My top five reading picks for Ramadan

Ramadan (or Ramzan, however you spell it) is only a day away in Pakistan!

I can hardly believe how fast the time has gone by. The late nights spent in prayer, days of blessings and scrumptious iftars are ALMOST here and I couldn’t be more excited!

I have decided to dedicate my time to reflection and learning as much as I can this month.

With this process comes a whole lot of reading, which I want to devote much of my time towards in the long, summer days of this month.

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Here are the books I have chosen:

1. The Quran

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As all of us know, increasing our recitation of the Quran is important in Ramadan as good deeds are multiplied in this blessed month.

Apart from reading, I am aiming to understand it more by reading the translation and devoting some of my time to the Tafseer.

I usually focus on one Surah because I can concentrate more and go in depth, rather than race to the finish line of understanding the entire Quran in only one month.

There are a multitude of online platforms to learn about a chapter or even a verse of the Quran, such as lectures on YouTube or online courses that are very informative.

Say goodbye to Netflix this month!

2. Great Women of Islam by Mahmood Ahmad Ghadanfar

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There are so many inspirational women in Islam that we know very little about. This book highlights the Prophet (S) wives and 16 other female companions who were given the good news of Paradise while they were still alive.

I have read a few chapters of this book already and especially liked how it gives so much detail into their family life with reference to hadith.

In this day and age, when Muslim women are under the spotlight of being oppressed, I think it’s crucial to educate ourselves.

Believe it or not, women in Islamic history were very diverse. It was the norm to be working and many women also participated in the battles and would nurse the injured soldiers on the battlefield.

3. No God but God by Reza Aslan

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I am particularly excited to start reading this book by Iranian-Muslim scholar Reza Aslan, although some of his views are controversial.

For those of you who don’t know who he is, you may have seen him in the CNN interview when he totally wasted the ignorant reporter asking him if Islam promotes violence.

The book asks some interesting questions and challenges the idea of how there have been different influences that have distorted our view of Islam.

It is no doubt that there have been many divisions that have formed and been affected by political and social thought.

I am hoping the book answers the question of how we should tackle these issues in today’s world.

4. Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan

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Another book that has been lying on my shelf collecting dust. As the title states, it is about a closer look into the life of Prophet Isa (or Jesus) with an analysis of the various religious perspectives.

It also gives an insight to the birth of Christianity and the book was being questioned as being credible solely because Aslan is a Muslim.

Prophet Isa is revered by millions around the world and we know so little about him. I would hope that this book will give me some clarity about how people who hated this man began to worship him.

It would also be interesting to learn about what his life was like in first-century Palestine and how the Prophet challenged the established order.

5. Reclaim Your Heart by Yasmin Mogahed 

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I always love how Yasmin Mogahed writes so simply, yet deeply. You can just feel how she writes from her heart and that’s exactly what this book is about.

All of us are going through different struggles in life and have alot of emotional pain pent up inside of us. We keep repeating this cycle of being hurt for the same things we are going through in life.

I am hoping this book will give me encouragement to have a renewed sense of self and a fresh perspective on how to overcome these daily struggles.

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