History, for many young people, is a boring list of names, dates and events. Our history, the history of Din al-Haqq al-Islam (Islam, the religion of the Truth) and the peoples of Dar al-Islam (The homeland of Islam), is anything but boring! This is a book full of the astonishing triumphs of Muslims from the Islamic Empire stretching from the Atlantic shores of Morocco, to the distant beaches of the South China Sea. What united these far-flung regions was Islam: the belief in one deity, Allah, and in the Prophet-hood of Muhammad (S).
In the Arab world, a father or a mother can be informally identified as Abu 'Ali ("the father of `Ali") or `Umm Maryam ("the mother of Maryam"), after the birth of their first son or daughter. Each child, in turn, can be given a nickname of sorts identifying him or her as "son of" (ibn) or "daughter of" (bint) so-and-so. Therefore, Abdul Haqq bin Luqman and Maryam bint Luqman would mean "Abdul Haqq, son of Luqman" and "Maryam, daughter of Luqman" respectively.
This book is an introduction to the amazing lives of a number of Muslims. Each of the twelve Muslims honored here is an ibn (son), and is, therefore, remembered by the name of his father; each was an achiever whose patience, intelligence, motivation and Islamic faith resulted in contributions that have benefited not only Muslims, but all of mankind.
Insha'Allah, the stories of these Abna 'Al-Islam, or "sons of Islam", will inspire all young Muslims who read them. May each reader of this book, like the twelve Islamic superstars it introduces, always be, a son of sirat al-mustaqeem, a son of the True Path.
To you all, my warmest salaams. Luqman Nagy King Fand University Dhahran, Saudi Arabia March 2007