If the concept of divine unity dominates the mind, it is the principle of divine compassion that rules the heart in Islam. Contrary to the harsh stereotypes of Islam-fostered both by fanatics within the religion itself, and by biased critics-the culture of this religion is steeped in the ambience generated by mercy and compassion, expressions of divine love. This spiritual culture issues from heartfelt conviction that God is to be taken absolutely seriously when he declares in the seventh chapter of the Koran, "My mercy encompasses all."
Drawn from his own translations of the text, scholar and author Reza Shah-Kazemi has selected key verses from the Koran which manifest the various facets of this mercy, a mercy which bestows profound peace and infinite love. In the spirit of Blessed Are the Peacemakers
, Wendell Berry's collection of quotations from the Bible, here is a book to help us illuminate an immensely influential text.