The Book of Constructive Virtues is the fourth and the last volume of Imam Gazzali’s world renowned master piece Ihya Ulum-id-Din or the Revival of religious learnings. This work is an attempt to translate the fourth part of the Ihya not too literally but in substance from the original written in Arabic. It consists of two parts. ‘The Book of Constructive Virtues’ consists of two parts. Part II deals with love and attachment, will and intention, meditation and self examination, pondering over good, death and subsequent events, death of the Prophet and four caliphs and events before and after Resurrection and Paradise and Hell. A litteral translation is avoided in order to omit the unnecessary arguments of sects and sub-sects then prevailing in the world and also to omit the sayings of the sages of less importance. But it should be noted that no verse of the Holy Quran or the Hadis of the Holy Prophet has been omitted in this translation.
Translations of the other parts of Ihya will soon be out of press very shortly by the grace of Almighty God with full details of the Ihya and a short life and activities of Imam Gazzali, the greatest thinker and philosopher of the Muslim world.
I pray to the Almighty Allah that He may guide the people of the world in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah and the spirit in which the Ihya was written by Hujjatul Islam (the Proof of Islam), a title received by Imam Gazzali and about which it has been said “If all the books of Islam were destroyed, it would be but a slight loss if only the Ihya of Gazzali were preserved.”
MEANING OF TAUBA
Tauba means repentance for a sin by taking promise not to do the same evil again and to return to God. Repentance is the beginning in the life of a person who intends to walk in the path of religion. It is the root of the fortune of those who are successful, the first step of a disciple, the key to guidance to the straight path, the weapon of purification of those who wish to come close to God and a dear thing of all prophets. So it is no wonder that man will commit sins. Hazrat Adam introduced the rule of repentance and he repented for the sin he committed in the past. It is necessary for man to return to God penitently after commission of sins. He who does good deeds is close to God and he who does always sinful deeds is close to the devil. He who does good deeds after commission of a sin is a real man.
FOUR PRINCIPLES OF TAUBA
Human nature is mixed up of two elements. Every man has got the nature of angel, nature of man and nature of devil. He who does always sinful acts keeps connection with the devil. He who does always good acts keeps connection with angels Nothing can give salvation to a man except the fire of repentance. So repentance or Tauba has got four cardinal principles.
(1) The first principle is form of repentance, its limit and its knowledge. It is the bounded duty of a man to make repentance after sin. If it is sincere, it is accepted.
(2) The second principle is to turn away from sins, to know the major and minor sins, to know the duties towards God and to men, to know man’s progress and retrogression for virtues and vices and to know the causes of minor sins turning into major sins.