Recommended Books by Topic

The American Muslim (TAM) List of Recommended Books on Islam *

The American Muslim (TAM) List of Recommended Books on Islam *

by Sheila Musaji

The books listed here are books that we recommend.  This list began with the publication of The American Muslim Resource Directory in 1994.  At that time we asked 35 people to submit information about the books about Islam that they would most highly recommend.  This list was published in the directory with the initials of those who had recommended the book listed after the entry, and with the books that had received the most recommendations noted.  This new list began with that original list and has expanded over the years.

This list will be regularly updated.  Most of these books can be found in our book section listed alphabetically and available to order from  If you plan to order through Amazon we would appreciate your clicking on the Amazon links here as that will help us Insh’Allah earn enough to pay the expenses of maintaining this website.  If you have recommendations, please send them along.

(The individuals who began this list were:  Mona abul-Fadl, Carole Ahmed, Amir Ali, Khadija Asad, Steven Barboza, Zahra Buttar, Vincent Cornell, Robert D. Crane, Jamal Elias, Alan Godlas, Suzanne Haneef, Kabir Helminski, Gray Henry, Robert Hurd, Muminah Kowalski, Maulana Syed Jalali, Jeffrey Lang, Sheila Mmusaji, Akram Safadi, Yahya Monastra, Daniel Abd al-Hayy Moore, Aminah McCloud, Gred Noakes, Akram Safadi, Ahmad Sakr, Imam Alauddn Shabazz, Shemim Siddiqui, Benyameed VonHattum, Abu Munir Winkel, Michael Wolfe, Mohamed Zakariya)

Originally posted 6/2003 Last updated 6/6/2011 — Note:  Some of the books and/or authors listed here are controversial.  However, they are important in understanding some movements (particularly political movements) within various Muslim communities over the past century.

A New Arabic Grammar of the Written Language, J.A. Heywood & H.M. Nahmad
Al-Faraid Arabic-English Dictionary, J.G. Hava
Arabic English Dictionary, Hans Wehr (translates from Arabic to English)
Arabic English Lexicon, E.W. Lane
Arabic for English Speaking Sudents, Muhammad Abdul-Rauf
Arabic Language: Its Role in History, Anwar Chejne
Arabic Made Easy, Abul Hashim
Arabic Through the Qur’an, Alan Jones
Al Mawrid, Munir Ba’labakki (translates from English to Arabic)
Introduction to Classical and Koranic Arabic, Wheeler Thackston

Arabic Geometrical Pattern and Design, J. Bourgoin
Arabic Islamic Cities: Building and Planning Principles, Besim Selim Hakim
Architecture of the Islamic World, Grube, Dickey, Grabar & Sims
Art and Architecture of Islam, Blair & Bloom
Art of Islam, Language and Meaning, Titus Burckhardt
Art of the Islamic Garden, Emma Clark
Awake As Never Before, Daniel Abd al-Hayy Moore
Beyond a thousand and one Nights: A Sampler of Literature From Muslim Civilization, C.I.E., Susan Douglass
Calligraphy of Islam, Mohamed Zakariya
Calligraphy in the Arts of the Muslim World, Anthony Welch
Chronicles of Akhira, Abd al-Hayy Moore
Contemporary Art From the Islamic World, Wijdan Ali
Desert Is the Only Way Out, Abd al-Hayy Moore
The Drop That Became the Sea: Lyric Poems, byKabir Helminski
Islamic Architecture, Robert Hillenbrand
Islamic Art and Architecture, Thomas Arnold
Islamic Art and Spirituality, Seyyed H. Nasr
Islamic Patterns, I. Critchlow
Laughing Buddha, Weeping Sufi, Daniel Abdal Hayy Moore
Modern Arabic Poetry: an Anthology, ed. Salma K. Juyusil
Modern Poetry of the Arab World, tr. Abdullah al-Udhari
The Mosque: History, Architectural Development & Regional Diversity, Martin Frishman
Pashtun Tales, Aisha Ahmed, Roger Boase
Poems from Iqbal (Allama Muhammad Iqbal)
Poems of Arab Andalusia, Cola Franzen
Poems of Iqbal, Muhammad Iqbal
Qur’anic Art of Calligraphy and Illumination, Martin Lings
Ramadan Sonnets, Daniel Abdal Hayy Moore
Rumi, Shems Friedlander
Rumi Collection, tr. Kabir Helminski
Rumi:// Daylight, tr. Kabir & Camille Helminski
Rumi:// Essential Rumi, Kabir Helminski
Rumi:// All the Kings Falcons, John Renard
Rumi:// the hidden treasure, Shems Friedlander
Rumi’s World, Annemarie Schimmel
Sacred Art of the East and West, Titus Burckhardt
Sacred Trusts, Hilmi Aydn
Salt Prayers, Daniel Abdal Hayy Moore
Sense of Unity: the Sufi Tradition in Persian Architecture, Nader Ardalan & laleh Bakhtiar
Signs of the Unseen: Discourses of Jalaluddin Rumi, tr. W.M. Thackston
The Soul of Rumi, Coleman Barks
Splendours of Qur’an Calligraphy and Illumination, Martin Lings
Story of Layla & Majnun, Nizami
Sufi Poems, Martin Lings
Tulip in the Desert, Muhammad Iqbal, tr. Mustansir Mir

A Border Passage: From Cairo to America, Leila Ahmed
Adhan Over Anatolia, Marian Kazi
American Islam: Growing Up Muslim in America, Richard Wormser
American Jihad, Steven Barboza
As the Light Shineth From the East, W. D. Muhammad
Autobiography of Malcolm X, Alex Haley
Avicenna, Tony Street
Believing As ourselves, J. Lynn Jones
Biography of Abdullah Yusuf Ali
The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman’s Journey to Love and Islam by G. Willow Wilson
Daughters of Another Path, Carole Anway
Even Angels Dare to Ask, Jeffrey Lang
Finding Fran, Lois Banner
Focus on Al-Islam: A series of interviews with Imam W. Deen Mohammad
Girl in the Tangerine Scarf, Mohja Kahf
Helen of Tus, Laleh Bakhtiar
Ibn Arabi: The Voyage of No Return, Claude Addas
Islam, Our Choice, ed. Debra Dirks
Losing My Religion, Jeffrey Lang
Makers of Contemporary Islam, John L. Esposito, John Voll
Me and Rumi: the Autobiography of Shams i Tabrisi, tr. William Chittick
Mulla Sadra: Philosopher of the Mystics, Sajjad Rizvi & Seyed Safavi
Non-Violent Soldier of Islam - Badshah Khan, Easwaran
Makers of Contemporary Islam, John Esposito
Mulla Sadra, Rizvi & Safavi
Notable Muslims: Profiles of Muslim Builders of the World Civilization and Culture by Natana Delong Bas
Revolution By the Book, Imam Jamil Al-Amin
Road to Mecca, Muhammad Asad
Saladin:// Sultan and Uniter of Islam, Lane-Poole
Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam (Plus) by Asra Nomani
Sufi Sage of Arabia, Mostafa al-Badawi
Windows of Faith: Muslim Women Scholar Activists in North America, Gisella Webb
Writing on the Water, Muhyi Shakoor

And Muhammad Is His Messenger, Annemarie Schimmel
[url=>In the Footsteps of Muhammad, John Renard
Life of Muhammad, M.H. Haykal
Memories of Muhammad: Why the Prophet Matters, Omid Safi
Muhammad, His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, Martin Lings
Muhammad:// A Biography of the Prophet, Karen Armstrong
Muhammad:// Man of God, Seyyed Hossein Nasr
Seven Phases of Prophet Muhammad’s Life, Javeed Akhter
War and Peace in the Life of the Prophet Muhammad, Zakaria Bashier

Economic Concepts of Ibn Taymiyyah, A.A. Islahi
Islamic Banking and Interest: A Study of the Prohibition of Riba and Its Contemporary Interpretation, Saeed, Abdullah
Islamic Economics: Theory and Practice, M.A. Mannan
Islamic Finance in the Global Economy, Warde, Ibrahim
Partnership and Profit-Sharing in Islamic Law, M. Siddiqui
Unlawful Gain & legitimate Profit in Islamic Law, Nabil Saleh


Concept of an Islamic University, H.H. Bilgrami & S.A. Ashraf
Crisis in Muslim Education, S.A. Ashraf, S.S. Husain
Rise of Colleges: Institutions of Learning in Islam & the West, George Makdisi

Animals in Islam, Al-Hafiz B.A. Masri
Animals Lawsuit Against Humanity, Ikhwan al-Safa
The Book of Nature: A Sourcebook of Spiritual Perspectives on Nature and the Environment (The Education Project series) by Camille Helminski
Environmental Dimension of Islam, Mawil Izzi Dien
Green Deen: What Islam Teaches about Protecting the Planet by Ibrahim Abdul-Matin and Keith Ellison
Islam and Ecology: A Bestowed Trust, Richard Foltz
Man and Nature: the Spiritual Crisis of Modern Man, Seyyed Hossein Nasr
Religion and the Order of Nature, Seyyed Hossein Nasr
Water: Its Spiritual Significance, Edited by Gray Henry-Blakemore & Elena Lloyd-Sidle
Water Management in Islam (Water Resources Management and Policy Series) by Naser Faruqui, Asit K. Biswas and Murad Bino

Ethical Theories in Islam, Majid Fakhry
Ethics of Al-Ghazali, M.A. Quasem
Ibn Taymiyyah’s Ethics, Victor Maar
In Pursuit of Virtue: the Moral Theology & Psychology of Ibn Hasm, tr. Muhammad Abu Layla
Islamic Conception of Justice, M. khadduri
Muslim Character, Muhammad al-Ghazali

American Muslim Women: Negotiating Race, Class, and Gender within the Ummah (Religion, Race, and Ethnicity) by Jamillah Ashira Karim
Believing Women in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur’an, Asma Barlas
Beyond the Veil, Fatima Mernissi
Encyclopedia of Muhammad’s Women Companions by Muhammad Hisham Kabbani and Laleh Bakhtiar
Gendering the Spirit, Durre Ahmed
The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf, Mohja Kahf
Inside the gender jihad: women’s reform in Islam, Amina Wadud
Islam, Women, and the Challenges of Today, Farzana Hassan
Living Islam Out Loud: American Muslim Women Speak, ed. Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur
My Soul is a Woman: The Feminine in Islam by Annemarie Schimmel
One Woman’s Jihad: Nana Asma’u, Scholar and Scribe by Beverly B. Mack and Jean Boyd
Qur’an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Texts From A Woman’s Perspective, Amina Wadud Muhsin
Rights of Women in Islam by Asgharali Engineer
Tao of Islam, Sachiko Murata
The Forgotten Queens of Islam, by Fatima Mernissi, Mary Jo Lakeland
Muslim Women in America: The Challenge of Islamic Identity Today by Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, Jane I. Smith, and Kathleen M. Moore
My Soul is a Woman: The Feminine in Islam by Annemarie Schimmel
One Woman’s Jihad: Nana Asma’u, Scholar and Scribe by Beverly B. Mack and Jean Boyd
Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender and Pluralism,Omid Safi
Qur’an and Women, Dr. Amina Wadud
Rethinking Muslim Women and the Veil: Challenging Historical & Modern Stereotypes by Katherine Bullock
Shattering The Stereotypes: Muslim Women Speak Out, Nawal El Saadawi
Veil and the Male Elite, Fatima Mernissi
Voices of Resistance: Muslim Women on War, Faith and Sexuality, Sarah Husain
Woman in Islam, Aiaha Lemu
Woman in Shari’ah, Abdur Rahman I. Doi
Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate, Leila Ahmed
Women, Islamic Society and Islam, Lamya al-Faruqi
Women in Islam, Aisha Lemu
Women and Islam: An Historical and Theological Enquiry, Fatima Mernissi
Women in Shar’iah, Abdur Rahman Doi
Women, Muslim Society, and Islam, Lamya Al-Faruqi
Windows of Faith (Muslim Women Scholar-Activists in North America, Gisela Webb
Women of Sufism, Camille helminski

Atlas of the Islamic World Since 1500, Francis Robinson
Cambridge Atlas of the Middle East

The Big List: Ordered Alphabetically

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