"Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya on Knowledge: from Key to the Blissful Abode (Miftah Dar al-Sa`ada)" is an abridgement of the first volume of "Key to the Blissful Abode", a popular title by the renowned theologian and jurist Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya. In it, Ibn al-Qayyim focuses on the importance of knowledge and willpower, as means through which a person may attain Paradise. Willpower is the door and knowledge-in particular, knowledge which pertains to God and His Attributes, the Qur'an and the example of the Prophet-is the key. Ibn al-Qayyim discusses the virtues and benefits of knowledge over wealth and worldly matters; the path to knowledge; the importance of pursuing knowledge and applying it to gain guidance from God and protect oneself from doubts; the superiority of the scholar over the worshipper; the necessity of using knowledge and willpower as the bases for all actions if one is to achieve spiritual bliss. Ibn al-Qayyim then concludes "Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya on Knowledge: from Key to the Blissful Abode", by discussing the importance of contemplation and reflection in order to attain further knowledge and guidance.
Born in 1292 near Damascus, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya obtained a classical Islamic education, specialised in jurisprudence and became a renowned theologian and jurist. In 1312, he met the Hanbalite reformer Ibn Taymiyya and remained his disciple until the latter's death in 1327. Ibn al-Qayyim died in 1350 in Damascus. Among his other works translated by the Islamic Texts Society are "Medicine of the Prophet", "Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya on the Invocation of God" and "Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya on Divine Wisdom and the Problem of Evil".
Acknowledgements---Translator's Introduction---Prologue---Chapter One: Attesting to God's Oneness is One of the Greatest Benefits of Being Knowledgeable---Chapter Two: The Importance of Having Knowledge of the Qur'an, the Sunna and Wisdom, and then Teaching them---Chapter Three: The Superiority of the Scholar over the Worshipper and that the Former are the True Heirs of the Prophets---Chapter Four: The Most Eminent Types of Knowledge are Those which Concern God, his Names and his Attributes---Chapter Five: An Exposition on the Question: Does Knowledge Inevitably Lead to Guidance or is Ignorance the Only Reason that Many Do not Become Believers?---Chapter Six: Knowledge Leads to Spiritual Bliss and Elevates One's Rank---Chapter Seven: Knowledge Allows One to Protect Oneself from Doubts, Temptations and Evil---Chapter Eight: The Superiority of Knowledge over Waging Battle for His Sake and over Supererogatory Deeds---Chapter Nine: An Exposition of a Tradition by Ali Discussing the Characteristics of the True Scholars and Students of Knowledge---Chapter Ten: Knowledge is Essential to Attaining Certainty and to Calling to God---Chapter Eleven: God Commended Muhammad, Abraham, the Messiah and many other Prophets due to their Knowledge---Chapter Twelve: The Importance of Contemplation and Reflection---Bibliography---Index