The Secrets Of Asceticism

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Introduced, Translated and Annotated by Abu Salif Ahmad Ali Al-Adani.

Being the third part of al-Qasru'l-Hirs, al-Qurtubi deals with the issue of zuhd or €œdoing-without.€ Zuhd is a central dimension of Islam, but Muslims in every age have faced the ingrained peril of distorting its meaning and its demands, and veer away from a sound understanding of it. This book not only restores a balance in the understanding of zuhd but offers practical advice of how to bring it into our lives. Special attention is given to the central issue of wealth, from the viewpoint of how to employ it legitimately, and of its being a test to Muslims.

In explaining this sacred state, al-Qurtubi explores many themes, including: 

  • The linguistic meaning of zuhd and the clarification of its essence;

  • The means to attain control over the earthly plain and to exercise zuhd in it;

  • The virtue of zuhd, and the fruits it produces;

  • The states of those who exercise zuhd in this world;

  • Some examples of zuhd by the Prophet Muhammad, upon whom be peace and blessings;

  • Some examples of zuhd by the Prophet's companions;

  • The virtue of those who acquire ownership of wealth rightfully, and who spend out of it rightfully;

  • The explanation of the Prophetic hadith: €œEvery nation has its peculiar test, and the test of my community is €œbelief lies in wealth.€

This book will be of interest to readers who wish to understand the centrality of zuhd to the Islamic tradition as written by one of the greatest Qur'anic commentators belonging to the Islamic civilisation.

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