|📘 Book Title||Abstinence In Islam|
|👤 Book Author||Imam Al-Ghazali|
|🖨️ Total Pages||64|
|👁️ Book Views|
|📥 Book Download||PDF Direct Download Link|
|🛒 Get Hardcover||Click for Hard Similar Copy from Amazon|
Abstinence In Islam by Al-Ghazali – Kasr Al Shahwatayn (Curbing The Two Appetites) From Ihya’ Ulūm al-Din (Revivification of the Sciences of Religion) Translation and Notes by Caesar E. Farah University of Minnesota
For pious Muslims of the Sufi persuasion, abstinence is a necessary virtue for the conduct of spiritual exercises leading to union with God.
They preached against all that which distracted from concentration on the worship of God. They looked upon excessive eating and copulation as the major media of distraction, a sort of ailment to be shunned and if too entrenched, a weakness to be overcome by rigorous exercises.
Marriage was recommended only as a last resort for those whose sexual urges were too strong to contain. The Sufi perception tended to contradict the official Muslim conviction that marriage was necessary for the propagation of race and faith and accounted for much of the data that centered on the subject historically.
In Kasr al-Shahwatayn (Curbing the Two Appetites) we have a classical Islamic position on how to combat the urge to indulge in food and sex.
The author of this work, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (1058-1111), is generally regarded as the leading theologian and synthesizer of Sunni and Sufi perceptions of Islam.
He is credited with enshrining the Ash’arite system in the main body of Islamic theology as the sole unchallenged creed of Islam. Professor Hitti refers to him as the “father of the church in Islam” and the final 1 authority for Sunni, or Islamic orthodoxy.
In his religious experience first as an orthodox theologian then as a mystic, author, and traveler, al-Ghazāli came to embody all that Islam itself experienced in its multiple spiritual 2 phases, ranging from the formal doctrinal to the experiential and mystical.
His transformation from a mainliner to a skeptic took place while he headed the famous Nizāmīyah school of theology in Baghdad, designed by its Selcuk founder to serve the educational training needs of the four main rites of Islam (Hanafite, Shafi’ite, Malikite and Hanbalite).
It was after a ten-year period of self-imposed seclusion and meditation in his native Khorasan that he undertook to pen his masterly work, Thya’ ‘Ulum al-Din, the cornerstone of orthodox Islamic theology until today.
By incorporating into it the views and experiences of the mystics, he added a dimension that made complete the prevailing experiences of Islam in its two-dimensional approach to the worship of God.’
Al-Ghazali’s Kasr al-Shahwatayn constitutes Book Three of Volume III of his Thyâ’ ‘Ulum al-Dīn (Revivification of the Sciences of Religion).
The Ihya’consists of forty “books” uneven in length, varying from between thirty-eight and fifty-one pages in the edited version of the Arabic by ‘Iraqi.
The Ihya’ treats al-Ghazali’s whole system of thought and is the main reason for his unique position among both the ulema and mystics of Islam.
Each of the four volumes comprises ten “books” and embraces the following categories: Cultural Practices (I), Social Customs (II), Instruments of Destruction (III), and Means of Salvation (IV).
The contents of volume 3, grouped under headings which the author calls “books”, treat in broad terms ten specific categories which in his estimation lead the indulgent to destruction or Halak, whence the title Muhlikāt (Media of Destruction).
These books are: “Explaining the Wonders of the Heart” (1), “Training the Self, Rectifying Morals, and Treating Ailments of the Heart” (2), “Curbing the Two Appetites” (3), “Evils of the Tongue” (4), “Criticizing Anger, Hatred and Envy” (5), “Criticizing the (material) World” (6), “Criticizing Greed and Love of Possessions” (7), “Criticizing Fame and Pretension” (8), “Criticizing Grandeur and Pride” (9), and “Criticizing Vanities” (10). –
In Kasr al-Shahwatayn, the book herein translated and commented on, al-Ghazali defines what he considers the evils engendered by the cravings of the stomach and the genitals and how they can be overcome.
In his arguments throughout, he presents the perspective of the Sufi, since it is they who had to undertake the arduous journey that led to fanã’ or passing away from the conscious self to a sort of union with the imperceptible reality (al-Haqq) which could be achieved by them only through a periential awareness of God’s presence within themselves.
The process of dissociating themselves from the tangible world around them and escaping the temptations and distractions thereof necessarily influenced their attitude towards men and women alike, particularly to the extent they might be diverted from their mystical journey to God.
For them, the role model is that of their fellow Sufis who had attained gnosis (ma’rifah). ex-The forty books of the Ihya’ have been studied by Arab, English, French, and German scholars.
A number of them have been also translated into one European language or another: sixteen in English, six in French, three in German, and one in Russian according to currently known bibliographical data.
There is what appears to be an incomplete, and not so accurate translation of this work without any form of annotation and wherein the translator takes the liberty to make honorific and other modifying insertions at will (see Annex).
We have besides these translations numerous articles in languages other than Arabic reflecting aspect or another of this monumental work of the eleventh century.
The basis for the present translation is the Azhar University edition, one of the earliest and most reliable yet not without problems since there is little punctuation, on One
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