This page is intended for those who are interested in reading and learning further about Islam beyond the confines of this blog. The intention is to provide links to resources which can be seen as ‘essential reading’ for someone looking into Islam and what it is all about, inshaAllah. It should be easy to find some of the books listed below in public libraries and they are also available widely (and cheaply) for sale on the Internet for those without access to a local Islamic shop. Links are provided where the books/resources are available to read free online.
The page will continue to be updated with new links.
1. English Translation of the Holy Quran by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem
Muslims believe that the Quran is the word of God, the final in a series of divine revelations transmitted through chosen messengers, may Allah be pleased with them all. Although there are many English translations of the Quran out there, they vary in the quality of their translation and in their readability in English. One of the best of those available is the Oxford University Press version, translated by Abdel Haleem. Reading the Quran (or at least a translation for those who cannot access the original Arabic text) is a must for anyone wanting to learn about Islam and its message; who better to refer to than the author of religion and life itself, the Master of the Heavens and the Earth and everything in between them!
Available to read online here . Simply select a chapter and verse number and then choose the Abdel Haleem translation from the translations listed on the page you are directed to.
2. Biography of Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم by Martin Lings
Although the word ‘seerah’ in Arabic has the linguistic meaning of biography generally, the term is so closely associated with the life of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم that whenever the word is heard it is immediately understand as referring to the life of the last Prophet of Allah. The life of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم is a key source in being able to understand the context of many ayaat of the Quran, an invaluable record of the early history of Islam and a treasure trove of lessons for Muslims and non-Muslims alike to learn from the best of creation, Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم . There are many English versions of the seerah available and Martin Lings’ effort is up there with some of the best.
3. Stories of the Prophets by Ibn Kathir
The message of Islam is not a new message. The Quran is the final of Allah’s many revelations sent to mankind, with belief in tawheed being at its core. Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم was descended from the father of prophets, Prophet Ibraheem [Abraham], may Allah be pleased with him. In this detailed volume the Muslim scholar and historian Ibn Kathir charts the history of Prophethood from the first man and prophet created, Adam, to Eesa [Jesus], the last prophet to be sent before Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم . May Allah be pleased with them all. A must read to understand the similarities and differences between Islam’s account of prophetic stories and those found in the Jewish and Christian traditions.
4. The Complete Forty Hadith by Imam an-Nawawi
Compilation of forty of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم with explanatory commentary by one of the great scholars of Islam, Imam An-Nawawi, may Allah be pleased with him.
5. Islam in Focus by Hammudah Abdalati
A really excellent primer text on Islam. Chapters include the ideological foundation of Islam, basic concepts, application of faith and application of Islam to daily life.
PDF version available here.
6. The Bible, The Quran and Science by Dr Maurice Bucaille
The Quran was not sent as a textbook of science and as a result it does not give a vast and detailed exposition of every major scientific phenomenon. Yet Allah commands man to look around and reflect on the heavens and earth and everything in between in order to see the truth of His existence. To make this task easier, Allah provides examples to reflect on in the Quran, which some dub the ‘scientific miracles’ of the book. Many people have become Muslim after discovering some of these scientific truths (scientists among them!), on which there is a consensus that an Arab living over 1400 years ago could simply not have had access to. Essential reading for anyone who believes science and faith are incompatible- the Quran makes clear it is very much the opposite!
PDF version available here.