Losing yourself to a great read is one of life’s greatest joys. With this current pandemic forcing us to stay indoors and practice social distancing, there is no time like the present to pick up a book and immerse ourselves in new knowledge, new worlds and gain new perspectives.
1. Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics) Translated by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem
The noble Qur’an – the book we reach for in times of happiness and sadness, in repentance and gratitude, for guidance and assurance. This translation is widely adored for being written in contemporary English that remains faithful to the original Arabic script, preserving the powerful eloquence of the holy book while making it easily comprehensible. English readers would find this book useful in supplementing your knowledge about the Qur’an. With notes on context like history and geography, and an informative introduction, this is where anyone can start to learn, to know of, to dive in about Islam.
2. The Heart of the Quran: Commentary of Surah Yasin by Asim Khan
A commentary on a well-loved and vastly-recited surah; this book nudges us to reflect on the teachings of Surah Yasin. It is written in a succinct manner that is easy to digest with useful diagrams and illustrations that creates an engaging read. The author highlights the Qur’an’s beautifully nuance language and often reminds readers of practicable changes we can make in our lives in line with the surah’s meanings. Insights into the verses certainly help us expand our understanding and appreciation of the surah, enriching our future recital of Surah Yasin.
3. If The Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran by Carla Power
Titled after an ayah in Surah Al-Kahf, If The Oceans Were Ink is chronicled after the author’s study of the Qur’an with her long-time friend Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi. An interfaith understanding of the religion, a compassionate and revealing conversation among friends, a debate and discovery of values and meanings with lessons waiting to be learnt: this book vibrantly explores faith and busts dehumanizing myths surrounding Muslims. For those curious for glimpses into the lives of this unlikely friendship, If The Oceans Were Ink shares it all.
4. Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali
After being suspended for standing up to her Islamophobic teacher, 18-year-old Zayneb makes her way to spend two weeks with her aunt in Doha. On the flight, she meets Adam, who is keeping a huge secret from his father and sister. Zayneb and Adam began to share their life stories. This YA novel not only features complex Muslim characters, it also explores themes of prejudice, racism and Islamophobia to illustrates the painful realities that exist for our community. A remarkable lifelike portrayal of what it is like to be Muslim today, Love From A to Z is earnest and refreshing and truly shows the importance of representation in media.
5.Becoming by Michelle Obama
This eloquent memoir by the former First Lady of the United States chronicles the experiences that have made her the person she is today. She recounts about growing up black and in a working class on the South Side of Chicago; about getting married and the work that comes in maintaining her marriage; about motherhood and identity; about being in politics and the first black First Lady. The book is written with humour and humility and a strikingly honesty that is inspiring. For nuggets of wisdom and a story to be inspired by, this is the book for you.