Ramadan Book Recommendations 2023

This list was compiled in the hopes of facilitating a closer connection with Allah ﷻ, His Book, and aid in perfecting our worship. May Allah ﷻ forgive our shortcomings and enable us to make the most of this blessed month. This list is meant to be used as a supplement to our recommended reads from Ramadan 2022.

We encourage you to purchase the below listed books at your local Muslim-owned bookstore, however for the sake of ease, links have been provided.  If you’re purchasing from Imam Ghazali Publishing, you can get a 15% discount using the links we have provided. 

1. Concerning Divine Wisdom in the Creation of Man by Abu Hamid Al Ghazali, translated by Dr. Kamran Riaz

This wonderful book is crowned by a sublime introduction written by Shaykh Amin Kholwadia of Darul Qasim College, wherein he presents an excellent primer in understanding the Muslim worldview that so often leads to the production of such great works. The introduction alone is worth buying the book, and the subsequent sections will allow the reader to marvel at the creations of God and the impressive breadth of knowledge exhibited by our tradition’s intellectual luminaries. If one of your goals this Ramadan is to potentiate your awe towards Islam, this book is a must-read. It can be purchased here

2. The Endless Banquet (3 volumes) by Hamza Abdul-Malik

To rectify the dearth of original English works that engage with God’s Holy Book, Imam Hamza Abdul-Malik published a reading guide that does away with the difficult phrasing often experienced in translated works. It is divided into chapters based on the 30 ajza’ of the Qur’an, and thematically groups passages within the surahs with an emphasis on subtleties that often escape the reader in simple translations of the Qur’an. This book will serve well as a taraweeh companion. It can be purchased here

3. The Pearled Necklace translated by Nuh Saunders

Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an, and by extension, it should be a special time for the haamileen (carriers) of the Qur’an. The Pearled Necklace is a translation by Ustadh Nuh Saunders of a poem on the conditions and etiquettes of memorizing the Qurʾān and the methods of reviewing. It aims to provide a strategy on memorizing and retaining the Qur’an in our hearts, and maintaining the standards of huffaz in our community. It can be purchased here

4. The Beginning of Guidance by Imam al-Ghazali

This is the book for anyone looking for a road map to follow a spiritual journey and put Islamic principles and practices into action. The book is divided into three sections: obedience, refraining from disobedience, and the adab of companionship with Allah and His creation. Imam al-Ghazali emphasizes the importance of seeking knowledge, purification of the heart, and perfection in our worship. It can be purchased here

5. Al-Ghazali on Disciplining the Soul and on Breaking the Two Desires: Books XXII and XXIII of the Revival of the Religious Sciences

A vital aspect of fasting is abstinence from otherwise permissible actions. The ultimate end is to cultivate Taqwa (God-conscientiousness) in each and every living moment. To attain that, complete avoidance of desires that contravene or are otherwise disliked by the Lawgiver is essential. Imam al-Ghazali, in the 22nd and 23rd books of his magnum opus Ihya Ulum al-Din, advises us on how to discipline our souls so as to refine our character to God’s liking and cure the diseases that ail our hearts. He also expounds on the two carnal desires that, though permissible outside of it, are the primary prohibitions in the state of fasting. This book is essential for maximizing the benefit of one’s fasts in and beyond the sacred month of Ramadan. It can be purchased here

6. The Beneficial Epistle & Decisive Proof on The Science of Divine Unity by Muhammad Salih al-Furfur 

This is a condensed but thorough book that summarizes some of the more complex works in the area of mainstream Sunni theology. It has served as the main introductory text for decades. The author outlines and provides proof for the central tenets of faith that every Muslim should hold: Allah ﷻ and His attributes, prophethood, the revealed scriptures, angels, predestination, and the Last Day. It can be purchased here

7. On Prayers Upon the Prophet (Gems from the Shifa) translated by Talut Dawood

A habit that is beloved to Allah ﷻ and a means of being with His Beloved in the hereafter that every Muslim should cultivate in their daily routine is sending prayers and blessings on the Prophet ﷺ. Because of its vitalness and the reward attained by sending prayers and blessings (salawat) upon our beloved Prophet saws, many scholars have written treatises on the topic. This short treatise by Qadi Iyad is the perfect read for the Muslim who wishes to learn the virtues and method of sending salawat. It can be purchased here

8. Al-Ghazali on the Ninety-nine Beautiful Names of God 

This work, a translation of Hujjatul Islam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali’s al-Maqsad al-Asna, is a comprehensive commentary on the 99 names of Allah from a theological, cosmological, and moral perspective. Although he delves into technical semantic and logical discussions in certain parts of the text, there is great benefit to be derived by the average Muslim from al-Ghazali’s sublime explanations of the many names with which we have been commanded to call upon Allah. Even if not read cover to cover, the book is invaluable as a reference text when one wishes to learn more about our Lord. It can be purchased here

Compiled by Abu Zayd AbdurRahman, Wassim Hassan, and Raissa Khalil.

Photo by Masjid Pogung Dalangan on Unsplash

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