Winter's Al-Ghazali on Disciplining the Soul
American Journal of Islam and Society
Al-Ghazali on Disciplining the Soul (Kitab Riyadat al-Nafs) and OnBreaking the Two Desires (Kitab Kasr alShahwatayn)- Book XXII andXXIII of the Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya Ulum h al-Din).Islamic Texts Society, Cambridge, 1995, translation with notes andIntroduction by T.J. Winter.Winter's translation is the first accurate translation of Books XXII andXXIII of the Ihya' (Revival) into English. Although Fazlul Karim's ImamGazzali's Ibd' 'Ulum al-Din was an attempt at translating the
... t translating the Ihya'(Revival) in four volumes, it is in fact an abridged and mutilated translation.Winter's translation is also supported by a scholarly introductionand notes; therefore, my review will focus on two aspects: the scholarlyapproach of the author and the quality of his translation.We shall present a critical evaluation of Winter's text as a whole. Whencomparing the English text with the original Arabic, it is to assesswhether the translator managed to capture the content, message, andstyle of the Ihya'. We also pay attention to the choice of words, particularlythe English equivalents of key Arabic terms. As a kind of practicalcriticism we look at the scholarly and literary style of the introduction inthe form of book reviewing and subject the text to "literary appreciation"as an academic exercise in critical reading.Winter's study of Al-Ghazli's ethics in English is just one of the contributionsthat have emerged in recent years. Among those worthy ofmentioning is Sherif's Ghazali's Theory of Virtue, which deals mainlywith philosophic, religious, and mystical virtues. Unlike Winter, heregards the Mizan al-'Amal as an authentic work by Al-Gazali andmakes frequent reference to it. Sherif divides his book into thirty sections,of which the fourth discourse-"The Refinement of the Soul"-overlaps with Book XX and XXIII of Winter's translation of the Ihya' ...