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Islam is often regarded as a complex religion to understand and comprehend by most non-Muslims. This notion could be due to the fact that few people know the real depth of knowledge that Islam has to offer. The only way to understand Islam better and in its true essence is to listen to acclaimed and reputed preachers and to read the best books by top scholars of Islam. Here is a list of five books that can provide readers a broader prospective of Islam and clear some of the confusion that you might have about various facets of Islam and its teachings.
The Qur’an by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem:
The Quran by Abdel Haleem is regarded by many scholars as one of the most accurate and finest works of translations of the Muslim Holy Book in English. With contemporary English forming the core language of the book and cryptic language usage restricted to bare minimum, the writer has put in lots of time and effort to make sure that the eloquence of the scripture is fully retained. This book also focuses sharply on issues related to intolerance and oppression of women as mentioned in the Qur’an. The geographical, historical and personal references made in the Qur’an, albeit indirectly has also been explained very beautifully. This book is a must-read for a non-Muslim beginner who wants to know more about Islam and its traditions and cultures in the comfort of English language.
The Story of the Qur’an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life by Ingrid Mattson:
Ingrid Mattson is a well–known Islamic scholar and his book, The Story of the Qur’an offers a balanced portrayal of the Holy Book of Islam. The book has interesting and extremely gripping sections that accurately reflect the relationship of Qur’an to science, democracy and role of women. It also makes a fine analysis of the role of Qur’an in the life cycle of Muslims and in Islamic law and ethics. The book is made more interesting and informative by the supporting website that has invaluable content including easy-to-grasp student resources and links to important websites. The Story of the Qur’an explores the role of the book in influencing the Muslim minds in various aspects of life and society.
The Spiritual Teachings of the Prophet: Hadith with Commentaries by Saints and Sages of Islam by Tayeb Chouiref:
The teachings of the Prophet of Islam are the most important source of knowledge, after the Holy Qur’an to know more and accurately about every aspect of Islamic life and culture. The book covers a wide gamut of topics, ranging from prayer to economic activities in Islam. The content of this widely-read book is drawn from a collection of more than 200 of the most important spiritual traditions. The source of information shared in the book includes the canonical collections of the Hadith.
Vision of Islam by Sachiko Murata, William C. Chittick
The Vision of Islam is one of the most informative books available on Islam. It covers the four dimensions most important dimensions of Islam as outlined in the Hadith of Gabriel. These include practice, spirituality, faith and Islamic view of history. The Vision of Islam draws heavily from the Holy Book and the sayings of the Prophet and the other acclaimed literatures of the Islamic tradition. This book is extremely clearly written book and in a very lucid language. For those who want to know more about the teachings of Islam, this book introduces the basics of each dimension. It also reveals how each of these elements has been personified in Islamic institutions right through history.
The Book of Assistance (Translated) by Imam Abdallah Ibn Alawi al-Haddad:
This book was originally written in Arabic and is one of the few translated books on the subject of Islam that presents the various facets of the religion and philosophy in a truly engrossing and easy to understand manner. It presents the Sufi doctrine in a format that acts as a practical travel guide for understanding the deeper meaning. The Book of Assistance is extremely popular among Sufi teachers globally. They regard the book as a manual for offering prayers and devotions. It can be a truly invaluable book for those who want to know more about the great Prophet and the Sufi way of life.