This treatise has been written with the sincere motive of promoting goodwill between Muslims and non-Muslims; and, therefore, I have tried to avoid all controversial questions. I hope I have succeeded in not saying a word that will offend anyone. If I have failed in this, I have failed in my object. The world is striving after peace; but, unless there is greater understanding among the followers of different religions, there is very little hope of success. I have endeavored to show that Islam is not the bogey which popular imagination would make it; on the other hand, it lays down canons which are worthy of the consideration of every lover of peace. This book is intended both for the Muslim and the non-Muslim- because both are equally liable to misunderstand the true message of Islam: the former owing to too much zeal for his faith, and the latter on account of the gross ignorance which prevails about Muhammad’s (, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) simple and beautiful message.
I have tried to limit myself in quotations to the verses of the Qur’aan and the most authentic sayings of the Prophet (, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and have not brought in anything which would be doubted or contradicted by any thoughtful Muslim. Of course, I could not, within the very limited space at my command, exhaust all the relevant verses of the Qur’aan- or, much less, the traditions of the Prophet (, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)- upon any one topic. A much bigger book could be written upon this subject; but I had to cater for the man in the street who has very little time at his disposal and cannot be expected to read much on a subject like this, which, though important, interesing and useful, is not popular. I would refer those who want to pursue the subject any further to those two great sources of all Islamic learning and theology- the Qur’aan and the traditions of the Prophet (, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
One word I would say to my non-Muslim readers: The path to appreciating the true beauties of any great religion lies through an earnest desire to understand it, not through cavil or prejudice. It is a pity that we can be dispassionate about almost everything but religion and politics- two aspects of human life where passion is the least helpful. One may appreciate the beauties of another’s religion without giving up ones own, and, I hope, I do not ask for too much when I ask for this.
I. H. Qureshi
16th December, 1928