The Alchemy of Happiness

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The Alchemy of Happiness or Kimiya-yi Sa'ādat (کیمیائے سعادت) was a book written by Abū Ḥāmid Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad al-Ghazālī in early 12th century.


  • The first step to self-knowledge is to know that thou art composed of an outward shape, called the body, and an inward entity called the heart or soul. By "heart," I do not mean the piece of flesh situated in the left of our bodies, but that which uses all the other faculties as its instruments and servants. In truth, it does not belong to the visible world, but to the invisible, and has come into this world as a traveller visits a foreign country for the sake of merchandise, and will presently return to its native land. It is the knowledge of this entity and its attributes which is the key to the knowledge of God.
    • The Knowledge of Self, Chapter I, p. 21
  • Man has been truly termed a "microcosm," or little world in himself, and the structure of his body should be studied not only by those who wish to become doctors, but by those who wish to attain to a more intimate knowledge of God, just as close study of the niceties and shades of language in a great poem reveals to us more and more of the genius of its author.
    • The Knowledge of Self, Chapter I, p. 29
  • In truth, the man in this world is extremely weak and contemptible; it is only in the next that he will be of value, if by means of the "alchemy of happiness" he rises from the rank of beasts to that of angels.
    • The Knowledge of Self, Chapter I, p. 30

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