Praise be to God, who with death did break the necks of tyrants

In his magnum opus, Revival of the Religious Sciences, al-Ghazali begins the chapter on death as follows:

Praise be to God, who with death did break the necks of tyrants, shattering with it the backs of Persia’s kings, cutting short the aspirations of the Caesars, whose hearts were long averse to recalling death, until the true promise came to them and cast them into the pit.

From the loftiest of palaces to the deepest of graves, they passed, and from the light of the cradle into the sepulchre’s gloom.  From dallying with maidens and boys into sustaining insects and worms, they passed; from revelling in food and drink into wallowing in the earth; from the friendliness of company into the forlornness of solitude; and from the soft couch into the woeful perdition.

See if they had found any strength and protection from death, or taken against it a barrier and refuge.

See Doest thou perceive even one of them, or hear from them a murmur? (Qur’an 19:98).


Al-Ghazali On the Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife: Book XL of the Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din), translated by T.J. Winter, (The Islamic Texts Society, 1989), page 1.



Categories: al-Ghazzali, Death, Islam, Qur'an

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