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Corpus: Iḥyāʾ ʿulūm al-dīn

The Revival of the Religious Sciences (Iḥyāʾ ʿulūm al-dīn) is widely regarded as the greatest work of Muslim spirituality, and is perhaps the most read work in the Muslim world, after the Qurʾān.

The Revival of the Religious Sciences is divided into four parts, each containing ten chaptersPart one deals with knowledge and the requirements of faith—ritual purity, prayer, charity, fasting, pilgrimage, recitation of the Qurʾān, and so forth; part two concentrates on people and society—the manners related to eating, marriage, earning a living, and friendship; parts three and four are dedicated to the inner life of the soul and discuss first the vices that people must overcome in themselves and then the virtues that they must strive to achieve. Below we list the contents of the book, English translations, and links to printed editions in the original (Arabic).

  • Overview of the Iḥyāʾ by Ḥajī Khalifa (In Arabic)
  • Iḥyāʾ ʿulūm al-dīn: In Arabic with takhrīj (ḥadīth verification) by al-Ḥāfiẓ Zayn a-dīn ʿAbd al-Raḥīm b. al-Ḥussaīn al-ʿIrāqī (died Wednesday, 8th of shaʿbān (8) 806/ 2 February 1404 ) (presented in MS word files.)
  • For more information on the Arabic language printed editions please see here.

Books of the Iḥyāʾ in translation:

First Quarter: Acts of worship (Rubʿ al-ʿibadāt)  

    1. Book 1: Book of knowledge (Faris’ text) 
      • Al-Ghazālī: The Book of Knowledge, Translated by Kenneth Honerkamp, Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, 2015.
      • English translation by N. A. Faris (PDF). 
      • English translation that was a PhD thesis at Hartford Seminary by W. McCall (1940). (See item # 30 for details)
      • Turkish translation (PDF) 18 mb
    2. Book 2: Foundations of Belief.
      • Al-Ghazālī: The Principles of the Creed, Translated by Khalid Williams, Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, 2016.
      • English translation by N. A. Faris (in HTML and PDF). Review of the Faris translation by Watt (in 1964).
      • Turkish Translation (PDF) 8.76 mb
    3. Book 3: Mysteries of Purity.
      • Al-Ghazālī: The Mysteries of Purification, Translated by M. F. Aresmouk and M A. Fitzgerald, Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, 2017.
      • English translation by N. A. Faris (PDF). Also .doc format. –
      • Turkish Translation (PDF) 4.76 megs. New English translation
    4. Book 4: Mysteries of Worship.
      • Al-Ghazālī: The Mysteries of Prayer, Translated by M. F. Aresmouk and M A. Fitzgerald, Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, 2017.
      • English translation by E. E. Caverley (also in PDF). 
    5. Book 5: Mysteries of Zakat (Charity).
      • Al-Ghazālī: The Mysteries of Charity, Translated by M. F. Aresmouk and M A. Fitzgerald, Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, 2017.
      • English Translation by N. A. Faris (also PDF) and (doc)
    6. Book 6: Mysteries of Fasting.
      • Al-Ghazālī: The Mysteries of Fasting, Translated by M. F. Aresmouk and M A. Fitzgerald, Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, Forthcoming.
      • English translation by N. A. Faris (PDF) 
    7. Book 7: Mysteries of Pilgrimage.
      • Al-Ghazālī: The Mysteries of Pilgrimage, Translated by M. F. Aresmouk and M A. Fitzgerald, Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, Forthcoming.
      • English translation by I. Umar (AUC [Thesis 340]: 1975 M.A. dissertation(html)  (Author’s complete) Proof reading by S. Sharafi courtesy of Nur! Thank you both, you guys are great! (PDF) Also another Arabic edition, M. A. ʿAlī: PDF
    8. Book 8: The Etiquette of the Recitation of the Qurʾān.
      • Al-Ghazālī: The Etiquette of the Recitation of the Qurʾān, Translated by James Pavlin, Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, Forthcoming.
    9. Book 9:  Invocations and Supplications.  
      • Al-Ghazālī: Invocations and Supplications, Translated by Khalid Williams, Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, Forthcoming.
      • English translation by K. Nakamura (ITS description).
    10. Book 10: On the Arrangements of Litanies and the Exposition of the Night Vigil.
      • Al-Ghazālī: On the Arrangements of Litanies and the Exposition of the Night Vigil, Translated by Muhtar Holland and James Pavlin. Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, Forthcoming. 

Second Quarter: Norms of Daily Life (Rubʿ al-ʿadat)

    1. Book 11: On the Manners Related to Eating. English translation by D. Johnson-Davies. (ITS description)
    2. Book 12: On the Etiquette of Marriage: 
      • Arabic original (Word file format only!) with ḥadīth verifications.
      • English translation* by the late M. Farah. Also in PDF
      • Another English translation The Proper Conduct of Marriage in Islām (Ādāb an-Nikāḥ) Book Tweleve of Iḥyāʾ ʿUlūm ad-Dīn by M. Holland: Al-Baz Publishing (1998), 99p.
      • Persian translation (from Kimiya-i-Saʿadat) (Persian PDF)
      • French translation (from Algiers) (French PDF)
      • German translation: Hans Bauer: Al-Ghazālī. Das Buch der Ehe. Kitab adabi n-nikah. Das 12. Buch der Iḥyaʾ ʿulum ad-din. Übersetzt und kommentiert von Hans Bauer (Kandern, Spohr, 2005).
    3. Book 13: On the Etiquette of Acquisition and Earning a Livelihood. Translated as The Book of the Proprieties of Earning and Living, translated by Adi Setia, IBFIM , Kuala Lumpur, 2013, 187pp, ISBN: 9789670149288.
    4. Book 14: The Lawful and Prohibited (Translated) Translated as the Book of the Lawful and the Unlawful, translated by Nicholas Mahdi Lock, IBFIM, Kuala Lumpur, 2013, 258pp, IBN: 9789670149271.
    5. Book 15:  On the Duties of Brotherhood. Partial translation by M. Holland. (cover-image) (Arabic edition partial outtakes PDF).
    6. Book 16: On the Etiquette of Seclusion. 
    7. Book 17: On the Etiquette of Travel
      • AL-GHAZALI ON CONDUCT IN TRAVEL  Translated by: LEONARD LIBRANDE, Islamic Texts Society, Cambridge, 2015
    8. Book 18: On Music and Singing. Translated by D. B. MacDonald in three parts (PDFPart I + II + III, published as Music and Singing by IBT Books, Kuala Lumpur, 2009, 139pp. ISBN: 9789675062230. 
    9. Book 19: On Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil.
      • Al-Ghazālī: The Commanding of the Good and Forbidden of the Wrong, Translated by James Pavlin. Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, In progress.
      • Partial translation in Michael Cook’s Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Islamic Thought, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp. 427-459.
    10. Book 20: Etiquette of Living and the Prophetic Mannerism:

Third Quarter: The Ways to Perdition (Rubʾ al-muhlikat)

    1. Book 21: The Marvels of the Heart: 
    • Complete English translation by W. J. Skellie (PhD thesis (PDF), Hartford Seminary—published edition (Fons Vitae March 2010). N.B. that Skellie translated the edition that was published by Zabidi in his commentary on the ihya’ which has slight variations from the standard Cairo edition. These have been restored in the Fons Vitae edition.
    • Partial translation in Freedom and Fulfillment by McCarthy (Boston: Twayne, 1980), pp. 363–382; 
    • Reprinted (Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, n.d.), pp. 309–325; 
    • Also in Knowledge of God in Classical Sufism by John Renard (New York: Paulist Press, 2004), pp. 298–326. 
    • Also published as Wonders of the Heart (Malaysia: IBT, 2007), without the complete translator’s introduction and notes; includes an index and publishers note. 
    1. Book 22: On Disciplining the Soul. English translation by T. J. Winter (ITS description).
    2. Book 23: On Breaking the Two Desires.  
    3. Book 24: Defects of the Tongue
    4. Book 25: Condemnation of Rancor and Envy
    5. Book 26: Condemnation of the World
    6. Book 27: Condemnation of Miserliness and Condemnation of the Love of wealth.
    7. Book 28: Condemnation of Status and Ostentation. Translation of its Arabic Summary
    8. Book 29: Condemnation of Pride and Conceit. Currently being translated (into English) by M. Rustom.
    9. Book 30: Condemnation of Self-Delusion.

Fourth Quarter: The Ways to Salvation (Rubʿ al-munjiyat)

    1. Book 31: On Repentance. English Translation by M. S. Stern. (E-text) (PDF
      • Also available in (unedited word file)
      • Part I is now available in html. 
      • German translation: Books 31–36: Richard Gramlich, Muhammad al-Gazzālīs Lehre von den Stufen zur Gottesliebe : die Bücher 31-36 seines Hauptwerkes. Eingel., übers. u. komment. von Richard Gramlich (Wiesbaden, Steiner, 1984).
    2. Book 32: On Patience and Thankfulness. English translation by H. T. Littlejohn. (ITS description).
    3. Book 33: On Fear and Hope. English translation by W. McKane (E-text) (PDF). Also in complete edited word file. Also reviewed by Watt in 1964. (pdf)  
    4. Book 34: On Poverty and Abstinence. English translation by A. F. Shaker. (ITS description)
    5. Book 35: Faith in Divine Unity and Trust in Divine Providence. 
      • English translation by D. Burrell. (Published by Fons Vitae)
      • German: Hans Wehr, Al-Gazzālī‘s Buch vom Gottvertrauen. Das 35. Buch des Ihyaʾ ʿulum ad-dīn. Übers. u. mit Einl. u. Anm. vers. v. Hans Wehr. Halle: Niemeyer, 1940.
    6. Book 36: On Love, Longing, Intimacy and Contentment. (English Translation, E. Ormsby, 2012, ITS). For German see above #31.
    7. Book 37: On Intention, Sincerity, and Truth.  
      • English translation by A. F. Shaker (ITS description). 
      • German translation by Hans Bauer, Islamische Ethik. Nach den Orignalquellen übersetzt und erläutert. Heft 1: Über Intention, Reine Absicht und Wahrhaftigkeit. (das 37. Buch von Al-Ġazālī) (pdf )   
    8. Book 38: On Holding Vigil and Self-Examination. 
      • AL-GHAZALI ON VIGILANCE AND SELF-EXAMINATION Translated by: ANTHONY F. SHAKER Islamic Texts Society, Cambridge, 2015
    9. Book 39: On Meditation.
    10. Book 40: On the Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife. English translation by T. J. Winter (ITS
  • Printed Editions: Please go to this page for more details on the important printed editions.
    1. al-Ghazālī. Iḥyāʾ ʿulūm al-Dīn. Cairo: Lajnat Nashr al-Thaqāfa al-Islāmiyya, 1356–57 (1937–38). This is the edition that the Dār al-Shaʿab based their editon on. It has been recreated here with the pagination in red on the pdf files. Thanks is due to Prof. Frank Griffel for this information, his help in recreating this edition and providing the scans of the missing pages. Do note that this is a very readable and an accurate edition that is used for scholarly work.
  • SUMMARIES: There are many summaries of the Iḥyāʾ, though only a handful are published; the others remain in manuscript form. For more information about the summaries of the Iḥyāʾ in Arabic, see this short article (Arabic html). 
    • Summary by Aḥmad al-Ghazālī (pdf) Lubāb al-iḥyāʾ, published as Mukhtaṣar Iḥyāʾ ʿulūm al-dīn. The publisher claims that it is by Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī, though I believe this is incorrect. (PDF). This book has been translated into English: Imam Al-Ghazālī Mukhtaṣar iḥyāʾ ʿulūm ad-dīn translated from the Arabic, and annotated by Marwan Khalaf. Lympia/Nikosia, Cyprus: SPOHR, 2014.
    • The Iḥyāʾ was summarized in a book entitled Minhaj al-qaṣidīn by Ibn al-Jawzī (d. 597 AH/1201 CE), which was further summarized in Mukhtaṣar minhāj al-qaṣidin by Ibn Qudāma al-Maqdisī (d. 620 AH/1341 CE). (link Arabic HTML). This book has been widely distributed and reprinted several times, one of which by Dār al-Khayr, Damascus, 1998; with ḥadīth verification by M. W. Salman and A. A. H. Abulkhair (PDF) also other editions are available: ʿA. Ḥ. M. Darwish edition:PDF, S. ʿĀref edition: PDF, ʿA. Ḥ. ʿA. Ḥalabī edition: PDF, and ʿA. Q. al-ʾArnāouṭ edition: PDF, and Z. Shāwīsh edition: PDF)
    • Tahdhīb mūʿaẓat al-mūʾminīn, Jamāl al-Dīn al-Qāsimiī n.p. n.d. Note that he also did a sumarry of Qūt al-Qulūb (PDF), (PDF) .
    • The latest attempt at summarizing the Iḥyāʾ comes from Saliḥ Aḥmad al-Shāmī, al-Muhadhab min  iḥyaʾ ʿulum al-dīn, 2 vols. (Beirut: Dār al-Qalam, 1993). Sample translation (link) Also another edtion is available from Dār ibn al-Qayīm: PDF
    • While others are reworked summaries, such as Saʿid Ḥawwa’s attempt: al-Mustakhlaṣ fī tazkiyat al-anfus (Cairo: Dar al-Salam, 1984). (PDF)
  • COMMENTARY: one commentary (sharḥ) of al-Iḥyaʾ exists by Murtaḍā al-Zabīdī’s [d. 1791] Itḥaf al-sada al-muttaqīn bi sharḥ iḥyāʾ ʿulum al-dīn. Cairo 1894 in 10 large volumes. This work is still in print in facsimiles of this edition as well as well as a DKI edition. Note that the link provided is for the complete 1894 edition.  (download page)
  • Defense: As many were critical of al-Ghazālī there were as many if not more who rallied to his defense:
    • In his own defense, al-Ghazālī wrote: al-Imlāʾ fī ishkalat al-iḥyāʾ (Notes on issues of the Iḥyāʾ) printed as an appendix in some editions of the Iḥyāʾ (pdf)
    • ʿAbd al-Qādir al-ʿAydrūs, Taʿarif al-aḥyāʾ bi faḍʾil al-iḥyāʾ (Introducing the living to the benefits of the Iḥyāʾ) printed as an appendix in some editions of the Iḥyāʾ (pdf). Note the pun in the title, which is, of course, intentional.
    • al-Suyūṭī, Tashyad al-ʾarkān fī laysa fī al-imkan ʾabdaʿ mimā kān (Fortifying the foundations of [the statement] “the best of all possible worlds” ) printed as an appendix in some editions of the Iḥyāʾ (PDF). Note also this was part of a study done in Theodicy in Islamic Thought: The Dispute over Al-Ghazālī’s “Best of All Possible Worlds” by Eric L. Ormsby (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984). 
    • Unknown author: Risala fi bayan faḍil iḥyāʾ ʿulum al-dīn (mss in al-Azhar number 1956 [majami 91] folios 76-86).
    • Unknown author: Risala fi al-rad ʿala min ʿatraḍa ʿala al-ghazālī fi qawlihi ana al-musabibat ratabat ʿala al-ʾasbab (mss in Dar al-Kutub al-misriyya [majami 210]) 
  • Refutations: This work has generated some heated discussions mostly revolving around the traditions that al-Ghazālī included here but also about some of his statements.
    • Ibn al-Jawzī (d. 597 AH) iʿlam al-aḥyaʾ bi aghlat al-iḥyāʾ (not printed and no known mss copies)
    • al-Dhahabi mentioned that Abū al-Ḥasan b. Sukar wrote Iḥyāʾ mayit al-aḥya fi al-rad ʿala kitab al-iḥyāʾ (not printed and no known mss copies)
    • Aḥmad b. Munir al-Iskandarī (d. 1284) wrote al-Ḍiyaʾal-mutalali fi taʿqub al-iḥyāʾ lil ghazālī as mentioned by Zabīdī (in commentary above) vol. 1. p .33, ln 10) (not printed and no known mss copies)
    • A Shiʿa ‘recension’: under the title: al-Maḥajjah al-bayḍā’ fī tahdhīb al-Iḥyāʾ by Muḥammad b. al-Murtaḍa al-madʿū bi-al-Mawla Muḥsin al-Kāshānī (d. 1681) Thanks to Prof. Alger for referring to this book in his monograph on Ghazali. (PDF)
    • Fatawas (judicial decrees) by scholars and these are too many list or know but Ibn Taymiyya is known to have written one as well as al-Ṭarṭushi. Even in modern times there have been fatwās issued by Saudi ʿulamāʾ. A typical critique along those lines is by ʿA. R. Dimashqīya: PDF



A growing number of Arabic manuscripts are now available online. 

  • King Saud University manuscript collection. A link to one such ms copied in 12th cen AH by ʿA. A. Kanānī, a partial ms. More manuscripts are available here: link2link3link4link5link6link7link8link9, and a summary here, Mukhtaṣar Iḥyāʾ ʿulūm al-dīnlink10.
  • Princeton University Library, has a complete copy of the ihya but it is not available online yet! we can hope.
  • Illuminated manuscript. (scanned from the Tunisian National Archives). 
  • Manuscripts from Turkey. 
  • List of Iḥyāʾ manuscripts from Badawi (Arabic word file with minor additions in red), original entry in PDF