I was born in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1961. I married Shetha Al-Dargazelli in 1991. Shetha and I have been living in our adopted home, the UK, since August 1992.
I obtained a BSc in Physics from the College of Sciences, University of Baghdad, in 1984. I received a PhD in Astronomy from the Physics Department, Durham University, in 1998. The title of my thesis was “First Visibility of the Lunar Crescent and Other Problems in Historical Astronomy.”
I worked in IT publishing from 1999-2014. I co-founded Packt Publishing in 2003 and worked as its Operations Director until August 2014. I currently run an editorial services company, Safis Editing, that provides copy editing and proofreading services.
I converted from Christianity to Islam in my early twenties. I have been particularly interested in studying the Qur’an. For more details about how I developed interest in Islam, see the Preface to my book about the historical Jesus.
I have published over 15 books in Arabic and English. Subjects that I am interested it in include:
- Historical accounts in the Qur’an and their counterparts in the Bible, other Jewish and Christian writings, and historical sources
- Interpretation and history of the Qur’an
- Sufism and spirituality in Islam.
Below is a list of my most recent books in the English language:
I) Authored Books
9) The First and Last Revelations of the Qur’an. (2014) (Re-published in Malaysia by IBT in 2014)
8) Abrogation in the Qur’an and Islamic Law: A Critical Study of the Concept of “Naskh” and its Impact. (2012) (Re-published in Malaysia by IBT in 2013)
6) Jihad in the Qur’an: The Truth from the Source (third edition). (2009) (first edition 2004)
3) The Mystery of Israel in Ancient Egypt: The Exodus in the Qur’an, the Old Testament, Archaeological Finds, and Historical Sources. (With Shetha Al-Dargazelli) (2008) (Complete rewriting and updating of “History Testifies to the Infallibility of the Qur’an,” 1998)
2) The Mystery of the Historical Jesus: The Messiah in the Qur’an, the Bible, and Historical Sources. (2007) (Re-published in Malaysia by IBT in 2009)
1) The Prophet Joseph in the Qur’an, the Bible, and History: A new detailed commentary on the Qur’anic Chapter of Joseph. (2005) (Re-published in 2007)
II) Edited Books
2) Fifteen Letters (Khamsata ‘Ashara Maktuban). (2014)
1) Purification of the Mind (Jila’ Al-Khatir) (second edition). (2008) (first edition 1998) (With Shetha Al-Dargazelli)
I have published over forty scientific and general articles in Arabic and English. They include 16 scientific papers on astronomy and another 6 on the Islamic calendar. I have also written several technical papers and general articles about psychology, parapsychology, Sufism, and other topics.