When she approaches, her immortal presence wakes me
To feel unearthly motion made upon the air,
And like an aspen to reveal it: she is there,
Come, gone, elusive as the wind - thus she forsakes me.
Yet following after with my voice, I give her these,
Which I have written in my youth, upon the edge
Of man's affairs, and make beyond recall the pledge
To pour my strength out in her service to the less.
Many have sought what now I seek, and few have won;
Yet not the less I am driven to pray: pause in thy fleeing
While I have breath; and call to me, and lead me on
Into that garden where the Muses sing and dance,
That I may fill mine ears with sound, mine eyes with seeing,
And make for men some deep enduring utterances.
'Al-Ghazali on Invocations and Supplications: Book IX of the Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din)'
By Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al- Ghazali (Author), Kentaro Nakamura (Translator)
Though prayerfulness and the remembrance of God suffuse all the formal practices of Islam, there are time when the Muslim simply 'sits alone with his lord' to repeat formulas drawn form the Quran and the sayings of the Prophet, seeking remission of his sins and the purification of the heart. The present volume, Book IX of the Revival of the Religious Sciences, is probably the most widely read compendium of such material, popular not only for its comprehensiveness and beauty, but also for the analytical approach of its author, who explorers the psychological and spiritual effects of prayer and the celebration of God's name. Abu-Hamid al-Ghazali (1058-1111), theologian, logician, jurist, and mystic, was born and died at the town of Tus in Central Asia, but spent much of his life lecturing at Baghdad or leading the life of a wandering dervish. His most celebrated work, of which this is an important section, has exercised a profound influence on Muslim intellectual history by exploring the mystical significance of the practices and beliefs of Islamic orthodox, earning him the title of Hujjat al-Islam, the 'proof of Islam'. The original translation by Kojiro Nakamura, now Head of the Islamic Studies Department at the University of Tokyo, has been substantially revised and augmented, with hadith identification, by T.J. Winter. General Editor of the Islamic Texts Society's at-Ghazali's series. Invocations & Supplications is the second title in this series.