Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali

Arab Islamic Philosopher and Theologian

"To believe in the prophet is to admit that there is above reason a sphere in which there are revealed to the inner visions truths beyond the grasp of reason."

"The prophets are the physicians of the diseases of the soul."

"Remember it is the heart and not the body, which strives to draw near to God. By heart I do not mean the flesh perceived by the senses, but that secret thing which is sometimes expressed by spirit, and sometimes by soul."

"I knew that the complete mystic “way” includes both intellectual belief and practical activity; the latter consists in getting rid of the obstacles in the self and in stripping off its base characteristics and vicious morals, so that the heart may attain to freedom from what is not God and to constant recollection of Him."

"The first sign of love to God is not to be afraid of death, and to be always waiting for it. For death unites the friend to his friend - the seeker to the object which he seeks."

"The meaning of death is not the annihilation of the spirit, but its separation from the body, and that the resurrection and day of assembly do not mean a return to a new existence after annihilation, but the bestowal of a new form or frame to the spirit."

"When the mystic enters into the pure and absolute unicity of the One and into the kingdom of the One and Alone, mortals reach the end of their ascent. For there is no ascent beyond it, since ascent involves multiplicity, and implies an ascent from somewhere to somewhere, and when multiplicity has been eliminated, unity is established and relationships ceases, signs are effaced, there remains neither height nor depth, nor anyone to descend or ascend. No higher ascent is possible for the soul, for there is no height beyond the highest and no multiplicity in the face of unity, and since multiplicity has been effaced, no further ascent."