PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION
This book was first conceived in response to certain urgent needs of both Muslim and non-Muslim readers in North America. It was prepared under pressures of different sorts and degrees. As a result, many essential and desirable features were, of necessity, left out. But in spite of that, the book was well received and proved to be helpful, thank God. الحمد لله
The encouraging, appreciative comments of the readers, the genuine interest of many Muslim groups, the active support of Islamic centers and the continued need for this kind of service have made it morally necessary to keep the book available for wide circulation. Thus the need arose for revised edition.
And once again, an effort is made in response to this moral necessity. The goal of the revision is essentially to achieve greater clarity of ideas and more simplicity of expression. The basic approach and contents of the first edition will remain the same. Addition and deletion of any material will be minimal. One deeply regrets the fact that time does not allow us a more elaborate revision to make full use of the new experiences and the valuable suggestions of many concerned readers. However, it is still a great source of joy that the book will be in circulation to continue the initial service to Islam, the Muslims, and all truth seekers of whatever persuasions.
If this modest effort is successful, it is by God’s grace and guidance. But if it falls short of the readers’ expectations, we can only pray and hope that God will forgive our imperfect judgements.
قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ إِذْ قَالُوا لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَآءُ مِنْكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ كَفَرْنَا بِكُمْ وَبَدَا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةُ وَالْبَغْضَاءُ أَبَدًا حَتَّىٰ تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ إِلَّا قَوْلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ لِأَبِيهِ لَأَسْتَغْفِرَنَّ لَكَ وَمَا أَمْلِكُ لَكَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ ۖ رَبَّنَا عَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ
Our Lords! In You only do we trust; upon You alone do we depend; unto You we turn in repentance; and with You rests our ultimate destination. (Qur’an,60 :4)