I grew up in a home of readers and book lovers, my mother studied literature in her university days and my late father had an interest in the world of arts, design, and culture. All this had an influence on how I saw the world. Even so, my reading habits developed late due to my teens and twenties being spent less on books and more with cassette/CD players, reading comic books and the latest rock, indie music & hip hop magazines. This was all before the era of social media.
As I got older the interest and love for reading was renewed and a new world of knowledge, lessons, stories, insights, and wisdoms began to open. I was taught that to read is to seek and discover and this guides me in my reading and learning journey.
Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics)
translated by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem
This translation has been my main go-to for the last few years. It is contemporary, accessible, and reads fluidly. A recommended read for anyone looking to start on an English translation of the Quran. This version doesn’t have the original Arabic, as it is an English-only translation.
Riyad as-Salihin: The Meadows of the Righteous
by Imam Yahya Ibn Sharaf An-Nawawi
This abridged version by Shakh Yusuf Nabhani is a good in-depth introduction into the world of hadith and sunnah of the Prophetﷺ. Commentaries of the hadith from contemporary scholars like Shaykh Mustafa Bugha and shaykh Muhyi Ad Din Mistu accompany this version, topics range from Beliefs, faith, 5 pillars of islam, the Quran, remembrance of Allah, and akhlaq (good character) just to name a few.
Islam and Secularism (Ta'dib)
by Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas
An excellent primer on Islam and its encounter with one of Western civilisations most dominant ideologies - secularism. Syed Naquib gives an in-depth analysis on what secularism is, its philosophy, followed by the challenges and it’s impact on Muslims in this contemporary era. Syed Naquib then gives his own insights and solutions to this modern dilemma facing Muslims, leading up to his theory on the ‘Islamisation of contemporary knowledge,’ a concept he later expounds throughout the latter part of the book.
Clarification of Noble Character
by Habib Umar bin Hafiz
In this book on the development and refinement of good character, Habib Umar explains how one can acquire these qualities and traits through following the example of our beloved Prophetﷺ and the early generation. In 30 chapters Habib Umar explains the importance of emulating these character traits as a means for self improvement, self-rectification, and increasing our love for our beloved Prophetﷺ.
Treatise for the Seekers of Guidance
This classical text from one of the leading figures of early Islamic scholarship serves as a layman’s guide to Islamic spirituality, morals, and ethics. This translation is also accompanied by a commentary from Imam Zaid Shakir who explains how the teachings and insights of Imam Muhasibi, being grounded in the foundations of the Quran and Sunnah, are also relatable to the modern context and situation.