Conveying the rewards of the good deeds of the living to the deceased
Shaykh Ahmad Darwish Mosque of the Internet P.O. Box 601, Tesuque, NM 87574 USA Foreword by Professor Hasan El Fatih Dean of Umm Durman Islamic University. This book was written in Arabic by Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, or Algazel as he was known to medieval Europe (died 505/1111).
His numerous works are well known, respected and quoted not only in the middle east but in the higher universities of west. His contribution to theology and philosophy have proved to be major cornerstones of resource throughout the centuries.
During the revival of Greek philosophy in the middle ages, many Christians were attracted and swayed by the persuasion of Greek logic. In an effort to protect Christianity, Christian theologians relied upon the profound arguments of Al Ghazali to defeat the adherents of Greek philosophy and thereby protected their religion.
Al Ghazali's works have been translated and printed in many languages. Comparative studies have shown that Jean Jacques Rousseau, known in the west as the pioneer of children's education, based his ideas and methods upon the work of Al Ghazali.
The Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam says of Al Ghazali:
"He was the most original thinker that Islam produced and its greatest theologian."
A.J. Arberry, professor and director of the Middle East Centre at the University of Cambridge, England referred to him as being:
"He was one of the greatest mystical theologians of Islam and indeed of all mankind."
I pray that the readers will benefit from the sound reasoning which they are about to embark upon and that it will open guiding channels of thought that will give pleasure in this life and in the Hereafter.
Hasan El Fatih Umm Durman Sudan 1992
Translated by Hamid Algar (Professor of Persian and Islamic Studies, University of California, Berkeley)
[The following statement appears before the translation of the actual text -- obviously inserted by someone other than Imam Abu Hanifah -- probably by the eminent translator himself. -- Editor . . . "One of the most regrettable features of the contemporary Muslim situation is an anarchy and confusion in the sphere of belief that might lead one to suppose the foundations of Islam to have been so obscured that the field is open to anyone to redefine the religion. We begin with the Fiqh al-Akbar of Imam al-A'zam Abu Hanifah, may God be pleased with him, a brief but comprehensive statement of the irreducible dogmas ( ‘aqa’id - sing.‘aqidah) of Islam."
The editor agrees with the above comments of Professor Hamid Algar, the translator, and joins him in his lamentation of the contemporary Muslim situation of anarchy and confusion in the 'sphere of belief.' Alas our modern younger generation has neglected to include 'Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar' as an essential part of Islamic teaching curricula.
I recall fondly that 'Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar' was a part of my high school religion classes. I also remember, with fondness, the diligence with which our teachers taught these 'aqa'id, impressing upon us incessantly just how essential it was for us to learn these dogmas. Even as a high school student it was not was not difficult for me to realize the beauty of the brevity, conciseness, and comprehensiveness of the beautiful work of Imam Abu Hanifah. Even as a student at this early stage of education, we were left with no doubt in our minds that a full understanding of the articles of Abu Hanifah's creed were imperative for our practises as a Sunni-Hanafi followers of Islam.]