Books I Recommend

Some books I've read that I think offer interesting and valuable insights.  I take no commission and do not take responsibility for the views presented in the books etc.

 
 
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No god but God - Reza Aslan

Though it is the fastest growing religion in the world, Islam remains shrouded by ignorance and fear. What is the essence of this ancient faith? Is it a religion of peace or war? How does Allah differ from the God of Jews and Christians? Can an Islamic state be founded on democratic values such as pluralism and human rights? A writer and scholar of comparative religions, Reza Aslan has earned international acclaim for the passion and clarity he has brought to these questions. In No god but God, challenging the “clash of civilizations” mentality that has distorted our view of Islam, Aslan explains this critical faith in all its complexity, beauty, and compassion.

 
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An Introduction to Islamic Law - Wael B. Hallaq

The study of Islamic law can be a forbidding prospect for those entering the field for the first time. Wael Hallaq, a leading scholar and practitioner of Islamic law, guides students through the intricacies of the subject in this absorbing introduction. The first half of the book is devoted to a discussion of Islamic law in its pre-modern natural habitat. The second part explains how the law was transformed and ultimately dismantled during the colonial period. In the final chapters, the author charts recent developments and the struggles of the Islamists to negotiate changes which have seen the law emerge as a primarily textual entity focused on fixed punishments and ritual requirements. The book, which includes a chronology, a glossary of key terms, and lists of further reading, will be the first stop for those who wish to understand the fundamentals of Islamic law, its practices and history.

 
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The Quran (Oxford World's Classics) - Translation by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem 3

This is the version of the Quran that I read and recommend. 

This superb new translation of the Qur'an is written in contemporary language that remains faithful to the meaning and spirit of the original, making the text crystal clear while retaining all of this great work's eloquence. The translation is accurate and completely free from the archaisms, incoherence, and alien structures that mar existing translations. Thus, for the first time, English-speaking readers will have a text of the Qur'an which is easy to use and comprehensible. Furthermore, Haleem includes notes that explain geographical, historical, and personal allusions as well as an index in which Qur'anic material is arranged into topics for easy reference. His introduction traces the history of the Qur'an, examines its structure and stylistic features, and considers issues related to militancy, intolerance, and the subjection of women.