Recommended Reading List: Islam

I have chosen this selection from books I have read over the years.


Abdel Haleem, trans. The Qurʼan (New York: Oxford UP, 2005).

Laurence Brown, The First and Final Commandment, A search for truth in revelation within the Abrahamic religions (Amana publications, 2004).

Martin Lings, Muhammad: his biography based on the earliest sources (Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society, 1986).

Karen Armstrong, Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time, (Bravo Ltd, 2007).

Bruce Lawrence, The Qur’an: a biography (New York, 2007).

Shaykh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi, Refuting ISIS (Sacred Knowledge, 2016).

Gai Eaton, Islam and the Destiny of Man, (The Islamic Texts Society, 1997).

Hamza Yusuf, Purification of the Heart, signs, symptoms and cures of the spiritual diseases of the heart, (Starlatch Press 2004).


Muhammad Asad, The Message of the Quran (new edition, London: The Book Foundation, 2008).

Jonathan A.C. Brown, Hadith: Muhammad’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World (Oneworld Publications, 2009).    

Jonathan A.C. Brown, Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet’s Legacy (Oneworld Publications 2015).

Timothy Winter, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008).

Abdal Hakim Murad, Understanding The Four Madhhabs, (The Muslim Academic Trust, 2012). 


Shabbir Akhtar, The Quran and the Secular Mind: A Philosophy of Islam (London: Routledge, 2007).

Muhammad Hashim Kamali, Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence (Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society, 1997).

Abdal Hakim Murad, Bombing without Moonlight: the Origins of Suicidal Terrorism (Bristol: Amal Press, 2008).

Categories: Books, Hadith, History, Islam, Quran, Recommended Reading, Sufism

7 replies

  1. Ibn Tufail, Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān; The Improvement of Human Reason (circa 1120AD Al-Andalous)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 1. Toward Our Reformation: From Legalism to Value-Oriented Islamic Law and Jurisprudence
    by Mohammad Omar Farooq with preface by Usul al Fish giant- Taha Jabir Alwani

    2. Abrogation in the Qur’an and Islamic Law by Louay Fatoohi

    3.Authentication of Hadith: Redefining the Criteria (Dr. Shabir Ally spoke highly of this book)
    by Israr Ahmad Khan, a professor of Islam at the International Islamic University in Malaysia

    4. Any books by Professor Khaled About Fadl who had the highest of training from Al Azhar but then did a PhD in law in the US and became a prestigious professor of law at UCLA

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Some suggestions:

    *** Beginners: ***

    Tariq Ramadan, In the Footsteps of the Prophet. It is much more shorter than Martin Lings’ books (which I would classify as intermediate) and would thus be better as a first read.

    Muhammad Abdel-Haleem, Understanding the Qur’an: Themes and Style.

    Tahir-ul-Qadri, Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings. (available here

    Yasmen Mogahed, Reclaim your Heart.

    *** Intermediate: ***

    Ahmed al-Dawoody, The Islamic Law of War. A shorter version of al-Dawoody’s Phd thesis at the university of Birmingham, which is available here

    Muhammad Asad, The Road to Mecca.

    Muhammad al-Ghazali al-Saqqa, Fiqh-u-Seerah: Understanding The Life Of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

    Ahmed Von Denffer, ‘Ulum Al-Quran: Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur’an.

    *** Advanced: ***

    Mustafa al-A’zami, The History of the Quranic Text, from Revelation to Compilation: A Comparative Study with the Old and New Testaments.

    Muhammad Abu Zahra, The Four Imams: Their Lives, Works and Schools of Jurisprudence.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Please consider adding that new and critically acclaimed new biography of the Prophet.

    Hamza Yusuf and many say it is the best biography written.

    The title is Revelation: The Story of Muhammad (peace be upon him) and it is by Meraj Mohiudin

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yusuf Ismail from South Africa asked me to post his recommendations:

    I do think a particular important writer not mentioned and commonly overlooked is the excellent British Futurist Ziauddin Sardar who writes on a diverse number of issues.

    Two of his books from the 80’s

    · The Future of Muslim Civilisation


    · Islamic Futures:- The Shape of ideas to come

    Are compulsory reading on any shelf. Other books on an advanced level are his late 90’s Postmodernism & the Other:- A new culture of western imperialism which provides a devastating Islamic critique on Postmodernism. Other lesser known works of his can be seen such as his excellent “Distorted Imagination:-Lessons from the Rushdie affair” which not only deconstructs Rushdie but indeed much of the Orientalist enterprise.


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