“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
- John Green
Reading is good for us, really good for us. It helps us form ideas and makes us better able to understand things. On our bookshelf you will find our most-enjoyed books and others on my reading list.
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Every Muslim should own a Quran, or several. It’s important to learn to read and understand it in Arabic, but until that’s possible reading it in your own language to have some understanding of what Allah revealed is necessary. Below are links to a colour-coded Qur’an to help with recitation with tajweed rules, and two copies of my favourite English translation, written in paragraphs for ease of reading and understanding.
Seerah means biography, and is generally used to mean the stories and information about the life of our Prophet, may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him. Why should we learn seerah? Learning seerah means learning Islamic history, our history- as Muslims. There is so much to learn from the lives of the Prophet, may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him, and the early Muslims.
Muhammad, Messenger of Allah: Ash-Shifa of Qadi ‘Iyad – Translated by Aisha Bewley
Bilal Al-Habashi, An Exemplar of Patience and Devotion by Hilal Kara and Abdullah Kara. Read my review of this book here.
Fiqh is translated as Islamic jurisprudence and basically means the how-to’s of Islam, it’s how to implement Islamic knowledge into practice. Often Muslims wonder ‘What fiqh should I follow?’ and it’s important to acknowledge that following any of the four madahib (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, Hanbali) is sound even where there are conflicting fiqh positions. In short, each madahib uses varying principles of fiqh to reach Islamic rulings, hence the differences. Which madhab should you follow? Ideally, follow what is most accessible for you to learn- what classes and courses are available in your area? It doesn’t make much sense to choose to follow the Maliki madhab if you have no Maliki teachers around you. Below are some Hanafi and Shafi’i fiqh books translated into English.
The Mukhtasar Al-Quduri (Hanafi) – Translated by Tahir Mahmood Kiani
The Epistle on Legal Theory: A Translation of Al-Shafi’i’s Risalah
The Beginner’s Book of Salah (Hanafi). Read my posts about salah here and here
Aqeedah translates as creed and means a belief system. Within Islam, there are different creeds and positions about belief and the nature of Allah and other issues. One can’t say that just because someone has a different aqeedah this takes away from their Islam, or deems them not Muslim, but it’s important to learn about the basics of aqeedah and be able to differentiate between different belief systems in order to truly establish your own.
GENERAL ISLAMIC BOOKS
Here’s a list of uplifting and informative Islamic books. These books conclude my list of recommended books for Muslims, but keep scrolling for more suggested good reads and some extras in my reading list.
Reclaim Your Heart by Yasmin Mogahed
Gift For Muslims: Basic Essentials for Every Muslim
The Most Beautiful Names of Allah by Samira Fayyad Khawaldeh
Inner Dimensions of Islamic Worship by Imam Ghazali
Prejudice Bones In My Body by Umm Zakiyyah
Rescued From The Fire by Abdullah Nazir Uhuru. Read my reflections on this book here
OTHER GOOD READS
I’ve only ever read one fiction book in my adult life, so you wont find any recommendations for fiction here (sorry if that’s your thing!) But below are some thought-provoking reads about significant people and events in history, plus some motivational books.
Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala
My Life – Fidel Castro with Ignacio Ramonet, translated by Andrew Hurley
The Motorcycle Daries – Ernesto “Che” Guevera
Revolutionary Suicide by Huey P. Newton
The Illegal War On Libya by Cynthia Mckinne
Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey