Sunday, August 23, 2009

Essential Ramadan Reading

Some phrase or image on my blog related to Ramadan seems to be sending some serious search engine traffic my way - as in 800 readers in a single day! - so I thought I would give you folks something productive to do with your time, ha ha.

Here are some excellent books that I consider essential Islamic reading. Any one of them would be great to read a little from every evening after Iftar, or to give as a gift. All are available through the link below:

1. An Interpretation of the Qur'an : English Translation of the Meanings : A Bilingual Edition (Majid Fakhry) - I have this and I read it often. It's an excellent, modern and scholarly translation. If you're still reading Yusuf Ali's poetic but archaic translation, it's time to check out something different.

2. The Qur'an : A New Translation (Dr. Thomas Cleary) - I would have listed this first except that it's in English only. The language is modern and clear, yet retains some of the powerful poetry of the Arabic. I highly recommend it.

3. Muhammad : His Life Based on the Earliest Sources : Revised Edition : Martin Lings (Abu Bakr Siraj Ad-Din) - All-time best-selling book on the life of the Prophet (pbuh), now the latest revised edition. You may have read some of the briefer Seerahs (biographies of the Prophet Muhammad) such as The Sealed Nectar of The Life of the Prophet Muhammad, but you have not experienced the breadth and depth of Muhammad's (pbuh) struggle and indomitable character until you have read this book.

Well, as you can see my preference is for more scholarly works, but you can find all kinds of good stuff at, including children's books, movies and CDs, and toys. I have been shopping with them for several years now.

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