Those who deny the reality of the ecstasies and other spiritual experiences of the Sufis merely betray their own narrow-mindedness and shallow insight.
-from "Concerning Music and Dancing"
One of the great works of mystical religious literature, the Kimiya-i-Sa'adaat strove to bring man closer to understanding God by helping him understand himself. These excerpts from that work, by a strikingly original thinker on Islam who lived and wrote in the 11th century, were first published in 1910, and serve as a potent reminder of how powerful an influence Al-Ghazzali had upon religious philosophers of the Middle Ages, both Christian and Islamic. With its wise and warmly humanistic outlook, this little book may well foster a new measure of understanding in the current philosophical battle between the religious traditions of East and West.
Also available from Cosimo Classics: Field's Shadows Cast Before and Jewish Legends of the Middle Ages.
Iranian theologian AL-GHAZALI (1058-1111) was medieval Islam's most prominent scholar and philosopher.
CLAUD FIELD is also author of Mystics and Saints of Islam, Heroes of Missionary Enterprise, and Persian Literature.