Imam Ghazali’s Bidayat al-Hidaya is a highly motivational manual detailing the fundamentals of acquiring guidance through God-consciousness (taqwa). Imam Ghazali argues that just as there is an end to this noble objective there is also a beginning to it, which must be made firm for one to achieve success. He then goes on to expound the fundamentals of this “beginning.” While being concise and to-the-point the manual is laid out in the form of a detailed daily timetable providing the reader strong inspiration and much heart-rending counsel. The three sections of this book are on obedience, refraining from disobedience, and the etiquette of companionship with the Creator and with creation. One of Imām Ghazālī’s final works, it embodies a lifetime of learning, experience, and spirituality and can be taken as an introduction to his larger works.
This translation published for the first time with facing Arabic text also includes many notes and transliteration for the supplications contained within.
“An excellent translation of an important book on the fundamentals of Muslim piety and etiquette. With an accessible English translation alongside the original Arabic text, this introductory work will be useful for readers interested in exploring the realities of Islamic piety, students of Arabic and educators alike.”
Jonathan ac brown University of Washington
“This welcomed translation provides Ghazali’s manual The Beginning of Guidance (Bidayat al-Hidaya) to serious students, seekers, and scholars and combines contemporary fluency with respect for sacred Islamic tradition.”
Marcia Hermansen Loyola University Chicago