The Night Journey; Verse 23 - سورة الإسراء
بِسْمِ ٱللّٰهِ ٱلرَّحْمٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا 
تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Merciful, 
“For your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And honour your parents. If one or both of them reach old age in your care, never say to them ˹even˺ ‘ugh,’ nor yell at them. Rather, address them respectfully.”

This book is dedicated to my late Mum, Khadijah, and Dad, Yousif (May their souls rest in eternal peace), for their tireless days and nights supporting me during challenging times amid the Lebanese civil war and throughout my life. 

In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful* Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds* The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful* Master of the Day of Judgment* It is You we worship, and upon You we call for help* Guide us to the straight path* The path of those You have blessed, not of those against whom there is anger, nor of those who are misguided* 
The Opening – Al Fatiha
بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِیمِ ۝١ ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِینَ ۝٢ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِیمِ ۝٣ مَـٰلِكِ یَوۡمِ ٱلدِّینِ ۝٤ إِیَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ وَإِیَّاكَ نَسۡتَعِینُ ۝٥ ٱهۡدِنَا ٱلصِّرَ ٰ⁠طَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِیمَ ۝٦ صِرَ ٰ⁠طَ ٱلَّذِینَ أَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَیۡهِمۡ غَیۡرِ ٱلۡمَغۡضُوبِ عَلَیۡهِمۡ وَلَا ٱلضَّاۤلِّینَ ۝٧
سورة الْفَاتِحَة

In addition, I am thankful for their investment in our education and for giving us the opportunity of having private education for my siblings, Nazmieh, Rola, Nabil and me, despite their loss of savings and home. Finally, I am grateful to my mother, her care, prayers, and sleepless nights, and to my late Dad for his resilience, values, and strength that shaped my personality. 

I am in debt to my lovely wife, my North Star Sarah. She stood by me on my roller coaster of love, life, sickness, and success. She is my sunshine. Moreover, I want to thank my sons. Yusuf, for encouraging me to share my story. Mohamad, who did a few diagrams for me. Last but not least, my storyteller, Karim, asked me tough questions and shared a smile with me.

All of that contributed to greater confidence and shaped my perspective. I am obliged to everyone who taught me something, shared an experience, or helped me improve.  

Enjoy your read. 

Yours truly,

Khalil Arouni