The best 13 Islam books

The topic of Islam holds immense cultural and historical significance. Our comprehensive book list on Islam provides a nuanced exploration of its teachings and practices, offering valuable insights into this influential religion's beliefs and traditions.With a diverse range of perspectives and meticulous research, our collection illuminates the richness of Islamic culture and spirituality. Dive into these enlightening reads to broaden your understanding and engage with this enduring faith tradition. Ready to expand your knowledge and discover the profound world of Islam?

The best 13 Islam books
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Islam Books: The Muqaddimah by Ibn Khaldūn

The Muqaddimah

Ibn Khaldūn
An Introduction to History
4.0 (106 ratings)
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What's The Muqaddimah about?

The Muqaddimah (fourteenth century, first English edition 1958), a classic text on the Islamic history of the world, focuses on the rise and fall of civilizations. It offers a unique glimpse into the world of the fourteenth-century Arab Muslim, and is regarded as a foundational text in several academic disciplines.

Who should read The Muqaddimah?

  • History enthusiasts
  • People interested in social organization
  • Participants in Mark Zuckerberg’s A Year of Books

Islam Books: Causes of Rebellion in Waziristan by Khalid Aziz

Causes of Rebellion in Waziristan

Khalid Aziz
3.9 (16 ratings)
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What's Causes of Rebellion in Waziristan about?

Causes of Rebellion in Waziristan (2015) takes the reader on a journey into the rocky terrain of this tiny South Asian region whose geopolitical influence reaches far beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan. These blinks explore how the region became such a hotbed of insurrection and what can be done about it.

Who should read Causes of Rebellion in Waziristan?

  • Anyone interested in international politics
  • Those looking for more background about the conflicts and wars in South and Central Asia

Islam Books: Heretic by Ayaan Hirsi Ali


Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now
2.5 (113 ratings)
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What's Heretic about?

Heretic (2015) takes an unblinking look at Islam and issues a call for reformation. By examining the fundamental scriptures of the Qur’an and Islamic law, we can find plenty of evidence to suggest that Islam has far too much justification for violence written into its core belief system. Find out why it’s not too late to change things and how the time might be perfect for an Islamic reformation.

Who should read Heretic?

  • Religious historians
  • Scholars of Islam
  • People interested in the reasoning behind Islamic terrorism

Islam Books: Sex and the Citadel by Shereen El Feki

Sex and the Citadel

Shereen El Feki
Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World
3.9 (42 ratings)
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What's Sex and the Citadel about?

Sex and the Citadel (2013) offers a revealing look at the sex lives of people in Muslim countries, especially Egypt, which, about 200 years ago, was a hotbed of sensual and sexual activity, but has since become a conservative and sexually repressed society. These blinks take you through the taboos, censorship and gender discrimination that many Muslims continue to resist.

Who should read Sex and the Citadel?

  • Non-Muslims hoping to learn more about the diversity of Muslim society
  • Muslims interested in their culture’s sexuality
  • Feminists who want a better understanding of the struggles Muslim women face

Islam Books: The First Muslim by Lesley Hazleton

The First Muslim

Lesley Hazleton
The Story of Muhammad
4.1 (113 ratings)
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What's The First Muslim about?

The First Muslim (2013) details the incredible story of the prophet Muhammad, the first member of the Islamic faith. These blinks take you back to before Muhammad’s birth and tell the complete story of God’s revelation to this prophet, how he spread Islam and what his contemporaries thought of his ideas.

Who should read The First Muslim?

  • Historians of all types
  • Students and scholars of Islam and its history
  • Critical readers who want to know more about the origins of Islam

Islam Books: A History of God by Karen Armstrong

A History of God

Karen Armstrong
The 4000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam
4.2 (463 ratings)
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What's A History of God about?

A History of God (1993) traces the related histories of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim concepts of God. From the jealous God of the ancient Israelites to the revelations of Allah, and from the life of Jesus through to theological doctrinal discussions and God’s status in the modern world, these blinks tell the story of how conceptualizations of God in these three related religions have developed and changed over time.

Who should read A History of God?

  • Jewish people, Christians, Muslims and all people of faith
  • Historians and philosophers
  • Atheists interested in the role of God in monotheistic religions

Islam Books: Revolutionary Iran by Michael Axworthy

Revolutionary Iran

Michael Axworthy
A History of the Islamic Republic
4.0 (53 ratings)
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What's Revolutionary Iran about?

Revolutionary Iran (2013) tells the story of modern Iran, from the early twentieth-century origins of the 1979 revolution through to reactions to Ahmadinejad’s second presidential victory, in 2009. The book also dispels misconceptions and examines internal politics and cultural debates within the country.

Who should read Revolutionary Iran?

  • Students of contemporary global politics
  • Curious minds wanting to know more about contemporary Iranian history
  • Followers of the Middle East interested in understanding the relationship between religion and democracy

Islam Books: Islam by Karen Armstrong


Karen Armstrong
A Short History
4.3 (238 ratings)
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What's Islam about?

Islam: A Short History (2000) charts the meteoric rise of Islam from its birth as a small sect in seventh-century Arabia to a global religion with just under two billion followers. What makes Islam unique among faiths, Karen Armstrong argues, are its refusal to postpone justice to the next world and quest to create the perfect society in the here and now. She follows this thread in her fascinating tour of 1,500 years of Islamic history.

Who should read Islam?

  • Believers and non-believers
  • History and politics buffs
  • Whoever seeks to understand Islam is beyond the headlines

Islam Books: Myanmar's Enemy Within by Francis Wade

Myanmar's Enemy Within

Francis Wade
Buddhist Violence and the Making of a Muslim “Other”
4.5 (83 ratings)
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What's Myanmar's Enemy Within about?

Myanmar’s Enemy Within (2017) examines a shocking outburst of violence against an ethnic minority – the Rohingya Muslims in western Myanmar. Beginning with an account of the events of 2012 and 2013, these blinks work their way back to explain the historical context of anti-Muslim resentment in the country. Along the way, they explore the legacies of British colonialism, the rise of nationalism, and the country’s troubled transition to democracy.

Who should read Myanmar's Enemy Within?

  • History buffs 
  • News addicts who want to dig deeper 
  • Anyone interested in contemporary Asian politics

Islam Books: Arabs by Tim Mackintosh-Smith


Tim Mackintosh-Smith
A 3,000 Year History of Peoples, Tribes and Empires
4.2 (204 ratings)
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What's Arabs about?

Arabs (2021) is a deep dive into the 3,000-year history of the people we know as Arabs. It’s an exploration of the forces that gave birth to the idea of Arabs as a group – and the forces that have kept them apart ever since. 

Who should read Arabs?

  • Lovers of a good yarn
  • Those fascinated by transnational histories
  • News junkies looking to go deeper

Islam Books: Living Presence by Kabir Edmund Helminski

Living Presence

Kabir Edmund Helminski
A Sufi Way to Mindfulness and the Essential Self
4.4 (196 ratings)
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What's Living Presence about?

Living Presence (1992) explores how the teachings of the ancient Islamic practice of Sufism can act as a balm against our fractured, ego-driven age. Sufism teaches that an infinite spirit connects all life and that by becoming mindful of the here and now, we can glimpse this spirit in ourselves and others. Ultimately, in connecting to this presence we allow ourselves to become kinder, more intentional, and more alive. In short, more human.

Who should read Living Presence?

  • Curious minds interested in exploring the practice of Sufi Islam
  • Big thinkers who sense there’s a greater truth beyond the veil of perception
  • Anyone looking for a guiding light through dark times

Islam Books: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus

Nabeel Qureshi
A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity
4.1 (103 ratings)
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What's Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus about?

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus (2016) traces a young man’s dramatic spiritual journey from Islam to Christianity. Packed with insights into the faith he grew up with as well as the faith he adopted later in life, Quereshi’s story will challenge Christians, Muslims, and all those interested in the world’s greatest religions.

Who should read Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus?

  • Believers interested in interfaith dialogue
  • Anyone questioning their own faith journey
  • History buffs 

Islam Books: Secrets of Divine Love by A. Helwa

Secrets of Divine Love

A. Helwa
A Spiritual Journey Into the Heart of Islam
4.3 (23 ratings)
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What's Secrets of Divine Love about?

Secrets of Divine Love (2020) delves into the spiritual depths of Islam, offering insights into its universal themes of divine connection and oneness. It explores the unique essence of God, the role of the Qur'an as a guide, and the transformative journey through Islam's spiritual stages, illuminating the path to inner fulfillment and universal kinship.

Who should read Secrets of Divine Love?

  • Curious cats wondering about Islam
  • Divine truth detectives
  • Avid intrafaith researchers

Related Topics

Islam Books

What's the best Islam book to read?

While choosing just one book about a topic is always tough, many people regard The Muqaddimah as the ultimate read on Islam.

What are the Top 10 Islam books?

Blinkist curators have picked the following:
  • The Muqaddimah by Ibn Khaldūn
  • Causes of Rebellion in Waziristan by Khalid Aziz
  • Heretic by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • Sex and the Citadel by Shereen El Feki
  • The First Muslim by Lesley Hazleton
  • A History of God by Karen Armstrong
  • Revolutionary Iran by Michael Axworthy
  • Islam by Karen Armstrong
  • Myanmar's Enemy Within by Francis Wade
  • Arabs by Tim Mackintosh-Smith

Who are the top Islam book authors?

When it comes to Islam, these are the authors who stand out as some of the most influential:
  • Ibn Khaldūn
  • Khalid Aziz
  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • Shereen El Feki
  • Lesley Hazleton