Ahmad al-Ghazali Remembrance and the Metaphysics of Love
REMEMBRANCE AND THE METAPHYSICS OF LOVE – Book Sample
The goal of this Book – REMEMBRANCE AND THE METAPHYSICS OF LOVE
Studies on Aḥmad al-Ghazālī Despite Aḥmad al-Ghazālī’s extensive influence, little information was available in the scholarly literature until 1979. This oversight was amended by the appearance of three monographs in Persian: Majmūʿāh-ye āthār-i fārsī-ye Aḥmad Ghazālī (Compendium of the Introduction 9 Persian Works of Aḥmad Ghazālī) by Aḥmad Mujāhid, Sulṭān-i ṭarīqāt (The Master of Sufi Paths) by Nasrollah Pourjavady, both in 1979, and Āyāt-i ḥusn va-ʿishq (Signs of Beauty and Love) by Hishmatallāh Riyāḍī in 1989 ((Hishmatallāh Riyāḍī, Āyāt-i ḥusn va-ʿishq (Tehran: Kitābkhānah-yi Ṣāliḥ, 1369 HS/1989).)).
The studies by Mujāhid and Pourjavady made solid contributions to the study of Persian Sufism in general and of Aḥmad al-Ghazālī in particular. Mujāhid presented critical editions of all the extant Persian writings attributed to Aḥmad al-Ghazālī. His extensive introduction documents the majority of the available resources for the life and work of Aḥmad al-Ghazālī and thus proves to be an invaluable resource.
But Mujāhid provides no analysis of either the literary works or of the historical information. For this one must look to Pourjavady, who provides a biography of Aḥmad al-Ghazālī and then examines his teachings. Pourjavady’s insightful study does not, however, analyze the historical accuracy of the available biographical information, and his examination of Aḥmad al-Ghazālī’s teachings includes Baḥr al-ḥaqīqah (The Ocean of Realities) and Bawāriq al-ilmāʿ fi’r-radd ʿalā man yuḥarrimu’s-samāʿ bi’l-ijmāʿ (Glimmers of Allusion in Response to Those Who Forbid Sufi Music) ((Tracts on Listening to Music: Being Dhamm al-malāhī, by Ibn Abi’d Dunyā and Bawāriq al-ilmāʿ, by Majd ad-Dīn aṭ-Ṭūsī al-Ghazālī, trans. And ed. James Robson (Hertford: Stephen Austin & Sons, 1938).)), works whose attribution to Aḥmad al-Ghazālī has since been disproven.
As Pourjavady himself has observed, this significantly undermines the value of the analyses in Sulṭān-i ṭarīqāt ((This information is from a discussion with Pourjavady in which he stated that he was unwilling to republish Sulṭān-i ṭarīqāt without substantially rewriting these sections. His many discussions of Aḥmad al-Ghazālī in subsequent articles provide a more refined analysis of Aḥmad al-Ghazālī’s teachings.)).
Riyāḍī’s study shows a great appreciation for Aḥmad al-Ghazālī
Riyāḍī’s study shows a great appreciation for Aḥmad al-Ghazālī, but seems to borrow from Mujāhid and Pourjavady more than build on them. The works of Mujāhid and Pourjavady provide a solid foundation for studies of Aḥmad al-Ghazālī, and this study is greatly indebted to them.
Aḥmad al-Ghazālī’s introduction to Western audiences came in 1936 through James Robson’s translation of Bawāriq al-ilmāʿ, a treatise that defends the use of music in Sufi gatherings and provides guidance for its implementation. As will be demonstrated in Chapter 1, the attribution of this text to Aḥmad al-Ghazālī is erroneous.
Many scholars still believe him to be the author of this work and thus count him among the chief defenders of Sufi music (samāʿ). The inclusion of this text in his oeuvre has led to misunderstandings about Aḥmad al-Ghazālī that persist to this day.50 Aside from a minor article by Helmut Ritter in the Encyclopaedia of Islam,
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