Imam al-Ghazali

Know that tasawwuf is two things: Truthfulness with Allah Almighty and good conduct with people. Anyone that practices these two things is a Sufi. Truthfulness with Allah is that the servant put an end to his ego’s shares in the divine command. Good conduct with people is to not prefer one’s demands over theirs as long as their demands are within the para-meters of the Law. Whoever approves of the contravention of the Law or contravenes it can never be a Sufi, and if he claims he is, he is lying.

(3) Al-Qistas al-Mustaqim; Minhaj al-‘Arifin; Al-Risala al-Laduniy-ya; Faysal al-Tafriqa (fi al-Takfir); Ayyuha al-Walad, originally written in Persian.

(4) Mishkat al-Anwar; Risala al-Tayr; al-Risala al-Wa‘ziyya; Iljam al-‘Awam ‘an ‘Ilm al-Kalam; al-Mad-nun bihi ‘ala Ghayri Ahlih; Al-Ajwi-ba al-Ghazzaliyya fi al-Masa’il al-Ukh-ra-wiyya.

(5) Bidaya al-Hidaya; Kimya al-Sa‘ada; al-Adab fi al-Din; al-Kashf wa al-Tabyin fi Ghurur al-Khalq Ajma‘in.

(6) Sirr al-‘Alamayn wa Kashf ma fi al-Darayn; al-Durra al-Fakhira fi Kashf ‘Ulum al-Akhira.

(7) Qanun al-Ta’wil; al-Ahadith al-Qudsiyya; al-Munqidh min al-Dalal, in which he said:

The Sufi path consists in cleansing the heart from whatever is other than Allah… I concluded that the Sufis are the seekers in Allah’s Way, and their conduct is the best conduct, and their way is the best way, and their manners are the most sanctified. They have cleaned their hearts from other than Allah and they have made them as pathways for rivers to run, carrying the knowledge of Allah.

  • Fatawa, in which he states the following responses:

Q. What is the reply concerning someone who considers prayer as a means towards achieving true worship and knowledge of Allah so that, when he achieves the latter, he no longer feels the necessity of prayer although he continues to pray?

A. This deluded person must realize that true worship and know-ledge of Allah are the goals of prayer, but they are not the only goals … Just as the words pronounced and written in the protective invo-cations (al-ruqya) have a specific effect towards protection from snakes – indeed, towards the subjugation of jinns and devils; and just as some of the supplications transmitted to us in poetic forms attract the services of the angels in answer to the one who supplicates; the mind falling short of apprehending the modality and precise character of these invocations, which are apprehended only through the power of prophecy, when Prophets are shown their meaning from the Pre-served Tablet; similarly, the forms of the prayer (al-salât) which entail one bowing, two prostrations, specific numbers [of supplica-tions], and specific Qur’anic utterances that are recited, at various lengths and times upon sunrise, noon, and sunset, have a specific effect in stilling the dragon (al-tinnîn) that nestles in the human breast and breeds many-headed snakes – equal to the number of his traits – biting and snapping at him in the grave. … Its harm extends to the soul, as indicated by the Prophet’s — Allah bless and greet him — saying: “A dragon with ninety-nine heads is empowered over the disbeliever in the latter’s grave, doing such and-such etc.” There are many such dragons in the human make-up, and nothing subdues them except divinely-prescribed obligations. Those obligations are the deliver-ance from peril, and they are also equal to the number of his bad traits. ?And none knows the hosts of your Lord save Him? (74:31).… O people of permissiveness! It shall be said to you on the Day of Resurrection: ?What has brought you to this burning? They will answer: We were not of those who prayed? (74:42-43).

Q. What is the preferred course of action for someone who has ascertained that he achieves humility (khushû‘) in prayer only when alone, but if he prays in congregation, his energy disperses and he is unable to achieve humility?

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