Ramadhan BookShelf: Here are 10 Empowering Books for Every Muslim Woman
The Bookshelf

Ramadhan Reading List: Here are 10 Empowering Books for Every Muslim Woman

Ramadhan Reading List

Short of ideas on what to read in Ramadhan? Look no further. As the glorious month approaches, TMWT presents a list of carefully curated soul-lifting and empowering books to help every Muslim woman through the month. Our Ramadhan reading list contains a translation of the Qur’an, the biography of the Prophet (PBUH), non-fiction books, fiction and memoir. These books will help you fall in love with your faith and reconnect with your Lord as you’ve never done before. You’re sure going to love them!

The Qur’an – A New Translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem

Ramadhan is the month of the Qur’an. Many of us set goals to complete at least a reading of the Qur’an in the entire month. But how many of us truly comprehend the meanings of what we are reading. M.A.S Abdel Haleem’s new translation is written in a contemporary idiom that remains faithful to the original, making it easy to listen to while retaining its powers of eloquence. Archaisms and cryptic language are avoided and the Arabic meaning preserved by respecting the context of the discourse. The message of the Qur’an was directly addressed to all people regardless of class, gender, or age, and this translation is equally accessible to everyone. 

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Secrets of Divine Love by A. Helwa

Are you longing to experience a more intimate and loving relationship with the Divine?

Secrets of Divine Love draws upon spiritual secrets of the Qur’an, ancient mystical poetry, and stories from the world’s greatest prophets and spiritual masters to help you reignite your faith, overcome your doubts, and deepen your connection with God.

Through the use of scientific evidence, practical exercises, and guided meditations, you will develop the tools and awareness needed to discern and overcome the negative inner critic that prevents you from experiencing God’s all-encompassing love.

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Women in the Qur’an: An Emancipatory Reading by Asma Lamrabet

Today, the issue of Muslim women is held hostage between two perceptions: a conservative Islamic approach and a liberal Western approach. At the heart of this debate Muslim women are seeking to reclaim their right to speak in order to re-appropriate their own destinies, calling for the equality and liberation that is at the heart of the Qur’an.

However, with few female commentators on the meaning of the Qur’an and an overreliance on the readings of the Qur’an compiled centuries ago this message is often lost. In this book Asma Lamrabet demands a rereading of the Qur’an by women that focuses on its spiritual and humanistic messages in order to alter the lived reality on the ground.

By acknowledging the oppression of women, to different degrees, in social systems organized in the name of religion and also rejecting a perspective that seeks to promote Western values as the only means of liberating them, the author is able to define a new way. One in which their refusal to remain silent is an act of devotion and their demand for reform will lead to liberation.

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The Beauty of Your Face by Sahar Mustafah (Fiction)

We included fiction on our Ramadhan reading list because we are aware that lots of women find it more interesting and relatable. The Beauty of Your Face is a uniquely American story told in powerful, evocative prose, It navigates a country growing ever more divided. Afaf Rahman, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, is the principal of Nurrideen School for Girls, a Muslim school in the Chicago suburbs. One morning, a shooter—radicalized by the online alt-right—attacks the school.

As Afaf listens to his terrifying progress, we are swept back through her memories: the bigotry she faced as a child, her mother’s dreams of returning to Palestine, and the devastating disappearance of her older sister that tore her family apart. Still, there is the sweetness of the music from her father’s oud, and the hope and community Afaf finally finds in Islam.

The Beauty of Your Face is a profound and poignant exploration of one woman’s life in a nation at odds with its ideals. 

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Al-Muhaddithat: The Women Scholars in Islam by Shaykh Mohammad Akram Nadwi

Al-Muhaddithat unearths the lost history of women scholars in Islam. The book is an adaptation in English of the prefatory volume of a 40-volume biographical dictionary (in Arabic) of women scholars of the Prophet s hadith. Learned women enjoyed high public standing and authority in the formative years of Islam. For centuries thereafter, women travelled intensively for religious knowledge and routinely attended the most prestigious mosques and madrasas across the Islamic world. Typical documents (like class registers and ijazahs from women authorizing men to teach) and the glowing testimonies about their women teachers from the most revered ulema are cited in detail. An overview chapter, with accompanying maps, traces the spread of centres of hadith learning for women, and their eventual decline. The information summarized here is essential to a balanced appreciation of the role of women in Islamic society.

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Prayers of the Pious by Omar Suleiman

Shaykh Omar Suleiman provides us with thirty short prayers taken from the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and the early generations, each with a short reminder to deepen the impact of the prayer in our lives.

This inspirational collection of prayers and reminders is the perfect companion for anyone who wishes to connect to the Divine. Prayers of the Pious provides spiritual gems that serve as valuable wisdom and practical advice for the soul.

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Muhammad: His Life Based on The Earliest Sources by Martin Lings

Martin Lings’ biography of Muhammad is an internationally acclaimed, comprehensive, and authoritative account of the life of the prophet. Based on the sira, the eighth- and ninth-century Arabic biographies that recount numerous events in the prophet’s life, it contains original English translations of many important passages that reveal the words of men and women who heard Muhammad speak and witnessed the events of his life.

Scrupulous and exhaustive in its fidelity to its sources, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources is presented in a narrative style that is easily comprehensible, yet authentic and inspiring in its use of language, reflecting both the simplicity and grandeur of the story it tells. 

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Rekiya and Z by Muti’ah Badruddeen (Fiction)

When Rekiya and Zaynunah met as teenagers, neither had any inkling this would be the start of a lifelong friendship. That the bond they formed so young would see them through the best and worst of times…

An unlikely alliance, Rekiya is the unacknowledged daughter of one of the country’s richest men while Zaynunah is the Ibadan born-and-raised hijabi with a more modest background.

Years later, a monumental loss tests the ties that bind them; in friendship, of family, of self, and healing.

Rekiya & Z explores the themes of Time and its fickleness, trauma, loss and the varying realities of Muslim Womanhood against the backdrop of Africa’s most populous country.

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The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman’s Journey to Love and Islam by G. Willow Wilson (Memoir)

We added this to our Ramadhan reading list because G. Willow Wilson is a legend. Her memoir is an extraordinary story of an all-American girl’s conversion to Islam and her ensuing romance with a young Egyptian man, The Butterfly Mosque is a stunning articulation of a Westerner embracing the Muslim world

Torn between the secular West and Muslim East, Willow records her intensely personal struggle to forge a “third culture” that might accommodate her own values without compromising the friends and family on both sides of the divide.

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Slavery and Islam by Jonathan A.C. Brown

What happens when authorities you venerate condone something you know is wrong? Every major religion and philosophy once condoned or approved of slavery, but in modern times nothing is seen as more evil.

Muslims faced this crisis when ISIS revived sex-slavery, justifying it with verses from the Quran and the practice of Muhammad. Exploring the moral and ultimately theological problem of slavery, Jonathan A.C. Brown traces how the Christian, Jewish and Islamic traditions have tried to reconcile modern moral certainties with the infallibility of God’s message. He lays out how Islam viewed slavery in theory, and the reality of how it was practised across Islamic civilization. Finally, Brown carefully examines arguments put forward by Muslims for the abolition of slavery.

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So that’s it. We hope our ramadhan reading list will help you make the most of the glorious month!


TMWT is an online media platform spotlighting the stories of Muslim women of the past and present. We aim to be one of the most authoritative and informative guides to what is happening in the world of Muslim women. We hope to cover key issues, spark debates, progressive ideas and provocative topics to get the Muslim world talking. We want to set agendas and explore ideas to improve the lives and wellbeing of Muslim Women.

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