Imam Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali (450/1058 - 505/1111) is justly described as a "towering figure" in the history of Islam. He was born in the Iranian town of Tus, studied Islamic law and theology at the Seljuq college in Nishapur and became a distinguished professor of the famous Nizamiyya University in Baghdad.
Despite his glittering success, he was inwardly dissatisfied so he abandoned his career for the life of hardship, abstinence and devotion to worship. During ten years of wandering, he experienced a spiritual transformation, in which the truth came to him at last as something received rather than acquired. Blessed with an inner certainty, he then applied his outstanding faculties and vast learning to the task of revitalizing the whole Islamic tradition. Through his direct personal contacts and through his many writings, he showed how every element in that tradition could and should be turned to his true purpose.
Imam al-Ghazali's mangum opus is aptly entitled "The Renewal of the Religious Sciences (Ihya Ulum ad-Din)". In its four volumes the author deals with every aspect of the outer ad the innerlife of the Muslim. The subject of Marriage discussed in the section covered by this translation is surely of particular interest and importance to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
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