In describing al-Wabil al-Sayyib, here translated into English for the first time as Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya on the Invocation of God, the author says, "We have mentioned [in it] nearly one hundred benefits of remembrance...This is a book of great usefulness."
Written in the fourteenth century by the renowned theologian Ibn Qayyim, this treatise movingly details the many blessings of the remembrance of God. Through discussion of the ego, the nature of the body, the ephemerality of the world, the degrees of prayer, fasting, charity, and the purification of the heart, this beautiful written work is a genuine contribution to the Muslim spirituality. What makes this work of great interest is that it illustrates the devotional and spiritual life of author and the great interest he had in spirituality. This work is a significant addition to the knowledge of this important thinker; it sheds light on an aspect of his personality that is not often recognized and helps to balance and do justice to his writing and his thought.
Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya was born in 1292 near Damascus where he obtained a classical Islamic education and specialised in jurisprudence. In 1312, he met the Hanbalite reformer Ibn Taymiyya and remained his disciple until the latter's death in 1327. Ibn al-Qayyim went on to become a renowned jurist and to write numerous books many of which remain popular to this day; he died in 1350 in Damascus. The only other work by Ibn al-Qayyim to appear in English is "Medicine of the Prophet", translated by Penelope Johnstone, and published by The Islamic Texts Society.