In Pursuit of Virtue
Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi
- translated by Dr. M. Abu Laylah
214 pages Paperback A5 ISBN 090746176X
Ref: 67t Price: £4.95
A study of the main elements in the moral theology and
psychology of the renowned Andalusian scholar Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi, with a
translation of his book Al-Akhlaq wa'l-Sufral.
Ibn Hazm lived in Al-Andalus (Spain) in the fourth and fifth century Hijri
This book is not a scholastic enquiry into the nature of moralitry, but a
book with practical advice on aspect of one's life.
Excerp taken from chapter IX -
" 257. If you take pride in your physical strength, remember that the
mule, the donkey, and the bull are stronger than you and better suited to
carrying heavy loads. If you feel vain about the lightness of your
running style, remember that the dog and the hare surpass you in
this field. It is extremely curious that rational beings feel proud of
something in which they are surpassed by dumb animals."
Ibn Hazm is well known for following the Zahiriyya (literalist) school
devised originally by Dawud ibn al Isfahani (d.270 AH) and became it's
founding father in it's developed form .
He was opposed by many scholars of his time in Cordoba and Valencia. Some
of his books were publicly burned as a mark of punishment by the command
of al-Mu'tamid ibn Abbas in Seville.
During the brief period he spend in Almeira he engaged in active debates
with Jews and Christians, and was very much involved in the study of other
However even his enemies and critics acknowledged that his learning
was vast and deep.