Welcome to the library.

In this section, we will be sharing books, magazines, newspapers and resources we have encountered that may help enhance your practice this month.
If you know of any written material that may benefit the community, please do share with us all at the RMC in the comments below.

We would also love to know of any reflections and take-aways you have gained from these lectures in the comment section below, your input may inspire many.

The Islamic faith places great honour and responsibility upon seeking knowledge. Intelligence, free will and conscientious actions are what define our profound existence. And it is with knowledge that we are able to navigate the productivity of all three components.

“And say: My Lord, increase me in knowledge.” 
(Quran 20:114)

Phtotography by Omair Shah @_omair.s
Alhambra Palace/ Granada, Andalusian Spain

RMC Recommended Reads …


‘Inner Dimensions of Islamic Worship’
Al Ghazali

As seen in ‘Gems of Knowledge

In this book readers are led on a powerful and inspiring journey through the inner dimensions of a range of Islamic acts, including prayer, almsgiving, fasting, and pilgrimage. Consisting of a selection of writings by a great figure in Islamic history, Imam al-Ghazali, this book helps readers realize the benefits of the upliftment of their spiritual, social, and moral qualities. Al-Ghazali, a towering figure in Islam, was born at Tus, near Mashhad in Iran, in the early Seljuq era. He wrote a large number of works, of which his magnum opus was the Ihya’ Ulum al-Din compiled during his period of retirement and contemplation.

‘The Study Quran’
Seyyed Hossein Nasr

The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary is a 2015 English-language edition of the Quran edited by Seyyed Hossein Nasr and published by HarperOne. Caner Dagli, Maria Dakake, and Joseph Lumbard prepared the translation, wrote the commentary, and also served as general editors, and Mohammed Rustom contributed as an assistant editor. Alongside a new English translation and extensive commentary, The Study Quran features numerous essays, maps, and other material.

‘Al-Ghazali on Disciplining the Soul
(and other books from the collection)

  The spiritual life in Islam begins with ‘riyadat al-nafs’, the inner warfare against the ego. Distracted and polluted by worldliness, the lower self has a tendency to drag the human creature down into arrogance and vice. Only by a powerful effort of will can the sincere worshipper achieve the purity of soul which enables him to attain God’s proximity. This translation of two chapters from “The Revival of the Religious Sciences” (“Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din”) details the sophisticated spiritual techniques adopted by classical Islam. In the first step, “On Disciplining the Soul,” which cites copious anecdotes from the Islamic scriptures and biographies of the saints, Ghazali explains how to acquire good character traits, and goes on to describe how the sickness of the heart may be cured. In the second part, “Breaking the Two Desires,” he focusses on the question of gluttony and sexual desire, concluding, in the words of the Prophet, that ‘the best of all matters is the middle way’. The translator has added an introduction and notes which explore Ghazali’s ability to make use of Greek as well as Islamic ethics. The work will prove of special interest to those interested in Sufi mysticism, comparative ethics, and the question of sexuality in Islam

‘A Treasury of Rumi’s Wisdom’
Muhammad Isa Waley

The version of Rumi that has become known as ‘the best-selling poet in North America’ is not a true one. 
The time has come to reveal more of Rumi. To challenge the seriously inaccurate portrayal of a new age guru who seemingly embraced, far ahead of his time, some of the heresies and vices most disliked in traditional Islam
This brilliant work, through careful selections from his work and accompanying commentaries, will bring readers closer to his poetry’s true, traditional meaning and the man himself, and his position as a great Islamic scholar, teacher and saint.

‘Reclaim Your Heart’
Yasmin Mogahed 

Reclaim Your Heart is not just a self-help book. It is a manual about the journey of the heart in and out of the ocean of this life. It is a book about how to keep your heart from sinking to the depths of that ocean, and what to do when it does. It is a book about redemption, about hope, about renewal. Every heart can heal, and each moment is created to bring us closer to that transformative return. Reclaim Your Heart is about finding that moment when everything stops and suddenly looks different. It is about finding your own awakening. And then returning to the better, truer, and freer version of yourself. Many of us live our lives, entrapped by the same repeated patterns of heartbreak and disappointment. Many of us have no idea why this happens. Reclaim Your Heart is about freeing the heart from this slavery. It is about the journey in an out of life’s most deceptive traps. This book was written to awaken the heart and provide a new perspective on love, loss, happiness, and pain. Providing a manual of sorts, Reclaim Your Heart will teach readers how to live in this life without allowing life to own you. It is a manual of how to protect your most prized possession: the heart.

‘Women in the Qur’an’
Asma Lamrabet

Today, the issue of Muslim women is held hostage between two perceptions: a conservative Islamic approach and a liberal Western approach. At the heart of this debate Muslim women are seeking to reclaim their right to speak in order to re-appropriate their own destinies, calling for the equality and liberation that is at the heart of the Qur’an.
However, with few female commentators on the meaning of the Qur’an and an overreliance on the readings of the Qur’an compiled centuries ago this message is often lost. In this book Asma Lamrabet demands a rereading of the Qur’an by women that focuses on its spiritual and humanistic messages in order to alter the lived reality on the ground.
By acknowledging the oppression of women, to different degrees, in social systems organised in the name of religion and also rejecting a perspective that seeks to promote Western values as the only means of liberating them, the author is able to define a new way. One in which their refusal to remain silent is an act of devotion and their demand for reform will lead to liberation.

‘Prayers of the Pious’
Omar Suleiman

This inspirational collection of prayers and reminders is the perfect companion for anyone who wishes to connect to the Divine. Shaykh Omar Suleiman provides us with thirty short prayers taken from the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and the early generations, each with a short reminder to deepen the impact of the prayer in our lives.
Prayers of the Pious provides spiritual gems that serve as valuable wisdom and practical advice for the soul. By reading this short work with an attentive heart, the reader can cultivate love for God and His Messenger and live life with gratitude and contentment

‘What I Believe’
Tariq Ramadan

In What I Believe, Ramadan attempts to set the record straight, laying out the basic ideas he stands for in clear and accessible prose. He describes the book as a work of clarification, directed at ordinary citizens, politicians, journalists, and others who are curious (or skeptical) about his positions. Aware that that he is dealing with emotional issues, Ramadan tries to get past the barriers of prejudice and misunderstanding to speak directly, from the heart, to his Muslim and non-Muslim readers alike. In particular, he calls on Western Muslims to escape the mental, social, cultural, and religious ghettos they have created for themselves and become full partners in the democratic societies in which they live. At the same time, he calls for the rest of us to recognize our Muslim neighbors as citizens with rights and responsibilities the same as ours. His vision is of a future in which a shared and confident pluralism becomes a reality at last.

‘In the Footsteps of the Prophet’
Tariq Ramadan

Named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most important innovators of the century, Tariq Ramadan is a leading Muslim scholar, with a large following especially among young European and American Muslims. Now, in his first book written for a wide audience, he offers a marvelous biography of the Prophet Muhammad, one that highlights the spiritual and ethical teachings of one of the most influential figures in human history. In the Footsteps of the Prophet is a fresh and perceptive look at Muhammad, capturing a life that was often eventful, gripping, and highly charged. Ramadan provides both an intimate portrait of a man who was shy, kind, but determined, as well as a dramatic chronicle of a leader who launched a great religion and inspired a vast empire. More important, Ramadan presents the main events of the Prophet’s life in a way that highlights his spiritual and ethical teachings. The book underscores the significance of the Prophet’s example for some of today’s most controversial issues, such as the treatment of the poor, the role of women, Islamic criminal punishments, war, racism, and relations with other religions. Selecting those facts and stories from which we can draw a profound and vivid spiritual picture, the author asks how can the Prophet’s life remain — or become again — an example, a model, and an inspiration? And how can Muslims move from formalism — a fixation on ritual — toward a committed spiritual and social presence? In this thoughtful and engaging biography, Ramadan offers Muslims a new understanding of Muhammad’s life and he introduces non-Muslims not just to the story of the Prophet, but to the spiritual and ethical riches of Islam.

‘The Life of Muhammad (SAW)’
Martin Lings

Martin Lings’ biography of Muhammad is an internationally acclaimed, comprehensive, and authoritative account of the life of the prophet. Based on the sira, the eighth- and ninth-century Arabic biographies that recount numerous events in the prophet’s life, it contains original English translations of many important passages that reveal the words of men and women who heard Muhammad speak and witnessed the events of his life.
Scrupulous and exhaustive in its fidelity to its sources, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources is presented in a narrative style that is easily comprehensible, yet authentic and inspiring in its use of language, reflecting both the simplicity and grandeur of the story it tells. This revised edition includes new sections detailing the prophet’s expanding influence and his spreading of the message of Islam into Syria and its neighboring states. It represents the final updates made to the text before the author’s death in 2005. The book has been published in 12 languages and has received numerous awards, including acknowledgment as best biography of the prophet in English at the National Seerate Conference in Islamabad.

50 Ideas You Really Need to Know’
Mona Siddiqui

No other religion is subject to as much debate and controversy as Islam. But who was Muhammad, and what did he teach? Does the Qur’an really preach holy war? What is the role of women within Islam? And what does the rise of Isil and militant Islam mean for Muslims and for the world?
Explaining Islam’s history, core beliefs and rituals, as well as current issues of political and social importance, this book covers everything you need to understand the world’s fastest-growing religion. Written by renowned scholar and Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies, Mona Siddiqui, it addresses such varied concepts as the five pillars of Islam; the divisions between Sunni and Shi’a; the importance of Shari`a law; the significance of Mecca and the Ka’ba; the role of Ramadan, the veil, the mosque and the madrasa; and much more – all in 50 concise and expert essays.

‘Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart
Hamzah Yusuf

This exploration of Islamic spirituality delves into the psychological diseases and cures of the heart. Diseases examined include miserliness, envy, hatred, treachery, rancour, malice, ostentation, arrogance, covetousness, lust, and other afflictions that assail people and often control them. The causes and practical cures of these diseases are discussed, offering a penetrating glimpse into how Islam deals with spiritual and psychological problems and demonstrating how all people can benefit from these teachings.

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