About The Book
In the Mysteries of Charity and Its Important Elements (Kitāb asrār al‑zakāt wa-muhimātiha; book 5), and the Mysteries of Fasting and Its Important Elements (Kitāb asrār al-ṣiyyām wa-muhimātiha; book 6), of the forty books of the Revival of the Religious Sciences (Iḥyāʾ ʿulūm al-dīn), Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī explains the inner and outer meanings of charity and fasting, two pillars of worship for Muslims. These are two of the five books that deal with the inner dimensions of Islamic worship; books 3, 4, and 7 address purification, prayer, and pilgrimage, respectively.
In book 5 al-Ghazālī begins with a discussion of the various kinds of zakāt and the conditions under which they become obligatory. He explains the manners related to zakāt and its inward and outward conditions. He then discusses the recipients of zakāt, who qualifies for it and in what circumstances, and the manners related to receiving it. Finally, al-Ghazālī explains charity and its virtues.
In book 6 al-Ghazālī begins with the outward obligations and sunnah elements of fasting, and what is required if the fast is broken. He explains the mysteries of fasting and its inner conditions. Finally, he discusses the voluntary fasts and their order in supererogatory worship.
This readable yet comprehensive work covers an array of issues from the essential outward aspects of paying charity, to the inward aspects of the state of the heart during the fast and how to humble oneself completely. As a practical, yet profound book, it is an indispensable guide for Muslims who seek a deeper comprehension of these two fundamental practices for Muslims, and for all those interested in understanding the meaning and role of charity and fasting in Islam.
About The Author
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 Translator
M. Abdurrahman Fitzgerald is the director of the Center for Language and Culture, Marrakesh. He has been involved in education and the study of Arabic, Islam, and Sufism for the past thirty years. He co-translated Ibn al-Qayyim on the Invocation of God worked on the editing and annotation of Denys Johnson-Davies’s translation of al-Ghazali’s Kitab adab al-akl, and on Dr. Kenneth Honerkamp’s edition of al-Rasa’il al-kubra by Ibn ‘Abbad.