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November 04 , 2007

The Mishkat Al-Anwar


The Mishkât Al-Anwar
(The Niche for Lights) by Al-Ghazzali, translated by W.H.T. Gairdner

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This is a translation with introduction of al-Ghazzali's famous Niche of Lights where he gives a commentary upon the verse of Light in the Quran.

THE MISHKÂT AL-ANWAR[1] is a work of extreme interest from the viewpoint of al-Ghazzâlî's[2] inner life and esoteric thought. The glimpses it gives of that life and thought are remarkably, perhaps uniquely, intimate. It begins where his autobiographical Al-Munqidh min al-Dalâl leaves off. Its esotericism excited the curiosity and even the suspicion of Muslim thinkers from the first, and we have deeply interesting allusions to it in Ibn Tufaill and Ibn Rushd,[4] the celebrated philosophers of Western Islam, who flourished within the century after al-Ghazzâlî's death in 1111 (A.H. 505) – a fact which, again, increases its importance and interest for us.

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