Ibn Paquda BaḤya, a Jewish ethical writer who flourished at Saragossa in the 11th century. In 1040 he wrote in Arabic a treatise, Duties of the Heart. This book was one of the most significant and influential Jewish works of the middle ages. Baḥya portrays an intensely spiritual conception of religion, and rises at times to great heights of impassioned mysticism.
The Law, in the rabbinical sense, was reverenced by Baḥya, and he converted it into part and parcel of the Jew's inner life. The book is divided into ten parts: - the Unity of God; Contemplation; Worship; Trust; Consecration; Humility; Repentance; Self-Examination; the Ascetic Life; the Love of God. Some selections from Baḥya's work have been rendered into English by E. Collins.