Ihya in English

The background:

Dār al-kutub al-ʿilmiyya (dki) of Beirut, Lebanon a publisher of trade Arabic books has also published their own translations of the texts that in various languages, mainly English and French. As is expected that they would also publish many of Imām al-Ghazālī’s works in Arabic. In 2011 they published an English language translation of Iḥyāʾ ʿūlm al-dīn by their in-house translator Mohammad Mahdi al-Sharif in 4 volumes to match the Arabic edition. As this marks the first “complete” translation of the Iḥyāʾ  in English directly from the Arabic, with that said I have declined to mention this fact on the website till I had a chance to examine it (I finally got a copy in hand in 2015) and when I did I was shocked into silence about this translation hence the 4 years of silence, one year per quarter. Although I am heartened to see the Imām’s works published, I was very sad about its quality as it really has nothing to recommend it for except that it is complete, completely incomprehensible. Its simply unreadable!

Online for your very own review:

One kind brother, actually a friend, a comrade in aid, a paragon in the field of bringing knowledge to the internet since its early stages from 1999 has been kind enough to scan and upload all four volumes. I leave you kind reader to judge for yourself as the quality of this work. The volumes are on sale from the publisher directly, from various bookstores that carry dki books, and online sellers including sellers on Amazon however they charge quite a hefty sum (last check there was one for USD291. I paid $150 USD for my set). Now that’s online you get to sample them before committing yourself to the purchase of such volumes. So may Allah bless Mohammad Mahdi al-Sharif (if he in fact is a person and not pseudonym for an AMT–automated machine translation)  and for the brother (the valiant “internet” knight 0ur own ʿAlī, dhū al-faqār ) for taking the time and effort to make this work available. Please keep him in your prayers.


The links are as follows:





Direct links to the PDF files:






Author: mh
A blog on things Ghazalian and intellectual history of the premodern era. I am interested in intellectual history and how knowledge furthered the progression of humanity in the pre-modern era. My emphasis is on philosophy, though I digress into medieval history at the drop of a hat. l.