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Author Topic: Ghazali's 10 rules of Islamic spirituality  (Read 1603 times)
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« on: Feb 18, 2008 04:59 AM »

Al Ghazzali in Arabic Thought and the Western World in the Golden Age of Islam:

"Intention, he declared, is the first rule of conduct. This intention should be good and stable, good insofar as it tries at all times to accomplish its objective, leaving the rest to God, and stable insofar as it continues to be good, that is, persists in seeking its objective without being dissuaded from it by anything worldly.

Al Ghazzali's second rule is unity of purpose. This involves preparing for the hereafter, to be done by only serving God alone. We know we are serving God when we are satisfied only with the truth and when we deem everything else unworthy.

Realizing that this is a difficult rule to follow in a world where man is tempted at all times to become the slave of false values, and having himself earlier doubted the goodness of this rule, al Ghazzali warns against doubt as the most painful and deadly of all diseases. The outward sign of obedience to this rule is to prefer the hereafter to worldly affairs.

His third rule is conformity to truth, even at the expense of forsaking pleasure, by resisting desire and renouncing luxury and ease.

In his fourth rule al Ghazzali urged orthodoxy among Moslems. He believed that the variety of doctrines and sects divided men, fostered hatred, and led to the saving of no one. He therefore insisted that Moslems conform to established practice and avoid all innovations in religion.

The fifth rule forbids procrastination and urges daily examination of one's duties and actions.

In his sixth rule, al Ghazzali reminded his fellow men that they were incapable of doing anything without the help of God, that they should acknowledge that fact daily but not use it as a pretext for laziness in good works or neglect of independent action.

Al Ghazzali's seventh rule is one of fear and hope in which he preached salvation by faith.

The eighth rule recommends a life of devotion and prayer. To neglect devotional exercises is to shut oneself from the only source of spiritual power.

The ninth rule calls for continual observation and watchfulness. He who persists in meditating about God and banishes from this heart everything but Him will find God and will move from groping to tranquility, from tranquility to reality, and finally will attain true faith.

Al Ghazzali's tenth rule is consecration to a knowledge wherein one may see God. This rule should be pursued with diligence, both outwardly and inwardly. Its outward sign is perseverance in good works, since he who thinks that he can do without good works is morally bankrupt."
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