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Imam Al-Ghazali's Ihya' 'Ulum Al-Deen

It Is Full Of Qur'an

As mentioned earlier, according to Shaykh 'Abdallah al-'Aydaroos, the Ihya' is a sharh (explanation) of the Qur'an and Hadith. First, let us appreciate it as a sharh of the Qur'an.

It is an exhilarating experience to recite the verses of the Qur'an Kareem quoted in the Ihya' at one sitting and to crown it all with the Fateha! Al-Fateha!

Once you have done that, you are naturally curious to find out how much of the Qur'an is in the Ihya'. So you reference the footnotes provided by al-Hafiz al-Iraqi and a quick count reveals 2370 quoted verses, quoted in full or in part. Some of the verses have been repeated for emphasis. Assuming rather liberally that one-third are repetitions, we can draw a rough and ready conclusion that a quarter of the 6236 verses of the Qur'an have been directly quoted by Imam al-Ghazali, Rahmatullahi 'alaih in support of the theme of each book of the Ihya'.

The very first verse in the Ihya' must have pleased Allah Sub'hanahu wa Ta'ala so much that He, in His unbounded generosity gave the bahral muhit (encircling ocean) of the Ihya' to Imam al-Ghazali to plunge into. Approach it gently as your eyes might well up with tears.

Shahidallahu Annahu Laa Ilaaha Illaa Huwa
Wa'l malaaikatu wa 'ulul 'ilmi qaaiman bi'l qist
Laa Ilaaha Illaa Huwa'l 'Aziz u'l Hakeem

Allah bears witness that none is to be worshipped but He,
and (so do) the angels and those possessed of knowledge, Maintaining His creation with justice;
none is to be worshipped but He, the Mighty, the Wise (3:18)

Imam al-Ghazali loves this verse so much that he repeats it in many places in the Ihya'. Forty such oft-repeated verses can be identified equal to the forty books of the Ihya'. These are:

(2:165), (2:264), (3:18), (3:134), (4:41), (6:125), (7:55), (7:199), (7:200), (8:17),
((9:24), (13:11), (16:18), (16:90), (17:85), (18:49), (21:23), (26:89), (29:69), (32:16),
(35:41), (39:9), (39:22), (42:11), (48:29), (55:46), (57:12), (57:20), (58:11), (66:6),
(66:8), (68:4), (91:9), (91:10), (97:1), (99:7), (99:8), (103:1-3)

Let us benefit from the translation of a few of these verses with the intention of acting upon them.

Those who spend (benevolently) in ease as well as in hardship and those who restrain (their anger) and pardon men; and Allah loves the doers of good (to others). (3:134)

Take to forgiveness and enjoin good and turn aside from the ignorant (7:199)

And if you would count Allah's favours, you will not be abe to count them; most surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful (16:18)

Surely, Allah enjoins justice and the doing of good (to others) and the giving to the kith and kin, and He forbids indecency and evil and rebellion; He admonishes you that you may be mindful. (16:90)

And the Book (of Deeds) shall be placed (before you), then you will see the guilty, fearing from what is in it, and they will say: Ah! woe to us! what a book is this! It does not omit anything, small or great but takes account of them (all); and they shall find all that they did before them; and your Lord is not unjust with anyone. (18:49)

And (as for) those that strive for Us, We will most certainly guide them in Our ways; and Allah is most surely with the doers of good. (29:69)

Is he who is obedient during hours of the night, prostrating himself and standing, takes heed of the Hereafter and hopes for the mercy of his Lord (like the one who does not). Say: Are those who know and those who do not know equal? Only those who are endued with understanding receive admonition. (39:9)

Will he whose heart Allah has opened to Islam so that he is upon a light from his Lord (be like him who is not in this condition)? Woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance of Allah, those are in clear error. (39:22)

And for him who fears to stand before his Lord are two Paradises. (55:46)

And undoubledly, you (O beloved Prophet) have the most exalted character. (68:4)


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