Must have books in our home library

Possessing books

As a student of knowledge, we should try own as many books as we need for they are our tools of learning. However, we should not get into the trap of collecting books or creating a library of books without reading them.

Every book we buy, it should be read at least once, then re-read again with the purposes of furthering understanding or for research and reference.

Books are for self-development,
Not for shelf-development.

So what books should we have in our personal library?

Here is a list of recommended books we should have in our library

Aqeeda: The articles of faith (iman)

  • Aqeeda At-Tahawiyya by Imam Tahawi
  • Islamic Creed Series (8 volumes) by  Dr. Umar Al-Ashqar [Longer but easy to read]
  • Imam Abu Hanifa’s Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar Explained (by Imam Mulla Ali Al-Qari)  [a detailed analysis of tawhid]
  • The Beneficial Message – Definitive Proof in the Study of Theology [a detailed analysis of theology]

Qur’an with translation

  • The Qur’an by Dr Abdel Haleem
  • The Meanings of the Noble Quran by Mufti Taqi Usmani [An excellent translation and commentary on the Qur’an]

Fiqh

You need a book in Fiqh which is simple and easy to read in order to know everything you need to know about worship  (tahara, salah, fasting, zakat and hajj).

  • Nur al-Idah: The Light of Clarification by Hasan Shurunbulali (Hanafi school)
  • Mukhtasar Al-Quduri by Imam Abul-Husayn Ahmad (Hanafi school)

Tafseer al-Quran: Commentary of the Quran

  • A Thematic Commentary on the Quran by Shaykh Muhammad Al-Ghazali
  • The History of the Quranic Text, from Revelation to Compilation by Shaykh Mustafa al-Azami

Tafseer of ibn Kathir (10 Volumes) which is a classical commentary should be avoided as it’s long and confusing until we gain a footing in the sciences of the Deen.

Ulum Al-Qur’an: The science of Qur’an

  • Ulum al Qur’an: An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur’an by Ahmad Von Denffer

Hadith: The saying of the Prophet

  • The Forty Hadith by Imam Nawawi
  • Al-Adab Al-Mufrad: A Code for Everyday Living, The Example of the Early Muslims
  • Riyad-us-Saliheen (2 Volumes) – The Meadows of the Righteous by Imam Nawawi (which is a collection of practical and motivational Hadiths)

Ulum al-Hadith: The science of Hadith

  • An Introduction to the Science of Hadith by Suhaib Hasan

Seerah

Everybody needs to know the life of the Prophet (peace be on him). There are plenty of books on it.

  • Our Master Muhammad: The Messenger of Allah by Imam Abdullah Sirajuddin, translated by Khalid Williams. One of the best book on the description of the Prophet.
  • Muhammad, Man and Prophet: A Complete Study of the Life of the Prophet of Islam by Adil Salahi
  • Stories of the Prophets by Ibn Kathir

History

History and biography of the Companions and the Scholars. Biographies of the righteous people is a great way to get (himmah) high aspiration.

  • The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History by Ibn Khaldun
  • Companions of the Prophet: (2 volumes) by Abdul Wahid Hamid and Habiba Hamid
  • Travelling in the Pursuit of Knowledge by Khatib Al-Baghdadi
  • Value of Time By Shaykh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah [Anecdotes and stories of the scholars in how they utilised thier time]

Usul al-Fiqh: Introduction to The Principles of Fiqh

  • Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence by Mohammad Hashim Kamali
  • Maqasid Al-Shariah as Philosophy of Islamic Law: A Systems Approach by Jasser Auda

Spirituality

  • Al-Wabil al-Sayyib (the Invocation of God) by Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya
  • Kitab Al-Hikam (The Book of Wisdoms) a Collection of Sufi Aphorisms by Ibn Ata’illah al-Iskandari
  • Bidayat al-Hidaya (The Beginning of Guidance) by Imam Al-Ghazali

Ihya Ulum ad-Din comprises of forty books in 4 volumes, I don’t recommend this book for beginners and especially without the verification of hadith.

How to arrange books

The Qur’an is to be placed on the top shelves. This shows the respect that the Qur’an has in our library and as for us, it should be easily accessible and read often to show the respect and importance it has in our life. The glorification of the Qur’an over all other books, then Taseer followed by hadith books.

The Qur’an is revered amongst our books by placing it on the top shelf.
The Qur’an is revered in our lives by placing it on the top of our priorities to read and engage with.

Benefits of reading

There are huge benefits to reading, here are 10 such benefits:

  1. Reading helps to increase our knowledge which can make us closer to Allah.
  2. Regular reading makes us more curious and more thirsty to know and learn.
  3. While busy reading we are prevented from delving into falsehood.
  4. Habitual reading prevents us from keeping company with the idle and inactive.
  5. By reading often, we develop eloquence and clarity of speech.
  6. Reading helps us to develop the mind and frame our thoughts.
  7. Reading improves both memory and understanding.
  8. By reading, we benefit from the experiences, wisdom and the understanding of the scholars.
  9. By reading, our faith will increase when we read books that mention the deen in a positive manner.
  10. Reading helps to relax our mind and make better use of time (such as travelling or waiting).

Read a broad range of topics: the Qur’an, its explanation, the biography of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions (may Allah be pleased with them), hadith, Islamic Jurisprudence, history, literature, books of general knowledge. Sometimes, your best companion is a book

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Abu Ibrahim has a background in engineering, IT and management consultancy, and reinvented himself as a life coach, writer and secondary school teacher. In addition to his special interest in spirituality, he shares his son’s love of dinosaurs and Lamborghinis.