From the beginning to the end of the stations (maqâmât), there are thousands upon thousands of stations each of which possesses thousands upon thousands of pieces of spiritual music, and in each piece of music there are thousands upon thousands of qualities, such as change, warning, elongation, union, proximity, distance, ardour, anxiety, hunger, thirst, fear, hope, melancholy, victory, sorrow, fright, purity, chastity, servitude and lordship. If any of these qualities were to reach the soul of the ascetics of the world, their soul would involuntarily depart from their bodies.
(Ruzbahan Baqli of Shiraz)
'The Niche of Lights'
By Al Ghazali (Author)
Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali's philosophical explorations covered nearly the entire spectrum of twelfth-century beliefs. Beginning his career as a skeptic, he ended it as a scholar of mysticism and orthodoxy. The Niche of Lights, written near the end of his illustrious career, advances the philosophically important idea that reason can serve as a connection between the devout and God. Al-Ghazali argues that abstracting God from the world, as he believed theologians did, was not sufficient for understanding. Exploring the boundary between philosophy and theology, The Niche of Lights seeks to understand the role of reality in the perception of the spiritual.