The eleventh chapter of the Revival of the Religious Sciences begins the section dealing with man and society. In this volume, concentrating on the manners relating to eating, Ghazali first discusses what a person must uphold when eating by himself: that the food is lawful, that both the person and the surroundings should be clean, that one must be content with what is available, and how the person should conduct himself while eating and after eating. Ghazali then proceeds to discuss eating in company and says that to all the above should be added the necessity of courtesy, conversation and the proper presentation of food. Finally, Ghazali expounds the virtues of hospitality and generosity and the conduct of the host as well as that of the guest. Other topics that are discussed are: abstention from food, fasting and general health.
In this new edition, the Islamic Texts Society has included a translation of Imam Ghazali’s own Introduction to the Revival of the Religious Sciences which gives the reasons that caused him to write the work, the structure of the whole of the Revival, and places each of the chapters in the context of the others.
Please refer to the Islamic Texts Society Al-Ghazali Series for further translations from Al-Ghazali.
Denys Johnson-Davies is a well-known translator having published more than twenty-five volumes of short stories.