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Books XXII and XXIII of the Revival of Religious Sciences
Translated by T.J. Winter
The spiritual life in Islam begins with riyadat al-nafs, the inner warfare against the ego. Distracted and polluted by worldliness, the lower self has a tendency to drag the human creature down into arrogance and vice. Only by a powerful effort of will can the sincere worshiper attain that purity of soul which enables him to attain to God's proximity. This translation of two sections from "The Revival of the Religious Sciences" (Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din) details the sophisticated spiritual techniques adopted by classical Islam. In the first text, "On Disciplining the Soul", which sites copious anecdotes from the Islamic scriptures and biographies of the saints, Ghazali. The translator has added an introduction and notes which explore Ghazali's ability to make use of Greek as well as Islamic ethics. The work will prove of especial interest to those interested in Sufi mysticism, comparative ethics, and the question of sexuality in Islam.