Tous ke qasbe Taheran, Iran mein peda howe. Ibtadai taleem Tous mein pai pher ap Jarjan chale gaey aur Imam Abu Basir Ismail ki shagardi ikhtiyar kar li pher Khorasan Nishapur pohanch gae wahan Imam al Haramayn Abul Maali ke halqa dars mein shamil ho gae. 400 talba (students) mein ap sab se zahin thein jald he elm-ul-kalam aur falsafa mein maharat hasil kar li aur Imam al Harmayn ki wafat (death) ke baad Khawaja Nizam ul Mulk Tusi ki bar-gah se munsalik ho gae.
28 saal ki umer (age) mein mahir aloom-o-fanon ban gae they. 484 hijri mein Imam Ghazali Nizamia Baghdad ke sadar madras ban gae. 484 hijri mein Baghdad mein es shan se dakhil howe ke pore aalam-e-Islam mein in ke pae ka dosra aalim mojod na tha.
Imam Ghazali 488 hijri tak Nizamia Baghdad ke sadar madras rahe. Bohat se ulma-o-fazla ne in se istafada kiya. 478 Hijri mein Khalifa Mustazhari ki farmaesh per firqa batanya ke rad mein “Al-Muztazhari” tehreer ki magar zindagi ki 39b saal (year) pore hone ke baad ap ne zindagi ke aik nay dor ka aghaz kiya aur jah-o-jalal chhor kar khamoshi se aik kambal (blanket) urh kar bagher ksi ko kuch batay seyahat per nikal gae aur aik saal (one year) ka arsa Sham, Baitul Muqaddas aur Hejaz ka safar kiya aur giyara saal (11 years) baad 499 Hijri mein Nishapur wapas aey es doran ki qalbi kefiyat ko Imam Ghazali ne apni kitab “al-munqidh manal zalal” mein tehreer kar diya hai ke kis tarha ap ne taqleed ki bandishon se apne ap ko azad kiya aur tehqiq ki rawish se aur gour-o-khos se khoob mutala (study) kar ke Islam ko ikhtiyar kiya aur es ke baad awam ki rah-numai ke liye kitabein (books) tehreer kien.
Ahya-ul-Uloom Imam Ghazali ne esi giyara saal (11 years) ke arse mein Arbi mein tehreer ki jo aik Islam ki imaniyat abadat mamlat manjiyat-o-mohlikat ke bare mein tafseel se bayan karti hai. Ye book 4 jildon mein hai es ka khulasa Imam sahib ne khud he kimyae sadat ke naam se aik jild mein Farsi mein tehreer kiya
Allama Shibli Nomani ne Al-Ghazali mein ap aur ap ki tasaneef ke bare mein tafseel se bayan kiya hai ap ne philosopher ke rad mein kai kitabein likhein Ibne-e-Rushd aur Ibn-e-Sina ke safa aghlat ko wazah kiya aur tehqeq-o-taleem ki hosla afzai ki.
Imam Ghazali ki zindagi ka aakhri dor zehad o ibadat mein guzra aur ap ne 504 Hijri mein intaqal kiya, ap Taheran mein peda howe aur wahin wafat pai.
Imam Ghazali’s Books:
• The Incoherence of the Philosophers
• The alchemy of happiness
• On disciplining the soul
• On the Ninety-nine Beautiful Names of God
• Worship in Islam
• Al-Ghazali on Invocations and Supplications
• The Precious Pearl
Quotes of Imam Ghazali in Urdu:
• 3 cheezein insane ko tabah kar deti hein, Hars, hasad aur gharor.
• Woh elm-o-fazal sahib-e-elm ke liye wabal hai jo ataet-e-khuda aur etba Rasul Salal-laho wa-alehi wasalam ke siwa koi aur samra-o-natija peda kare.
• Insane ka sab se bara karnama yeh hai ke woh apne dil aur zuban ko qabo mein rake.
• Takaluf ki zadti mohabbat ki kami ka baes hai.
• Aurat mein aik kamzori hai jis ka elaj tahamul hai ese runj dena nahi chahiye balke es ka ranj sehna chahiye.
• Dost jo sirf tumhari achi halat ka dost ho aur aadey waqt kaam na aey es se bachna chahiye kyun ke woh sab se bara dushman hai.
• Maine duya per nazar dali her shakhs ksi na ksi cheez se mohabbat karta hai magar us mehbob cheez ko esi dunya mein chhor kar qabar mein chala jata hai. Maine socha ke main nekiyon aur ache kamon se mohabbat karon take woh qabar mein bhi mere sath jaein aur mujhe akela na chorein.
• Maine Quran mein parha ke jo shakhs apne Rab se dara aur nafs ko khahishat se roka, be-shak janat es ka thekana hai, es liye maine apni nafsiyati khahishat per qabo pa liya.
• Giri hoi cheez ka bagher etla qabze mein kar lena, lotney ki manend hai.
• Namaz mein hazor qalib ki tadbeer yeh hai ke alfaaz ke maini par khayal rakhay.
• Dunya ko dunya ky kamon se talab kar or Allah ka naam Allah ke wastey le.
• Bad-khalqi se dushmani paida hoti hai or dushmani se jafa kari.
• Logo ki naikiyon ko zahir karna chahiye or buraiyon sy chasham poshi lazim hai.