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Al-Ghazali: The Alchemist of Happiness (2004)

8.6
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Exploring the life and impact of the greatest spiritual and legal philosopher in Islamic history, this film examines Ghazali's existential crisis of faith that arose from his rejection of ... See full summary »

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Title: Al-Ghazali: The Alchemist of Happiness (2004)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Dariush Arjmand ...
Nizam al-Mulk
Mitra Hajjar ...
Ghazali's wife
Abol Reza Kermani ...
Ahmad al-Ghazali
Ghorban Nadjafi ...
Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali
...
Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali (voice)
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Storyline

Exploring the life and impact of the greatest spiritual and legal philosopher in Islamic history, this film examines Ghazali's existential crisis of faith that arose from his rejection of religious dogmatism, and reveals profound parallels with our own times. Ghazali became known as the Proof of Islam and his path of love and spiritual excellence overcame the pitfalls of the organised religion of his day. His path was largely abandoned by early 20th century Muslim reformers for the more strident and less tolerant school of Ibn Taymiyya. Combining drama with documentary, this film argues that Ghazali's Islam is the antidote for today's terror. Written by Abdul Latif Salazar

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22 October 2004 (Italy)  »

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A spiritual journey of the renowned scholar Al-Ghazali
19 November 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is an excellent film about the life and spiritual journey of the renowned Islamic scholar al-ghazali. The film takes us through his time as the judge in Iraq, where he is revered as for his knowledge of quran and fiqh. Students flock to him. Then we see his crisis where he questions everything he knows, and he is unable to talk. He opens him mouth but no words come out. He then embarks on his spiritual journey, travelling for 10 years. He finds his truth in the knowledge of actions.

In his work the 99 names of Allah, Ghazali talks of how Allahs attributes must be known by tasting the experience,and not just the word. So to know mercy we must be merciful, to know justice we must be just. Just like if you tell someone what it is like to swim (wet, buoyancy etc) they will never truly know swimming until they have swam. And so we will never know God until we have experienced what it is to be merciful, just, compassionate, etc.

It makes a refreshing change to see a movie where the film is inspirational and captures the essence of spirituality , pushing us to reflect on how we view religion.

The scenic shots of Iraq are also wonderful


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