Al-Ghazali on Poverty and Abstinence

By: Abu Hamid Muhammad Ghazali

Catalogue Number: 2S3-77VA

Al-Ghazali on Poverty and Abstinence

  • Format: Paperback
  • Publisher: The Islamic Texts Society
  • ISBN: 9781903682814
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Al-Ghazali on Poverty and Abstinence is the thirty-fourth chapter of the Revival of the Religious Sciences. It falls in the section dealing with the virtues. Ghazali traces poverty and abstinence back to the Prophet Muhammad who exhorted the faithful to love the poor and described this love as a key to heaven. But behind the Prophet's love of the poor lay his legendary humility, and the life of poverty on which Ghazali expatiates in this treatise refers to what every devoted follower of the Prophet is meant to adopt, not simply an accidental state of destitution that might befall anyone. What is true piety? What spiritual infirmities impede the path of poverty? These are the questions that preoccupy Ghazali in the Book on Poverty and Abstinence. His aim in this chapter is to teach the ordinary believer about inner purification through inner poverty and abstinence. The result is a rich tapestry of practises, thoughts, concepts and anecdotes drawn from some of the most fascinating figures in the tradition of practical ethics in Islam, a tradition that harks back to the enduring examples of pre-Islamic prophets like Jesus, Moses and Joseph.

Author's Biography

Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d.1111) is the most famous theologian-mystic in Islam. His magnum opus, the Revival of the Religious Sciences, is the most read book in the Muslim world after the Quran.

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