Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Al-Ghazali أبو حامد محمد بن محمد الطوسي الغزالي

(Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali)

1058 – 1111 CE

Philosopher of Sufism

Legal and theological scholar, rationalist, spiritual philosopher, and Sunni mystic; Al-Ghazali became known as a Mujaddid, a once-in-a-century Muslim "renewer of the faith." Believing that the original Islamic teaching quickly became corrupted, he worked to bring the original wisdom back into awareness and—as a side-effect—brought a critique of the Aristotelian approach that facilitated the advancement of European science. He helped integrate Sufism into mainstream Islam and his teaching became a profound influence and foundation for Islamic business ethics and practice.

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Islamic Sufi

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Quotes by Al-Ghazali (14 quotes)

“In the time of the philosophers, as at every other period, there existed some of these fervent mystics. God does not deprive this world of them, for they are its sustainers.”

Themes: Crazy Wisdom

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“If the thought that he is effaced from self occurs to one with a realization of fans ['no-mind'], that is a defect. The highest state is to be effaced from effacement.”

Themes: Egolessness

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“I have poked into every dark recess, I have made an assault on every problem, I have plunged into every abyss, I have scrutinized the creed of every sect, I have tried to lay bare the inmost doctrines of every community. All this have I done that I might distinguish between true and false, between sound tradition and heretical innovation.”

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“To get what you love, you must first be patient with what you hate.”

Themes: Patience Paradox

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“Desire makes slaves out of kings, and patience makes kings out of slaves.”

Themes: Desire Slavery

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“As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good; I was actually being redirected to something better.”

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“Soft words soften the hearts that are harder than rock, harsh words harden hearts that are softer than silk.”

Themes: Karma

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“Those who look for seashells will find seashells; those who open them will find pearls.”

Themes: Consumerism

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“All of a man’s happiness is in his being the master of his ego, while all his suffering is in his ego being his master.”

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“Whosoever complains of the bad character of another man has revealed the badness of his own character.”

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“Know that thankfulness is from the highest of stations, and it is higher than patience, fear, and detachment of the world.”

Themes: Appreciation

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“We are creatures that love to blame the external, not realizing that the problem is usually internal.”

Themes: Obstacles

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“Knowledge without action is wastefulness and action without knowledge is foolishness.”

Themes: Skillful Means

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“The tongue is very small and light but it can take you to the greatest heights and it can put you in the lowest depths.”

Themes: Success Failure

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Quotes about Al-Ghazali (4 quotes)

“The great Mohammedan theologian, Al-Ghazzali, had similarly turned from the consideration of truths about God to the contemplation and direct apprehension of Truth-the-Fact, from the purely intellectual discipline of the philosophers to the moral and spiritual discipline of the Sufis.”

Aldous Huxley 1894 – 1963 CE
from Perennial Philosophy

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“[Al-Ghazzali's autobiography is important for] the purely literary student who would like to become acquainted with the inwardness of religions other than the Christian”

William James 1842 – 1910 CE
"Father of American psychology”
from The Varieties of Religious Experience, 1902

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“I have poked into every dark recess, I have made an assault on every problem, I have plunged into every abyss, I have scrutinized the creed of every sect, I have tried to lay bare the inmost doctrines of every community. All this have I done that I might distinguish between true and false, between sound tradition and heretical innovation.”

Al-Ghazali أبو حامد محمد بن محمد الطوسي الغزالي 1058 – 1111 CE
(Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali)
Philosopher of Sufism

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“Islam is now Wrestling with Western thought as it once wrestled with Greek philosophy, and is as much in need as it was then of a 'revival of the religious sciences'. Deep study of al-Ghazali may suggest to Muslims steps to be taken if they are to deal successfully with the contemporary situation. Christians, too, now that the world is in a cultural melting-pot, must be prepared to learn from Islam, and are unlikely to find a more sympathetic guide than al-Ghazali.”

William Montgomery Watt 1909 – 2006 CE
"The Last Orientalist"

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