All major religions have dealt with questions of life after death, although many do not treat it in detail as have Muslim theologians and traditionists. The present text attributed to Imam al-Ghazali was based on a translation of his Durrah al-Fakhirah (The Precious Pearl). Al-Ghazali gives a much less theoretical description than in his other works, and makes much use of stories and traditions. Many of these traditions are common in Islamic sources, particularly those giving details of the period immediately after death and the events of the eschaton. Throughout this book, al-Ghazali stresses on the freeing of the soul from the body, the comparison of death with the sleep of this world, and the eternal abiding in the presence of God.
Knowledge of the Hereafter: Durrah al-Fakhirah
Translated by Jane Idleman Smith
Abu Hamid al-Ghazali is a towering figure in Islam. His enormous influence can be summarized, in the words of Annemarie Shimmel, as the one who “teaches… only to help man to live a life in accordance with the sacred law, not by clinging exclusively to its letter, but by an understanding of its deeper meaning …so that he is ready for the meeting with his Lord at any moment.” His greatest work Ihya Ulum al-Din (Revivification of the Sciences of Religion), comprising forty books divided into four quarters of ten books each, has helped generations towards this end until today.