Painting Heaven: Polishing the Mirror of the Heart

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This enchanting tale introduces both parents and children to the wondrous teachings from the world's beloved al-Ghazali.

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About The Book

This enchanting tale introduces both parents and children to the wondrous teachings from the world's beloved al-Ghazali (1058-1111 CE). He tells us that the human heart is like a rusty mirror which, when polished through beautiful doings, is able to reflect the Real Essence of all things which are normally hidden behind veils.

Besides the story beautifully told and illustrated by the acclaimed artist, Demi, included also is a poem by the renown poet, Coleman Barks. Both draw on the same account found in Ghazali's Marvels of the Hear, Book XXI, of his magnum opus, the Revival of Religious Sciences. Passages from this book are included as well. 

About Imam Al-Ghazali

Imam Abu Hamid Muhammad Al-Ghazali was born in 450 AH (1058 A.D) in the Iranian town of Tus, studied Islamic law and theology at the Seljuq College in Nishapur, and became a distinguished professor at the famous Nizamiyya University in Baghdad.

Despite his glittering success, he was inwardly dissatisfied, so he abandoned his career for the life of hardship, abstinence and devotion to worship. During ten years of wandering, he experienced a spiritual transformation, in which the Truth came to him at last, as something received rather than acquired.

Blessed with an inner certainty, he then applied his outstanding faculties and vast learning to the task of revitalizing the whole Islamic tradition. Through his direct personal contacts, and through his many writings, he showed how every element in that tradition could and should be turned to its true purpose.

Imam al-Ghazzali was fondly referred to as the "Hujjat-ul-lslam", Proof of Islam, he is honoured as a scholar and a saint by learned men all over the world and is generally acclaimed as the most influential thinker of the Classical period of Islam.

He passed away in 505 AH (1111 A.D).

About The Illustrators

Demi Hunt is is an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator and the creator of more than 200 books. Her book The Empty Pot was selected by former first lady Barbara Bush to be read on the ABC Radio Network Program Mrs. Bush’s Story Time, sponsored by the Children's Literacy Initiative, and was included in the “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children” list poll by the National Education Association. Her book Gandhi was awarded the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award, while Muhammad was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book. 

Coleman Barks is a poet and professor emeritus at the University of Georgia in Athens who has gained world renown for his translations of Near Eastern poets, especially Jalal al-Din Rumi. He received an honorary doctorate from Tehran University, and in 2009 he was inducted into the Georgia Writer’s Hall of Fame. He lives in Athens, Georgia.


"If the Quran tells us that the heart is the essence of man, so that the Prophet on his Ascension saw the highest perfection with his heart (53:11), and if revelation itself descended 'on his heart', then the heart is the unique interface of the eternal and the finite realms..." - T.J. Winter, University of Cambridge

Data sheet
EAN 13 / ISBN9781941610138
AuthorImam Al-Ghazali
Artist(s)Demi and Coleman Barks
PublisherFons Vitae
Year Published2015
Height11.5 inches
Width9 inches
Length0.6 inches