on March 6, 2003
Kitab al-Tawhid wa al-Tawakkul is a significant part of al-Ghazali's Ihya Ulum al-Din, so I purchased it the first time I saw its translation. Unfortunately, it is my humble opinion that the translation is a little disappointing in that it is hardly acceptable by scholarly standards, which does not allow the reader to enjoy what the author has to say about the subject matter of the book. In many places, the meanings of the original Arabic statements were not reflected in the English interpretation at all, and this seems to have led the translator to be too liberal at times in interpreting those statements. The English rendition of certain crucial statements appear to be far-fetched interpretations and hardly make sense, at least to me. I do not think al-Ghazali actually says, in many places, what the translator claims he says. Readers who do not know Arabic to check the Arabic original must be very careful and cautious in reading it. I am just wondering if the Arabic-knowing people listed in the acknowledgments have really read and checked the translation at all. This work seems to be the result of a perfunctory effort and needs a total revision. It is just not fair to al-Ghazali, nor to the reader.