On Conduct in Travel
Al-Ghazali on Conduct in Travel is a translation of the seventeenth book of the Revival of the Religious Sciences. This volume falls in the section dealing with society and norms of everyday life. In it, al-Ghazali explains the reason for travel- in quest for knowledge or ones living, for the sake of worship including performing the pilgrimage, flight from what causes confusion in religion, and the flight from harm; and the advantages gained from travel-the disciplining of the soul through exposure to the rigours and strains of travel, and the acquisition of virtue and self-knowledge. On the practical side, al-Ghazali lists seven forms of conduct in travel, including how to prepare for a journey, what prayers to recite, what to do on the way and how to approach the return home. The final chapter of Conduct in Travel is dedicated to explanations of the religious concessions (rukhas) that travelers are granted in the like of the shortening and combining of prayers, the breaking of fast, and how and when they can be applied. Finally, al-Ghazali explains in detail how to learn to establish the direction of the qibla and the proper times for the daily prayers.
As in all his writings, al-Ghazali bases his arguments in Conduct in Travel on the Quran, the example of the Prophet and the saying of scholars and Sufis. He illustrates how an outward activity such as travel can encourage numerous virtues that are themselves necessary for the remainder of the spiritual life.
This volume also includes a translation of the Imam al-Ghazali’s own Introduction to the Revival of the Religious Sciences, which gives the reasons that caused him to write the work, the structure of the whole of the Revival and which places each of the chapters in the context of the other.