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Those who deny the reality of the ecstasies and other spiritual experiences of the Sufis merely betray their own narrow-mindedness and shallow insight. -from "Concerning Music and Dancing" One of the great works of mystical religious literature, the Kimiya-i-Sa'adaat strove to bring man closer to understanding God by helping him understand himself. These excerpts from that work, by a strikingly original thinker on Islam who lived and wrote in the 11th century, were first published in 1910, and serve as a potent reminder of how powerful an influence Al-Ghazzali had upon religious philosophers of the Middle Ages, both Christian and Islamic. With its wise and warmly humanistic outlook, this little book may well foster a new measure of understanding in the current philosophical battle between the religious traditions of East and West. Also available from Cosimo Classics: Field's Shadows Cast Before and Jewish Legends of the Middle Ages. Iranian theologian AL-GHAZALI (1058-1111) was medieval Islam's most prominent scholar and philosopher. CLAUD FIELD is also author of Mystics and Saints of Islam, Heroes of Missionary Enterprise, and Persian Literature.
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Al-Ghazzali in Arabic or Ghazali in Persian and known as Algazelus or Algazel to the Western medieval world, was a Persian theologian, jurist, philosopher, and mystic. Al-Ghazali has been referred to by some historians as the single most influential Muslim after prophet Muhammad. Within Islamic civilization he is considered to be a Mujaddid or renewer of the faith, who, according to tradition, appears once every century to restore the faith of the community.His works were so highly acclaimed by his contemporaries that al-Ghazali was awarded the honorific title "Proof of Islam" (Hujjat al-Islam). Others have cited his opposition to certain strands of Islamic philosophy as a detriment to Islamic scientific progress, although he argued for the separation of philosophy and science.[page needed][better source needed]  Besides his work that successfully changed the course of Islamic philosophy—the early Islamic Neoplatonism that developed on the grounds of Hellenistic philosophy, for example, was so successfully criticised by al-Ghazali that it never recovered—he also brought the orthodox Islam of his time in close contact with Sufism. It became increasingly possible for individuals to combine orthodox theology (kalam) and Sufism, while adherents of both camps developed a sense of mutual appreciation that made sweeping condemnation of one by the other increasingly problematic.
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Book Description Octagon Press, Limited, 1991. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110900860715