Abu Hamind ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali, known to the Western world as Algazel, was a prominent Muslim theologian, jurist, philosopher and mystic hailing from Persia.
Born between 1058 and 1059 CE, al-Ghazali was orphaned and left in the care of a Sufi.
He received instruction in Islamic jurisprudence from Ahmad al-Radhakani, then studied jurist and theology under al-Juwayni in Nishapur.
Post-al-Juwayni’s death, al-Ghazali joined Nizam al-Mulk’s court in Isfahan, gaining titles of “Brilliance of the Religion” and “Eminence among the Religious Leaders”.
He was later promoted to a professorship in the Nizamiyya madrasa in Baghdad.
In 1095, al-Ghazali underwent a spiritual crisis, left Baghdad and embarked on a pilgrimage to Mecca.
He spent several years in seclusion in Tus, yet continued teaching and publishing in private madrasas and Sufi monasteries.
He penned over 70 books on science, Islamic philosophy and Sufism.
His prominent works include “The Incoherence of Philosophers”, marking a shift in Islamic epistemology and “The Revival of Religious Sciences”, an exhaustive overview of Islamic science.
Related: Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Quotes for Inspiration
Al-Ghazali also contributed an abridged version titled “The Alchemy of Happiness”.
Al-Ghazali’s work had a significant influence on both Muslim and Christian medieval philosophers, including St. Thomas Aquinas.
He also played a pivotal role in integrating Sufism and Shariah and bolstering Sunni Islam.
He passed away in Tus on December 18, 1111, according to most historians.
Here are some of his powerful quotes.
Table of Contents
Best Al-Ghazali Quotes
Take every effort to guard your tongue, as it is the strongest cause for your destruction. ~ Imam Al-Ghazali.
For good health control your diet. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Never have I dealt with anything more difficult than my own soul, which sometimes helps me and sometimes opposes me. ~ Al-Ghazali.
The real friend is the one who, when you ask him to follow you, doesn’t ask where? ~ Al-Ghazali.
An honorable person won’t tell people how great they are, people will experience their greatness just by being with them. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Half of disbelief in Allah in the world is caused by people who make religion look ugly due to their bad conduct and ignorance. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Soft words soften the hearts that are harder than rock, harsh words harden hearts that are softer than silk. ~ Al-Ghazali.
The corruption of religions comes from turning them to mere words and appearances. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Man’s nature is made up of four elements, which produce in him four attributes, namely, the beastly, the brutal, the satanic, and the divine. In man there is something of the pig, the dog, the devil, and the saint. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Declare your jihad on thirteen enemies you cannot see – Egoism, arrogance, conceit, selfishness, greed, lust, intolerance, anger, lying, cheating, gossiping and slandering. If you can master and destroy them, then you will be read to fight the enemy you can see. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Famous Imam Al-Ghazali Quotes
Knowledge exists potentially in the human soul like the seed in the soil; by learning the potential becomes actual. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Teach what you know to him who does not know, and learn from him who knows what you do not know. If you would do this you would learn what you have not known and would retain what you have already known. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Whoever determines the truth from people alone will remain lost in the plains of bewilderment. Rather, know the truth, and you will know its people. ~ Al-Ghazali.
If you’re busy with yourself now, you will be busy with yourself then. If you are busy with Allah now, you will be with Him then. ~ Al-Ghazali.
The hypocrite looks for faults; the believer looks for excuses. ~ Al-Ghazali.
He who buries his head deep into a nosebag full of food cannot hope to see the invisible world. ~ Al-Ghazali.
It is sometimes said that we drink our religion with our mother’s milk. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Top Al-Ghazali Quotes
The way to paradise is an uphill climb whereas hell is downhill. Hence, there is a struggle to get to paradise and not to hell. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Understand that for every rule which I have mentioned from the Quran, the Devil has one to match it, which he puts beside the proper rule to cause error. ~ Al-Ghazali.
The biggest barrier between you and God is you. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Know, O beloved, that man was not created in jest or at random, but marvelously made and for some great end. Although he is not form everlasting, yet he lives forever; and though his body is mean and earthly, yet his spirit is lofty and divine. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Do not think that death is death. Nay! It is life. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Love for God is the farthest reach of all stations, the sun of the highest degrees, and there is no station after that of love, except its fruit and its consequences. ~ Al-Ghazali.
The reward of patience in the face of misfortune is more than what has been lost. ~ Imam Al-Ghazali.
If the world had two gods, it would surely go to ruin-this is the first premise. Now it is known that it has not gone to ruin-this is the second premise. From these premises the conclusion must of necessity follow, that is, the denial of two gods. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Popular Al-Ghazali Quotes
In God, there is no sorrow or suffering or affliction. If you want to be free of all affliction and suffering, hold fast to God, and turn wholly to Him, and to no one else. Indeed, all your suffering comes from this: that you do not turn toward God and no one else. ~ Al-Ghazali.
You must convince your heart that whatever Allah has decreed is most appropriate and most beneficial for you. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Do not dispute with anyone in any matter as far as possible. For in argumentation lies much harm and its evil is greater than its benefit. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Whoever says that all music is prohibited, let him also claim that the songs of birds are prohibited. ~ Al-Ghazali.
The true greatness of man lies in his eternal progress. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Live as long as you want, but you must die; love whatever you want, but you will become separated from it; and do what you want, but you will be repaid for it. ~ Imam Al-Ghazali.
The soul should take care of the body, just as the pilgrim on his way to Makkah takes care of his camel; but if the pilgrim spends his whole time in feeding and adorning his camel, the caravan will leave him behind, and he will perish in the desert. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Great Al-Ghazali Quotes
To completely trust in Allah is to be like a child who knows deeply that even if he does not call for the mother, the mother is totally aware of his condition and is looking after him. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Remember it is the heart and not the body, which strives to draw near to God. By heart I do not mean the flesh perceived by the senses, but that secret thing which is sometimes expressed by spirit, and sometimes by soul. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Four traits lift a person to the highest ranks, even if their works and knowledge are little: forbearance, humility, generosity, and good character. This is the perfection of faith. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Those who look for seashells will find seashells; those who open them will find pearls. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Know that thankfulness is from the highest of stations, and it is higher than patience, fear, and detachment of the world. ~ Al-Ghazali.
A man of bad character punishes his own soul. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Wise Al-Ghazali Quotes
This visible world is a trace of that invisible one and the former follows the latter like a shadow. ~ Al-Ghazali.
When God loves a slave, He increases people’s need for him. ~ Al-Ghazali.
The tongue is very small and light but it can take you to the greatest heights and it can put you in the lowest depths. ~ Al-Ghazali.
If you do not prepare now for the Afterlife, then when will you do so? ~ Al-Ghazali.
If those who do not possess knowledge avoid the scholarly discussions, disagreement will end. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Adapt a gentle tone when speaking, for verily the tone at times, has a greater impact than the speech. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Work for your terrestrial life in proportion to your location in it, and work for your afterlife in proportion to your eternity in it. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Inspiring Al-Ghazali Quotes
Each of your breaths is a priceless jewel, since each of them is irreplaceable and once gone, can never be retrieved. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Men have such a good opinion of themselves, of their mental superiority and intellectual depth; they believe themselves so skilled in discerning the true from the false, the path of safety from those of error, that they should be forbidden as much as possible the perusal of philosophic writings. ~ Al-Ghazali.
A human-being is not a human-being while his tendencies include self-indulgence, covetousness, temper and attacking other people. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Desire makes slaves out of kings, and patience makes kings out of slaves. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Does money upset the hearts of learned men? He answered, “men whose hearts are changed by money are not learned”. ~ Al-Ghazali.
The happiness of the drop is to die in the river. ~ Al-Ghazali.
What is destined will reach you, even if be beneath two mountains. What is not destined will not reach you, even if it be between your two lips. ~ Al-Ghazali.
The final purpose of self-discipline is to find one’s heart constantly in the presence of God. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Often love between two people intensifies not because of beauty or some advantage, but because of sheer spiritual affinity. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Powerful Al-Ghazali Quotes
Desires make slaves out of kings and patience makes kings out of slaves. ~ Imam Al-Ghazali.
He who does not arrive at the Intuition of these Truths by means of Ecstasy knows only the name of Inspiration. ~ Al-Ghazali.
The mere physical man is like the ant crawling on the paper, who observes black lettering and attributes its production to the pen and nothing more. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Whoever passes forty without his virtue overpowering his vice, let him get ready for hellfire. This advice contains enough for people of knowledge. ~ Al-Ghazali.
You possess only whatever will not be lost in a shipwreck. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Do not fix hopes on your health, and do not laugh away life. Remember how they walked and now all their joints lie separately, and the tongue with which they talked lightly is eaten away by the worms. ~ Al-Ghazali.
People count with self-satisfaction the number of times they have recited the name of God on their prayer beads, but they keep no beads for reckoning the number of idle words they speak. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Thought-Provoking Al-Ghazali Quotes
Do not allow your heart to take pleasure with the praises of people, nor be saddened by their condemnation. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Whosoever complains of the bad character of another man has revealed the badness of his own character. ~ Al-Ghazali.
No one who possesses snow would find any hardship in exchanging it for jewels and pearls. This world is like snow exposed to sun, which continues to melt until it disappears altogether, while the next life is like a precious stone that never passes away. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Purifying the soul is serious: the hereafter is ahead, the world is behind, death is near, the journey is far and the provisions are light. ~ Al-Ghazali.
To get what you love, you must first be patient with what you hate. ~ Al-Ghazali.
We are creatures that love to blame the external, not realizing that the problem is usually internal. ~ Al-Ghazali.
Knowledge without action is wastefulness and action without knowledge is foolishness. ~ Al-Ghazali.
So these were the 70 top Al-Ghazali quotes on Sufism, love, education, happiness and knowledge.
If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Hazrat Abu Bakr quotes and Queen Liliuokalani quotes.