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Al Ghazali: The Alchemist of Happiness


In this well-done documentary, Ovidio Salazar, also as a producer and a director, is inviting us to follow him in his discovery of the imam Al Ghazali, one of the most influential scholars in the whole Islamic history. The chosen documentary title is certainly inspired by The Alchemy of Hapiness (you can read it in arabic by clicking here كيمياء السعادة) which is one of the must known books of Al imam Al Ghazali. In this documentary, we can hear testimonials from a couple of lecturers, scientists and doctors from East and West, such as Dr Winter, from Cambridge University, Dr Sayyid from George Washington University and Sheikh Yusuf Hamza, from Azeituna Institute. All of them underline the fact that Al Ghazali has left behind him a huge islamic heritage with a large impact kept up to now in too many areas of knowlodge such as theology, philosophy, sufism and much more.

Abu Hāmed Mohammad ibn Mohammad al-Ghazzālī (1058 — 1111) (Persian: ابو حامد محمد ابن محمد الغزالی), known as Algazel to the western medieval world, born and died in Tus, in the Khorasan province of Persia (modern day Iran) was a Persian Muslim theologian, jurist, philosopher, and mystic.
Ghazali has sometimes been referred to by historians as the single most influential Muslim after the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Besides his work that successfully changed the course of Islamic philosophy—the early Islamic Neoplatonism developed on the grounds of Hellenistic philosophy, for example, was so successfully refuted by Ghazali that it never recovered—he also brought the orthodox Islam of his time in close contact with Sufism. The orthodox theologians still went their own way, and so did the mystics, but both developed a sense of mutual appreciation which ensured that no sweeping condemnation could be made by one for the practices of the other.

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