Page:Alchemyofhappiness en.djvu/16

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8
Introduction.

means of shedding light and honor upon religion; while his sincere piety and lofty conscientiousness imparted to all his writings a sacred majesty. He was the first of Mohammedan divines." (Bibliotheca Sacra, VI, 233).

Sale, in the preliminary discourse to his translation of the Koran, shows that he had discovered the peculiar traits of Ghazzali's mind; for wherever he gives an explanation of the Mussulman creed, peculiarly consonant to universal reason and opposed to superstition, it will be found that he quotes from him.[1]

This treatise on the Alchemy of Happiness, or Kimiai Saadet, seems well adapted to extend our knowledge of the writings of Ghazzali and of the opinions current then and now in the Oriental world. Although it throws no light on any questions of geography, philology or political history, objects most frequently in view in translations from the Oriental languages, yet a book which exhibits with such plainness the opinions of so large a portion of the human race as the Mohammedans, on questions of philosophy, practical morality and religion, will always be as interesting to the general reader and to a numerous class of students, as the facts that may be elicited to complete a series of kings in a dynasty or to establish the site of an ancient city can be to the historian or the geographer. I translate it from an edition published in Turkish in 1845 (A. H., 1260), at the imperial printing press in Constan-

  1. Pallia, Mémoire sur le manuscrit Arabe de la Bibliotheque Royale de Paris, No. 884, contenant un traité philosopliique d' Algazali. Mèm. de 1' Institat de France. Tome I, Savants étrangers. Paris, 1841, 4°.
    Smölders, Essai sur les écoles philosopliiques chez les Arabes et notamment sur la doctrine d' al Ghazzali. Paris, 1843. 8°.
    Sale's Koran, vol. I, p. 336, and note.