Page:Alchemyofhappiness en.djvu/13

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INTRODUCTION.


The remarkable treatise, which I introduce to your notice, is a translation from one of the numerous works of the Arabian Philosopher, Abou Hamid Mohammed ben Mohammed al Ghazzali, who flourished in the eleventh century. He was born about the year A. D. 1056, or 450 of the Mohammedan era, at Tons in Khorasan, and he died in the prime of life in his native country about the year 1011, or 505 A. H. Although educated by Mohammedan parents, he avows that during a considerable period of his life he was a prey to doubts about the truth, and that at times he was an absolute sceptic. While yet comparatively young, his learning and genius recommended him to the renowned sovereign Nizam ul Mulk, who gave him a professorship in the college which he had founded at Bagdad. His speculative mind still harassing him with doubts, in his enthusiasm to arrive at a solid foundation for knowledge, he resigned his position, visited Mecca and Jerusalem, and finally returned to Khorasan, where he led a life of both monastic study and devotion, and consecrated his pen to writing the results of his meditations.

Mohammedan scholars of the present day still hold him in such high respect, that his name is never mentioned by them without some such distinctive epithet, as the "Scien- 2