First and foremost, I acknowledge the blessings of God Almighty in my life. I hope He accepts every humble deed I have done and forgives all my sins, faults and shortcomings.
As with many other projects, my wife Elizabeth, my daughters Carmen and Nadia, my sons Samir and Hassan, my daughter-in-law Amal, and son-in-law Peter have been generous in their unfailing support, for which I am deeply grateful.
My late mother, a woman of amazing faith and perseverance, continues to be my lifelong inspiration.
My teacher and spiritual guide, while we never met in this life, has been Imam Abu Hamid Muhammad al- Ghazali (1058-1111 AD). I admire his writings greatly, for he is one of the best Muslim scholars to introduce Islam to Westerners. His book, Jawaher al-Qur’an (or, The Jewels of the Qur’an), in which he chose significant verses from throughout the Qur’an as a means of guiding readers toward God’s blessings, was my motivation to write this book.
I would like also to express great appreciation to my University of Waterloo colleague, Professor Judith Miller, for her valuable comments and excellent suggestions. Many thanks are due to my copy editor, Pauline Finch, who did an excellent job with great interest, and to Debbie Loney, who patiently typed many drafts of this book. Hesham Sabry’s comments are most appreciated. As well, I found the supportive staff at Pandora Press most helpful.