The inspiration for writing this book originated in a Qur’anic study group which at present does not exist. There is no doubt that many of the thoughts included in the book came from people in the study group, and without their help and understanding it would not have been possible to write this book. A few of them also provided additional help through valuable suggestions on the very first draft, and for this I am truly grateful.

I am indebted to many authors, from whose writings I have taken quotations and without whom my sources of knowledge and understanding would have been far more restricted. All quotations are identified by superscripts and referenced at the end of the chapter.

I must offer my sincere thanks and deep appreciation particularly to one of my close friends and relatives who wants to remain anonymous. He has provided most of my sources and many valuable suggestions and comments, all of which I have found extremely useful. I owe him much.

To my wife I am indebted beyond words. She has spent many days and hours in editing the first two editions, and throughout my work she has provided valuable suggestions and much useful assistance.

With regard to this third edition, I count this as a great blessing from Allah, as the stimulus and the help came suddenly and unexpectedly. It so happened that one Mr. Sam Gerrans, who as a Muslim and a linguist, liked the book and offered to edit the book voluntarily. He spent numerous hours editing the text, and provided valuable suggestions most of which I have adopted. He then kindly re-checked the revised text and the result is this third edition which could not have been realised without his effort and dedication. I do not think that I can thank him enough, but I am sincerely and deeply grateful to him for all his contribution.

With this new edition I have managed to revise certain chapters, particularly chapter 8, 10, 11, 18 and the Appendix. I have also included two reviews of the 2nd edition of the book.