Journey with Imam Al-Ghazzali
Imam Al-Ghazzālī, like many other classical Islamic thinkers, regarded the sciences of religion (‘ulūm al-dīn) as a practical pursuit. For him, the science of religion anchored an obligation for seekers to establish a direct and personal relationship with Allāh The Almighty, with the aid of the cognitive faculties endowed in every human being.
Imam Al-Ghazzali was a deep-thinker. A highly-intelligent and gifted man whose entire thinking was driven by a deeper layer of philosophical understanding of the soul, and of the human self, where the heart sits at the epicentre of this core understanding, and forms the cornerstone and birthplace from which ethics and morality are developed and delivered.
Like many other great Sufi masters, Imam Al-Ghazzali shared the belief that the heart is the single and most important medium that holds the conduit for one to understand and connect with the Divine. Through years of ultimate devotion in seeking and deciphering knowledge, and through great spiritual affinity, Imam Al-Ghazzali painstakingly developed the science of the hereafter, from which he derived that obtaining felicity in the afterlife is the ultimate purpose of human terrestrial life. He does not deny the importance of worldly life, but instead demonstrates how this life if a bridge to the next.
The Ihya Ulumuddin
The Iḥyā’ is a culmination of Imam Al-Ghazzali’s life’s work – a totalizing vision of Muslim life, oriented towards the attainment of otherworldly felicity. Its massive content – 40 books where each book requires sustained and unfettered dedication to complete and understand – contains a unique synthesis of Sufism, theology, philosophy and law.
The Iḥyā ‘Ulūm al-Dīn is the book that has been dedicated to lead seekers towards felicity in the hereafter. The Iḥyā’ does show a clear debt to Sufism, but it also contains many philosophical elements that provide the telos of felicity in the hereafter.
This magnum opus of Imam Al-Ghazzālī shows the path on how God-consciousness can be developed through watching over the heart to detect the residues of ‘I’ and cleanse one’s heart of such impurities. The book is relevant to all seekers because it brings forth in plain terms the intrusions of the ego or ill intentions when one is seeking any kind of knowledge or position, especially when it complies with Islamic Law.
The Sufi approach of practise alone was capable, in theory, of leading seekers towards felicity, but without the theoretical science to access the insights achieved by such practices, it could also lead to delusion rather than true knowledge. The Iḥyā’ empowers seekers through its science, and contains both the theoretical and practical discussions that are needed for seekers of felicity in the hereafter.
This 20-week course will bring you closer to the teachings of Imam Al-Ghazzali, and closer to Allah The Almighty, Insha’Allah. At the end of this course, it is hoped that participants will be able to:
- plan their own course of action towards becoming a moral-ethical human being
- carry out some of the recommendations of Imam Al-Ghazzālī in seeking felicity in the hereafter.
- understand the philosophical bases of the path that Imam Al-Ghazzālī advocates.
Structure & Content of the Course
This course will be conducted over 20-weeks, starting 05 February 2020. Lessons will be conducted every Wednesday evening, from 7.45pm – 10pm.
(*SimplyIslam reserves the right to make changes to class dates due to public holidays or any other unforeseen eventuality.)
Commencement Date: 05 February 2020 (Wednesday)
Time: 7.45pm to 10pm
Frequency: Every Wednesday
Venue: SimplyIslam, 152 Still Road
Teacher: Dr Muhammad Mubarak Habib Mohamed
No. of Lessons: 20
Medium of Instruction: English
Course Fee: S$300
The books that will be covered in the 20 weeks are:
Kitāb sharh ‘ajā‘ib al-qalb
Book on The Marvels of the Heart (Book 21)
Kitāb al-faqr wa’l-zuhd
Book on Poverty and Abstinence (Book 34)
Kitāb al-mahabba wa’l-shawq wa’l-uns wa’l-ridā
Book on Love, Longing, Intimacy and Contentment (Book 36)
Kitāb dhikr al-mawt wa-mā ba’dahu
Book of the Remembrance of Death and The Afterlife (Book 40)
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