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Acknowledgements

Dedicated to

The sun hidden behind the clouds

وَقُلْ جَآءَ الْحَقُّ وَزَهَقَ الْبَاطِلُ ۚ إِنَّ الْبَاطِلَ كَانَ زَهُوقًا

And say: The truth has come and the falsehood has vanished; surely falsehood is a vanishing (thing). (Qur’an, Surah al-Israʾ,17: 81)

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بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

All praise belongs to “God! There is no god but He - the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting, Eternal” and “He is the Most High, the Great.” (Quran, Surah al-Baqarah, 2:255)

Peace and blessings be upon His servant Muhammad (S) and his purified progeny as God says in the Qur’an, “Surely God and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who believe! Call for (Divine) blessings on him and salute him with a (becoming) salutation.”(Quran, Surah al-Ahzab, 33:56)

This book was written over a period of fourteen months, but it took me forty years to be able to write it. I must acknowledge some of those who enabled me to pen this book.

Foremost in my acknowledgment is my mother, for she taught me everything I know, and my father who is the root of any goodness in me, and just as God says:

وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُلْ رَبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا

And make yourself submissively gentle to them (your parents) with compassion, and say: ‘O my Lord! Have compassion on them, as they brought me up (when I was) little.’ (Quran, Surah al-Israʾ, 17:24).

Then I must acknowledge my brothers, for they are my protection and shield, and my sister for she is my constant support and guide.

Then I need to acknowledge my wife, for she accepted me when others rejected me, and just as God says in the Qur’an:

وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُمْ مَوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

And one of His signs is that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest in them, and He put between you love and compassion; most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect.( Quran, Surah al-Rum, 30:21).

Then the light of our eyes, our sons Husayn (‘a) and Ali (‘a), I hope they will one day read this book and improve it further, and as God says:

وَإِذْ قَالَ لُقْمَانُ لِابْنِهِ وَهُوَ يَعِظُهُ يَا بُنَيَّ لَا تُشْرِكْ بِاللّٰهِ ۖ إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ

And when Luqman said to his son while he admonished him: ‘O my son! Do not associate anything with God; most surely polytheism is a grievous iniquity.’ (Quran, Surah Luqman, 31:13).

Then I must acknowledge and thank Dr. Sulaiman Darrat, who though an engineer by training, has profound knowledge of classical Arabic. We regularly met on Sunday mornings for many months to discuss the grammar rules of classical Arabic.

I also want to acknowledge and thank Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, one of the most senior and respected clerics in North America for writing the Foreword of this book.

I also wish to thank the young author, Sunny Morraine and my post-doc Dr. Faisal Shaukat Ali who read the entire manuscript and gave valuable feedback.

Special thanks also go to Saleem Bhimji and Arifa Hudda from the Islamic Publishing House for their editorial services, and publishing this book with a beautiful book cover. Special thanks also to Maulana Farhat Abbas at Islamic Education Center, Houston, for giving lectures in Islamic philosophy.

I also wish to thank Café Yasmeen in Houston where I spent many evenings writing and editing the manuscript.

Lastly, I cannot begin to express my gratitude towards my teacher and mentor, Dr. Mansour Leghaei, for developing a wonderful online course in Islamic theology, philosophy and mysticism (www.ehawza.com), ideal for people like myself. This book could not have been possible without this course. I hope to meet him in person one day.

Syed Hasan Raza Jafri