Reading List

A brief list of highly recommended books that I have read, if even partially, and benefited greatly from in the English language. Some of the included titles were recommendations of scholars and teachers. Please keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list and only includes those titles that I have had a chance to read or have received strong recommendations about from people I trust.

Qur’an Studies

  • The Gracious Quran: A Modern-Phrased Interpretation in English by Ahmad Zaki Hammad
  • Etiquette with the Quran by Imam al-Nawawi translated by Musa Ferber
  • Ulum al-Quran: An Introduction to the Sciences of the Quran by Ahmad Von Denffer
  • The Glorious Qur’an (Tafsir-e-‘Uthmani) by Imam Shabbir Ahmad al-‘Uthmani
  • An Approach to the Quranic Sciences by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani
  • The History of the Qur’anic Text from Revelation to Compilation : A Comparative Study with the Old and New Testaments by Muhammad Mustafa al-Azami
  • The Qur’an and the Latest Orientalist Assumptions by Muhammad Mohar Ali
  • Coherence in the Qur’an : A Study of Islahi’s Concept of Nazm in Tadabbur-i Qur’an by Mustansir Mir
  • The Qur’an : An Eternal Challenge : Al Naba Al Azim by Muhammad ‘Abdullah Draz
  • The Quran and the Secular Mind: A Philosophy of Islam by Shabbir Akhtar. 
  • The Qur’anic Foundations and Structure of Muslim Society by Muhammad Fazl-ur-Rahman Ansari
  • The Art of Reciting the Qur’an by Kristina Nelson
  • Variant Readings of the Qur’an : A Critical Study of their Historical and Linguistic Origins by Ahmad ‘Ali al-Imam
  • Guidance from the Holy Qur’an by Sayyid Abu’l-Hasan Ali Nadwi

Hadith Studies

  • Hadith Literature: Its Origin, Development, and Special Features by M. Zubayr Siddiqi
  • Studies in Hadith Methodology and Literature by M.M. Azami
  • The Authority of Sunnah by Justice Muhammad Taqi Usmani
  • Bukhari by Ghassan Abdul Jabbar
  • Hadith: Muhammad’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World by Jonathan A.C. Brown
  • Hadith and Sunnah: Ideals and Realities (14 Selected Essays) 
  • Studies in Early Hadith Literature by M.M. Azami
  • An Introduction to the Conservation of Hadith by Dr. Muhammad Hamidullah
  • The Garden of the Hadith Scholars by Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Dihlawi
  • The Sunnah and Its Role in Islamic Legislation by Dr. Mustafa al-Siba‘ee
  • On Schacht’s Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence by M.M. Azami
  • An Introduction to the Science of Hadith by Ibn Salah trs. by Eerick Dickenson
  • The Canonization of al-Bukhari and Muslim: The Formation and Function of the Sunni Hadith Canon by Jonathan A.C. Brown
  • Constructive Critics, Hadith Literature, and the Articulation of Sunni Islam by Scott C. Lucas
  • The Evolution of a Hadith: Transmission, Growth, and the Science of Rijal in a Hadith of Sa’d b. Abi Waqqas by Dr. Iftikhar Zaman
  • Analysing Muslim Traditions: Studies in Legal, Exegetical and Maghazi Hadith by Harald Motzki
  • Narrative Social Structure: Anatomy of the Hadith Transmission Network by Recep Sentürk

Islamic Theology

  • The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology edited by Winter, Timothy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008)
  • A Return to Purity in Creed (Iljam al-awamm ‘an ‘Ilm al-kalam) by Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali translated by ‘Abdullah ibn Hamid ‘Ali
  • Aqeedatul Tahawi (with the marginal notes of Qari Tayyib al-Qasimi) by Abu Ja’far al-Tahawi
  • The Creed of Imam Tahawi translated by Hamza Yusuf
  • The Attributes of God by ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Jawzi translated by ‘Abdullah bin Hamid ‘Ali
  • Imam Abu Hanifah’s Al-Fiqh al-Akbar Explained by Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf
  • Answer to Modernism by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanawi
  • Fate and Predestination by Sheikh Mohammed M. Al-Sha’rawi
  • Furu’ al-Iman (The Branches of Iman) by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanawi
  • A Guide to the Conclusive Proofs for the Principles of Belief (English translation of Kitab al-Irshad Ila Qawati ‘al-Adilla fi Usul al I’tiqad) by Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni
  • Bid’ah and the Salaf’s Worship by Imam ‘Abd al-Hayy Laknawi
  • The Conclusive Argument from God (Shah Wali Allah of Delhi’s Hujjat Allah al-Baligha) translated by Marcia Hermensen
  • The Testimony Of Faith: There is No God but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God by Imam ‘Abdallah Sirajuddin al-Husayni
  • Roots of Synthetic Theology in Islam: A Study of the Theology of Abu Mansur Al-Maturidi by Mustafa Ceric
  • The Beneficial Message and the Definitive Proof In The Study Of Theology by Muhammad Salih Farfur
  • The Creed of Ibn Abi Zayd Al-Qayrawani by Imam Abu Muhammad ‘Abdullah Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani
  • The Incoherence of the Philosophers by Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali
  • Al-‘Aqida Al-Tahawiyya with commentary by Fahim Hoosen
  • Izharul Haq by Rahmatullah Kairanwi
  • Answering Those Who Altered the Religion of Jesus Christ (Translation of al-Jawab al-Sahih li man Baddala Din al-Masih) by Hafiz Ibn Taymiyyah
  • On the Boundaries of Theological Tolerance in Islam (Faysal al-Tafriqa) translated by Sherman A. Jackson
  • Does God Exist? Logical foundations of the cosmological argument by Ismail Latif Hacinebioglu

Islamic Law

  • On Schacht’s Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence by M. Mustafa al-Azami
  • Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence by Mohammad Hashim Kamali (portions)
  • Shah Wali Allah’s Treatises on Islamic Law by Marcia Hermensen
  • Al-Shafiis Risala: Treatise on the Foundations of Islamic Jurisprudence by Majid Khaddari
  • Ibn Ashur: Treatise on Maqasid Al-Shariah by Muhammad Al-Tahir Ibn Ashur
  • Shari’ah: Islamic Law by Abdur Rahman I. Doi
  • The Islamic Law of Nations: Shaybani’s Siyar by Majid Khadduri
  • The Origins of Islamic Law: The Qur’an, the Muwatta’ and Madinan Amal by Yasin Dutton
  • Islamic Jurisprudence: Usul Al Fiqh by Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee
  • Malik and Medina: Islamic Reasoning in the Formative Period by Umar Faruq Abd Allah
  • Language and Interpretation of Islamic Law by Sukrija Husejn Ramic
  • The Search for God’s Law: Islamic Jurisprudence in the Writings of Sayf al-Din al-Amidi by Bernard G. Weiss
  • Traditionalist Approaches to Shari’ah Reform: Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi’s Fatwa on Women’s Right to Divorce by Fareeha Khan
  • Differences of the Imams by Shaykh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi
  • The Legal Status of Following a Madhab by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani
  • Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence by Ahmad Hasan
  • The Doctrine of Ijma’ in Islam by Ahmad Hasan
  • Early Development of Islamic Jurisprudence by Ahmad Hasan
  • Islamic Legal Theory and the Orientalists by Syed Abul Hassan Najmee
  • Islamic Legal Interpretation: Muftis and their Fatwas edited by Muhammad Khalid Masud
  • Non-Muslims Under Shari’ah by Abdur Rahman I. Doi
  • Mejelle: Being an English Translation of Majallah el-Ahkam-i-Adliya by C.R. Tyser, B.A.L.
  • Usul al-Fiqh al-Islami – Source Methodology in Islamic Jurisprudence by Taha Jabir al- Alwani
  • Bombing without Moonlight: the Origins of Suicidal Terrorism by Abdal Hakim Murad

Islamic Spirituality

  • The Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Abu-l-Qasim Abd al Karim bin Hawazin Al Qushayri  translated by Rabia Harris
  • The Sunnah Way of the Sufis: Risalatul Mustarshidin by Harith al-Muhasibi translated by Maulana Mahomed Mahomedy
  • Treatise for the Seekers of Guidance by Imam Harith al-Muhasibi translated by Zaid Shakir
  • The Secrets of Asceticism by Imam Al-Qurtubi
  • The Ramadan of Shaikh al Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya and our Elders by Dr. Mohammad Ismail Memon Madani
  • Faza’il-E-A’maal by Shaikh al Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhelwi
  • Sufism and Good Character by Shaykh Imam Zafar Ahmad Uthmani translated by Faraz Rabbani
  • Ikmaalush Shiyam: Perfection of Morals by Shaykh Ibn Ataullah Iskandari
  • A Sufi Study of Hadith: Haqiqa al-Tariqa min as-Sunna al-Aniqa  by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanawi translated by Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo
  • The Inseparability Of Shari’a & Tariqa- Islamic Law & Purification of the Heart by Shaikh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhelwi
  • The Beginning of Guidance: Bidayat al-Hidaya by Abu Hamid al-Ghazali
  • Islamic Manners by Shaykh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah
  • Love for Allah: A Translation of ‘Ishq Ilahi by Zulfiqar Ahmad Naqshbandi
  • Risale-I-Nur Collection by Bediuzzaman Said Nursi
  • Purification of the Heart by Hamza Yusuf
  • Al-Ghazali on Disciplining the Soul & on Breaking the Two Desires translated by T.J. Winter
  • Al-Ghazali Letter to a Disciple: Ayyuha ‘l-Walad translated by Tobias Mayer
  • Al-Ghazali Invocations and Supplications translated by K. Nakamura
  • Al-Ghazali The Ninety-Nine Beautiful Names of God translated by Nazih Daher
  • Al-Ghazali on Patience and Thankfulness translated by H.T. Little John
  • Al-Ghazali on Poverty and Abstinence (Kitab al-Faqr wa’l-Zuhd) by Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazzali translated by Asaad Shaker
  • Al-Ghazali’s Path to Sufism: his Deliverance from Error (al-Munqidh min al-Dalal) by R. J. McCarthy
  • Al-Ghazzali The Alchemy of Happiness (Abridged) translated by Claud Field
  • Al-Ghazali: The Marvels of the Heart Science of the Spirit (Kitab Sharh ‘Aja’ib al-Qalb) translated by Walter James Skellie
  • The ‘Awarif al-Ma’arif by Shahab ud-Din Suhrawardi translated by H. Wilberforce Clarke
  • The Book of Assistance by Imam Abdullah Ibn Alawi al- Haddad
  • The Book of Illumination: al-Tanwir fi Isqat al-Tadbir by Ibn ‘Ata Allah Al-Iskandari translated by Scott Kugle
  • The Book of the Secret of Secrets and the Manifestation of Lights by Shaikh Abd al-Qadir Al-Jilani translated by Muthar Holland
  • The Book of Wisdom: Intimate Conversations by Ibn ‘Ata’ llah/ Khwaja Abdullah Ansari translated by Wheeler M. Thackston
  • Commentary on Revelations of the Unseen (Sharh Futuh al-Ghaib) by Imam Abu ‘l-Abbas Ahmad ibn Taimiyya
  • Concerning the Affirmation of Divine Oneness by Abd al-Qadir al- Jilani translated by Muhtar Holland
  • Gifts for the Seeker by Imam Abdullah ibn ‘Alawi al-Haddad
  • Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya on the Invocation of God: al-Wabil al- Sayyib translated by Abdurrahman Fitzgerald
  • The Kashf al-Mahjub by ‘Ali bin ‘Uthman al- Hujwiri translated by Reynold A. Nicholson
  • The Path to Perfection by Shaykh Masihullah Khan
  • Three Early Sufi Texts by Hakim al-Tirmidhi and Sulami al-Naysaburi

Islamic History



  • Islam: the alternative by Murad Hoffman
  • Lasting Prayers of the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad by Ahmad Zaki Hammad 
  • The Muslim Marriage Guide by Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood

7 thoughts on “Reading List

  1. Arfan says:

    Amazing collection mashaAllah, should be really useful for my essays. JazakAllah khair

    P.s please update the Islamic history list in the near future

  2. raheel8303 says:


    Masha’Allah this is a great list. Laymen, like me, need these types of book lists in order to focus our time on books that have impact and are sound. This is a great resource!

    Raheel Haque

    • Abdur Rahim says:

      I think it would be a good idea if your broke down this reading list in three levels. For example,

      1. Beginners/Introduction

      2. Intermediary

      3. Advance

      I think in this way it provides more of a balance for potential readers and students.

      Jazakallah khair.

  3. Najeeb S says:

    mashaAllah great list.

    You could also add:
    1)Clarification of Noble Character
    By: Shyakh Al-Habib Umar bin Hafiz

    2)With the Heart in Mind
    By: Shaykh Mikaeel Ahmed Smith

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