All praise is for Allah, the Almighty, and may He send peace and blessings on Muhammad, on his family, and on his Companions. It is my sincere hope that readers will benefit from this book. Before reading it, you might - after only a perfunctory glance - pass some kind of judgment, but let sound logic and precepts taken from revelation arbitrate that judgment. Also, bear in mind that it is indeed a culpable offence for one to judge a work before having tasted it or at least hearing what it is about. So here I present to you a synopsis of this book.
I wrote this book for anyone who is living through pain and grief or who has been afflicted with a hardship, a hardship that results in sadness and restless nights. For the cure, I have filled the pages of this book with dosages taken from various sources - the Qur'an, the Sunnah, poetry, poignant anecdotes, parables, and true stories.
This book says the following: Rejoice and be happy; remain positive and at peace. Indeed it says this as well: Live life as it should be lived - wholesomely, happily, and productively. This book diagnoses those mistakes we make that go against the intrinsic logic that we - as human beings - have been endowed with (but which we are made to forget when we do not follow correct guidance), whether those mistakes are in our thinking or in our dealings.
This book forbids you from persisting in ways that are in conflict with the realities of life and with what Allah, the Exalted, has preordained. It calls you not from without, but from within, from what your soul already knows - that you should trust your talents, that you should develop them, that you should forget the troubles and vicissitudes of life, while concentrating on the positive and on the good destination that a positive attitude leads to.
There are some important issues regarding this book that I now want to clarify:
- A reminder of Allah's mercy and forgiveness, sincere faith in Him, belief in preordainment and decree, a life that is lived within the boundaries of today, and a reminder of Allah`s countless favors - these are some of the more important themes of this book.
- With its ideas and cures, this book strives to help banish worry, sadness, grief sense of failure, and hopelessness.
- I gleaned whatever found to be pertinent to the topic of the book from these sources: Verses of the Qur'an, sayings of the Prophet (Blessings and Peace be upon him), stories, parables, poems, and sayings of the wise. This book is no mere sermon, idle exercise in thought, or invitation to a political ideology. Rather, this book is an earnest invitation to your happiness.
- This book is not only for Muslims; rather, it is suitable for all readers. While writing it, I took into consideration feelings and emotions that are common to everyone. Nevertheless, I wrote it based on the true Religion (whether we deviate from it or not) that is intrinsic to us all.
- You will find sayings of Eastern and Western writers and philosophers. I do not think that I should be held blameworthy because of that, for wisdom is the goal of every believer; wherever he finds, he is most deserving of it.
- I did not add any footnotes to the book, thus making it easier for the reader to peruse without interruption. The source of a quote is mentioned within the text of the book.
- Imitating those before me (i.e. Islamic writers from centuries ago), I did not mention page or volume numbers of sources, deeming that to be more beneficial for this particular book. Sometimes I directly quoted a passage; other times I summarized its main idea.
- I did not organize this book according to chapters; rather, I varied the content, inserting topics that may not be directly related to the ones before or after. I moved quickly from one topic to another, sometimes returning to a previous topic in order to make the perusal of this book more enjoyable.
- I did not mention the numbers of verses, nor did I mention the sources for the Prophet's sayings. If a hadith is weak, l pointed that out. If it is authentic or hasan, I either pointed that out or said nothing. All of this I have done for the purpose of concision.
I0. The reader will notice that some meanings and topics are repeated (though in varying style) throughout the book. This I have done on purpose, so that a given meaning may attach itself to the reader's mind through repetition. Whoever reflects on how recurring themes are found in the Qur’an should appreciate the benefits of following this methodology.
These are ten points to keep in mind while you are reading this book. I do hope, though, that you will be just in your judgment and that your bias will be toward true and correct knowledge. Finally, this book is not written for a specific group of people; rather, it is for anyone who wants to live a happy life.
'Alaidh ibn 'Abdullah al-Qarnee