Imam Al-Ghazali – Muslim theologian, jurist, philosopher, and mystic of Persian descent
The alchemy of happiness is a guide to transform the essence of man from baseness to the purity of the angelic state. This transformation is through increasing one’s knowledge of Allah (swt). However, before you can begin to know Allah (swt), you must first know yourself. This starts with the understanding of a human being’s two distinct components:
- The body
- The heart (the spiritual heart)
There are five steps to understand the heart:
- Recognize its existence.
- Know its true nature: The heart works to seek happiness through the knowledge of Allah (swt), which it acquires through the knowledge of Allah (swt)’s creation.
- The body is a kingdom: The body is a kingdom and within it, the limbs and organs are its workers.
- Appetite is the tax collector;
- Anger is the policeman;
- Intellect is the Chief Minister;
- The heart is the king.
The body is in a constant spiritual struggle between being held captive by appetite and anger and using them as a weapon to attain spiritual fulfillment. If the heart acts at the advice of the intellect and keeps appetite and anger under control, a part of happiness will be made accessible. But if the intellect becomes a prisoner of anger and appetite, the kingdom will become desperate, and the heart will be destroyed.
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