This is a translation of Imam al-Ghazali’s well-known work of the same title, a book on tasawwuf and was the first of two translations Shaykh Daud al-Fatani did of the former. Shaykh Daud al-Fatani clearly considered Imam al-Ghazali to be one of the greatest Islamic thinkers and also bore influence of Ibn al-‘Arabi. This text describes the seven steps one is to take in pursuit of oneness with God.
Completed 15 Jumada al-akhir 1240 AH [4 Feb 1825], by Shaykh Daud b. ‘Abd Allah al-Fatani, in Mecca.
This work appears to have experienced a moderate level of distribution almost immediately after completion until at least the 1860s.
7 known manuscript copies
Manuscripts with dated colophons (4):
- 30 Dec 1826. Copied by ‘Abd al-Ghafur b. Sham al-Din, “hari Juma’, 30 Jumada al-awwal 1242 AH,” [most likely in Mecca]. PNM 2380: 25 ff., incomplete.
- 1841/2. Copied by Arshad b. ‘Abd Allah al-Jawi Trengganu, 1257 AH, in Mecca. PNM 215: 136 ff.
- 20 Nov 1865. Copied 1 Rajab 1282 AH. PNM 1794: 185 ff.
- 1857/8. Copied 1272 AH. PNM 2310: 166 ff., single red frame. A hole cuts through the entire text.
Manuscripts without colophons (3):
- DBP 59: 176 ff., incomplete (missing final sections), black and deep violet or orange-red ink.
- MNI Cat. ML 775 [XI 53], incomplete.
- PNM 1500: 112 ff., incomplete. A significant portion of this text has been eaten by worms.
From the 1880s into the early decades of the twentieth century, it also found its way to the publishing houses of Middle East.
- 1886. Unknown: Sharikat al-kharia. Holding: PNM.
- 1887/8. Istanbul: Matba‘ah al-Haj Muhammad Afandi, 1305 AH.
- 1922/3. Cairo: Matba’ah Mustafa al-Babi al Halabi, 1341 AH. Holding: PNM.
- 1925. Cairo: 148 pp. Holding: UL.
- Undated. Cairo: Dar Ihya al-Kutub al-Arabiyya.
- Undated. Penang: Dar al-Ma‘arif, after 1963, 148 pp. Based on 2nd Cairo edition (#4 above).
- Bangkok: Maktabah Muhammad al-Nahdi. Based on 2nd Cairo edition (#4 above).