191. Ramadan Reading Stack – 2021

Ramadan Reading Stack – 2021

Each year whenever Ramadan comes around, I like to dive into non-fiction and historical narration about Islam and similar topics. I find that reading such books during this month gives your faith a boost, and is a nice break from different prayers one performs throughout the day.

That being said, I saw a post by @thereadingnook where she posted a book stack displaying all the books by Pakistani authors that haven’t fed into the usual stereotypes and white gaze pandering that is becoming quite a popular troupe authors employ. I don’t know that the appeal they find in creating such stories that feel devoid of the essence or reality of the place those stories originate from.

However, that is a rant and a discussion for another day!

Today, I’ll be listing some really interesting, life changing and engaging titles that you can read this month and throughout the year. Some are about religion, memoirs about people and their faith, the history of Makkah, the Prophet PBUH’s life and more.

I hope you find this list interesting and I have linked my own review in the title for the books that I have reviewed. Just click on it to read an in-depth analysis from my perspective.

Enjoy

  1. Believing Women in Islam by Asma Barlas

I am starting the list with this book because it has quite literally changed my life. The reading experience was extremely challenging and difficult, but the insight and understanding I have gained has reshaped my idea about having faith, my view on God, and the relationship I need to foster with the One above devoid of any stereotypes that have been perpetuated for centuries.

Believing Women in Islam by Asma Barlas

You will not be the same after reading this book, put it on your Ramadan Reading list. Trust me.

  1. Muhammad SAW by Martin Lings

The amount of post-its I have used to summarize all the information in each chapter is insane. I love the chronological order of events that have been described by the author starting with Prophet Ibrahim AS and onward. The language may seem a bit archaic and dry, but it is a well-researched and laid out book.

  1. My Past is a Foreign Country by Zeba Talkhani

This is a memoir by a young South Asian woman Zeba, who talks about her experience being brought up in KSA, moving back to India for higher studies, her journey for a master’s in UK and her relationship with her mother. At the heart of this memoir, is Zeba trying to unlearn and unshackle herself from the chains of patriarchy that have ruled over women for centuries, and finding agency through the lens of religion.

Flatlay cover of a book with knick knacks

Having spent 5 years in KSA, I felt like someone was talking about my life there. I absolutely related to this memoir and for your Ramadan Reading keep this on your list.

  1. Mecca by Ziauddin Sardar

This book isn’t an absolute favorite of mine due to some of the language the author has used to describe certain sects within Islam. However, this book will give a very detailed historical analysis of the city of Mecca all the way from Prophet’s PBHU birth to the late 90s.

Mecca by Ziauddin Sardar

The insight this book sheds on reigning families of Mecca and the changing political landscape spanning multiple centuries is fantastic to know. A must for a Ramadan Reading list.

  1. The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told by Alex Haley

The story of Malcolm X really touched me when I read it last year.

As an African American man who lived in the early 20th century, the struggles he faced, his path to religion and his fierce advocacy for the human rights during the Civil Rights Movement in America is nothing less of a whirlwind experience when you read it.

Autobiography of Malcolm X

There was so much I didn’t know about such as Nation of Islam, Malcolm X’s aggresive reputation propagated by the media, and his relationship with Muhammad Ali.

If you want to read one memoir or non-fiction for Ramadan, let it be this one.

  1. Islamic Philosophy of Human life by Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri

Tahir ul Qadri has been a very prominent, influential, and visible Islamic scholar in South Asia particularly Pakistan. The amount of times I have been associated with this man only because of our last name, has been a running joke since ’94. However, ever since his foray into politics during 2014 his popularity has decreased tremendously.

But one thing no one denies is the wealth of knowledge he has.

Now, I am quite skeptical about TUQ because of his politics but I am willing to give this book a chance, and for my Ramadan Reading list 2021, I will be tackling this book.

  1. Men in Charge by Jana Rumminger, Mulki Al-Sharmani, and Ziba Mir-Hosseini

This is an on-going read for me. One that I am quite behind on to be honest.

It is part of the Islam and Gender Readalong Bookclub hosted by @Sofia_Reading on Patreon. You can still join it if you want and get the book from her Patreon page along with each chapter’s discussion that is held every week on Sunday.

It is a collection of essays written by many female scholars and theologians and I am loving the topics that are being covered. Give it a read for your Ramadan Reading and check out Sofia’s Patreon page for more information.

And that concludes my Ramadan Reading Stack for 2021 suggestions. Hope you find it helpful and have a blessed month of Ramadan.

-Sarah

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