Building your collection of
books about Islam? Start here.
BY ILENE COOPER This core collection of books about Islam spans the ages. It offers titles about Islam’s history, tenets, and treasures. It also delves into the place of Islam in the
modern world and the personal experiences of those who
practice the faith. The concentration is primarily on the reli-
gion itself; many more books can be found on the political
situation in the Middle East, as well as on U.S. involvement
with Islamic countries, by searching booklistonline.com.
After the Prophet: The Epic Story
of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam. By
Lesley Hazleton. 2009. Doubleday, $27
Hazelton doesn’t pontificate or argue
religion here. She just thrillingly and
intelligently distills one of the most consequential train of events in history, the
bisection of Muslims into Shia and Sunni.
Burqas, Baseball, and Apple Pie:
Being Muslim in America. By Ranya
Tabari Idliby. 2014. Palgrave, $27
A book whose through-line discusses
how to be both Muslim and American,
this offers insight into the lives of moder-
ate Muslims living in the U.S.
Encyclopedia of Islam and the
Muslim World. 2v. 2d ed. Ed. by
Richard C. Martin. 2016. Gale, $489
This update of the 2006 edition cuts
Fasting for Ramadan. By Kazam Ali.
its coverage of philosophy and religious
thought, but Islamic political groups and
figures are given more attention. Entries
are balanced within the scope of their cov-
erage. An essential resource.
2011. Tupelo, $19.95 (9781932195941).
This diary introduces the holy month
of Ramadan and its practices, including the role of self-restraint, and follows
the questions and doubts of a spiritual
The Heirs of Muhammad: Islam’s First
Century and the Origins of the Sunni-Shia Schism. By Barnaby Rogerson. 2007.
Overlook, $27.95 (9781585678969).
In this thoroughly accessible account,
Rogerson shows how deep disagreement
sundered Islam into Shia and Sunni factions almost at its birth. It also details the
skilled military campaigns that helped
spread the religion.