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Al-ghazali’s Ihya Ulum Ad Din ALL IN ONE PDF


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 Al Ghazalis Ihya Ulum Ad Din
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Imam Al-Ghazali
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The book is the English version of Imam Ghazzali’s Ihya Ulum-ud-Din. It deals with worship and divine service.

Imam Abu-Hamid al-Ghazzali is unquestionably the greatest theologian of Islam and one of its noblest and most original thinkers. He was born in 1058 A.D. at Tu s, where he died in 1111. He reproduced in his religious experience all the spiritual phases developed by Islam.

Starting his religious life as orthodox, Al-Ghazzali soon turned Sufi, and when still under twenty he had broken with all the past. In 1091 he was appointed lecturer at the Nizamiyah in Baghdad, where he became a skeptic. Four years later he returned to Sufism after a terrific spiritual struggle that left him a physical wreck.

Intellectualism had failed him. As a dervish, he roamed from place to place enjoying peace of soul and acquiescence of mind. After about twelve years of retirement in various places, including two years of retreat in Syria and a holy pilgrimage, he returned to Baghdad to preach and teach.

There he composed his masterpiece lyha Ulum-id-Din (the revivification of the sciences of religion).

The mysticism of this work vitalized the law its orthodoxy leavened the doctrine of Islam. In it and such other works of his as Falihal-al-Ulutn, Tahafut of Falasifah, Iqtisad fi-al-Itiqad, orthodox speculation reached its culminating point.


Through the unbounded grace of the Almighty God and blessings of the greatest Apostle of God, the English version of the Book of worship of the world-renowned Ihyaul Ulum (Revival of religious learning) of Imam Ghazzali, the greatest thinker of the world of Islam, the Proof of Islam, the famous Sufi and devout, has now been published in full.

This book Ihya is a sea of knowledge full of reasons and arguments, full of Quranic verses, traditions of the Holy Prophet, and of the companions and the famous saints of early ages.

Each subject was supported by the Quran, traditions, and sayings of the learned sages and wise men and established by reasons and arguments.

As the great Imam belonged originally to the Shafeyi Sunni sect, some of the religious doctrines will be found in line with that sect, but nevertheless, its importance is very great. In his advanced age, the Imam was not a blind follower of sects but followed his independent thinking and as such indirectly created a sect of his own.

As the world is advancing with ever-new ideas and scientific discoveries, so also this work is full of novel and great ideas and scientific discoveries, and thereby the Imam revived truly the religious sciences and gave them an impetus never given by his predecessors in such a manner.

He saved Islam from the currents and cross-currents of devilish thoughts

He saved Islam from the currents and cross-currents of devilish thoughts and pagan ideas that imperceptibly entered into Islam and clearly showed their fallacies and misconceptions.

For this reason, he was given the title of Hujjatul Islam, or the Proof of Islam. His thoughts prevailed upon those savants who came after him.

Had not the Almighty blessed him with the necklace of reason and intellect, the true belief of Islam would have been carried away by the strong current of irreligious and misguided thoughts.

True it is that there are many weak traditions in this book, but at the same time it should be remembered that the authors of six authentic traditional books especially Bukhari and Muslim selected some few thousand traditions as most of them were not proven to have been founded by trustworthy narrators from the Holy Prophet down to the narrator or did not meet with all the rules laid down for an authentic tradition.

For want of proof, many guilty persons are acquitted. For that, it cannot be said that all acquitted persons are innocent So in this perspective, the traditions in the Ihya should be regarded. Had Imam Ghazzali not found them trustworthy, he would not have incorporated them in his book.

The present translation is an attempt to bring out a complete translation of Ihya in English in four Books

The present translation is an attempt to bring out a complete translation of Ihya in English in four Books. The first book deals with worship and divine service, the second book with worldly usages, the third book with destructive evils, and the fourth book with constructive virtues.

Ihya in original is a book in Arabic comprising four parts and its abridged edition in Persian was termed by the author himself as ‘Kimiyae Sa’adat’ or the Touchstone of fortune.

Unnecessary arguments of different sects prevalent nearly one thousand years ago, some matters not needed at the present time, and some sayings of some sages of less reputation have been omitted in the present English version. The book has been, however, translated into Bengali in full by the author himself without omission.


Imam Ghazzali was born in 450 A.H. (1058 A.D.) in the village Taberan in the district of Taus in Persia and his name is Abu Hamid Muhammad. His title is Hujjatul Islam or Proof of Islam and his dynastic title is Ghazzali. His father was not a famous person but his grandfather was one of the leading men of that age.

His father died while he was young leaving him under the care of his mother and grandfather. Ghazzal is said to be the name of a village in the district of Taus in the province of Khorasan in Persia. According to Maulana Shibli Nomani, his ancestors had the business of weaving (Ghazzal) arid therefore he retained his family title Ghazzali (weaver).


 At the time of the death of Ghazzali’s father, he entrusted the education of his two sons Muhammad and Ahmad to one of his trusted friends. The latter imparted them primary education and then sent them to a private Maktab. The boys within a short time committed the whole Quran to memory and after that began to learn Arabic.

They were then admitted to a free Madrasha. After some time, Imam Ghazzali left his native village for higher education for Zarzan and began to study under a great earned man Imam Abu Nasr Ismail.

He used to take notes of his lectures but m a certain journey he was robbed of these notes by some dacoits along with his other belongings.

He took courage, went to the chief of the robbers, and begged for the notes only to be returned to him. It was returned to him at his earnest entreaties.

Nizamia Madrasha at Nishapur

Then he joined Nizamia Madrasha at Nishapur which was a reputed seat of learning and a great educationist named Imamul Haramain was its principal. He had 400 students of whom three were most noted – Harrasi, Ahmad-b-Muhammad, and Imam Ghazzali. The latter became so much grieved at his death that he left Nishapur and went to Baghdad, the capital of the Caliphs. He was then a young man 28 years of age.

In Baghdad, he was appointed principal of Nizamiyah Madrasha by Nizamul Mulk the chief vizier of the Turkish ruler Malek Shah. Being thus appointed at an early age to such a high post, his popularity as a great learned man spread far and wide and the rulers and the chieftains used to consult him in state affairs and theological matters.


 In the lectures of the Imam, hundreds of learned men and dignitaries of the State and even the ruling princes attended. His lectures were full of arguments and reasons and they were mostly recorded by Sayeed-b-Fares and Ibn Lobban. They recorded nearly 183 of his lectures which were completed in a book named Majalesse-Ghazzali.

The great Imam then turned his mind to gain spiritual heights and the circumstances leading to it were recorded by him in his book Munkezum Minaddalal (Deliverance from error).

He was a follower of Imam Shafeyi at an early age but in Baghdad, he mixed freely with the peoples of all sects and thoughts and ideas. There were then the Shias, the Sunnis, Zindiqs, Magians, Scholastic theologians, Christians, Jews, atheists fire-worshippers, and idol worshippers. There were also the Deists, the Materialists, the Naturalists, and the philosophers.


They used to meet in mutual wars of argumentations and debates. This had suet) an effect in the mind of the Imam that his whole life became changed and he began to search for truth with a free mind.

His old ideas disappeared and he began to live in doubts. He then became inclined to Sufism but here practical actions were more required than mere belief. Being imbued with such an idea, he gave up his lucrative post in Baghdad, wore the Sufi dress, and left Baghdad suddenly one night in 488 A.H.

He then went to Damascus

He then went to Damascus and closeted himself in a room of its mosque and began attentively the divine services, meditations, and Zikr. Thus he spent here two years in solitude. At the age of 27 years, he was initiated by Pir’Abu Ali Farnedi who was the spiritual guide of also the vizier Nizamul Mulk.

After two years he went to Jerusalem and visited the birthplace of Jesus Christ and in 499 A.H. he visited the holy shrine of Hazrat Abraham and made there three promises:-1) he will not go to the Darbar of any ruler, 2) he will never accept their presentation, 3) he will not join any religious debates.

He fulfilled these promises up to his death. Then he went to Mecca for pilgrimage and visited alSo Medina and stayed there for a long time. When he returned home, he was requested by the ruler to accept the post of the principal of Nizamia Madrashah and he accepted it.

When the ruler was assassinated by an assassin, he gave up the post and went to Tas and closeted himself in a khankah. The new ruler requested the Imam to join his post of the principal but he declined the offer.

He died at his native village Taberan on 14th Jamadis Sani in 505 A.H. corresponding to 19th December 1111 A.D. Ibn Jauzi narrated a story about his death.

He said: On Monday early in the morning he got up from his bed, performed his morning prayer, and then sent a man to bring his coffin cloth. When it was brought, he lifted it up to his eyes and said: Lord’s command is to be obeyed. Saying this, he prolonged his legs and immediately breathed his last. The Imam left no son, but only daughters.


: The Imam lived nearly 55; years and he began to write books from an early age when he was 20 years old. He traveled for nearly 10 to 11 years and spent most of his time in reading, writing, and teaching.

Besides this, he had to reply to thousand of letters which came from far and near for his decision and opinion. He wrote nearly 400 books of which the following are noted.


 Wasit (Shafeyi jurisprudence), Basit, Wajiz (Canon Law) (compendium), Bayanul Qaolaine li Shafeyi, Khulasatul Rasail (Quintessence of jurisprudence), Fkhtesarul Mukhtesar, Gayatul Gaur, Mazmatul Fatawah (collection of legal decisions), Risalatul Qudsiyya (canon laws of Prophet).


 Tahsinul Muakhej, Shefaye Alii (cure of diseases), Mankhul, Mustastfa jurisprudence.


: Khulasatul Fiqh (the quintessence of jurisprudence) Wajiz, Iqtisad-fil-I’tiqad (exposition of faith), Al-Qaeda’s Mustaqim.


 Mizanul Amal, Mihakhul Nazar fil Monteq (whetstone of reflection on Logic), Mayatul Ilm (weighing scale of science), Al-Ma’arif (Discourse on Logic). Mayarul Ilm fi Fannil Manteq (the weighing scale of the science of logic).


 Maqasidul Falasifah (the aim of the Philosophers), Munqezum Minaddalal (Deliverance from error), an autobiographical statement of his spiritual progress) Kitabul Arsayin (abridgement of Ihya), ResalatuI Laduniyya (Ilham and wahi).


 Tahafatul falasifah (destruction of the philosophers), Iqtisad, Mustajhari (guide of novices), Iljam al Awam (vilification of peoples), Faysatul Zindiq (refutation of atheists), Fikhrot wal Ibrah (Meditation and contemplation), A1 Hikmat (wisdom of God), Haqiqatur Ruh (realities of soul).


 Ihyao Ulumiddin (Revival of religious learnings), Kimiyae Sa’adat (Touchstone of fortune), Akhlaklul Abrar (conduct of the pious), Jawaharul Quran (Jewels of Quran), Minhajul Abedin (path of the devout), Mirajus Saleqin (steps for the sojourners), Bidayataul Hidayah (beginning of guidance), Mishka tul Anwar (Niche of lights).


 Yeakutut-Ta’wil (a commentary of the Quran in 40 volumes now lost).

Of the 400 books he compiled, some only have been preserved in many libraries of Europe, while the Muslims did not accept them as they should have been accepted. Besides, they went so far as to burn some of his books which were lost forever to the world.


 Revival of Religious sciences is a masterpiece of Imam Ghazzali. Abul Gafer Farsi was a contemporary of Imam Ghazzali. He said that a book like Ihya was never compiled before.

Imam Nodi said: Ihya is near the Quran. Shaikh Abu Muhammad said: If all the lights of knowledge of the world are extinguished they can be revived from Ihya. Shaikh Abdullah Idrees was a great saint.

He committed to memory the whole book Ihya. Shaikh Ali read it 25 times from first to last and at the end of each reading gave a feast to the students and the poor. Many students of the Imam committed it to memory. Many saints regarded the book as a result of Ilham or inspiration.

The great saint Kutub Shaji one day held the book in his hand and said to the people: Do you know which book is in my hand? Immediately he showed them the signs of lashes on his back and said: I was not a supporter of the book.

Last night, Imam Ghazzali took me in presence of the Holy Prophet and inflicted on me these lashes on my back for my disregard of the book. These are the signs of lashes on my back.


 The books of Imam Ghazzali were so much accepted and honored in Europe that they are preserved in many libraries. But they did not receive so much attention in Muslim countries. Some Muslim learned men even did not open their eyes to see them but rather prohibited the people to read them.

For this reason, his books are rarely found in the libraries of Muslim countries. Mankhul is a book compiled by the Imam at an early age.

Therein he wrote with a completely free and independent mind and was not a blind follower of Mazhabs or sects. This book fell into disregard in Muslim countries only for this fault. Mankhul and Ihya were ordered to be burnt and it was translated into action. Europe accepted them with honor and preserved them from destruction.

The book ‘Maqasedul Falasefa’ is not found in Muslim countries but it is preserved in the libraries of Spain, Europe also accepted his other books.


 It is no exaggeration to say that the modern opinion about religion is much due to the influence of the Imam’s thoughts. The many books that were written after his death reflect greatly the thoughts of the great Imam.

His views on Sufism were accepted by the latter Sufis.

After him, Maulana Rumi, Ibne Rushd, Shah Waliullah, and other noted learn men wrote many books which resound with the opinions of Imam Ghazzali. In short, his thoughts reigned supreme in their minds.

His influence on Persian literature was also great. He himself wrote Kimiyae Saadat in Persian which influenced to a great extent the minds of Maulana Runu. Shaikh Sa’di, Farid Uddin Attar, Shiraaji, Hafez, and other poets and Sufis.

The works of such a learned man held in high esteem by all should be widely read and circulated. Mr. Watt says: Ghazzali has sometimes been acclaimed in both east and west as the greatest Muslim thinker after Muhammad and he is by no means unworthy of that great dignity.


 This light of faith in the soul has got three stages. In the first stage, the light is that of the faith of an ordinary man. It is the light of blind faith. In the second stage, it is the light of the faith of the followers of Fiqh or jurisprudence.

It is mixed with some sort of proof. In the third stage, it is the light of the faith of the friends of God. It is the dazzling ray of a certain faith. Take for instance the stay of Zaid within his house.

It can be proved in three ways. The first kind of proof is belief in hearing. If you have belief in a certain man and you know that he does not speak lies, you will believe his word that Zaid is in his house.

This is the belief of ordinary man based on hearing only. When the little boys attain maturity, they hear from their parents and relatives that there is God, that He is almighty.

Creator of everything, that He sent apostles with books. They believe them on hearing. This belief will be the cause of salvation in the next world. But they will be in the first stage of the fortunate but not included within the near ones, as there is no opening of their inner eye (Kashf) with the help of certain faith and no expansion of breast, and there may be defects in hearsay.

The second kind of proof is as follows.

The second kind of proof is as follows. That Zaid is within his house can be guessed from a hearing of his voice and talks coming from his house. So this belief is stronger than that of heresy. There may be also mistakes in voices and words.

The third kind of proof is to enter the room and see Zaid with open eyes. This is real knowledge gained by direct sight. This knowledge is like that of the friends of God and near ones. There is no mistake in this belief.

There are however degrees of this knowledge or Kashf among them. If Zaid is seen in front of light or sunlight, it is perfect sight.

If he is seen in the house from a great distance or like his figure at night, it is less perfect. Similarly, there are different degrees of spiritual vision and knowledge.


 Knowledge which thus falls in the soul is of two kinds knowledge concerning intellect and religion. The former is also of two kinds-natural knowledge and acquired knowledge.

Acquired knowledge is also of two kinds worldly knowledge and next worldly or spiritual knowledge. We understand by knowledge concerning intellect basic natural and necessary knowledge.

It is not acquired by blind faith or heresy. It is that which is gained but not known how and from where, for instance, the knowledge that the same person cannot stay in two different places at the same time and that the same thing cannot be at the same time old and new.

This preliminary knowledge is imprinted in a boy’s mind in his earliest years. He does not know wherefrom this knowledge comes from. The acquired knowledge concerning intellect is gained by learning. These two kinds of knowledge are called intellect or wisdom.


God created nothing more honorable to Him than ’ intellect

The Prophet said with regard to the natural intellect from birth: God created nothing more honorable to Him than ’ intellect With regard to the second kind of intellect on hearsay, the Prophet said to Hazrat Ali: ‘When the people come close to God by good deeds, you will be able to come close to Him by the help of your intellect.

It is not possible to come close to God by the natural intellect. It has to be acquired. So the human soul has got the power of sight like that of the external eyes. As there is the power of sight in the eyes, so also there is the power of as on in the human soul.

One of its names is intellect or wisdom. The power of vision is a basic Ingredient that is not found in a spiritually blind man.

It is found only in a person having inner sight though he closes his two eyes or remains in darkness. All things are seen by the eye of knowledge.

There is a delay in the rise of knowledge till one attains maturity as the tablet of the soul does not become prepared then for the light of knowledge.

The pen is an instrument to depict pictures of knowledge as God says: He taught with a pen. He taught men what he knew not-8: 2Q God’s pen is not like the pen of man as His attributes are not like the attributes of man.

His pen is not made of material or other things. So there is a distinction between inner vision and outer sight.


 The vision of the soul is the subtle essence or Latifa with which spiritual things are seen. This essence is like a rider and its eye is like a conveyance.

For it, the blindness of the rider is more harmful than the blindness of the conveying horse, that is the blindness of the soul is more harmful than the blindness of the eye. These two things have got no connection with each other.

Still, there is some similarity between external sight and internal sight. God explained the sight of the soul in this verse: Soul has not disbelieved what it saw-53:11.

Here it has been said that the soul has got power>bf sight God says in another verse: I showed thus the sovereignty of heavens and earth to Abraham -6:75.

Here external sight has not been spoken of as others also have been given this power, but there is mention here of internal sight. Opposite to it is the internal blindness God says: Who so is blind in this world will be blind in the hereafter ((Al –Isra 17:72)).

This is the blindness of the soul. This is the narration of knowledge concerning intellect.


 This knowledge is acquired by blind faith in the words of the prophets. It can be earned after studying the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet or hearing them For the salvation of the soul, even though knowledge concerning intellect is necessary, it is not singly sufficient. As for the health of the body, some measures are necessary, but they are not alone sufficient without their actual application. Special methods of medicines for a cure should be learned from the physicians. Only intellect is not sufficient.

He who calls towards blind faith only without application of intellect is a fool. On the other hand, he relies on intellect only after giving up the Quran, and Sunna is a proud man. The two must be kept together.

Education concerning intellect is like food and religious education is like medicine. A diseased man meets with harm if he takes only food after giving up medicine.

Similar is the case with a diseased soul. Its cure is not possible without the profitable medicine of Shariat. The medicine of Shariat is the duty prescribed by the Prophets for purity of soul.

He who does not treat his diseased soul by the medicine of divine service as ordained by Shariat and thinks the leanings of intellect as sufficient faces ruin.


 Some think that science is opposed to religion. This is not at all correct. Such a man sets up one learning of Shariat against another. The reason is his failure to coordinate the two. As a result, such people go out of religion.

Such a man is just like a blind man who stumbles down against the furniture of a house and says: Why has this furniture been kept in the pathway? The house owner says: They are in their proper places. It is your blindness that is responsible for your stumbling. This is also the case with one who thinks that science is opposed to religion.


 There are two kinds of science, material and spiritual. Medical Science, Mathematics, and other technical sciences belong to the leanings of this world. The religious sciences are the education concerning the soul, God, His attributes, and actions. He who makes efforts with regard to the worldly sciences and becomes an expert has shortcomings in most cases in being an expert in religious sciences.

For this reason, Hazrat Ali cited three illustrations to explain this. He said: This world and the next world are like two scales or like the east and the west or like two co-wives.

You will find that he who is intelligent in worldly matters and an expert in Medical science, Mathematics, Philosophy, Geometry, etc. is a fool in the religious sciences. He who is experienced in the religious sciences is inexperienced in worldly learnings.


For this reason, the Prophet said: Most of the inmates of Paradise are indifferent.’ In other words, they are inattentive in worldly matters. Hazrat Hasan Basari said: We have seen such a people whom you would think if you had seen them as insane and mad. If they had seen you, they would call you devils.

So the worldly educated men deny any wonderful event of religion.

God says: Those who do not hope to meet Me and remain satisfied with this world’s life get consolation therein. God says” Whoso is heedless of remembering Me and does not wish except this world’s life, it is the limit of his knowledge.

It is only the Prophets who combined in themselves the knowledge of this world and the next. They were helped by the Holy Spirit and given divine powers.


 Know, o dear readers, that there are different conditions of knowledge which are not all necessary. Some of them fall suddenly in mind called Ilham and some of them are acquired by efforts. Knowledge not acquired by efforts is of two kinds.

One kind of such knowledge is not known from where it comes or how it comes. Another kind of such knowledge comes through an angel who throws it into one’s soul.

That is called Wahi or revelation. It is revealed (only to the prophets. Ilham of the first kind is thrown on the souls of Prophets as well as other religious personalities. In short, the human soul is the place of disclosing truths of all things, but the obstacles mentioned earlier stand as screens.

Those are screens between Lauhe Mahfuz’(Guarded tablet) and the mirror of the soul. Pictures of everything that will occur up to the Resurrection Day have been preserved in this Guarded Tablet. The real condition of every affair is reflected in the mirror of the soul. That is like the picture in front of a mirror. If there is no screen between the two, it is seen in the mirror of the soul from the Guarded Tablet.


The wind of Latifa or essence sometimes removes the screen from the mirror of the soul

The wind of Latifa or essence sometimes removes the screen from the mirror of the soul, so as to disclose what is in the Guarded Tablet. Sometimes the future events can be seen in dreams. By death, all the screens are removed. In a wakeful state also, sometimes the screen is removed provided secret mercy is showered on the soul.

Then ghosts of knowledge spring forth in soul from unseen things. It lasts for a short time. Ilham and Wahi (inspiration and revelation) cannot be obtained by human will. God says: It is not for a man to talk with God except by means of Wahi or from behind the screen or by means of a messenger who reveals with His permission what He wishes.


 The Sufis love knowledge through Ilham or inspiration. For this reason, they do not like to have an education or read books or hold arguments.

They say that the primary source of acquisition of knowledge is the saving of oneself from the condemnable evils, severing all connections, and directing all efforts toward God. When it is earned, God Himself becomes the caretaker of the human soul.

He saves it by enkindling the light of knowledge in the soul. When God takes care of his soul, mercy falls in it, light sparkles, his breast expands and the secrets of the spiritual world are disclosed to him.

With God’s help, screens of darkness are removed from the upper portion of his soul and the real nature of divine affairs comes to him. So it is the duty of God’s servant to purify his soul and to make efforts with true and sincere intention.

These matters are opened to the prophets and friends of God. Lights flow over their breasts. It is not due to their acquired knowledge by efforts, but it is due to their asceticism, their full freedom from worldly connections, and the full direction of their energies toward God. God becomes for one who becomes for God.


The first step is to cut off all worldly connections,

To them, the first step is to cut off all worldly connections, to make the soul vacant for God, to give up all efforts for family, property, children, houses, name, and fame, and then to confine themselves to performing compulsory and optional duties and sit in meditation with a mind absolutely free from everything. Their thoughts are centered only on one Being.

Even they become free from the interpretation of the Quran, Hadis, and other books and matters. They sit in lonely places and invoke only Allah, Allah with humility of mind till they reach such a stage when they give up even the movements of their tongue.

Then the influence of their tongue enters their soul which recites Allah, Allah. The pictures of words are then effaced from their souls are only their meanings remain therein.

It is your option to regain this stage. You. have got no power to claim mercy of God, rather you may be fit to receive its blowing. At this time, the sparkling ray of truth may sparkle in your soul first like attracting electricity but it may not last or it may last. You will then continue to purify your soul and hope to receive God’s blessings.

This mode is very troublesome and its fruit is time-consuming. If you can gain one stage, it is difficult for you to stay in it as the devil will constantly mislead you. the Prophet said: The heart of a believer is more changing than a pot (of hot water). During this time of effort and trials, health may deteriorate.

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