The Book of Love, Longing, Intimacy and Contentment is the thirty-sixth chapter of Abu Hamid al-Ghazali’s Revival of the Religious Sciences. This was the first treatise which established not merely the possibility but the necessity for the love of God. Ghazali argues that all the virtues and spiritual stages that precede love, like repentance, patience and thankfulness, lead to love; and all the spiritual stages that follow on from love are a result of it. Out of Ghazali’s pioneering treatment would emerge not only new trends in Sufi theory and practice, but an entire body of mystical poetry including that of the great Persian poets Rumi and Hafiz. The translation is preceded by an extensive introduction which sets the work in its historical and spiritual context.
Please refer to the Islamic Texts Society Al-Ghazali Series for further translations from Al-Ghazali.
Prof. Eric Ormsby was Director of the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University. He is at present Professor at the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London.