Top 10 Books I Read in 2022
Channel: Ismail Kamdar
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Salam alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam ala Rasulillah. So today, I want to share with you some of the books that I read in 2022 that I found most beneficial Hamdulillah. This year, I set the goal of reading 60 books, and I managed to meet that goal by November. So now I'm trying to get it up to 65 by the end of December. And I have here out of the 60 books that I read this year 10 that I found very interesting. Now interesting doesn't necessarily mean that I agree with the author, it doesn't necessarily mean that I agree with everything that's in the book. But by interesting, I mean, it made me think it stuck with me. It's a book I read
again, and it changed the way I thought about certain topics. So I have them piled up next to me, and I'm just going to give a very brief review of each of these books. Starting with the book. I'm currently reading the parables of the Quran by my beloved teacher, Dr. Yasser rd. Right, so the parables of the Quran. This is a summary of the Ramadan series that Sheikh Yasaka did, I think last year, where he goes through about 28 or 29 of the of the parables, the metaphors and sayings in the Quran. And he explains that this is an amazing book, because I find that when it comes to tafsir one of the areas that is not explained well in English, is the parables, you know, we tend to just gloss
over the parables we come to some of these like the unraveling of yarn, or, you know, light upon lighting in a lantern. Or, you know, the hypocrites being such that when the lightning strikes, they move around it and lightning goes away surrounded with darkness. These kinds of metaphors or parables in the Quran, they tend to go over our head. And this book is an excellent resource for explaining them in a way that the average English reader understands. So if you are a fan of Tafseer if you're trying to understand the Quran debo, if you find the verses about the parables difficult to understand, this is a must read. Right? This is an amazing book by a really amazing author. And
it's been one of my favorite reads so far this year, I should be done with it in two or three days. Inshallah. Nick next book, this book took me the longest to read, because it's one of the biggest books I read this year, but truly phenomenal work. Reflecting on the names of Allah, by shefa, generic use of right so Sciacca Jan, use a very famous author, and speaker from the United Kingdom. She's also part of Yaqeen institute like I am, and
this work is just an absolute masterpiece, really, if you are dealing with wanting to understand the Names, Attributes of Allah deeper, this is probably the best resource in the English language on the names and attributes of Allah Subhana Allah. And just like the book before this, you know, when it comes to tafsir, again, the names and attributes of Allah are often glossed over. Right? So we find that when, at the end of most of our verses, you will find that some names of Allah mentioned, and many of us, we don't take the time to sit and think, what do these names mean? And how should it affect my relationship with Allah Subhana Allah, and this book is an absolute masterpiece of dealing
with that topic. It goes into many of the Beautiful Names of Allah in a lot of details explaining what it means, also explaining how understanding the meaning of that name should impact our relationship with Allah subhanho wa taala. That's probably one of the best things about this book, that when you understand the names of Allah, it should have an impact in your life. So for example, I'm just opening now and looking randomly, the name Aziz, right? The one from whom strength and dignity and honor comes right that is up comes from Allah Aziz. So what do we do with the name of Allah, Allah is as he is the source of all dignity and honor. So he, she says in the book that we
should fear only Allah, we should be strong for the sake of Allah and through the help of Allah because he is a source of power. We should be a source of strength for others. We should have humility before Allah recognizing that he is as he is, and we should live a dignified life we should live a life of Aiza should our lives can be pleasing to us. This is just an example of one of the many many gems in this absolute masterpiece so again, look about the books I mentioned. A mastery it's right for understanding the Quran for understanding our basic Aqeedah these are must read books, the parables of the Quran.
I will help you to understand the various metaphors in the Quran on a much deeper level as reflecting on the names of Allah subhanho wa taala. By Sciacca, Gina and Yusuf is an absolute must read, if you want to understand the USMA was divided on a personal level if you don't understand it in a way, where you will be able to relate to the names and understand them and develop a relationship with Allah subhanaw taala through them and improve your own practice of Islam spiritually through them. Now moving on to something a little bit more controversial. What is a madrasa by Ibrahim Musa.
Just disclaimer beforehand before anyone jumps on me, I'm not a fan of the author in general, right.
But this specific book, I liked it, this specific book and that's the thing, even if you don't generally agree with someone and they understanding of Islam, it doesn't mean that everything they put out is is wrong. Sometimes they get things right. And I think one of the reasons why this book resonated with me is that the author in this book, basically what he does is he gives his personal biography of of studying in a madrasa during the academia program in India. And
how after that studying in an academic environment, comparing the two. And why this resonated with me is because I had a very similar journey, a very similar life experience that I spent seven years doing the Alinea program. And after I graduated, I did a bachelor's in Islamic studies as well. So I found a lot of the content in this book to be very much a reflection of my own personal journey through Islamic knowledge. Now, the author and I ended up in two very different worlds, right? And very different understandings of Islam. So that's why in general, I don't approve of most of his books. But generally, to understand what the madrasa system is the Zamia curriculum, its pros and
cons, where it came from. Its its place in the world today. And it's struggle with modernity, a very,
a very frank and
a very politically incorrect discussion on the topic. I found this book to be very interesting. Now, would I recommend it? It depends on who you are. For the average reader, I would say not. For the average reader, I don't really think this book holds much benefit. But for someone who is trying to figure out, do I study to Western academia, they go to a traditional dark room, do I go to an Islamic University, this book helps you to understand that but especially about the data alone or madrasa system, and the pros and cons of it. But again, just to give you my opinion on this, as someone who has studied in all three environments, I've done the direct loop program, I've done the
bachelor's degree within Islamic University, and I spent a year in a Western University, studying Islam as well. And my general opinion based on my studies is that the best way to study Islam academically is to an Islamic University. So you're getting the proper bachelor's, master's, PhD level Islamic studies, but in an Islamic environment, with actual righteous teachers, right, I found that the disadvantage of doing the Artemia program is I didn't have any actual credentials to transfer into the real world. That's what I had to do a bachelor's degree after that. And the disadvantage of studying in a western university is that you're going to be bombarded with these
liberal ideas that that will completely
destroy your Aqeedah and destroy your understanding of Islam. So an Islamic University is the best option, or the anemia program is still better than a Western University. That's my take on it. But nonetheless, if you just want an academic look at what is a madressa, and its history, and its curriculum, and its pros and cons. So very interesting book.
The next book, I came across it, by chance, right? It's not even sold anywhere. It just so happened that a friend of mine was traveling to Istanbul and met the author and the author gave him a few free copies and he gave one to me, so I wouldn't even have known this book exists otherwise, and that's the book lessons from my life, but I want you to enjoy now. If you don't know what I'm gonna do ng is absolute, absolute legend of the Dawa in the English speaking world. He's currently retired, I think, living in Istanbul. But if you are in the USA, or South Africa, and I think even Canada and the UK,
many of the Islamic organizations that you are familiar with. He was one of the founders. Right? This is a man who around 50 years ago, he was just founding Islamic organizations all over the English
In Muslim world, and he has spent 60 years during the hour, he spent 60 years building up the legacy of Islam in English speaking. And for many of us, we are a continuation of the legacy, even if we don't know his name, even if we have never met him, because the institute's that we have studied that are found Islam at or for many of you who are convert, even the institute's you converted to, he may have been one of the founders, right. So this is a absolutely amazing biography, where he he goes through
some soon the lessons he learned in 60 years of Dawa. It's a very personal book, where he basically reflects on some of the leadership lessons and spiritual lessons and Dawa lessons he learned from spending 60 years in the field of Dawa. So, if you're doing Islamic work, one of the best things you can do is learn from the experiences of your elders. And that's exactly what I'm gonna do ng is, he's one of our elders in this field. Again, this book, I don't know where you can get it. Honestly, I don't know, I just came across it by chance. I'm grateful for that. It's one of my favorite books this year. And the next book, very similar.
Another amazing author, personal reflections, Sheikh, Sharif urbanna, on his book, Istanbul, reflections on life, ideas and people. So similar story, the author of this book, Sheikh, Sharif Albana, was in South Africa about two months ago. And I met up with him. And he was selling copies of this book that he had written, which is also a very personal book. It's not a it's not an academic work. So essentially, what this book is, is that the author of the book, if you don't know who he is, he's the founder of clarity as books. He is the founder of awakening music. He's the founder of over 25 organizations. He's a scholar, he's an author, he's an entrepreneur, whether you
agree with with some of his organizations or not, it's quite impressive the amount of work he has done in his life of a man who is still relatively young than the amount of rich his work has had while he remains anonymous, right? Most people have heard about these organizations, but never heard about him. He's a very behind the scenes kind of guy. And he spent the lockdown in Istanbul. And this is basically a collection of his journal entries during the lockdown. So it's a very personal book, where he was writing in his journal during the lockdown. And he took some of the most beneficial journal entries and put them together in a book. I personally, I loved it, I love these
kinds of books, to go into the mind, of someone who generally doesn't share their thoughts with the public. And to,
to get an idea of behind the scenes, what life is like for them, the struggles, the personal tragedies, the inspiration inspirations, I find that to be amazing. So I absolutely love this book. It's a very short book, I read it like in two days. And it's a very personal book in that he talks about family members passing away and friends passing away and how he dealt with that. It's the kind of book I enjoy. And I take inspiration from so highly recommended if you're into that kind of thing, personal journals. Okay, another book that I picked up on the exact same date. And also the author was there as well. So essentially, the event was a book launch for this book, loving where we
don't make the rules by Ibrahim rasool and both Sharif Albana. And Brian Ross, who were the guest speakers that night, I was the chair for the evening. And they're the guest speakers. We actually have the video up on the YouTube channel of the event. And so I picked up both of these books that night at the book launch. This book is interesting. It's
it's a mixed bag.
So essentially, what happened was Abraham Rasool hosted a conference in Paris, where he got academics from around the English speaking Muslim world to come and do presentations on how do we as Muslims live as minorities in the non Muslim world. And he transcribed and compiled all of these presentations into a single book, which is this book right here. I love the name of the book, firstly, living where we don't make the rules. It really summarizes our,
our core problem, right as minorities, that we don't make the rules. And sometimes we wish that we lived where we did make the rules. Now, because the book is a compilation of essays by different authors. It's a mixture of of good and bad. Here's some things in here that I strongly disagree with, like I consider some of the some of the papers in here to be very
liberal and modernist. And that's why I can't really
recommend this book to the average person, right? It's an academic work. It's meant to get us thinking it's meant to get conversation started. It's meant to get the ball rolling on how do we deal with contemporary issues? So we might not necessarily agree with the solutions presented. But at least the questions asked, we can agree upon them and maybe find other solutions to them. So the book talks about things like Mikaze, to Sharia as a basis for dealing with contemporary issues. It talks about dealing with Islamophobia.
One of the things I liked about this book is that it draws a lot of lessons from the experience of South African Muslims. Right. And as a Muslim living in South Africa, born in South Africa, raised in South Africa has traveled to other lands where Muslims are minorities. I can say that South African Muslims did the best job of preserving our Islam and building an actual community in a non Muslim that right that way I look, we make up like 3% of the community. But everywhere I go, they are misogyny, they are halal restaurants, they are halal, butcheries, halal bakeries, they are Muslims and every level of influence.
Islam has been preserved in every way from from from, from the dressing, to the mannerisms, to them to devour everything has been preserved. So compared to many of the other minorities where they are still young, they distant second and third generation minorities. We as Africa like I personally am fortunate Ovation South African, my great grandfather, and my great great grandfather moved to say Africa. But
as for generations African, there are those who are even being there even longer. They are Muslims, Africa, whose families go back 300 years. So as a minority Islam has been in South Africa for a long time. And the thing I liked about this book is that it draws lessons from that for the other countries to imitate. Right. So that's one of the good points of this specific book. But in general, I cannot recommend this book to the average reader. It's very academic. It's a mixture of good points and liberal ideas that I would not agree with. I would say if you are in this field, if it's something that that interests you, if it's something you can read with a critical eye, then I would
recommend it, right. But make sure you're reading it with a critical eye. Because there are some ideas in here. That would be wrong. Right, which is generally going to happen when you have a bunch of academics coming together to discuss a new issue. Okay, the next book that I read this year
is our legends by Mufti Abdul Wahab, Wahid and honestly, I only bought the book because of the author. Right move the Abdul Wahab Wahid, absolutely wonderful brother from miftah Institute in the USA, an amazing, amazing scholar who I greatly admire. And this book is a much more simpler book. It's actually something I would recommend even for teenagers. Essentially, what the author does is he compiled in very simple language and easy to read biographies of 10 legendary scholars. So this is a great introduction if you want to introduce the biographies of the Allama to the to a teenager or to a young Muslim who is not accustomed to reading academic works, who finds general history
books boring. This is an excellent book to introduce him to the topic. So in this book Mufti Abdul Wahab and his co author Mustafa Rashid, they cover the lives of my personal heroes Omar bin Abdulaziz Rahim Allah who I have written an entire book about that you can see in the background.
He's also covers the lives of Hassan Al bacillary. Imam, Abu Hanifa, Shafi Hammadi, but humble, I'm not sure why Malik wasn't covered, there's probably going to be x volume because they do mention at the end, that there is going to be more volumes on this. So hopefully my Malik will be covered there. Imam Al Bukhari Salahuddin, a UB Imam and now we share with you love another one of my personal heroes, and Madonna annual Shah Kashmir. So it's a good mix of scholars from different areas from different backgrounds will accomplish different things extra excellent introductory work. Very simple. So if you're looking for something deep and academic, you probably don't find it too
simple. But if you're looking for a introduction to the biographies of Obama, on a very easy to read level, I highly recommend this book, right so our legends by Mufti Abdul Wahab Wahid and Mustafa Rashid published by miftah Institute and Q publishing, highly recommended as
The introductory level work on the biographies of the Obama.
The next book, I was looking everywhere for this book, I spent five months trying to get hold of a copy of this book, right? For to buy checked out, only I can message the author on WhatsApp, asking where can I get your book? Where can I get your book, I can't find it anywhere. And God Allah, the publishers themselves, were in my city for for a day. And they wanted to meet with me for that day. And they gave me a gift. And the gift ended up being the exact book I was looking for. They actually gave me five books. But this was number one at the top of the list. So God Allah, the book I wanted, I got it. So this is a very important book. It's a very important book because it it starts a
discussion that is necessarily in our times. And that is the discussion on the topic of masculinity, chivalry, and the concept of what does it mean to be a Muslim man? Now,
this book is very introductory level, it's meant to just get the conversation started. So if you're looking for something in depth and detail on the concept of masculinity in Islam, you might be disappointed by this book. But if you're looking at the introduction to what exactly
is Islamic masculinity, and what are the core manners and characteristics of a Muslim man, then this is an excellent introductory work and I feel this book will be it will serve well as a textbook for you. Because if you are teaching teenagers, what does it mean to be a man? If you if you are training young people would you'd capture things like that this is an excellent book for that specific demographic. Now I myself am working on a book on this topic. I'm actually on my third draft. So I wrote an entire book didn't like it deleted it wrote another book didn't like it deleted it to try hopefully I get it right this time. And obviously recently, I started paisa academy that
will be working towards reviving this concept. But this is the topic of our time. Right? We are dealing with a very dangerous fitna in our time where on one hand, we have feminism that has basically emasculated men. And on the other hand, we have the red pill movement that is,
you know, putting down woman and promoting a hedonistic cinema fueled lifestyle. And how do we save our youth from both these extremes and bring it back to the middle part? And I think the discussion begins with training our boys to be free to to train them in the concept of footwear means young men actually means young masculinity. It's translated as chivalry. But it comes from the word Fatah which means a young man, and for to what is the concept of moving from being a boy to being a young man? How do we help our young boys become young men? What are the qualities they need to have to serve their communities well, to serve their families, well to be leaders of the community. This is
an excellent work in getting the
ball rolling, getting the conversation started. We need a lot more books going deeper into the topic. That's what I'm planning on doing next. I'm actually in consultation with the author and getting his advice on my book as well. And just some of the ideas in this book, this book teaches young boys, the importance of being honest, the importance of being humble the importance of living a life of serving the community, or the importance of generosity, of modesty, of hierarchy, of controlling your sexual desires, or being brave, of having a sense of brotherhood. Now these I know some people feel they sound like very generic
ideas and very general qualities, but I think I'll go into more details about this book in a separate video. These are actually very essential today, we don't realize how many of our young men need to hear this. Right? So we hear stories, for example of young men saying stuff like oh, we don't need to buy shampoo for our wives. There's nothing in the Quran and Sunnah that says we need to, to buy them handbags and shoes. And they forget the concept of generosity starts with your family that the best money is the money you spent on your family as per the Hadees. Right? We don't realize that for men to truly be providers, they have to be generous. So when you're talking about
masculinity, you have to talk about generosity, right? Some people feel like that's a very generic trade, but not in Islam. It's a core part of masculinity, that a man who is not generous is of no benefit to his family is of no benefit to his community. It is an essential part of masculinity to be generous. So this is a really good introductory book, but it is an introductory level. And I recommend every family get a copy. Teach this to your teenagers teach it in your youth holla cards and use it to get the ball rolling and if you feel it's not deep enough, write a book that expands upon it. Right. Okay, just two more books to go through. As I said, I chose 10 books for this video.
This is an absolutely beautiful book.
Absolutely beautiful with the heart in mind by Myka yield Smith. Again, a book I was looking everywhere for and was so happy when I found a copy at our local bookstore at our Islamic Center.
This is a book on emotional intelligence from an Islamic perspective. I don't know if anyone's written a book on this topic before, it's essentially an analysis of the Syrah of the life of Rasulullah sallallahu wasallam. From the perspective of his emotional intelligence, and what it does is it teaches you how to regulate your emotions, understand your emotions,
tap into your moral conscious, right, your, your, the consciousness that Allah has put inside of us that fitrah and how to use all of this to benefit the ummah. And it analyzes all of this in light of this, you know how Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, how he was able to control his emotions, and understand his emotions, and teach this to others as well. So it's a bit of a academic work in the sense that it has to explain a lot of concepts that many of us are not familiar with. But he does a good job. He does an amazing job. And I absolutely love this book. I highly recommend this book. And it's definitely one of the books I'm building on for my book on Islamic masculinity.
Because I believe, especially today, emotional intelligence is a
very important part of what young men need to learn, right. But to be able to regulate the emotions to control them to understand that is something that our young men don't understand. And we see this with the outbursts online. You know, the anger the vulgar, the valgus, the harshness, they really need to learn the Sunnah method of engaging with people. And this is a good start. So, again, a book I recommend for everybody with the heart in mind. Right Myka Smith. Finally, the last book that I finished reading, I just finished reading it this week. Absolutely beautiful book. This is a gem and I don't know how I never heard of it before. And how I haven't read it before. But this is an
absolute gem. It's something I plan to teach my kids next year in homeschooling Islamic manners by the legendary Abdul Verda aboda the author himself absolutely absolute legend of just the generation before us, literally the generation before us it's not a ancient scholar, he's passed away you know, a few decades ago, and he's written some amazing works very few have been translated into English. So this book on manners, Islamic manners, and character is another field that I'm trying to revive through is the academy and Islamic self help to get people back to having the manners and character of a true Muslim.
And I've been looking for good books in English on this topic to recommend to people. Right so today, the main book I recommend and I still recommend it as the main book is a double move followed by Imam Al Bukhari.
That is definitely the best book on the topic. Highly recommended, and I am planning on teaching that book in a course soon Inshallah, maybe a seminar on other will move forward but something shorter and simpler. This is an absolute gem, right Islamic managed by Abdul Fattah Hoda is an absolute gem. He goes through, for example, very basic stuff that I noticed a lot of our young Muslims they don't know, fairly basic stuff that has been lost Sooners that have just disappeared from the community, things about being clean, being neat, speaking about taking care of your guests, how to behave when you are visiting somebody else's home how to behave, when you're giving
condolences to someone whose family members have had passed away, how to behave when visiting the sick, how to behave at weddings, right?
How to deal with non Muslims in a kind and just manner. So it's a mystery. It's a mystery. These are very basic aspects of Islam that for some reason, are lost nowadays, since we only talk Aqeedah and FIQ. We don't talk o'clock and up anymore, are these very basic aspects of our religion have been lost. So what more can I say? This book is a must read. So that's it. I read 60 books this year. These are 10 that have stood out that really caught my attention. And you know, really,
I'll probably go back to them and read them again. I recommend most of them some of them caught my attention. But I don't recommend them to the average reader. But most of the books as I said they're highly recommended amazing books. And really, we all should have home libraries. We all should be reading these kinds of books and we all should be constantly increasing our knowledge for the sake of Allah subhanho wa Taala so we can constantly be growing closer to him through proper Islamic knowledge. So I hope you found this video beneficial
I'm just gonna show you run walk through that one and if hamdulillahi rabbil Alameen wa salam alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh