Imam Al-Ghazali’s Life and Works

Integral Chair for the Study of Imam Al-Ghazali's Work at the
Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-Quds University


In this two months course, we aim at introducing the life, works and ideas of Imam Al-Ghazali (450 AH/1058 CE-505 AH/1111 CE), one of the most important Muslim scholars of all times. His ideas, especially in the area of spirituality, continue to have a positive impact on the soul of the Muslim Ummah and beyond. This virtual meeting of the hearts and minds will provide us with a serious opportunity to understand the nature of his oeuvre.

Week 1 will provide an overview of Imam Al-Ghazali’s milieu, the interconnectedness between his life, work and ideas, as evident in his biographic work Al-Munqidh min al-Dalal (Deliverance from Error).

Week 2 will focus on the His intellectual and spiritual crises while at the Nizamiyah College in Baghdad. (Al-Munqidh min al-Dalal)

Week 3 studies Al-Ghazali’s understanding of the Philosophers, the Batinites, the Mutakallimun, and the Sufis, and whether indubitable truth could be found in their respective disciplines? (Al-Munqidh min al-Dalal).

Week 4 is a reading of Al-Ghazali’s Ash`arite theology in his Al-Risalah al-Qudsiyyah fi al-`Aqa’id (The Jerusalem Epistle in [Islamic] Creed).

Weeks 5-8 form an overview of Imam Al-Ghazali’s magnum opus  Ihya’ `Ulum al-Din (The Revival of the Religious Sciences).

Overview of the forty books of the Ihya’ (

First Quarter: Acts of worship (Rubʿ al-ʿibadāt) 

  1. Book 1: Book of knowledge(Faris’ text) 
  2. Book 2: Foundations of Belief.
  3. Book 3: Mysteries of Purity
  4. Book 4: Mysteries of Worship.
  5. Book 5: Mysteries of Zakat (Charity).
  6. Book 6: Mysteries of Fasting
  7. Book 7: Mysteries of Pilgrimage
  8. Book 8: The Etiquette of the Recitation of the Qurʾān.
  9. Book 9:  Invocations and Supplications.  
  10. Book 10: On the Arrangements of Litanies and the Exposition of the Night Vigil.


Second Quarter: Norms of Daily Life (Rubʿ al-ʿadat)

  1. Book 11: On the Manners Related to Eating.
  2. Book 12: On the Etiquette of Marriage.
  3. Book 13: On the Etiquette of Acquisition and Earning a Livelihood. 
  4. Book 14: The Lawful and Prohibited.
  5. Book 15:  On the Duties of Brotherhood.
  6. Book 16: On the Etiquette of Seclusion. 
  7. Book 17: On the Etiquette of Travel 
  8. Book 18: On Music and Singing.
  9. Book 19: On Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil.
  10. Book 20: Etiquette of Living and the Prophetic Mannerism.


Third Quarter: The Ways to Perdition (Rub` al-muhlikat)

  1. Book 21: The Marvels of the Heart: 
  2. Book 22: On Disciplining the Soul.
  3. Book 23: On Breaking the Two Desires.  
  4. Book 24: Defects of the Tongue
  5. Book 25: Condemnation of Rancor and Envy
  6. Book 26: Condemnation of the World
  7. Book 27: Condemnation of Miserliness and Condemnation of the Love of wealth.
  8. Book 28: Condemnation of Status and Ostentation.
  9. Book 29: Condemnation of Pride and Conceit.
  10. Book 30: Condemnation of Self-Delusion.

Fourth Quarter: The Ways to Salvation (Rubʿ al-munjiyat)

  1. Book 31: On Repentance. English
  2. Book 32: On Patience and Thankfulness.
  3. Book 33: On Fear and Hope
  4. Book 34: On Poverty and Abstinence.
  5. Book 35: Faith in Divine Oneness and Trust in Divine Providence. 
  6. Book 36: On Love, Longing, Intimacy and Contentment.
  7. Book 37: On Intention, Sincerity, and Truth.  
  8. Book 38: On Holding Vigil and Self-Examination. 
  9. Book 39: On Meditation.
  10. Book 40: On the Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife.