top 100 books on Islam! If you have books you would like added, please fill the form at the end of the list. Please feel free to ‘rate’ any books that you have read.

Cover ImageNameAuthorGenreDescription
EnwrapZirrarPoetryA photo poetry book written in the style of a conversation with the beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and Allaw swt.
Stealing from the SaracensDiana DarkeHistoryA very useful insight into how architecture from the Middle-East entered Europe.
Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic EyesTamim AnsaryHistoryA 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
Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas, 15th Anniversary EditionSylviane A. DioufHistoryA history of Muslims in the Americas, from West Africa to America, this book explores previously unknown history.
The Study Quran: A New Translation and CommentarySeyyed Hossein NasrLearn IslamA highly detailed translation with plenty of notes and comments for studying the Qur’an.
The Vital Roots of European Enlightenment: Ibn Tufayl's Influence on Modern Western ThoughtSamar AttarIslam and EuropeWhat influence of did Ibn Tufayl, a 12th-century Arab philosopher from Spain, on major European thinkers? find out here
The Vision of IslamSachiko Murata, William ChittickSufismAn excellent introduction to Islam for western readers. Who does it better than William Chittick?
The Masnavi, Book One: Book 1RumiPoetryThere are four books to this collection to date. This is the only translation of Rumi that can be recommended.
No God But GodReza AslanHistoryA concise history on Islam, though not perfect, it provides a great over view.
Tulip in the Desert: A Selection of Iqbal's PoetryMuhammad IqbalPoetry, SufismMy favourite English translation of a selected number of Iqbal’s poems. Just wish it had more poems.
The Road to MeccaMuhammad AsadTravelAn Austrian Jew reverts to Islam and makes the Hajj pilgrimage – detailing his entry into Islam and a fresh look at 20th century Arabia.

Hearts Turn: Sinners, Seekers, Saints and the Road to RedemptionMichael SugichSufismMichael is a master story teller who manages to interweave the elements of Islamic doctrine seamlessly. Highly recommended.
Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest SourcesMartin LingsBiographicalAn Epic biography about the Prophet (pbuh) by the late acclaimed Lings.
What is Sufism?Martin LingsSufismExcellent outline of the basics of Sufism
The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics)M. A. S. Abdel Haleem (Translator)Learn IslamThe best English translation there is
The Wonders Of Vilayet: Being the Memoir, Originally in Persian, of a Visit to France and Britain in 1765Kaiser HaqTravelFascinating 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?
Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives John J. Donohue, John L. EspositoHistoriographyA master collection of essays by the greatest minds of the last two centuries dealing with Islam and modernism. Highly recommended for political minds.
Inner Dimensions of Islamic WorshipImam al-GhazaliSufismAl-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.
The Illustrious Women Of Islam from the first generationImam adh-Dhahabi & Ibn Hajar al-'AsqalaniWomen in IslamCollection of stories from the women around the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to HistoryIbn KhaldunSocial ScienceA classic Islamic masterpiece, the worlds first Historian Ibn Khaldun creates a foundation of history, sociology and economics.
Travels of Ibn JubayrIbn JubayrTravelTravel diary of a Spanish Arab Muslim who travels by sea and land to perform Hajj during the 12th century.
Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness: Arab Travellers in the Far NorthIbn FaldanTravelIn the 10th century an Arab from Baghdad met European vikings. Read a Muslims eye witness account of a dark and mysterious Europe.
The Travels of Ibn BattutaIbn BattutaTravelA travel diary of a 13th century Muslim through all the lands. A must if you enjoy history.
A Thinking Persons Guide to Islam: The Essence of Islam in Twelve Verses from the Qur'anGhazi Bin MuhammadLearn IslamAn easy to read introduction to Islam by the King of Jordan (apparently its an excellent book).
Islam and the Destiny of ManGai EatonSufismA beautifully clear and accessible introduction to the central tenets, principles and practices at the heart of Islam.
ReflectionsGai EatonSufismA beautifully clear and accessible introduction to the central tenets, principles and practices at the heart of Islam.
Lost Islamic HistoryFiras AlkhateebHistoryFrom the Prophet Muhammad to present time, Firas Alkhateeb takes through a route of Islamic history most do not know.
The Selected Writings of Eqbal Ahmad Eqbal AhmedPoliticsEqbal Ahmad – the voice of South Asian intellectualism that never reached far. Eqbal’s commentary on the modern world inc. Palestine is invaluable.
Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the WorldEdward SaidPoliticsHighly 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.
Culture and ImperialismEdward SaidHistoriographyEssential reading on understanding the dominance of culture – an excellent follow on from Said’s Orientalist.
OrientalismEdward SaidHistoriographyWant to understand Orientalist? how the West has studied and created the east through his lens?
This is the book to read.
Beauty and Light: Mystical Discourses by a Contemporary Female Sufi MasterCemalnur SargutWomen in IslamCemalnur Sargut, the Turkish leader of the Rifa’i Sufi order answers some critical questions from the perspective of her Sufi teachings. Highly recommended.
Being Muslim - A Practical GuideAsad TarsinLearn IslamA great book for those looking to learn about Islam as a beginner.
The Republic of Arabic Letters: Islam and the European EnlightenmentAlexander BevilacquaIslam and EuropeExcellent 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.
The Legend of Hayy Ibn YaqzanAbu Bakr ibn TufailPhilosophyThere are few more important books to have emerged from medieval Spain than The Legend of Hayy ibn Yaqzan (‘Alive, Son of Awake’), a philosophic tale composed by Abu Bakh Muhammad ibn Tufail. It stands alongside Cervantes’ Don Quixote as one of the major works of literature to have been written on the Peninsular in the post-classical period.
Saladin: The Triumph of the Sunni Revival Abdul Rahman AzzamBiographicalExcellent history on the life and achievements of one of the greatest military commanders of all time.
The Book of Assistance Abdallah Ibn Alawi Al-HaddadSufismFew books can rival this practical guide to Sufism. Highly recommended for the Sufi persuaded.
The Lives of Man: Guide to the Human States - Before Life, in the World and After DeathAbdallah Ibn Alawi Al-HaddadSufismA 12th century scholar (direct descendent of our nabi pbuh) who answers some critical questions in Islam.
The Secret of SecretsAbd al-Qadir Al-Jilani SufismFrom the founder of the Qadiriyya order, this books explains the essence of Sufism.
Al-Ghazali on Love, Longing, Intimacy and ContentmentAl-GhazaliSufism"Al-Ghazali on Love, Longing, Intimacy and Contentment" is the thirty-sixth chapter of Abu Hamid al-Ghazali's "Revival of the Religious Sciences" (Ihya Ulum al-Din), which is widely regarded as the greatest work of Muslim spirituality.
Al-Ghazali on Disciplining the Soul & on Breaking the Two Desires:Al-GhazaliSufismAl-Ghazali on Disciplining the Soul, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali illustrates how the spiritual life in Islam begins with `riyadat al-nafs', the inner warfare against the ego. The two chapters translated here detail the sophisticated spiritual techniques adopted by classical Islam in disciplining the soul.
The Alchemy of HappinessAl-GhazaliSufismThe work emphasized the importance of observing the ritual requirements of Islam, the actions that would lead to salvation, and avoidance of sin. The factor that set the Alchemy apart from other theological works at the time was its mystical emphasis on self-discipline and asceticism.
Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart Hamza YusufSufismAfflictions that assail and control people--such as miserliness, envy, treachery, malice, and arrogance--are examined in a study that discusses the causes and cures of these diseases and reveals how Islamic spirituality deals with spiritual and psychological problems.
The Qur'an and the Prophet in the Writings of Shaykh Ahmad al-AlawiShaykh Ahmad al-'AlawiSufismThe Shaykh al-'Alawi had embarked on a full commentary on the Qur'an but only completed an introduction explaining his approach to Qur'anic exegesis and commentaries on three chapters. All these pieces are included here with an additional appendix of answers to questions that the Shaykh's disciples had put to him on the Qur'an. The Qur'anic commentaries are followed by a treatise on the meaning of the invocation of blessings on the Prophet.
A Treasury of Rumi's WisdomRumiSufismA new anthology on some of Rumi's work. The translator is highly accredited, and this book will rival many older translations.
Educating Muslim Women: The West African Legacy of Nana AsmaBeverley Mack (Author), Jean Boyd (Author)Social SciencesNana Asma'u was an educator is still followed: the system she set up in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, for the education of rural women, has not only survived in its homeland—through the traumas of the colonization of West Africa and the establishment of the modern state of Nigeria—but is also being revived and adapted elsewhere, notably among Muslim women in the United States.
Slavery and IslamJonathan A.C. BrownIslamic HistoryA highly recommended read on the topic of slavery in Islam by a Hadith scholar.
Stories of the ProphetsIbn KathirLearn IslamStories of many of the Prophets of Islam. Probably the best text on this topic. Ibn Kathir's source is the Qur'an and the Hadith. Highly trustworthy.
A Young Muslim's Guide to the Modern World Seyyed Hossein NasrLearn IslamA critical read for young Muslims, drawing the importance of understanding the modern world and our faith.
Abu Zayd al-Balkhi's Sustenance of the Soul: The Cognitive Behaviour Therapy of A Ninth Century PhysicianMalik BadriSocial SciencesWritten by the ninth century CE polymath Abu Zayd al-Balkhi, it tackles mental and psychological disorders which seem commonplace to us today. Al-Balkhi explains symptoms and treatments giving advice on preventive measures and how to return the body and soul to their natural healthy state.
The Legend of Hayy Ibn YaqzanIbn TufaylIslamic PhilosophyIbn Tufayl is the founder of Modern European philosophy. Inspired by Ibn Sina, and himself the teacher of Ibn Rushd, Ibn Tufayl's fiction character Hayy Ibn Yaqzan is a story that attempts to teach man the importance of rationality, tolerance and self-elevation. John Locke, Kant, even the Quakers owe a heavy burden to Ibn Tufayl.
Signs on the Horizons: Meetings with Men of Knowledge and IlluminationMichael SugichSufismA collection of stories based on the interactions between the author, a convert and with men who have transcended the ordinary and achieved stations of spirituality and enlightenment that in the modern world seem unreal. Highly recommended.
Music, Sound, and Architecture in IslamMichael Frishkopf, Federico Spinetti, Ali AsaniMusic" Underscoring the intimate relationship between traditional Muslim sonic performances, such as the recitation of the Qur'an or devotional songs, and conventional Muslim architectural spaces, from mosques and Sufi shrines to historic aristocratic villas, gardens, and gymnasiums, the book reveals Islam as an ideal site for investigating the relationship between sound and architecture, which in turn proves to be an innovative and significant angle from which to explore Muslim cultures"
The Rebel's Silhouette: Selected PoemsFaiz Ahmed Faiz translated by Agha Shahid AliPoetryNo other English translation of Faiz Ahmed Faiz should be read other than this translation by the genius Agha Shahid Ali
The Country without a Post Office: Poems Aga Shahid AliPoetryThis collection of poems by Kashmiri-American Agha Shahid Ali finds that contemporary history has forced him to return to his homeland, not with the ease of a tourist, but as a witness to the savagery visited upon Kashmir since the 1990 uprisings.
Muhammad: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of EmpiresJuan ColeIslamic HistoryThe life of the beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) set against the backdrop of the Roman Empire, Juan Cole has written a history book that adds fascinating new insights in early Islamic history. Highly recommended.
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam: A New Translation from the PersianJuan ColePoetryFor far too long the world has read the poor and inaccurate translation of Khayyam by Fitzgerald. This one arrives at a critical time.
Journey to the Lord of Power: A Sufi Manual on Retreat Ibn ArabiSufismJourney to the Lord of Power is the first English translation of Ibn 'Arabi's twelfth-century text dealing with spiritual ascent. 'Arabi, whose metaphysical teachings have had a profound influence on both the Muslim and Christian worlds, is known as one of the greatest writers of mystical love poetry of all time. Written in answer to the questions of a friend, this illuminating guide describes the evolutionary path of our higher spiritual aspirations--the quest for the ultimate reality, the journey toward God.
Islam and Romanticism: Muslim Currents from Goethe to EmersonJeffrey’s EinbodenIslam and EuropeRevealing Islam’s formative influence on literary Romanticism, this book recounts a lively narrative of religious and aesthetic exchange, mapping the impact of Muslim sources on the West’s most seminal authors.
Mystical Dimensions of IslamAnnemarie SchimmelSufismA highly recommended text on Sufism in Islam by the brilliant Annemarie.
The Empire of the Great Mughals: History, Art and CultureAnnemarie SchimmelIslamic HistoryA cultural and historical exploration of the rich Mughals. Annemarie goes into her usual meticulous research and shares some very unique insights.
An Ottoman Traveller: Selections from the Book of Travels of Evliya CelebiEvliya CelebiTravelIf you wanted to learn about the Ottoman empire from the tongue of an Ottoman, this is the book to read.
Postcolonial BanterSuhaiymah Manzoo-KhanPoetryThis book is simply a must read for reflecting on the current state of immigrants and Muslims in the West. Suhaiymah is sharp, unforgiving and touches on some incredibly personal experiences.
Between Two Worlds: The Construction of the Ottoman StateCemal KafadarIslamic HistoryA complex history of the early Ottoman history.
The Venture of Islam, Volume 3: The Gunpower Empires and Modern TimesMarshall G. S. HodgsonIslamic HistoryHighly recommended history on the Ottomans
Layli and MajnunNezami GanjaviPoetryA masterful translation of the epic poem by the great Dick Davis
SamarkandAmin MaaloufFictionA brilliant fiction set in 11th century featuring the Persian Poet and Philosopher 11th century.

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