Page:Alchemyofhappiness en.djvu/18

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10
Introduction.

son aud faith, requiring of his fellow men unfeigned piety in the temper and tone of an evangelical Christian. He reminds his readers, in these discourses, that they are not Mussulmans if they are satisfied with merely a nominal faith, and treats with scorn those who are spiritualists only in language and dress.

It is too narrow a view to adopt, in regard to a man of the sublime character of Ghazzali, that he obtained his ideas from any one school of thinkers, or that being in fellowship with the Soofies, that he was merely a Soofi. He was living in the centre of Aryan peoples and religions. He may have had his doctrine of the future life shaped by Zoroaster, and have been influeuced by the missionaries of the Buddhists.

The practical religion taught in these homilies will give a favorable opinion of the state of mind of the more intelligent Mussulmans. They contain not the Mohammedanism of the creed or the catechism, but of the closet and the pulpit. The tenor of the book establishes the truth of Ibn Khallikan's remark in his Biographical Dictionary that "Ghazzali's ruling passion was making public exhortations."

While perusing these pages, and noticing how much of the language of Ghazzali corresponds in its representations of God, of a holy life and of eternity, with the solemn instructions to which we have listened from our infancy, we may think of the magicians who imitated the miracles of Moses with their enchantments. Yet assuredly a vivid and respectful interest must be awakened in our minds for the races and nations, whose ideas of their relations as immortal beings are so serious and earnest.