12 Basic Books

Acts of Faith by Eboo Patel is a fascinating memoir about the author's calling to educate a new generation to the values of religious tolerance and service to humanity.

Approaching the Qur'an by Michael Sells offers translations of and commentaries on a selection of the earliest suras (revelations) of the Prophet Muhammad which present a vision of a meaningful and just life.

The Book of Language by Kabir Helminski is a glossary with definitions of and insights into 200 spiritual, metaphysical, and philosophical terms that are central to Islam.

Following Muhammad by Carl W. Ernst surveys anti-Islamic attitudes from medieval times through the present era followed by a delineation of Islam as a complex, rich, and diverse religion.

The Heart of Islam by Seyyed Hossein Nasr solidly covers Islam's honoring of the prophets of Judaism and Christianity, its treatment of minorities and women, and such hot-button issues as jihad, war, and terrorism.

The Inner Journey by William C. Chittick is a fine anthology of topics that shed light on Muslims' devotion and commitments, their views on living in society, the path to God, and the wine of love.

Memories of Muhammad by Omid Safi provides a richly developed and revealing overview of the life of the Prophet Muhammad, the world he lived in and changed, and his significance as a father, husband, friend, leader, and prophet.

Muhammad by Karen Armstrong is a well-respected biography of the Prophet that puts the accent on his devotion to Allah, his passion for justice, his mystical visions, his promulgation of egalitarianism, and his down-to-earth practices of compassion, kindness, and respect for all creation.

Red, White, and Muslim by Asma Gull Hasan takes a lively look at the seven reasons why the young author is a Muslim and relishes the diversity of the fastest growing religion in the world.

The Scimitar and the Veil by Jennifer Heath profiles 50 Muslim women, from the birth of Islam in the seventh century through the nineteenth century, who reveal Islamic pathways of devotion, service, creativity, nurturing, mysticism, and wisdom.

What's Right with Islam by Feisal Abdul Rauf explores what went wrong in the relationship between Islam and Western democracies and discusses their common ground in abiding respect for the values of a pluralistic, free society.

The Wisdom of Islam by Robert Frager comprehensively covers the five pillars of Islam, the messenger of God, the Qur'an, the history of the religion, the path of mysticism, and the Islam today.

More Books on Islam