Al-Ghazali: The Properties of Friendship and Brotherhood (Book 15 of The Revival of the Religious Sciences)
UPCOMING TITLE. The Properties of Friendship and Brotherhood (Kitab adab al-subja wa-l-ma’ashara ma asnaf al-khalaq) Book 15 of The Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya’ ‘ulum al-din) ___ pp.
Translated by James Pavlin
Al-Ghazali states in the opening of this book that “Mutual love for the sake of God (Exalted is He) and brotherhood in His din are among the best affinities and the finest beneficial acts of obedience in the course of customary practices.” This statement indicates the importance he places on proper love and brotherhood among Muslims. Al-Ghazali then dedicates
the entire book to elaborating on the subtle aspects of proper relationships between people, divided into three chapters to cover the broad scope of the topic. In the first chapter he expounds on the excellence of intimate friendship (ulfa) and brotherhood for the sake of God (Exalted is He). In the second chapter, he details the duties of companionship and its etiquette and requirements. In his final chapter, al-Ghazali discusses the duties of
brotherhood as it pertains to the Muslim, the kindred, the neighbor, and the sovereign, with special emphasis on the manner of social intercourse for someone who is being tested by these relationships. The Book of the Etiquette of Companionship offers a timely look into the proper social relations that please God and lay the foundations of a coherent and cooperative Islamic Society.