General Books on Islam: Recommended by Dr. Abou El Fadl

Note: [Republished from the Scholar of the House website] The books listed below were selected by Dr. Abou El Fadl from a comprehensive bibliography of Islamic Studies books compiled by Professor Patrick O'Donnell, published in 2003. Books published after 2003 are not included. [Go to the complete comprehensive bibliography by Professor O'Donnell.]


Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced designations were determined by Dr. Abou El Fadl. Placement of a book within this section was determined by Professor O'Donnell.





Ahmed, Akbar. Islam Today: A Short Introduction to the Muslim World. London: I.B. Tauris, 1999.

Ali, Syed Ameer. The Spirit of Islam: A History of the Evolution and Ideals of Islam, with a Life of the Prophet. London: Chatto & Windus, 1978.

Ali-Karamali, Sumbul. The Muslim Next Door: The Qur'an, the Media, and That Veil Thing. Ashland, OR: White Cloud Press, 2008.

Denny, Frederick Mathewson. An Introduction to Islam. New York: Macmillan, 1994.

Endress, Gerhard. Islam: An Historical Introduction. New York: Columbia University Press, 2nd ed., 2002.

Esposito, John L. Islam: The Straight Path. New York: Oxford University Press, 3rd ed., 1998.

Esposito, John L. and John Obert Voll. Makers of Contemporary Islam. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Murata, Sachiko and William C. Chittick. The Vision of Islam. New York: Paragon House, 1994.

Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity. San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco, 2002.

Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. Ideals and Realities of Islam. London: Allen & Unwin, 1966.

Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. Islam: Religion, History, and Civilization. San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco, 2002.

Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. Islamic Life and Thought. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1981.

Renard, John. In the Footsteps of Muhammad: Understanding the Islamic Experience. New York: Paulist Press, 1992.

Renard, John. Seven Doors to Islam: Spirituality and the Religious Life of Muslims. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1996.

Renard, John, ed. Windows on the House of Islam: Muslim Sources on Spirituality. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1998.

Schuon, Frithjof. Islam and the Perennial Philosophy. London: World of Islam Festival Publ. Co., 1976.

Schuon, Frithjof (D.M. Matheson, trans.). Understanding Islam. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1963.

Tayob, Abdulkader. Islam: A Short Introduction. Oxford, England: Oneworld, 1999.

Waines, David. An Introduction to Islam. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed., 2003.




Daniel, Norman. Islam and the West: The Making of an Image. Oxford, England: Oneworld, 2000 (reprint ed.).

Murata, Sachiko. The Tao of Islam: A Sourcebook on Gender Relationships in Islamic Thought.Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1992.

Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. Islamic Spirituality I: Foundations. New York: Crossroad, 1987.

Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. Islamic Spirituality II: Manifestations. New York: Crossroad, 1991.

Rahman, Fazlur. Islam. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2nd ed., 1979.

Schimmel, Annemarie. Islam: An Introduction. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1992.




Hodgson, Marshall G.S. The Venture of Islam, 3 Vols. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1974.

Keller, Nuh Ha Mim, trans. Al-Nawawi’s Manual of Islam. Cambridge, UK: The Islamic Texts Society, 1996.

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