5 Books Every Muslim Should Read At Least Once

Many people love to read, whether it’s about love, life, work, fantasy,… It could be anything. The next 5 books are about Islam or about well-known Muslims. If you’re someone who loves to learn a thing or two, keep reading!          

1. Does my head look big in this? by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Amal is a young girl who is a year 11 student in a posh private school in Melbourne. The story takes place in 2001, which is also the year of the attack on the World Trade Center. Even though prejudice became worse after the terrorist attack, racism has always been a part of her life. Amal has two close friends who have been there for her since the beginning. Before third term begins, Amal decides to start wearing a hijab. The story confronts a lot of misconceptions and stereotypes, but still in a humorous way. The girl’s story is something many young and (old) Muslim women deal with on a daily basis. The book also deals with the typical teenage problems such as trying to lose weight, stressing about your grades, and parents having crazy expectations of you. This may seem like a crowded book, but it’s very enjoyable.

2. The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X

Many of you may know the black activist Malcolm X who later changed his name to Al-Hajj Malik Al-Shabazz. This book tells you the life of Malcolm X: How he became America’s enemy but at the same time an idol for many black people and (black) Muslims. The book not only describes his battle against racism and islamophobia, but also the struggles and issues he has had with drugs and alcohol when he was younger.

If you’re someone who is interested in Al-Shabazz’s philosophy and way of thinking, then this book may be perfect for you. Definitely worth the read.

3. Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy

This story tells the life of Zulaikha, an Afghan girl born with jutting teeth and a cleft upper lip. She gets bullied by the local boys and sometimes even by her own brother. One day, her life changes forever. A soldier spotted her and did everything he could to bring her to a hospital for a free surgery.  Later on, they try to give her father a job. Zulaikha becomes a lonely girl because her mother had died years ago and her sister had married at a young age. Her mother’s friend –Meena- teaches her how to read and write.

This book is a wonderful blend of story and culture. This novel really makes the reader more understanding of and sympathetic to the people of Afghanistan. There is so much hatred directed towards Afghanistan that is based on false misconception and a lot of stereotypes. I believe that this novel can educate the readers about the political situation in this country.

4. The Road to Mecca by Muhammad Assad

This autobiographical book is about the Austrian Jew, Leopold Weiss, who later converted to Islam and named himself Muhammed Asad. This anecdote tells the story about the European journalist who travelled through Arabia and transformed into a devout Muslim. Along the story he becomes friends with the King of Saudi Arabia, met the Shah of Iran and met every player on the Middle East. All of that in the first part of the 20th century.

This book shows a rare perspective of the Arab/African world, very unsimilar to the perspective that the Western World holds of the Middle East. This story isn’t only political, it also shows some important historical figures. The story is old. When you read it, it leaves you with the impression that you’ve stepped in a time capsule. The way the journalist observes the Arab lifestyle back then, is very different of how it is in our time. He travelled through North Africa, Iran, Palestine, and Iraq as well and gives us insights into what life was before technology engulfed these places.

Later on in the book, Muhammed explains why he has decided to choose Islam, how much his reflections broadened on his view of his new faith. Asad had an incredible life: he started being a journalist in Vienna and ended up being the first UN ambassador of Palestine. An amazing story.

5)I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb

Everyone knows the brave Malala Yousafzai. The girl who spoke up for her own rights when no one else dared to open their mouths. On October 9, 2012, she almost lost her life due to a bullet in her face while riding the bus from school.

After the recovery, she became a symbol of peaceful protest and became the youngest Novel Peace Prize laureate. The story tells you about Malala and her supportive family. I Am Malala will make you believe that one person’s voice can inspire the whole world.