I was wondering what scholars or Imams you would recommend for us to read? I remember at the conference you mentioned Imam Al Ghazali.
Time Sent: Monday June 1, 2009
وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته
A. Since you have used the word ‘scholars’ and ’imaams’ as a recommendation, we are rightfully (we hope) assuming that you want author names that are of excellent caliber. Thus we are to recommend the following for our varied audience:
For the non-fickle mined
Our all time favorites remain Allahma Suyuti and Allamah Qurtubi for Tafseer, Hajr Asqalanis work relating to Hadith makes superior reading for the well educated. For a basic understanding of Quran, Ibn Kathir proves well for non hanafee students, while the works of Allmah Mufti Muhammad Shafee proves well for those ascribing to the hanafee realm. Although each Tafseer scholar may translate the ayah in the same manner, rulings derived are inextricably linked to aspects of fiqh, etc.
Giving you something simple
For basic fiqh, shafee students must get hold of at least the translated copy of a book called Reliance of the traveler. It is an excelled book, a must have for shawafees. For hanafee students, the basic works of Imaam Quduri usually proves well. (For students not ascribing to a a mazhab, we welcome you to become your personal mujtahid, or you can chose to confuse yourself silly with data you can seldom decipher)
Nothing serious but yet genuine
For more casual reading, peruse through the works of Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyah and the commentaries of Imaam Nawai. Make sure that these works are direct translations of the original authors and not translated work filled with translator’s personal opinions claiming to be the works of Imaam Nawaee. Shamail-e-tirmizi makes excellent reading for people that are passionate about the description of our belovered Nabi (SAW). These authors’ names have passed the test of time and remain favorable for people that prefer classical works of the sincere predecessors.
Modern readers that want pass and present
For modern day works, lots of lay people read and you are welcome to read the works of Jalaluddeed Rumi, the scientific writings of Harun Yahya, historical presentations of Abul Hassan Ali Nadwi have been greatly accepted within the Arab and non-Arab world. Allmah Iqbals works have been accepted by both, Muslims and nonmuslims, mainly from its poetic vantage point. Hayatus sahaba makes excellent reading to educate people about the challenges of the sahaba went through in life. Many have been moved by this book as a result of sincere reading. It is also a good idea to attain the khutbas of the Imaams of Haramain – Mecca and Medinah-tul-munawarah. Their content can be very inspiring. To gain a pulse of everyday life westernized countries, read Khlid Baigs works: first things first.
Read books that inspire you, that enhance your spirituality. Always avoid books that push a particular narrow view of life upon you. Books that make you argue and debate with fellow Muslims should always be avoided.
Our audience is also welcome to send recommendations as to classy good books that aspire the spirit and mind to a positive intellectual level. We would prefer author names of people that have passed the test of time, and maintain a high Islamic and secular standing.
Allah Certainly Knows Best.