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About Us

How it all Began

I remember those weeks so vividly. I had officially completed a Masters degree in Ethics and Philosophy of Religion at Kings College London (KCL), so I should have been celebrating like the rest of my class, but I couldn't. To me, my Masters, my Bachelors (in Philosophy and Theology), and all my education that I have been so privileged to have lacked meaning, unless I could do something with it. So my thoughts turned to getting a "real job". My requirements? I wanted to help people, use my skills, work for the Hereafter, meet kind and God-fearing individuals, and if possible all from the comfort of my own home!
I consulted friends, family, scholars; anyone who would listen, to brainstorm ideas for what I could dedicate my

time and energy to. I sat on my prayer mat and decided to leave it to the "Best of Planners". That's when the "eureka moment" happened. A renowned scholar had asked me to transcribe his lectures and edit them into a book. I had time on my hands so I took the job on - and I loved it. I learnt so much, and my passion for publishing was born.
That September I began (another!) Masters degree, this time in Publishing at University College London (UCL). I learnt about the book industry, the publishing process and worked for several months at Saqi, a publisher specialising in academic books about the Middle East. My dissertation was a business plan for an independent Islamic publishing house - Sun Behind The Cloud Publications.

Our Aims

Directed by Tehseen Merali, Sun Behind The Cloud Publications aims to publish good quality, accurate books about Islam which inspire English-speaking Muslims in a creative and engaging fashion. Consistent themes throughout our publications include: the meaning and relevance of Islam in the modern world; how to get beyond a superficial understanding of Islam and how we can improve our religious and spiritual lives. The books for children depict Islam as way of life and aims to make children proud of being Muslim in a world where its image is so frequently distorted.

Our authors include internationally renowned scholars and lecturers, as well as first time authors who have something new and exciting to contribute.
Our long term aims include:

  • Attracting the best English-speaking authors from the Western world to write about Islam
  • To promote a culture of reading and the value of books
  • To provide for English-speaking people where there is a gap in the market.

The Inspiration Behind The Name

Sun Behind The Cloud Publications is dedicated to the Imam of our time, Imam Mahdi (May Allah (SWT) hasten his reappearance). The inspiration for its name came from this famous hadith:

For more information about the deep meaning of this hadith, please see Al-'Allama al-Majl isi's thoughts on the hadith literature. This article is translated by Brother Afzal Sumar. We ask that you pray for the safe return of the Imam and that Sun Behind The Cloud Publications may endeavour to be of service to him.

For Authors

The publishing process can appear daunting at times, especially if this is your first time thinking about writing a book. At Sun Behind The Cloud Publications, we are committed to carefully planning and monitoring each stage of the publication process from initial conversations about ideas to seeing the book in print.

The Publication Process

1) Submit the Manuscript
You can submit a manuscript to be considered for publication by emailing us on info@sunbehindthecloud.com.
Please send a book proposal which includes a short description of the book, table of contents, the first chapter of the book and a short author biography.
2) Review
We carefully review each submission and check for quality of the work, accuracy of historical facts and whether the work fits well with other titles on our list.
3) The Meeting
Once a manuscript passes the review stage, we like to meet our authors in person, (or if this is not possible, then over virtually over Skype). This gives both parties an opportunity to discuss the work and any changes that need to be made. We can also discuss what to expect for your work from the next stages of the publication process. A timeline and launch date can also be proposed.
At this point we also discuss and sign the author contract. This is a contract between Sun Behind The Cloud and the author. Here, the author grants the publisher the rights to the book, (including the right to publish, print and distribute the book) and the publisher officially agrees to publish the book.
4) Editing
An experienced, professional copy-editor will be assigned to the book. The level of editing we request varies according to the needs of the project. It is usual for the copy editor to:
  • Correct grammar, spelling and syntax
  • Check references and bibliographies for omissions and inconsistencies of style
  • Bring any suspected errors, omissions or duplications to attention.
  • Queries will be sent to the author by the copy editor and it is the author's responsibility to supply answers by the requested deadline. All changes are then incorporated into the electronic text.
    5) Illustrations (other things to commission)
    If illustrations, maps or other diagrams need to be commission they shall be done so at this point by the publisher.
    6) Design, Layout
    Once the text and illustrations (if any) are complete, high-quality cover and interior page design is created specifically tailored to the target audience. The typeset document is produced in a programme called InDesign and your manuscript will start to look like a book!
    7) Proofreading
    The typeset manuscript is then carefully read by several proof-readers as well as the author for any final corrections.
    8) Printing
    Once revised proofs have been approved, we can then send the electronic files to the printers.
    9) Ebook Conversion
    All our books are available as ebooks on all major platforms, such as Kindle, iBookstore, Kobo, Nook and Andriod. We send the completed interior and cover files to an ebook convertor who prepares the files ready for ebook distribution. Sun Behind The Cloud work with an ebook distributor who then ensures the ebooks are distributed to hundreds of ebook providers.

    Points to consider While Writing Your Book

    1) House Style Guidelines
    A generic version is available for reference. Please email info@sunbehindthecloud.com to be sent a copy. For some, specific guidelines may also be required so please consult the editor.
    We recommend that our house style is implemented from the outset, since the task of re-editing your manuscript to comply at the last stage can be very laborious.
    2) Permissions
    Permission from the copyright owner must be obtained for any third-party materials cited that fall outside the remit of 'fair dealing' or (in the US) 'fair use' conventions. For information on the interpretation of fair dealing in UK law, please consult the Society of Authors website.
    If you have translated a text, Sun Behind The Cloud will require written proof from the original author (or his/her estate) to publish the work.

    Contact us

    If you have an Islamic bookshop, website or are interested in selling any of Sun Behind The Cloud's books, we would love to hear from you. Please also contact us with any questions or queries, or to enquire about a discount on a large order.

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