About The Book
Al-Ghazali’s Book of the Lawful and the Unlawful is the fourteenth chapter of The Revival of the Religious Sciences, which is widely considered as the greatest work of Islamic spirituality. Written by one of the most famous of theologian-mystics of all time, The Book of the Lawful and the Unlawful is unlike other Islamic works concerned with legal issues.
Here, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali aims to teach his readers firstly the theory of what is lawful and what is unlawful and how to deal with dubious or ambiguous issues, and secondly how to apply the knowledge they have gained to their everyday lives. The main support for this application, especially in matters that are unclear, is caution or prudence (wara) and Ghazali explains the degrees of prudence necessary beginning with the prudence of the upright and ending with the prudence of the saintly.
Thus the sincere practice of what is lawful and desisting from what is unlawful become integrated into one’s spiritual life. As in his other works, Ghazali bases himself on the Qur’an and narrations from the Prophet Muhammad, followed by examples from the Companions, the Successor generations and the pious Predecessors.
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
Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo is a scholar of Islamic Law and is closely involved in the transactional implementation of modern Islamic Finance. He is the author of a number of works on Islamic Law and Finance including Compendium of Legal Opinions on the Operations of Islamic Banks. Yusuf DeLorenzo is a member of numerous Shari’a Supervisory Boards for financial institutions.