In this article, we will learn about the best books to read to learn about Islam and to increase your knowledge. Let’s get started.

The best way to learn about Islam is through books written by Muslims. As many people tend to spread misconceptions about Islam. while they all know nothing about the religion itself.

To them, Islam is a religion that calls for violence. None of them ever thought of learning the truth of Islam. They only spread the rumors they heard or read in Media.

Allah said in the holy Quran:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَـٰكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍۢ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَـٰكُمْ شُعُوبًۭا وَقَبَآئِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوٓا۟ ۚ إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ أَتْقَىٰكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌۭ ١٣

“O humanity! Indeed, We created you from a male and a female and made you into peoples and tribes so that you may ˹get to˺ know one another. Surely the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous among you. Allah is truly All-Knowing, All-Aware.” [surah al hujurat]

One of the Islamic beliefs is that all humans are equal and should be treated respectfully. Islam calls to love and peace not hate and violence.

When you hear something don’t just go and spread or act upon it without knowing the truth. Read about Islam and learn more then make your judgment instead of treating Muslims as murderers for no reason.

If your words would harm someone else then you shouldn’t say them. I’m not saying that just when it comes to religion but to anything in life. Don’t spread rumors or believe them without making sure it’s true. Because every word that comes out of your mouth or every word you write has the power to harm another human being.

After that being said let’s discuss the best books to read to learn about Islam.

why you should learn about Islam from books, not media?

When it comes to Islam there are many misconceptions. Especially in media, because people tend to spread rumors without knowing if it’s right or wrong. And they only want to spread hate toward Islam. one known rumor about Muslims is that Muslims are terrorists. Which obviously is not true.

Islam calls for worshipping Allah, loving one another, helping the ones in need, and doing good deeds. And that’s what Muslims try their best to do. Terrorism is not related to Islam, it’s an act of people who want to spread fear toward Islam.

If you ask people or learn from the media all you’ll find is people spreading rumors. And they even have no idea what they are talking about. It’s just something they heard from someone else.

There was a survey conducted in 2007 by Pew Research Center to see the American’s opinion of Islam. they found that the negative opinions all came from what they read or heard in the media. Media tend to represent Islam badly as terrorists and murderers.

The research was conducted by communications scholars Saifuddin Ahmed and Jorg Matthes from 2000 to 2015. They found that the media frame Islam in a negative way. It shows the world that Islam is a violent religion. Therefore, if you want to learn the truth about Islam you should learn from trusted books and not the media.

Negative media portrayal of Islam.

The media is obsessed with showing Islam, Muslims, and the east in a negative way. In general, the media shows Muslims as terrorists, fanatical, bigoted, extremists, and violent.

This negative image of Islam led to Islamophobia (fear of Islam and Muslims). Can you even imagine that there are people who actually scared of Islam and Muslims? The biggest problem is that they don’t even know anything about Islam. and here comes the underlying problem, the media and its negative framing of Islam and Muslims.

Ignorant but harmful

Do you know what bothers me the most? It’s funny how people hate something without even knowing it and making their opinions based on rumors. And the worst part is that they treat Muslims with racism and then say that Muslims are the villains of the story.

Noor (2007) argued that “Muslim identity and the concerns of Muslims are increasingly being defined in terms of an oppositional dialectic that pits Islam and Muslims against the rest of the world” (p. 261).

Islamophobia is what the media focus on to make people hate Islam.  “Where images of Muslims as murderous fanatics abound in movies, videos, and computer games” (p. 267).  

Movies, series, articles, and even social media posts show Islam as a violent religion. Where the truth is that Islam calls for peace, tawhid (worshipping only one God, Allah), and that all people are equal and should be treated with respect. The truth about Islam could be learned from the Quran itself.

And remember, Allah also said in the holy Quran:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ إِن جَآءَكُمْ فَاسِقٌۢ بِنَبَإٍۢ فَتَبَيَّنُوٓا۟ أَن تُصِيبُوا۟ قَوْمًۢا بِجَهَـٰلَةٍۢ فَتُصْبِحُوا۟ عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَـٰدِمِينَ ٦

“O believers, if an evildoer brings you any news, verify ˹it˺ so you do not harm people unknowingly, becoming regretful for what you have done.” [surah al hujurat]

Always make sure that what you hear or read is true before you go spreading it.

Best books to read to learn about Islam for non-Muslims.

example of the best books to read to learn about islam

Now that we have seen that Media is not a perfect place to learn about Islam, let’s see the best books to read. Islamic books and literature will give you all the information you need to know about Islam.

Islamic books tend to explain and illustrate Islamic beliefs in an easy way to inspire the reader. This will help you gain the knowledge you need to know about Islam whether you are a Muslim or non-Muslim.  

To start learning about Islam you should learn about their beliefs. For example, learn about the five pillars of Islam. Which represent the beliefs of every Muslim and they are:

  • Shahada – the act of declaring your devotion and belief in Allah (SWT) and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
  • Salat – the act of praying five times a day.
  • Zakat – the act of giving charity.
  • Sawm – the act of fasting during the sacred month of Ramadan.
  • Hajj – the act of undertaking the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once.

Starting with the basics will help you learn easier and faster. I won’t tell you to go learn Fiqh, Aqeedah, the politics of Islam, and so on. The goal here is to understand what Islam really is, not to get complicated.

What Islam calls for

In short, Islam calls to worship only one God, Allah, and that the prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) is his messenger.

The first thing to do is to read the Quran itself. And since Quran was revealed in Arabic then you should read its English translation.

You could read the book The Clear Quran which is the English translation of the Quran. or you can read from a website called Reading the holy Quran will help you understand its message.

There are many books about Islam that you can find in any language, here are some of them:

1.      The Sealed Nectar (Al-Raheeq al-Makhtoom) by al-Mubarakfouri.

This book is about the life of the prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him). And in order to learn about Islam you should learn about the prophet it was revealed to.

2.      Women of Islam by Ghadanfar.

One of the misconceptions about Islam is that it oppresses women. And to know that it’s not true and the fact that Islam gave women their rights you should read this book. The book generally discusses the lives of the mothers of the Believers and Sahabyat who were promised paradise.

3.      General Introduction to Islam (تعريف عام بدين الإسلام) by Ali al-Tantawi.

This book will help you learn about the doctrines of Islam and the complicated matters of Islam in a simplified way.

4.      Sahih Bukhari & Moslem:

The Collection of Prophetical Sayings (hadiths). Muslims follow the prophet’s instructions and teachings in their lives. And if you want to learn about them then it’s better to read the hadiths of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him).

5.      The Divine Reality: God, Islam & The Mirage of Atheism by Hamza Tzortzis.

Many people don’t understand what happened in the incident of Mirage. And this book clears all the misleading information and claims about it.

6.      Inner Dimensions of the Prayer by Ibn al-Qayyim.

This book explains the importance of prayers, how it’s performed it, and more in a simplified and inspiring way.

7.      Tafsir Ibn Kathir of the holy Quran.

when you read the Quran, you won’t understand it all on your own. Therefore, it’s better to read its tafsir.

8.      Al-Bidayah wal-Nihaya by Ibn al-Qayyim.

This amazing book discusses describing the beginning of creation. Not just the creation of humans but the creation of the Throne and the Kursi, the Universe, angels, and the Jinn. It also tells the story of the prophet Adam (peace be upon him) up to Prophet Yunus (peace be upon him).

9.      The Tahawi Creed by Imam al-Tahawi.

This book will help you understand the Islamic Aqeedah.

10.   Diseases of the Hearts and their Cures by Ibn-Taymiyah.

This book shows that some of the diseases that we experience comes from doubts and desires. And with the book, you will learn how to overcome them.

Best books to read to learn about Islam for Muslims

The first step toward understanding Islam more is to read the Quran and its Tafsir. And in this section, we will discuss the best books that will help you gain more knowledge about Islam.

1.     The Holy Quran.

The holy Quran is the key to understanding Islam. Make reading Quran a part of your daily routine. There are many English translations and tafsir.

If you come across any verse that you don’t understand just search for its tafsir. All the principles of Islam came from the holy Quran itself. Therefore, understanding the Quran will help you understand Islam.

2.     Reclaim Your Heart by Yasmin Mogahed.

This book is great, especially for the ones who are facing difficult times. It shows you how to stand up against the hardships of life without sinking into the ocean of problems. This book will give you hope to keep going and never give up.

The book uses the teachings of the holy Quran to show the truth of life. And to teach you how to overcome life’s problems.

3.     The Story of the Qur’an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life by Ingrid Mattson.

This book will help you understand the meaning of the Quran. you will learn about the Quranic teachings and why it plays a big role in all Muslim’s lives. The teachings of the Quran are what help Muslims to keep going.  

4.     In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad by Tariq Ramadan.

What is better than learning about Islam from the prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) himself? Learning how the prophet lived his life will help you become a better Muslim. Learn about the prophet’s character, the challenges he faced, and how he overcome them all.

5.     No God But God By Reza Aslan.

Media shows Islam as a violent religion. And many people think that Muslims are terrorists. This book shows the truth about Islam. you will learn how Islam started and its evolution.

From the book, you will come to understand the traditions, beliefs, history, and concept of Faith. The author wants to show the world that what they hear or see in the media about Islam is wrong. Islam is a peaceful religion that calls for worshiping only one God and helping one another.

6.     Journey Into Islam By Akbar S. Ahmed.

This book aims to show the world that Muslims are not terrorists. It shows them the Islamic world and the teaching of Islam. Islam is facing many challenges and prejudices because of the negative image that Meia gives to people. The author wants to show the truth of Islam and help the non-Muslims learn more about it. And in the same time, it motivates Muslims to learn more about Islam.

7.     Understanding The Qur’an: Themes and Style by Muhammed Abdel Haleem.

The author discusses the history and the messages behind the surahs of the Quran. He shows the truth about Islam when it comes to women, marriage and divorce, war, and society. And you will learn the teachings of the Quran.

8.     Who Speaks for Islam? What A Billion Muslims Really Think By John L. Esposito And Dalia Mogahed.

This book discusses Islam from the perspective of Muslims. As it contains many interviews that were made with Muslims from around the world. The author aims to correct all the wrong beliefs the people have about Islam. It discusses topics like democracy, radicalism, and feminism.

This book will help you understand what Islam really means and how Muslims think and believe in it.

9.     Minhaj-ul-Muslim by Abu Bakr Jabir Al Jazairi.

 This book is written by Abu Bakr Jabir Al Jazairi. The book discusses all the Islamic laws and guidelines. Which will help you gain more knowledge about Islam and the teaching of the Quran and Sunnah.

10.  The End of the World by Dr. Muhammad Abdul Rahman Al-Arifi

This book discusses the different signs of the hour. The book will help you differentiate between the myths told over the years and the true signs that were told by the prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him).

The references that the author used to write the book include the Quran, the Sunnah, dictionaries, historical books, and Salaf’s sayings.

11.  The Sacred Path to Islam.

This book will help you understand Islam more. And you will learn how to come closer to Allah and understand the purpose of life. The book is great for Muslims and non-Muslims as it covers the basics and fundamentals of Islam.

From this book, you will learn about the pillars of Islam, the holy Quran, the prophet’s stories, and the stories of old nations. Additionally, you will learn about the sunnah of the prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him),

In this book, you’ll identify the religion of Islam, Allah (SWT), the holy Quran, the Messengers and prophets, the stories of old nations, the pillars of Islam, the monotheism, and the day of judgment.

Moreover, the book shows the non-Muslims how to convert to Islam if they want in easy steps.

12.  Allah Loves by Omar Suleiman.

From this book, you will learn about the traits and characteristics of true believers. The book will help you become a better Muslim and how to come closer to Allah and please him. If you want to become a better person then this book will help you.

13.  Welcome To Islam: A Step-by-Step Guide for New Muslims by Mustafa Umar.

When people convert to Islam, they don’t know what to do next and they will have many questions. This book will give them all the answers they need. Also, it shows them how to implement the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah. Because at first, it will be hard for them to apply all the new things they learned. Therefore, the book gives them tips on how to do so.

14.  How To Pray: A Step-by-Step Guide to Prayer in Islam by Mustafa Umar.

New Muslims it must learn how to pray correctly. This book shows them how to pray step by step just like the prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) used to pray. Also, the book teaches the reader the meanings behind prayers and the meaning of the statements said during prayers.

15.  99 Names of Allah- Guided Journal.

Allah has 99 names and we should learn the meaning of all of them. This book will teach you the beautiful meanings of Allah’s names and the story behind each name. knowing the meaning of each name will help you understand more about Allah.

16.  Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources by Martin Lings.

To learn more about Islam you should learn about the prophet’s (peace and blessing be upon him) life. The book is the biography of the prophet. the references that the author used to write this book go back to the 9th century. The book consists of 85 chapters and it’s translated into many languages.

17.  Tafsir Ibne Kathir.

You must keep a tafsir of the Quran with you to understand the holy Quran and the verses that you don’t understand.

That’s it for today’s article I hope you found it useful. And for more information or if you have any questions visit our website

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