IMDb > Al-Ghazali: The Alchemist of Happiness (2004)

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Exploring the life and impact of the greatest spiritual and legal philosopher in Islamic history, this... See more » | Add synopsis »
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A subtle and moving account of the spiritual journey of one of the world's most influential mystics. See more (5 total) »


Dariush Arjmand ... Nizam al-Mulk
Mitra Hajjar ... Ghazali's wife
Abol Reza Kermani ... Ahmad al-Ghazali
Ghorban Nadjafi ... Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali

Robert Powell ... Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali (voice)

Directed by
Abdul Latif Salazar 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Simon van der Borgh 

Produced by
P.S. Gilders .... executive producer
Abdul Latif Salazar .... producer
T.J. Winter .... executive producer
Original Music by
Dirk Campbell 
Cinematography by
Mahmoud Kalari 
Film Editing by
Gabriela Enis 
Art Direction by
Malek Jahan Khazai 
Costume Design by
Malek Jahan Khazai 
Special Effects by
Greg Shaw .... special effects
Other crew
Yasin Salazar .... production assistant

Additional Details

UK:80 min
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:


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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
A subtle and moving account of the spiritual journey of one of the world's most influential mystics., 19 March 2006
Author: foxinsocks74 from United Kingdom

Abu Hamid al-Ghazali was one of the world's most influential scholars and saints. This film is, however, not about the intricacies of Islamic law and jurisprudence, nor is it a detailed biography all aspects of al-Ghazali's life. Rather it is an account of that transformative period in his life where, in the midst of worldly success something deep within him stirred and moved him to leave it all behind in search of the ultimate Truth.

The great achievement of Salazar's film is to portray the unportrayable -- the profound inner transformation that is the goal of every spiritual man, yet which few achieve in this life. Through a subtle and sensitive cinematography that takes us on a great journey through Central Asia, Salazar imperceptibly puts us in al-Ghazali's shoes. Through Salazar's own narration interwoven into the film, we understand that al-Ghazali's great inner journey was on behalf of every like-minded traveller regardless of time, place and denomination.

In today's world, where Islam is usually only considered in the light of its worst representatives, Salazar reminds us of a man who has, since his lifetime, been universally considered by Muslims themselves to be one who attained the ideal of their religion. Anyone seeking to better understand Islam and Muslims, as well as anyone who feels the inner attraction of the spiritual life will appreciate this film.

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