11 Must-Read Books By Muslim Authors

Explore the richness and beauty of Islam.

The Islamic faith began with a series of divine revelations, which were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad beginning in the early 7th century CE. Muhammad's revelations went on to form the basis of the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, and they gave rise to a worldwide faith that now numbers over 1.6 billion adherents.

Islam has become a hotly-debated topic with the rise of militant groups like the Islamic State in recent years and al-Qaeda before them. Average Muslims around the world frequently face prejudice and even violence as a result of rising Islamophobia.

But beneath the controversy is a rich and beautiful faith, full of the rituals and traditions of everyday people who pursue lives of meaning like anyone else.

If you're seeking to explore Islam more deeply, you've come to the right place. This week, our ReligionReads series features essential books by Muslim authors, ranging from fiction to poetry to historical analysis.

Did we miss one of your favorite books? Tell us in the comments below. And check out our other ReligionReads lists on Sikhism, Paganism, Seeker Spirituality and Hinduism.

"The Essential Rumi," translated by Coleman Barks
Amazon
The Essential Rumi includes more than 80 never-before-published poems by 13th-century Sufi mystic poet Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī.
Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Amazon
Does My Head Look Big In This? tells the story of 16-year-old Amal, who decides to begin wearing the hijab full-time.
Reading Lolita in Tehran, by Azar Nafisi
Amazon
Reading Lolita in Tehran has spent over 117 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, according to the author's website. The memoir shares Nafisi's remarkable experience teaching in Iran, where she secretly gathered several of her female students to read forbidden Western classics.
Muhammad: Man and Prophet, by Adil Salahi
Amazon
Muhammad: Man and Prophet is a biography of the central figure of Islam. The book traces Muhammad's life from his birth to the rise to prominence of Islam.
Islam In Focus, by Hammudah Abd Al-Ati
Amazon
Islam In Focus offers an introduction to the traditions and spiritual practices of the faith. The book is intended as an introduction to those interested in learning about the essentials of Islam.
The Muslim Next Door, by Sumbul Ali-Karamali
Amazon
The Muslim Next Door aims to answer many of the common questions non-Muslims may have about the often-discoursed religion. The book addresses topics of faith and practice, as well as more complicated issues like jihad and Islamic fundamentalism.
The Domestic Crusaders, by Wajahat Ali
Amazon
The Domestic Crusaders is a play that depicts a day in the life of a contemporary, Muslim Pakistani-American family. Tensions rise as each family member tries to assert and express their views.
The Girl In The Tangerine Scarf, by Mohja Kahf
Amazon
The Girl In The Tangerine Scarf tells the story of Syrian immigrant Khadra Shamy growing up in a devout Muslim family in 1970s Indiana. The novel traces Khadra's journey through faith and identity-formation.
Purification of the Heart, by Hamza Yusuf
Amazon
Based on a poem by Muslim scholar Shaykh Muhammad Mawlud, Purification of the Heart is "a manual on how to transform the heart" using the spiritual teachings of Islam, the author writes.
Al-Ghazali's Path To Sufism, by Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali
Amazon
Al-Ghazali's Path To Sufism: His Deliverance from Error is an autobiography by an 11th century Muslim scholar and mystic. The book depicts a seeker's pursuit of knowledge and exploration of Sufism, or Islamic mysticism.

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