10 Must-Reads For Your “I Want To Learn More About Islam” Friend

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Being Muslim by Dr. Asad Tarsin

Asad-List-edit1A highly anticipated soon-to-be-released book that is sure to make waves. It comes highly recommended by Imam Zaid ShakirShaykh Hamza Yusuf, Dr Ingrid Mattson, Ustadh Usama Canon, Aftab Malik, and more.

“It’s purpose is to give readers practical and useful knowledge that can help them understand what it means to be Muslim. Whether you are completely new to the religion or need to brush up on some of the basics, Being Muslim is an excellent guide to reconnect to the most essential aspects of Islam. The entire manual clearly explains the most fundamental aspects of the faith and assumes no background knowledge at all.”  Being Muslim is currently running a Tilt campaign – if you’re in the USA, go ahead and pre-order to be the first to get your hands on it!


Islam and the Destiny of Man by Gai Eaton


Gai Eaton lends his almost poetic writing style to explore the meaning of being a Muslim in a modern context. Raised as an agnostic and converting to Islam, alongside his understanding of world religions, lends his book a depth of meaning that many can relate to.

His book covers many topics including: the differences between the three monotheistic faiths, the basis of a Muslim’s faith, the significance of the Quran, the story of the Prophet Muhammad’s life, destiny, the social structure of Islam, the role of art and mysticism, and the hereafter.

Pick up a copy from Book Depository.


Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources by Dr. Martin Lings


What better way to learn about Islam than by exploring the life of the man who brought its message to the world? This one is neatly organised into short chapters that chronologically cover significant events in the life of the Prophet.

You can get it from here.


Muhammad: A Prophet For Our Time by Karen Armstrong


An alternative to Lings’ book is the offering by Karen Armstrong who writes from the perspective of a non-Muslim intellectual. Her book is a very accessible read and easy to get into. It also provides historical context to the life of the Prophet.

Pick up a copy from here.


The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson


Wilson shares her real-life story about how she came to convert to Islam along with insights into Islamic practice and thought that stay with you long after you’ve read it. She writes with sensitivity and honesty about being a White American in Egypt, which enables the reader to view a largely Muslim country from beneath the common stereotypes. A part spiritual journey, part love story, that is more than just a memoir and definitely worth your time.

Get it from here.


Islam: Religion of Life by Abdul Wadod Shalabi, edited by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

Wadod-Shalabi-list-edit1A brief and powerful introduction to all things Islam, with a focus on the spiritual core of the religion. Dr Abdul Wadod Shalabi combines his knowledge from traditional religious training at al-Azhar University and Western education from the University of Cambridge (where he received his doctorate), to deftly handle the weight of communicating the essence of the religion in only 96 pages.

Available at Book Depository.


The Essential Koran and The Wisdom of the Prophet by Thomas Cleary


Thomas Cleary’s books come highly recommended by most people who have read them, and have also been recommended by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf in the past.

The Essential Quran is a great intro to the Quran with an easy-to-follow English translation. Keep in mind that it doesn’t cover the whole Quran, but is a selection of the “essential” parts that convey the spirit of the Islamic faith.

The Wisdom of the Prophet is an excellent collection of the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), providing spiritual and everyday guidance. Translated by Cleary himself, the hadith are made easy to comprehend. A concise book that conveys the spirit of Islamic teachings and practice as embodied by the Prophet.


The Perfect Gentleman by Imran Ahmad

Imran-Ahmad-list-edit1Another memoir that is more than just a memoir. Ahmad writes from the perspective of a born-into-Islam Muslim who grapples with all the questions that pretty much everyone has asked at some stage such as, “What does God do exactly? Do you automatically go to Hell for following the wrong religion? Can you maintain a James Bond persona without the vodka, cigarettes and women – even whilst your parents are trying to arrange your marriage?”

He serves up compelling analyses of serious issues in a deceptively simple way while being engaging, honest, and funny.

Be sure to check it out here.


Signs on the Horizon: Meetings With Men of Knowledge and Illumination by Michael Sugich


Ever wanted to learn more about the spiritual leaders of Islam? Sugich’s book gives insights into the lives of some of the greatest contemporary Muslim spiritual masters by sharing anecdotes from his meetings with them.

Get it from here


Even Angels Ask: A Journey to Islam in America by Dr. Jeffrey Lang

Jeff-Lang-List-edit1Dr Lang shares more than just his personal experiences of embracing Islam, he looks at various Islamic beliefs in depth and addresses fundamental questions that many Muslims and non-Muslims have about the faith.

Get it here.


It’s Not Easy Being Green by Jim Henson

Jim-Henson-List-edit1And here’s one just to shake things up a bit! A collection of wise words, funny stories, and inspiring quotes for whenever you need a boost of positivity.

Available here.


The original version of this article was written by Subhi Bora and first published on Creative Ummah.

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