30 Quotes of Imam Ghazali

30 Quotes of Imam Ghazali

Quotes of Imam Ghazali, following on from our Islamic quotes series. Here are 30 quotes by the great islamic scholar Imam Hamid al-Ghazali.

He was a polymath who wrote on a wide range of topics including jurisprudence, theology, mysticism and philosophy. Ghazali.org.

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His quotes can be found in many of his great works, one of the greatest of all time is the Ihya ulum al-din (Revival of the Religious Sciences). A lot of other quotes can be found in the open letter to his students entitled, My dear Beloved Son/Daughter, taken from the book Ya Ayyuhal walad.

Quotes of Imam Ghazali

Below are 30 quotes of Imam Ghazali categorised into different sections, it includes knowledge, self-reflection, good character and others.

Quotes about Knowledge

  1. Knowledge without action is vanity, and action without knowledge is insanity.
  2. Knowledge exists potentially in the human soul like the seed in the soil; by learning the potential becomes actual. (View Poster).
  3. Using his powers to attain to knowledge can raise him up to the ranks of Angels. Following desire he is brought down to the level of beasts.
  4. Dear seeker, you will not be able to rise to carry out the commands of Allah until you monitor your heart and limbs in every moment and every breath.
  5. The corruption of religions comes from turning them to mere words and appearances.

Quotes about Advice

  1. Advice is easy, what is difficult is accepting it, for it is bitter in taste.
  2. Shaikh Muhammad Al-Ghazali was asked, “What is the ruling of the one who left prayer?” He replied, “The ruling is for you to take them along with you to the mosque.” Be a caller, not a judge.
  3. The tongue is very small and light but it can take you to the greatest heights and it can put you in the lowest depths.
  4. Soft words soften the hearts that are harder than rock, harsh words harden hearts that are softer than silk.

Imam Ghazali Quotes about good Character

  1. The hypocrite looks for faults; the believer looks for excuses.
  2. Declare your jihad on thirteen enemies you cannot see egoism, arrogance, conceit, selfishness, greed, lust, intolerance, anger, lying, cheating, gossiping and slandering. If you can master and destroy them, then you will be ready to fight the enemy you can see.
  3. We are creatures that love to blame the external, not realizing that the problem is usually internal.
  4. The first stage of sincerity is that your private and public state should be the same.
  5. Desires make slaves out of kings and patience makes kings out of slaves.
  6. If you see an unbeliever, say, “I don’t know, maybe he will become a Muslim, and his life will be sealed with the best of deeds, and for his Islam he will emerge free of sin, as a strand of hair is gently removed from dough. As for me, Allah could cause me to go astray, so that I become of the unbelievers, and my life could be sealed with the worst of deeds. So tomorrow this person might be of the Ones Drawn Nigh [to Allah], and I of the distant ones!
  7. Half of disbelief in God in the world is caused by people who made religion look ugly due to their bad conduct and ignorance.

Quotes about Self Reflection

  1. As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good; I was actually being re-directed to something better. You must convince your heart that whatever God has decreed is most appropriate and most beneficial for you.
  2. It is the states of the heart, the place of our intentions, that holds us accountable.
  3. Never have I dealt with anything more difficult than my own soul, sometimes it helps me and sometimes it opposes me.
  4. If we had perfect power to determine our destinies, and perfect vision to see the future and know what is best for us, we would choose exactly the fate that Allah has chosen for us.
  5. People count with self-satisfaction the number of times they have recited the name of God on their prayer beads, but they keep no beads for reckoning the number of idle words they speak.
  6. One departs from the station of patience through anxiety, exaggeration of complaint, making an exhibition of sorrow, possessions and food.
  7. Do not allow your heart to take pleasure with the praises of people nor be saddened by their condemnation.
  8. Verily the soul becomes accustomed to what you accustom it to. That is to say: what you at first burden the soul with becomes nature to it in the end.
  9. To get what you love, you must first be patient with what you hate.

Imam Ghazali Quotes about Destiny

  1. What is destined will reach you, even if it be beneath two mountains.
    What is not destined will not reach you, even if it be between your two lips.
  2. To completely trust in God is to be like a child who knows deeply that even if he does not call for the mother, the mother is totally aware of his condition and is looking after him.

Sayings about Friendship

  1. The real friend is the one who, when you ask him to follow you, doesn’t ask ‘Where?’ but gets up and goes.
  2. Keep company with those who have firm faith, hear from them the learning of sure faith, follow them always, so that your faith may become firm as their faith became firm.

And finally..

Only that believer is graced with the blessings and benefits of Friday, who looks forward for it most anxiously and eagerly; and wretched is the negligent one who is least interested in it and who does not even know in the morning which day has dawned.

What are your favourite Imam Ghazali Quotes? Do you know anymore? Leave a comment with your favourite or if you have any other quotes. And thanks for reading.

By |February 1st, 2015|Quotes|25 Comments

About the Author:

A Computing teacher by profession Abu teaches children aged 11-18. His background is in Computer Science. Currently writing for Top Islamic blog as the main editor. His passion is to disseminate computing and Islamic concepts to the willing ... Connect on Facebook.


  1. Good Muslim Girl 30/03/2015 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    Love the quotes about friendship. How many of us have friends like that??

    • Abu Zainab 31/03/2015 at 10:54 am - Reply

      Thank you for your comment, it is indeed hard to find such friends. There’s another saying which I can’t remember where it’s from but it goes something like this, be in the company of those who always remind you of Allah!

    • Mohammad Abdullah 08/08/2016 at 9:12 am - Reply

      these quotes are pearls and should be followed

    • Anwar Quadri 17/11/2016 at 4:49 am - Reply

      If you can’t find one, be the one…

  2. Keelah 03/04/2015 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    My favourite quote for a long time has been “never have I dealt with anything more difficult than my own soul…” do you know which book it is from?

  3. Md. Tarek Jamil 08/04/2015 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    That’s are great quotes for passing life.

  4. shaikh mabejabeen 22/07/2015 at 5:37 am - Reply

    So great..

  5. ahmedfarhan564 26/08/2015 at 10:55 am - Reply

    Great quote

  6. Maher 27/08/2015 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    Thanks very much for sharing with us.

  7. colinhannaford 21/09/2015 at 10:59 am - Reply

    Somewhere in his writing he appears to mention a private experience that transformed him. I am writing a guide to the science of religions and will be most grateful if you can help me find it.

    • Yudi 25/05/2017 at 3:11 pm - Reply

      I think it is either in his book “alchemy of happiness” or “revival of religious thoughts”. Not so sure though

  8. cakmn 08/10/2015 at 1:08 am - Reply

    “Declare your jihad on thirteen enemies you cannot see…” yet the list only includes 12 rather than 13, here and everywhere I have looked. Why is this?

    • Becoming Rightful 28/04/2016 at 8:38 am - Reply

      That is my query too. I think there is a space left for thinking about individual perspective, each one of us has a different enigma to tackle.

      • Abdullah 03/08/2016 at 9:18 pm - Reply

        He mentions the 13th one separately at the end of the quote, if you re-read it you will see it is quite clear. He says the “the enemy you can see,” meaning the physical enemy (for example going to war). Basically, he’s saying to conquer your own demons and judge yourself critically (absolutely making sure you are not the oppressor) before you decide to go to fight (a person). This is my interpretation and Allah knows best.

  9. malika zarioh 21/01/2016 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    I have Just completed his book bidayatoel hidaya..and I also wondered: how many of us have those friends? Its sad.

    • imsykad 03/03/2016 at 9:29 pm - Reply

      some the have it but ‘taQwallah was-sabr’ is a main thing about friendship

  10. sheik ibrahim 23/03/2016 at 8:42 am - Reply

    Slmz. His works are honorable and irreplaceble. Am glad it survived long enough for the newer generations to study them.

  11. Mohammad Abdullah 08/08/2016 at 9:18 am - Reply

    the quotes are role model for spending life in befitting manners

  12. Amelia 25/08/2016 at 11:31 am - Reply

    “Say to my friends, when they look upon me, dead
    Weeping for me and mourning me in sorrow
    Do not believe that this corpse you see is myself
    In the name of God, I tell you, it is not I,
    I am a spirit, and this is naught but flesh
    It was my abode and my garment for a time.
    I am a treasure, by a talisman kept hid,
    Fashioned of dust, which served me as a shrine,
    I am a pearl, which has left it’s shell deserted,
    I am a bird, and this body was my cage
    Whence I have now flown forth and it is left as a token
    Praise to God, who hath now set me free …”

    Imam Ghazali’s last poem..

    • Abdullah Aftaita 25/08/2016 at 5:58 pm - Reply

      I just woke up and this poem was the first thing I read. Thank you for sharing this beautiful treasure.

  13. JalZeshan Bilal 05/09/2016 at 5:55 am - Reply

    Love it…best quotes I’ve read…read many here in the West from Anglo American leaders..but our heritage had the best

  14. Abdullah Farouk 17/11/2016 at 7:29 am - Reply

    Assalamualaikum bro.

    What is the reference on this quote btw?

    “Shaikh Muhammad Al-Ghazali was asked, “What is the ruling of the one who left prayer?” He replied, “The ruling is for you to take them along with you to the mosque.” Be a caller, not a judge.”

  15. Z ahoor Ul Islam 23/01/2017 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    ﺍﻣﺎﻡ ﻏﺰﺍﻟﯽ ﻓﺮﻣﺎﺗﮯ ﮨﯿﮟ ” : ﺳﺐ ﺍﻧﺴﺎﻥ ﻣﺮﺩﮦ ﮨﯿﮟ ﺯﻧﺪﮦ ﻭﮦ ﮨﯿﮟ ﺟﻮ ﻋﻠﻢ ﻭﺍﻟﮯ ﮨﯿﮟ، ﺳﺐ ﻋﻠﻢ ﻭﺍﻟﮯ ﺳﻮﺋﮯ ﮨﻮﺋﮯ ﮨﯿﮟ ﺑﯿﺪﺍﺭ ﻭﮦ ﮨﯿﮟ ﺟﻮ ﻋﻤﻞ ﻭﺍﻟﮯ ﮨﯿﮟ، ﺗﻤﺎﻡ ﻋﻤﻞ ﻭﺍﻟﮯ ﺧﺴﺎﺭﮮ ﻣﯿﮟ ﮨﯿﮟ ﻓﺎﺋﺪﮮ ﻣﯿﮟ ﻭﮦ ﮨﯿﮟ ﺟﻮ ﺍﺧﻼﺹ ﻭﺍﻟﮯ ﮨﯿﮟ، ﺳﺐ ﺍﺧﻼﺹ ﻭﺍﻟﮯ ﺧﻄﺮﮮ ﻣﯿﮟ ﮨﯿﮟ ﺻﺮﻑ ﻭﮦ ﮐﺎﻣﯿﺎﺏ ﮨﯿﮟ ﺟﻮ ﺗﮑﺒﺮ ﺳﮯ ﭘﺎﮎ ﮬﯿﮟ

    Is this quote really belong to Imam Ghazal, please confirm.

  16. zarmina mahsud 03/03/2017 at 6:32 am - Reply

    my favourite quote ‘to completely trust in God is to be like a child who knows deeply that even if he does not call for the mother ‘ the mother is totally aware of his condition and his looking after him.

  17. Arman 12/05/2018 at 5:38 am - Reply

    Google is racist and it’s controlled by evil,they hv removed a lot of Imam Ghazalis quotes

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