Al-Ghazali: Love, Longing, Intimacy, and Contentment
Book 36 of the Revival of the Religious Sciences
This translation by the Islamic Texts Society is the 36th chapter of ‘The Revival of the Religious Sciences’ (Ihya’ Ulum al-Din). This chapter is in the last of the four sections of the Ihya, the section dealing with the virtues or what is conducive to salvation.
This work is of radical importance to the history of Sufism and the arguments that al-Ghazali sets out in it form the basis of the development of whole schools of Sufi theory and practice of mystical love, including the extensive Sufi poetry of Mevlana Rumi and Hafiz. The text starts by elucidating the love of God for humanity and the love of man for God, and proceeds to discuss the deepening of this love to include different degrees of longing, intimacy and contentment.