18 Islamic Books For Complete Beginners: Fiction + Nonfiction
I’ve included both fiction and nonfiction books with Islamic themes, primarily from #ownvoices authors, to provide a variety of perspectives into a widespread and complex religion. Whether you’re a complete beginner when it comes to reading about Islam or you already have a lot of experience, these books are for you.
1. No God But God by Reza Aslan
Tablet and Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East is a highly readable introduction to Islam that also considers its future. Given the widespread and heterogeneous nature of the religion today, Aslan considers what an Islamic Reformation might look like.
2. The Story of Reason in Islam by Sari Nusseibeh
Nusseibeh’s book, Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life, delves into the role of reason in the early stages of Islam, describing a narrative that includes history and language but always revolves around reason.
3. Journey Into Islam by Akbar S. Ahmed
Ahmed Abdul Rauf conducted research in all three major Muslim world regions: the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia, and this book documents his findings about what people believe, how they live, and how they view the United States.
4. The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam From the Extremists by Khaled Abou El Fadl
How can one begin to answer this question when there are so many conflicting voices? El Fadl argues that Islam is going through a “transformative moment,” but such moments are never easy, he writes. Read more from the book A Search for Beauty in Islam.
5. Destiny Disrupted by Tamim Ansary
Ansary’s goal is to tell world history from a Muslim perspective, with the West appearing as a bystander at times and an antagonist at others. From the time of Muhammed to the early 2000s, the narrative is driven by the Islamic world.
6. Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think by John L. Esposito and Dalia Mogahed
This book aims to correct misinformation about Islam by accurately representing Muslim perspectives on issues such as democracy, extremism, feminism, and American opinions, as well as trends that shed light on contemporary Muslim perspectives. Also by John Esposito: What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam.
7. Radical Love: Teachings From the Islamic Mystical Tradition, Translated and edited by Omid Safi
Safi collects passages from classical Islamic texts that celebrate love, including the Qur’an, Rumi, and the writings of Muslim mystics. By the same author: Memories of Muhammed: Why the Prophet Matters.
8. Understanding the Qur’an: Themes and Style by Muhammed Abdel Haleem
Hareem is the translator of the Oxford World’s Classics edition of the Quran in English, and in Understanding the Qur’an, he discusses the themes, language, and structure of Islamic scripture, bringing these issues to bear on the practice of Islam today. Hareem is the translator of the Oxford World’s Classics edition of the Quran in English.
Memoirs and Personal Essays
Read on to learn more about Islam from the perspective of those who practice it in these memoirs and personal essays by Muslim writers, who explain some of the principles and concerns that guide their lives.
9. Muslims of the World by Sajjad Shah, Iman Mahoui, Ala Hamdan, and Yasmin Mogahed
Each story is as unique as the narrator whose photograph is included; essays are divided into topics, each of which is introduced with a brief explanation; even seemingly straightforward themes like “Hijab” encourage a variety of viewpoints.
11. American Radical by Tamer Elnoury (with Kevin Maurer).
Elnoury writes about his experiences as a Muslim and an American working on top-secret missions, as well as the inner workings of the FBI’s elite counter-terrorism unit, in this tense and fascinating book.
Fictional Islamic Books
These works of fiction aren’t necessarily about Islam, but they do familiarize readers with important aspects of the religion and its history through the use of Islamic characters and settings.
12. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
I first read this book ten years ago and continue to think about it constantly. Written by the same author as The Kite Runner and And the Mountains Echoed (both excellent), I highly recommend it to anyone interested in reading this author’s work.
13. Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea
This voyeuristic novel about the private lives of four wealthy Saudi women will keep you hooked from the first page, as an anonymous writer reveals everything in a series of scandalous emails.
What books should I read to understand Islam?
5 books to read if you want to learn more about Islam
- 1) Ingrid Mattson’s “The Story of the Qur’an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life.” 2) Karen Armstrong’s “Islam: A Short History.” 3) John L.’s “What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam.” 4) Tariq Ramadan’s “In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad.”
What book is important to Islam?
The Qur’an is a holy book that contains Allah’s teachings to the Prophet Muhammad, which many Muslims believe Allah gave Muhammad because all previous religious texts were no longer reliable. The Qur’an is relevant to everyone at all times in their lives.
What are the requirements to convert to Islam?
Converting to Islam necessitates the shahada, or Muslim profession of faith (“I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, and that Muhammad is Allah’s messenger.”) Islam teaches that everyone is born a Muslim, but that their parents or society can lead them astray.
What is the best book to read?
The Best Books of All Time
- 1. Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. 2. James Joyce’s Ulysses. 3. Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote.
- 4. Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude.
- 5. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
- 6. Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.
- 7. Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace.
Do Muslims read the Bible?
Many Muslim religious authorities have traditionally viewed these books (i.e., parts of the Bible) as having been altered and interpolated over time, while maintaining that the Quran is God’s final, unchanged, and preserved word.
What are the 4 holy books in Islam?
The Quran (which was given to Muhammad), the Torah (which was given to Moses), the Gospel (which was given to Jesus), the Psalms (which was given to David), and the Scrolls (which were given to Abraham) are among them.
What are the 3 holy books of Islam?
The Tawrat (Torah or the Law) revealed to Musa (Moses), the Zabur (Psalms) revealed to Dawud (David), and the Injil (the Gospel) revealed to Isa (Jesus) are the three books mentioned by name in the Quran shareef.
Which holy book came first?
The Old Testament is the first section of the Bible, and it covers everything from the creation of the world to Noah and the flood, Moses, and the expulsion of the Jews to Babylon. It is very similar to the Hebrew Bible, which has its roots in the ancient religion of Judaism.
Can Muslims smoke?
Tobacco fatwas are fatwas (Islamic legal pronouncements) that prohibit Muslims from using tobacco, with all current rulings condemning smoking as potentially harmful or outright prohibiting (haram) smoking due to the severe health harm it causes.
How do you say convert to Islam?
Say: “Ash-hadu an la ilaha ill Allah. ” (I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah.) Say: “Wa ash-hadu ana Muhammad ar-rasullallah.” (And I bear witness that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger.)
Can Muslims drink alcohol?
Although the majority of Muslims consider alcohol to be haram (forbidden or sinful), a sizable minority consumes it, and those who do frequently outdrink their Western counterparts. Chad and a number of other Muslim-majority countries lead the world in alcohol consumption.
What books are trending right now?
Also, check out Today’s Top Books to see what’s hot right now.
- Beautiful Country. by Qian Julie Wang.
- Harlem Shuffle. by Colson Whitehead.
- The Girls Are Never Gone. by Sarah Glenn Marsh.
- The Thursday Murder Club. by Richard Osman.
- The Matrix. by Lauren Groff.