In this work, the transliteration of Arabic words and phrases are given in italics and are transcribed with certain diacritical marks in order to aid the correct pronunciation for the English-speaking readers.
The macron, which is a diacritical mark placed over a vowel, is used to indicate that the vowel is long, as in the words Qur’ān and sūrah. Moreover, the diacritics for the hamza (’) and the ‘ayn (‘) are used in the transliteration of Arabic words and expressions. The symbols representing the hamza, which is the sign used in Arabic orthography representing a glottal stop, and the ‘ayn are similar. Therefore, the readers should be aware that the hamza is shown by an apostrophe (’), as in the expressions mu’min and wudū’, and the ‘ayn by a single opening quotation mark (‘), as in the expressions ‘Umar, ‘adl, and A‘ūdhu-Basmala in this book.
All the transliterated words are italicized except the Arabic proper nouns—including the names of the Qur’anic chapters—as well as the angli-cized forms of words used for the names of persons or places. In addition, a transliterated term that is used throughout this work is italicized only on its first occurrence, as in hadīth.
In this work, we have followed English capitalization rules for transliterated words and, therefore, capitalized proper names and major terms but not the Arabic articles, prefixes, prepositions, or conjunctions, except when it is the first word of a sentence or a footnote. Moreover, apos-trophes and hyphens are employed after articles, prepositions, and con-junctions. For instance, the hyphen is used after the Arabic definite article al, as in al-Musnad, and the apostrophe is used after the conjunction of wa, as in al-Bidāya wa’n-Nihāya.
In addition, for the convenience of the non-Arabic readers, the un-pronounced sound of “l” in the Arabic definite article al is removed in all transliterations and assimilated into the consonants d, n, r, s, sh, t, th, and z (which are known by the name of al-hurūfu’sh-shamsiyyah) when it is joined to a noun beginning with any one of these consonants, as in “Sūratu’d-Duhā”, “Sūratu’n-Nūr” and “Sūratu’r-Rūm.” Also, when any of the Arabic prefixes, prepositions, or conjunctions (such as wa, bi, li, la) is followed by the definite article al, the “a” in al is elided, forming a contraction rendered as wa’l-, bi’l-, li’l-, and la’l-. Ex. “al-amr bi’l-ma‘rūf wa’n-nahy ‘ani’l-munkar.”
Finally, the English interpretations of the Qur’anic verses are given in italics, followed by the references to the related verses given in parentheses with the sūrah and āyah number that follow the name of the Qur’anic chapter, as in (Al-Fātihah 1:5). All the interpretations of the verses in this work are quoted from Ali Unal’s “The Qur’ān with Annotated Interpretation in Modern English.” In addition, references to the hadīth literature are given with the italicized name of the collection in which it is to be found; therefore, Bukhārī, for instance, indicates that the hadīth is in the collection put together by al-Bukhārī. In this work, the word hadīth, when not capitalized, refers to a single, specific hadīth of the Prophet while the Hadīth, which is identical to the concept of Sunnah, refers to the collection of the Prophet’s words, and actions, as well as the actions that he approved of in others.