Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri was born in the Holy City of Karbala, Iraq, a descendant of five generations of well-known and revered spiritual leaders. Educated in Europe and America, Shaykh Fadhlalla obtained undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, majoring in science and engineering. As a businessman, he established several manufacturing and consulting firms in the Middle East, primarily in the oil industry.
Shaykh Fadhlalla traveled extensively, especially in India, in pursuit of the spiritual teachings of the East, before his eventual re-discovery of the pure and original Islamic heritage of his birth.
In 1979, Shaykh Fadhlalla came to the United States to establish a spiritual foundation, the Zahra Trust, to enable serious students of Islam the opportunity of acquiring its basic teachings.
The Zahra Trust currently publishes a wide variety of books through its affiliate, Zahra Publications, and has established several spiritual and medical centers in Asia, Europe and South America. The American Institute of Qur'anic Studies at Bayt-ud-Deen, the U.S. base of Zahra Trust, was inaugurated in December, 1981.
The Mercy of Qur'an and the Advent of Zaman is a commentary (tafsir) on four selected suras of the Holy Qur'an, namely: al- Ankabut, ar-Rahman, al-Waqi`a, and al-Mulk. This commentary is part of a series of discourses delivered by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri at the American Institute of Qur'anic Studies.
These four Meccan suras were chosen because of a strong interconnecting theme. Al-Ankabut is about the affliction of man for the sake of his own upbringing, so he is freed from his illusions and insecure foundations.
Ar-Rahman demonstrates the direct signs and marks of the Creator wherever one looks. Al-Waqi`a reminds one of the next life so that the pursuit of knowledge and submission to the Creator in this life becomes urgent and vital. Al-Mulk shows that if there were such things as other deities, they would all ultimately have to be under the one and only God, in Whose hand rests total harmony and control.
The commentary opens up some of the great vistas of the inner meanings of the Qur'an. While the reader is guided to the bounties of the Qur'anic message through allegorical interpretation of the Qur'anic language, he is at once shown the path of safe conduct in this world and the hereafter. The all-pervading message is of balance and mercy. The key to this attainment is self-knowledge.
The commentary explicates man's station with reference to his Creator and how the entire creation sings the song of tawhid - divine unity. It compels the reader to reflect the inter-connectedness in all facets. These four suras show the way to the knowledge of the one Creator and warn man as to his failure and injustice towards himself by not adhering to the path of love and submission.