A list of recommended books on genres ranging from history, science, travel to philosophy and even fiction.

If you would like to contribute to the list with your own recommendations, please submit your suggestions using the form at the bottom of this page.

Islamic History

A concise, easy to ready starter to understanding the history of Islam (the various dynasties, rulers and theological development) all written through the eyes of Islam

Pros: Easy to read, assumes no pre-knowledge
Excellent history on the life and achievements of one of the greatest military commanders of all time.

Pros: This book is rare, as most biographies on Saladin are written by western academics.
My personal favourite book on history of Islam, with a particularly good focus on theology.

Pros: Covers the period before Islam to contextualise the rise of Islam
From the Prophet Muhammad to present time, Firas Alkhateeb takes through a route of Islamic history most do not know.
A history of Muslims in the Americas, from West Africa to America, this book explores previously unknown history.

A categorised list of the greatest Muslim minds of all time. From thinkers, scientists, Statesmen to Generals – this book is the only one of its kind.


Fascinating 18th century travel stories of a Bengali Muslim visiting England. Want to see what Europe was like through the eyes of a rich and highly cultured Muslim?
A travel diary of a 13th century Muslim through all the lands. A must if you enjoy history.

Travel diary of a Spanish Arab Muslim who travels by sea and land to perform Hajj during the 12th century.
In the 10th century an Arab from Baghdad met European vikings. Read a Muslims eye witness account of a dark and mysterious Europe.
An Austrian Jew reverts to Islam and makes the Hajj pilgrimage – detailing his entry into Islam and a fresh look at 20th century Arabia.

Islamic Studies (inc. Sufism)

My personal favourite translation of the Holy Quran in English. A simply to understand but powerful translation.
A highly detailed translation with plenty of notes and comments for studying the Qur’an.

Note: A free PDF/Mobi version is available on archive.org
A biography of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – Probably one of the best available and mandatory reading.
Al-Ghazali’s Ihya has been used to put together this book on the dimensions of Islamic Worship – strongly recommended to improve ones faith and understanding of prayer.
From the founder of the Qadiriyya order, this books explains the essence of Sufism.

A beautiful book of supplications by Omar Suleiman
A 12th century scholar (direct descendent of our nabi pbuh) who answers some critical questions in Islam.
An Epic biography about the Prophet (pbuh) by the late acclaimed Lings.
Michael is a master story teller who manages to interweave the elements of Islamic doctrine seamlessly. Highly recommended.
A practical guide for new Muslims, or for those looking to refresh their knowledge.

This book explains what it means to be a Muslim and describes how Islam has shaped the hearts and minds of Muslims down the centuries.
A beautifully clear and accessible introduction to the central tenets, principles and practices at the heart of Islam.
An easy to read introduction to Islam by the King of Jordan (apparently its an excellent book).
Few books can rival this practical guide to Sufism. Highly recommended for the Sufi persuaded.
An excellent introduction to Islam for western readers. Who does it better than William Chittick?

A basic and authoritative explanation of what is Sufism by the late Lings.

Islam and Women

Cemalnur Sargut, the Turkish leader of the Rifa’i Sufi order answers some critical questions from the perspective of her Sufi teachings. Highly recommended.
Collection of stories from the women around the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
A highly praised ‘self-help’ type book. Incredibly accessible and also relevant for the modern reader.

Islam and Europe

Excellent book on the study of European scholars and their engagement with Islam. This book presents a picture of how early European scholars once attempted to study Islam seriously, and how many Islamic influences (including the language) moulded the European world today.


A superb translation of Faridin Attar’s masterpiece.

Pros: This translation includes the full introduction text by Attar.
My favourite English translation of a selected number of Iqbal’s poems

Cons: A limited number of poems are included.
It is hard to find an accurate translation of Hafez, but this one is probably the best.
Cons: It has been translated by a non-Muslim so the spirit of Islam has been taken out from the poetry.
A truly enlightened Islamic biography of Mawlana Rumi.

Pros: Finally a story of Rumi told from an Islamic perspective

Cons: Contains very little poetry.
The only translation of Rumi recommended is by Jawid Mojaddedi. This is book 1/4 of the Mathnavi. Search Amazon for the other 3 by Jawid.

Social Sciences

A classic Islamic masterpiece, the worlds first Historian Ibn Khaldun creates a foundation of history, sociology and economics.

Political and Cultural Studies

Eqbal Ahmad – the voice of South Asian intellectualism that never reached far. Eqbal’s commentary on the modern world inc. Palestine is invaluable.
Highly recommended book on Islam and the Media. Written at the time of the Iran hostage crisis, the master Edward Said deconstructs the use of the media to create the ‘other’ Islam.

Pros: Short read that explains the systematic methodology used to create fear of Islam.

Cons: None
Want to understand Orientalist? how the West has studied and created the east through his lens?
This is the book to read.
Essential reading on understanding the dominance of culture – an excellent follow on from Said’s Orientalist.
A master collection of essays by the greatest minds of the last two centuries dealing with Islam and modernism.

Highly recommended for political minds.

Occidental Authors

Loyal Enemies uncovers the history of the earliest British converts to Islam who lived their lives freely as Muslims on British soil, from the 1850s to the 1950.
A biography of the greatest of creation, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) by the excellent Lezlie.

Recommend a Book