Secrets of Heavenly Food, Hajjah Naziha Adil Kabbani

(Institute for Spiritual and Cultural Advancement)

This beautiful recipe book begins with the premise that well prepared, good, nourishing food is an important aspect of spiritual advancement. The recipes included in this book are tried-and-tested, treasured recipes that have been in the author’s family for generations, often catering for large crowds. Each recipe has been beautifully photographed in this glossy collection. Chapters include: Soups, salads, eggs, beans, bread and pasta, poultry, fish, meat, beverages and much more. Each chapter begins with a thoughtful note from the author, which could include a quote from the Qur’an, a relevant hadith, or an anecdote from the author’s own fascinating life as the daughter of Maulana Sheikh Nazim of the Naqshbandi tariqa. Recipes hail from various parts of the Middle East and the Mediterranean region.

The Muslim Women’s Handbook, Huda Khattab

(Ta-Ha Publishers)

In the introduction, the author states that there are many books that cover the Muslim man’s responsibility towards his wife, and the females in his family. This book, however, is to make the woman aware of what her role is in the family and in the wider community. Written in easy language for a wide readership, Huda Khattab writes candidly about issues that many shy away from speaking about, including personal hygiene, menstruation, intimacy and divorce. Other topics include marriage, hijab, pregnancy and motherhood. A highly useful resource for Muslim women, teenagers and adults alike.

The Virtues of the Prophet: A Young Muslim’s Guide to the Greater Jihad, The War Against the Passions, Charles Upton

(Sophia Perennis)

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is the model of human virtue, the perfection of God’s creation, the complete man. Charles Upton believes that in these trying times for Muslims, we need to remember not only the Holy Book that was revealed to the Last Prophet, but the man himself who was the perfect mirror of that Book – the Holy Qur’an. This book, aimed at Muslim youth in particular, concentrates on ten virtues of the Prophet (ten out of several virtues, as he possessed them all), discussing them alongside Quranic injunctions and hadith. On reading this, the reader to keep polishing the God-given gift that has been bestowed on all creation, the divine light embedded deep within us. Be inspired to develop and discover our true nature by reading this fascinating and thought provoking work.

Eid Kareem, Ameer Saab! By Fawzia Gilani Williams

(Goodword Books)

Eid is a time for joyous celebration, goodwill and charity. What happens to the selfish man that shuns these aspects of Eid and lives only for himself? In this beautifully illustrated book, Fawzia Gilani Williams tells of the story of stingy Ameer Saab, a wealthy, greedy man who cares not for worshipping God or showing kindness to others. Allah, however, is the changer of hearts, and even Ameer Saab can change his ways after he wakes up from a terrible nightmare! This is a well written moral tale, perfect for young readers or for parents to read out loud.

I Can…Wear Hijab Anywhere (I Can…Series), Yasmin Ibrahim

(The Islamic Foundation)

Young girls will run for this book with its bright pink cover and beautiful pictures of girls and ladies wearing scarves in a variety of colours. A bright, colourful board book, suitable for the very young, this series encourages children to celebrate being Muslim wherever they may find themselves, even in a secular society. You can skip, play and jump in the playground wearing hijab, do the gardening, help Mum do the shopping, go to the zoo, all wearing a scarf. Other titles in the series include: I Can Pray Anywhere, I Can Say Bismillah Anywhere and I Can Make Dua Anywhere.

The Barzanji Mawlid

The Barzanji Mawlid was composed by Imam Barzanji, and celebrates the birth and life of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, in beautiful poetic prose. It is performed throughout the world, in melodious tunes popular amongst the people.

There have been many compositions that allow us to rejoice in the bounties and blessings of remembering Allah's Chosen Beloved. Some are in prose, others in poetry. Some are in Arabic, others are in local vernaculars. Among the most important and universally accepted is the one compiled by Ja'far bin Husayn al-Barzanji.

The Barzanji Mawlid comes with:

  • Colour hardback book
  • The complete Arabic text
  • Full, facing English translation
  • More than 15 qasidas and their English translation
  • 2 cd set of the complete recitation and qasidas!

Zeitoun- Dave Eggers

Dave Eggers' book ZEITOUN should be a must read. Simple to read, well written, and worthy of your time. Matter of fact, it demands your time to say, never again! This is the story of the Zeitoun family, Abdulrahman, Kethy and their children and Hurricane Katrina. They are Muslims, and long time American citizens. As the family flees the approaching storm, Abdulrahman stays to protect his home and business. He also goes out of his way to help neighbors, strangers and even stranded dogs. His frustration with assistance from the outside grows with every passing day. And finally his arrest for potential crimes and maybe terrorist activties and imprisonment is a disgrace for this country and our relief efforts during the hurricane. All proceeds from the book go to charities in the New Orleans area. This is wonderful.

In search of Fatima – Ghada Karmi

Very few diaspora Palestinians have written memoirs as intimate as Ghada Karmi's frank account of her life: her childhood in Palestine, the flight to Britain after the catastrophe of 1948, and coming of age in the coffee-bars of Golders Green, the middle-class Jewish quarter in North London. A gentle humour describes the bizarre and sometimes tense realities that mask her life in 'Little Tel Aviv' and, later, her struggle, like that of many other women in the late fifties, to get a university grant to study medicine.

The intimacy of the book is set against the continuing crisis in the Middle East. In her case it is not an account of physical hardships and abuse. Her immediate family was lucky. But as she grew older, memories of the lost homeland began to haunt her. Her anger grows at the self-deception of most Israelis, who justify the appalling actions of their governments by pretending that what is taking place isn't actually happening.

In Search of Fatima reminds us that the only crime the Palestinians committed was to be born in Palestine. Its author, a committed physician, is desperate for the wounds to heal, but grim-visaged History refuses to oblige.

Common Ground – Reza Shah Kazemi

This is an important and pioneering book, which seeks to find common ground between the teachings of Islam and of Buddhism. It is my hope that on the basis of this common ground, followers of each tradition may come to appreciate the spiritual truths their different paths entail, and from this develop a basis for respect for each others’ practice and beliefs.This may not have occurred very often before, because there has been so little opportunity for real understanding between these two great traditions.This book attempts to set that right ... From a Buddhist point of view, the practice of Islam is evidently a spiritual path of salvation.

— His Holiness, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama
[This is] the essential aim of the Common Ground project: inviting into our tent the stranger who may not look, worship, or be like us in many ways, because he or she is a creation of God, here for a purpose, and someone to be honored as a fellow guest of God .... Buddhists are heirs to a very powerful spiritual training. - Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Hanson (from his essay in this volume)

[Common Ground is] .... an earnest attempt to help Muslims to see Buddhism as a true religion, and Buddhists to see Islam as an authentic Dharma. - Professor Dr Hashim Kamali (from his Foreword)

Marvels of the Heart – Imam Ghazali

This is a classic Sufi manual on the 'science of the heart.' For Sufis, the 'heart' is more than a piece of flesh, it is the seat of the soul, and holds the key to the intimate relationship which exists between soul and body.

Each heart, according to this traditional wisdom accumulated over centuries of spiritual practice and experience, possesses four qualities: predatory, animal, demonic, and divine. The latter represents our true origin and potential, and by use of the intelligence and spiritual practices enabled by God's grace, we may restore equilibrium to our inner core. As the Koran says: 'By the remembrance of God do hearts find peace.'

Ghazali uses a series of traditional Sufi teaching stories to illustrate the theme of the heart as a mirror. The light of the divine sun can only shine in the heart when the seeker recalls the Prophet's teaching that 'everything has a polish, and the polish of hearts is the remembrance of God.' Bad character traits, acquired through faulty upbringing, are like 'a smoke which clouds the heart's mirror'; this is the 'heart's rust' mentioned in the Koran. But the one who has polished his heart is made luminous by God's light, and brings that light to others, which is the quality of sainthood.

Tafsir ibn Abbas – ibn Abbas (RA)

Tafsir Ibn Abbas, presented here in complete English translation for the first time ever, is the second work in the Great Commentaries on the Holy Qur'an series. The series aims to make widely available leading exegetical works in translation for study and research in unabridged form, which are faithful to the letter and meaning of the Arabic.

Attributed variously to the Companion Abdullah Ibn 'Abbas (d.687CE) and to Ibn Ya'qub al-Firuzabadi (d.1414CE), Tafsir Ibn Abbas is one of the pivotal works for understanding the environment which influenced the development of Quranic exegesis. Despite its uncertain authorship and its reliance on controversial Israelite stories, Tafsir Ibn Abbas nevertheless offers valuable insight into the circulation and exchange of popular ideas between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity during the formative phase of Islamic exegesis.

This commentary is unabridged and uncensored, like the other works in the Great Commentaries on the Holy Qur’an series. The traditions attributed to Ibn Abbas that are at the core of this work render it as a seminal work of exegesis. Tafsir Ibn Abbas is unencumbered with isnads, or chains of transmission, and does not contain elaborate theological or philosophical explanations or technical grammatical explanations, thus making the work accessible to the non-specialist. Muslim scholarship considers the author Ibn Abbas as the real father of the science of Tafsir. The reports related from Ibn Abbas regarding the interpretation of the Qur’an are quite abundant. In fact, there is almost no interpretation of a Qur’anic verse for which one cannot find an interpretation to Ibn Abbas.

Removal of confusion – Shaykh Ibrahim bin Abdallah Niasse

The Kashif al-Ilbas is the magnum opus of twentieth-century West Africa’s greatest Muslim leader, Shaykh al-Islam Ibrahim ‘Abd-Allah Niasse (1900-1975).

Shaykh Ibrahim was a Muslim scholar and sage of the Tijaniyya, a Sufi order which has spread to all corners of the Muslim world since Shaykh Ahmad al-Tijani (d. 1815, Fes) established the confraternity in North Africa in the late eighteenth century.

Shaykh Ibrahim had unparalleled success in propagating the Tijaniyya, and those owing their initiation into the order to Shaykh Ibrahim currently number around one hundred million and make up more than half of all the Tijanis in the world.

The distinguishing practice of Shaykh Ibrahim’s movement was tarbiya, or spiritual training. Through tarbiya, aspirants transcended the confines of their ego-selves and “tasted” the directly-experienced knowledge, or gnosis (ma’rifa), of God.

The Kashif al-Ilbas, written early on in the Shaykh’s career in 1931-1932, is primarily a guide for the teaching and learning of the experiential knowledge (ma’rifa) of God on a widespread scale.

Drawing on the concept of the spiritual “flood,” gnosis for all who desired it, Shaykh Ibrahim demonstrates in the Kashif that no believing man or woman should deprive him or herself of spiritual illumination.

Islam and the secular state – Abdullahi Ahmed an- Naim

What should be the place of Shari‘a—Islamic religious law—in predominantly Muslim societies of the world? In this ambitious and topical book, a Muslim scholar and human rights activist envisions a positive and sustainable role for Shari‘a, based on a profound rethinking of the relationship between religion and the secular state in all societies.

An-Na‘im argues that the coercive enforcement of Shari‘a by the state betrays the Qur’an’s insistence on voluntary acceptance of Islam. Just as the state should be secure from the misuse of religious authority, Shari‘a should be freed from the control of the state. State policies or legislation must be based on civic reasons accessible to citizens of all religions. Showing that throughout the history of Islam, Islam and the state have normally been separate, An-Na‘im maintains that ideas of human rights and citizenship are more consistent with Islamic principles than with claims of a supposedly Islamic state to enforce Shari‘a. In fact, he suggests, the very idea of an “Islamic state” is based on European ideas of state and law, and not Shari‘a or the Islamic tradition.

Bold, pragmatic, and deeply rooted in Islamic history and theology, Islam and the Secular State offers a workable future for the place of Shari‘a in Muslim societies

Maqasid al Shari’ah as Philosophy of Islamic Law – Jasser Auda

In this pathbreaking study, Jasser Auda presents a systems approach to the philosophy and juridical theory of Islamic law based on its purposes, intents, and higher objectives (maqasid). For Islamic rulings to fulfill their original purposes of justice, freedom, rights, common good, and tolerance in today s context, Auda presents maqasid as the heart and the very philosophy of Islamic law. He also introduces a novel method for analysis and critique, one that utilizes relevant features from systems theory, such as, wholeness, multidimensionality, openness, and especially, purposefulness of systems. This book will benefit all those interested in the relationship between Islam and a wide variety of subjects, such as philosophy of law, morality, human rights, interfaith commonality, civil society, integration, development, feminism, modernism, postmodernism, systems theory, and culture.

A return to purity in creed – Imam Ghazali

In this book, Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali proves, once again, to be a man of the times by striking a balance between two extremes and refocusing the common Muslim on the simplistic beauty of the Islamic doctrine as learned and transmitted by the early Muslim community.

Largely debated between specualative theologians (mutakallimun) and traditionalists (ahl al-hadith) for centuries, speculative theology (kalam) and figurative interpretation (ta'wil) remain a lively source of contention amongst Muslims today. Traditionalists have remained loyal in their opposition to rational pursuits in theology and claim the mantle of orthodoxy in creed. The speculative theologians, while having strong rational and scriptual support for their views, still struggle to convince a considerable sector of the Muslim populace that their understanding is not a departure from the creed of the pious forebears (Salaf).

Imam Ghazzali here warns with great details about the detriments of engaging in polemical theology. Complete with explanatory notes, this translation is a great contribution to English readers.

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Islamic Saints
Sufis (Islamic mystics) form an important element in Islamic society. The author provides an explanation of their mystical doctrine and practice. He also discusses recognizing pious and holy mystics as saints and the value of their intercession on behalf of believers. The text stresses the practice of the Tijaniyah order of Sufis. Displayed is a diagram explaining the religious life of the mystics, which revolves around the teaching of their master.
From the desert librabries of Timbuktu