Seerah Book Recommendations 2022

We are nearing the end of the blessed month of Rabi al-Awwal, the 3rd month in the Islamic calendar. This month has a special connection to the Noble Messenger of God ﷺ: both his arrival into and departure from this temporal world occurred in this month. Surely, it is most appropriate to devote ourselves to learning about the Beloved of God ﷺ in Rabi al-Awwal. The following compilation of English works on the Prophetic life and personality have been thoughtfully selected to help readers cultivate an intimate sense of knowledge and reverence for the Messenger ﷺ. Continue reading Seerah Book Recommendations 2022

Reclaiming Islamic History

Famously recommended by former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, Darul Qasim’s Ustadh Firas Alkhateeb’s book, Lost Islamic History, is a must-add to any Muslim’s bookshelf. Those already familiar with the seerah or well-versed in history likely will not benefit beyond a light review. However, for those like me, who have trouble delineating history between the reign of the khulafa rashidun (righteous caliphs) and our current state (double meaning intended), this is a fantastic place to start.  Continue reading Reclaiming Islamic History

Muslim Influence on Dante Alighieri’s Thought: a Book Review of Miguel Asin’s ‘Islam and The Divine Comedy’

A Book Review of Islam and The Divine Comedy by Miguel Asin [It is not] possible any longer to deny Islamic literature the place of honor to which it is entitled in the stately train of the forerunners of Dante’s poem. [1] One of the most significant impacts European colonization had on its subjugated people was the complete and total erasure of any mention of the literary, … Continue reading Muslim Influence on Dante Alighieri’s Thought: a Book Review of Miguel Asin’s ‘Islam and The Divine Comedy’

Seerah in English: Martin Lings’ “Muhammed: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources”

The late Martin Lings’ (also known as Abu Bakr Siraj al-Din) Muhammad ﷺ: His Life Based On The Earliest Sources is among the seerah books written in English that have received widespread acclaim. Originally published in 1983, the book continues to be among highly-ranked seerah literature in the English language and read by scholars and laypeople alike. Continue reading Seerah in English: Martin Lings’ “Muhammed: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources”

Andy Weir’s Artemis: Muslims in Science Fiction

A number of movies in recent years like Dune, Interstellar, and The Martian thrust science fiction back into the media-consumer American consciousness. Andy Weir, the author of The Martian (which the movie was based on) has become a household name for more ardent fans, and duly so. The Martian and his recent Project Hail Mary are excellent science fiction stories of a man’s last efforts to survive against all odds. Both feature a tight plotline epitomizing the struggle against the forces of nature and humorous narrators. He writes with wit and weaves these tales with remarkable fluidity by contrasting humor with impending doom, and the vast swathes of space and nature with man’s frailty against a backdrop of highly technical ingenuity. In comparison, his 2017 novel Artemis fell short. However, the addition of a Muslim character warrants further analysis and the potential of Muslim science-fiction. Continue reading Andy Weir’s Artemis: Muslims in Science Fiction

Modern Muslim Activism: Returning to the Sacred

Activism is a loaded word. It is a label that ranges from being a commodity used for profit by companies to one that elicits groans at sincere intentions but for the wrong causes. Amidst online discussion of Islamophobia, performative activism, cancel culture, and identity politics, the role of American Muslims comes to light — of what is right and wrong, and the role American Muslims play in establishing justice. what our role in establishing justice is. In response, Imam Dawud Walid offers his booklet Towards Sacred Activism as a corrective. Continue reading Modern Muslim Activism: Returning to the Sacred

Traversing Tradition Book Recommendations 2021

Commuting to and from work, hours have been freed for us to use at our discretion. A common complaint by those who don’t read is not necessarily that they don’t have time, it’s that they don’t know what to read. For some, it has been so long since they last picked up a book that they’ve forgotten what genres they used to enjoy. An easy way around this is to think about what you currently enjoy watching. Whether it’s shows on Netflix, video essays on YouTube or anime on your mate’s Crunchyroll, think about the subject matter and the overarching genres. Continue reading Traversing Tradition Book Recommendations 2021

To Arrakis and Back: Frank Herbert’s Dune in Retrospect

It’s not uncommon to hear Herbert’s name alongside other pioneers in modern genre fiction, the likes of J.R.R Tolkien and C.S Lewis. The book, however, is not lauded on all fronts. It has its critics as well as its fans and even so, much of what people tend to enjoy about the novel has to do with the wider project of Herbert’s literary Universe and the depth of craft in his worldbuilding, as opposed to the narrative alone.  Continue reading To Arrakis and Back: Frank Herbert’s Dune in Retrospect