Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth (al-Ghunya li Talibi) Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani translated from the arabic by Muhtar Holland
SUFFICIENT PROVISION FOR SEEKERS OF THE PATH OF TRUTH
From the Book
It is surely significant that Chapter One is headed: “On what is required of someone who wishes to enter Islam.”
But does this mean that Sufficient Provision is essentially a manual of traditional Islamic belief and practice, compiled for the benefit of newcomers to the religion? Is it more adequately described by the distinguished scholar} who calls it “a treatise on legalistic ethics and theology”?
Or was a friend of the translator closer to the mark, when he suggested that it might bear comparison with al-Ghazali’s Ihya’ “Ulam ad-Din [Revival of the Religious Sciences], given the range of its contents and its encyclopedic character?
Do I hear a voice telling me: “Remember the fable of the blind men trying to describe the elephant!”?
After first advising the reader to study the Author’s Prologue, I shall now attempt some kind of answer to these questions, beginning with the significance of that initial Chapter heading.
I shall do so by quoting from the concluding passage of the final section of Chapter Three: