Ghazali’s The Beginning of Guidance (Bidayat al-Hidaya)

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Ghazali: The Beginning of Guidance

Imam Ghazali’s Bidayat al-Hidaya is a highly motivational manual detailing the fundamentals of acquiring guidance through God-consciousness (taqwa). Imam Ghazali argues that just as there is an end to this noble objective there is also a beginning to it, which must be made firm for one to achieve success. He then goes on to expound the fundamentals of this “beginning.” While being concise and to-the-point the manual is laid out in the form of a detailed daily timetable providing the reader strong inspiration and much heart-rending counsel. The three sections of this book are on obedience, refraining from disobedience, and the etiquette of companionship with the Creator and with creation. One of Imam Ghazali’s final works, it embodies a lifetime of learning, experience, and spirituality and can be taken as an introduction to his larger works.

This translation published for the first time with facing Arabic text also includes many notes and transliteration for the supplications contained within.

About The Authors

Abu Hamid ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Tusi al-Shafi’i al-Ghazali

Abu Hamid ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Tusi al-Shafi’i al-Ghazali (or al-Ghazzali) was born in 450/1058, in Tus (located in present-day Iran). He studied under the great theologian and jurist Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni (478/1085) and produced a number of texts on Islamic law and theology. At the age of 34 he accepted a position as rector and professor of the Nizamiyya College in Baghdad. He remained busy teaching, refuting heresies, and responding to questions from all segments of the community. During this period he produced the celebrated works The Objectives of the Philosophers (Maqasid al-Falasifa), followed by The Incoherence of the Philosophers (Tahafut al-Falasifa), in which he strongly challenged Peripatetic philosophy. Thereafter, facing a personal spiritual crisis, Imam Ghazali abruptly left his position and spent the next ten years in or between the cities of Damascus, Makka, Madina, and Jerusalem. During this period, he wrote the seminal Revivification of the Religious Sciences (Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din), a grand work of forty books outlining the significance and wisdom underlying the practices of Islam. At this point, Imam Ghazali returned to teaching in Nishapur and finally in his birth place of Tus, leaving a legacy of works that synthesized jurisprudence, philosophy, theology, and sufism. Imam Ghazali died in 505/1111 in Tus and in short time was recognized as the reviver (mujaddid) of the century, celebrated ever since among Muslims as the Proof of Islam (Hujjat al-Islam).

Dr. Shaykh Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf Mangera

Dr. Shaykh Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf Mangera is a British Muslim scholar educated in both the Islamic and Western traditions. He memorised the Qur’an by heart and graduated from the Darul Uloom seminary Bury, UK, and later earned a specialised licence to issue fatwa (legal responses) at Mazahir ‘Ulum Saharanpur, India. He earned his BA from the University of Johannesburg and completed his MA and PhD in Islamic Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. He holds an honorary fellowship at The Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, Amman, Jordan. Shaykh Abdur-Rahman has the unique experience of serving as an imam in Muslim communities on both sides of the Atlantic, eight years in Southern California and over five in the great city of London—and his continued work as an international speaker and lecturer enables him to address and offer pertinent advice on current challenges that face Muslims in the West. He is the founder of Whitethread Institute, a post-graduate insititute for Islamic scholars. He is an avid traveller and continues to teach hadith and work on scholarly publications through White Thread Press. Many of his lectures are available on www.zamzamacademy.com and his courses through Rayyan Institute (www.rayyaninstitute.com).

Mashhad Al-Allaf

Dr. Mashhad has taught a wide range of interdisciplinary courses on Philosophy, Religion, Islamic Studies, Ethical Theories, Biomedical Ethics, and Critical Thinking in different universities in the USA, and other places. He is interested in providing a multicultural academic approach to teaching and research.

Dr. Mashhad is interested in human knowledge and learning activities. His interest in multidisciplinary fields has been reflected in his publications; some of his books and articles reflecting a wide variety of topics covering: Western and Islamic Philosophy, 20th century Analytic Philosophy, Islamic Studies, Islamic Sciences, and Ethics.

Islamic Theory of Science – Wissenschaftslehre                  

  • Divine Logic  
  • Islamic & Arabic contribution to Science & Technology: Chemistry and Mechanics.
  • Romantic and Spiritual Love in Islam
  • The Objectives (Maqasid) of the Islamic Law

Academic Qualifications

  • Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.), 1995, USA. PhD. in Philosophy: Modern Philosophy, Science and Metaphysics
  • Master of Arts (M.A.), 1985, Iraq. MA in Philosophy: Concentration on Philosophy of Science
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), 1981, Iraq. BA in Philosophy (Hons).

Reviews

'An excellent translation of an important book on the fundamentals of Muslim piety and etiquette. With an accessible English translation alongside the original Arabic text this introductory work will be useful for readers interested in exploring the realities of Islamic piety students of Arabic and educators alike.' - Jonathan AC Brown University of Washington

This welcomed translation provides Ghazali’s manual The Beginning of Guidance (Bidayat al-Hidaya) to serious students, seekers, and scholars and combines contemporary fluency with respect for sacred Islamic tradition.  Marcia Hermansen Loyola University, Chicago

Ghazali’s The Beginning of Guidance (Bidayat al-Hidaya)

I would wholly recommend this book for those wanting to deepen their practice in Islam. The content of this brief manual regarding essential outward and inward fundamentals in Islam is indispensable for those seeking to draw nearer to Allah Most High. This text is very well translated, and both the Appendix and Notes are extremely useful and informative. Perhaps, one might even augment their knowledge of Arabic by means of the interfacing Arabic text provided. May Allah perpetually ennoble the author, bless the translator, grant success to the publisher, and expand the goodness of all those who had anything to do with producing this text. Mikayl Abd al-Barr

Great print, good work by publishers

This book is a must have for any student of knowledge! The print and typesetting is very accurate and professionally done unlike the many islamic publishers in our times who produce embarrassingly poor prints. The addition of harakat on all the words means that this is great reading practice for students of Arabic. My only complaint would be perhaps that they should of proofchecked the placement of the harakat thus making a perfect book. Adnan

Additional Product Information

  • ISBN 1: 978-1-933764-06-1
  • ISBN 2: 9781933764061
  • SKU: 9781933764061
  • Publisher: White Thread Press
  • Imprint: White THread Press
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Author: Abu Hamid al-Ghazali,
  • Translated By: Mashhad Al-Allaf,
  • Revised and Edited By: Dr. Shaykh Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf Mangera
  • Publisher: White Thread Press
  • Pages: 170
  • Weight: 275(Gram)

 

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