Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim
Iqra Islamic Publications
Welcome to Islam
Accept Islam for your salvation
Live according to Islam for your spiritual progress

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

Scholarship on the Ihya'

Scholarly works on the Ihya' can be classified into two broad categories. In the first category are more ancient, classical works and these are in Arabic. In the second category are more recent works in Arabic as well as in other languages.

Some of the classical works on the Ihya' have already been mentioned. These are:

1. The shuruh (plural of sharh, appreciative explanation) by the mashaayikh, such as

(a) Ta'reef i'l Ihya' bi Fadaail i'l Ihya' (Introducing "The Revival" With The Grace of "The Revival") of al-Habib 'AbdulQadir al-'Aydaroos.

(b) A ten volume commentary on the Ihya' by al-Sayyid Muhammad al-Murtada al-Husaini al-Zabidi (1145-1205 A.H/1732-1791 C.E) titled It'haf al-Sadat al-Muttaqin bi-Sharh Asrar Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din (Gifts of the Godfearing Nobles in the Appreciation of the Secrets of "The Revival of The Religious Sciences").

2. The Takhreej (Identification) which identifies verses of the Qur'an contained in the Ihya' by verse number(s) and the surah(s) they belong to, as well as hadith sources of Prophetic traditions quoted in the Ihya', such as the Takhreej of Hafiz al-Iraqi.

3. The qasaaid (eulogies) on the Ihya' such as those by Sayyidunal Imam Al-Habib Mawlana al-Haddad, Shaykh 'Ali bin Abibakr and Shaykh al-Imam al-Muhaddith Abu'l 'Abbas al-Aqlishi.

4. The qasaaid that convey the essence of the teachings of the Ihya', as for example, the qasida by Mawlana al-Haddad to be found in his Diwan (Collected Eulogies).

The more recent works are:

5. The translations of the Ihya' in all the major languages, such as Persian, Urdu, Turkish, Bengali, English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, and Russian. In many instances, we have multiple translations in the same language. Shaykh Abdal-Hakim Murad (T.J. Winter) has identified 65 works of translation of various books of the Ihya' in European languages alone in his translation of Vol III, Book 2 titled On Disciplining The Soul and Vol III, Book 3 titled, On Breaking The Two Desires.

The first attempted translation in English of the complete Ihya' was by Mawlana Fazl ul Karim (who also translated it into Bangali). When we compare it with the original Arabic, we realise that it is a highly abridged translation, at most one-third of it. This gives us an idea of how monumental Ihya' is!

Especially worthy of note are translations of various books of the Ihya' by two scholars whose hearts Allah Ta'ala has opened to Islam, namely Shaykh Abdal-Hakim Murad, a mureed (disciple) of Sayyidi wa Imami al-Habib Ahmad Mash-hur bin Taha al-Haddad; and Shaykh Muhtar Holland, a mureed of Bapak Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo of Wisma Subud, Jakarta. Their standard of scholarship is unmatched and unparallelled. It appears as if they are upon a light from their Lord and we are reminded of the Qur'anic verse:

Afaman sharahAllahu sadrahu lil Islam
fahuwa 'alaa nurin min Rabbihi

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)? (39:22)

6. The Ph.D's produced on the Ihya'. Ph.D scholars normally work on a particular theme. For example, the Ph.D thesis of Professor Muhammad Abul Quasem was that the ethics in Imam al-Ghazali's writings are a composite ethics in Islam. Ph.D's using this approach are obtained in Universities across the world such as the Egyptian University in Cairo, the University of Chicago in US, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the University of Edinburg in Scotland, to mention a few.

The translation of any one of the forty books of the Ihya' together with an analysis of its contents also merits a Ph.D in universities. For example, Professor K. Nakamura obtained his Ph.D at Harvard University in 1970 for his translation of Vol I, Book 9 titled Kitab al-Adhkar wa'l Da'awat (The Book of Invocations and Supplications). In the same way, Ph.D's have been obtained at Mainz University in Germany and at the Hartford Theological Seminary in Connecticut, US, among other institutions.

7. Hundreds of articles on the Ihya' in various languages to be used as lecture notes for purposes of teaching and propagation of Islam.

Hasbunallahu wa ni'mal Wakeel
Allah is Sufficient for us and (He is) the most excellent Trustee (3:173)

< Return