10 books like The Battlefields of the Prophet Muhammad

By Muhammad Hamidullah,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Battlefields of the Prophet Muhammad. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Road to Mecca

By Muhammad Asad,

Book cover of The Road to Mecca

This book combines the exciting travels in the deserts of Arabia with his spiritual journey to uncover the meaning of the faith practiced there. I find immense meaning and wisdom in his words as he explores a faith practiced by more than a quarter of the world’s population!

In one story, an old man explains what it means to pray, and it sunk into me that it is focused on the willing surrender to God, obeying His commands, and bringing peace within us and our destiny.

I admire Asad’s interpretation of 'unhappiness' when he sees unhappy faces while traveling in a subway. On reaching home, he finds an open page from Qur’an that translates to mean, “You are distracted by mutual competition in amassing (worldly benefits), until you reach the graves.” That really struck me. 

The Road to Mecca

By Muhammad Asad,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Road to Mecca as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Part travelogue, part autobiography, "The Road to Mecca" is the compelling story of a Western journalist and adventurer who converted to Islam in the early twentieth century. A spiritual and literary counterpart of Wilfred Thesiger and a contemporary of T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), Muhammad Asad journeyed around the Middle East, Afghanistan and India. This is an account of Asad's adventures in Arabia, his inner awakening, and his relationships with nomads and royalty alike, set in the wake of the First World War. It can be read on many levels: as a eulogy to a lost world, and as…


The Bible, The Qur'an and Science

By Maurice Bucaille,

Book cover of The Bible, The Qur'an and Science

I am impressed with the author's substantial effort in examining the Holy Scriptures from the perspective of modern scientific knowledge. The author looks at various Quranic statements in the light of scientific discoveries and concludes that it can't be of human origin - that surely enhances that the Qur'an is a true Divine Book.

This book also has the noble purpose of promoting much-needed unity between the followers of Christianity and Islam and countering ignorant and false ideas about both religions. It was especially gratifying to learn of a Vatican document describing that Muslims profess the faith of Abraham and worship one God as Christians do – that gives me hope that we are all one.  

The Bible, The Qur'an and Science

By Maurice Bucaille,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bible, The Qur'an and Science as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this book, I reveal previously unpublished fact(s) about Dr. Maurice Bucaille to include: birth and martial records, death and burial records, images of his gravestone with a link to the actual site, close family members with their various family tree(s), and much much more.
Dr. Maurice Bucaille was a prominent French physician/surgeon, amateur Egyptologist, and renowned author who became widely known for his best selling books and for his research related to science and religion particularly the religion of Islam.
After the publication of his first book "The Bible, the Quran, and Science" a movement related to this area…


The Holy Qur’an

By Abdullah Yusuf Ali (translator),

Book cover of The Holy Qur’an

There are many verses in the Qur'an that give high importance to justice and command followers to strive against injustice. Two of my favorites are "firmly uphold justice even if it is against you, your family, etc." and "you are the best people brought out to promote good and prevent wrong." I found my purpose in life in this Divine Book.

In addition to overall guidance, The Holy Qur'an guides readers toward the fight against injustice. It is an invaluable read for those who are conscious of God, believe in the unseen, bow down in prayer, and are thankful for what has been provided to them.

The Holy Qur’an

By Abdullah Yusuf Ali (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Holy Qur’an as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Holy Qur'an: Textual content, Translation and Commentary is really an English translation in the Qur'an because of the British Indian Abdullah Yusuf Ali (1872–1953) over the British Raj. It has grown to be One of the most generally known English translations on the Qur'an, owing partially to its prodigious use of footnotes, and its distribution and subsidization by Saudi Arabian beneficiaries over the late 20th century. Ali started his translation while in the 1920s, right after he experienced retired from the Civil Company and settled in the United Kingdom.The translation was 1st released in 1934 by Shaik Muhammad Ashraf…


Gujarat Files

By Rana Ayyub,

Book cover of Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover Up

This book is about the 2002 Gujarat riots in India and the coverup. It reads like a real-life thriller as you learn about the murder of the state’s Home Minister, the complicity of the state and its officials in the massacre, and how those who went along with the cover-up were rewarded. This book inspires me with the courage and conviction of the author-activist Rana Ayyub, who dares to speak up and continues to do so!

It will surprise and upset you that the politicians who are said to be complicit in the horrendous rapes, murders, and rioting have ascended to the national level of governance in India. When the author played tapes from her undercover investigation of Gujarat at a university of Chicago event, “everybody was stunned, numb, and there was just silence in the room.” 




Gujarat Files

By Rana Ayyub,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gujarat Files as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gujarat Files is the account of an eight-month long undercover investigation by journalist Rana Ayyub into the Gujarat riots, fake encounters and the murder of state Home Minister Haren Pandya that brings to the fore startling revelations. Posing as Maithili Tyagi, a filmmaker from the American Film Institute Conservatory, Rana met bureaucrats and top cops in Gujarat who held pivotal positions in the state between 2001 and 2010. The transcripts of the sting operation reveal the complicity of the state and its officials in crimes against humanity.

With sensational disclosures about cases that run parallel to Narendra Modi and Amit…


Muhammad and the Believers

By Fred M. Donner,

Book cover of Muhammad and the Believers: At the Origins of Islam

While Boyarin challenges what we thought we knew about Judaism and Christianity, Fred Donner does the same for the history of the origins of Islam. Most of what we know, or think we know, about Muhammad comes from the hadiths (traditions), sayings, and deeds of the prophet that were transmitted orally and put down in writing two centuries after the prophet’s death. Leaving aside hadith and the traditional biographies of the prophet, Donner looks at what we can say about Muhammad and his first followers based on the Quran alone. While the terms “Islam” and “Muslim” are present in the Quran, Islam is not a "religion" apart from other monotheisms.

On the contrary, Muhammad had no intention of founding a new "religion," but saw himself as the successor to earlier prophets, from Adam to Jesus and the apostles, who all preached the same message: condemnation of idolatry, declaration of unity…

Muhammad and the Believers

By Fred M. Donner,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Muhammad and the Believers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The origins of Islam have been the subject of increasing controversy in recent years. The traditional view, which presents Islam as a self-consciously distinct religion tied to the life and revelations of the prophet Muhammad in western Arabia, has since the 1970s been challenged by historians engaged in critical study of the Muslim sources.

In Muhammad and the Believers, the eminent historian Fred Donner offers a lucid and original vision of how Islam first evolved. He argues that the origins of Islam lie in what we may call the "Believers' movement" begun by the prophet Muhammad-a movement of religious reform…


The Siege of Mecca

By Yaroslav Trofimov,

Book cover of The Siege of Mecca: The Forgotten Uprising in Islam's Holiest Shrine and the Birth of Al Qaeda

The siege of Mecca in 1979 was one of the most consequential events in recent Saudi history. This book reads like a thriller, which makes sense because anyone familiar with Trofimov's work at the Wall Street Journal knows that he is a gifted storyteller and insightful analyst. The book provides context to the worldview that gave rise to al Qaeda.

The Siege of Mecca

By Yaroslav Trofimov,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Siege of Mecca as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Pilgrims and Sultans

By Suraiya Faroqhi,

Book cover of Pilgrims and Sultans: The Hajj Under the Ottomans

Concerning the study of the hajj (i.e. Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca), I consider this book is pioneering primarily because it utilizes original sources and documentation left by Ottoman administrators to depict and recreate uneasy experiences of the pilgrims’ everyday life in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries of Arabia. During these centuries, Mecca was under the control and authority of the Ottoman sultans, and the hajj pilgrimage was an extremely tough journey: long, arduous, and fraught with danger. This work has contributed to our understandings of the pilgrims’ conditions and mundane activities and the sultans’ policies of the pilgrimage.  

Pilgrims and Sultans

By Suraiya Faroqhi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pilgrims and Sultans as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The pilgrimage to Mecca - the hajj - is a major aspect of the Islamic religion, yet little has been written about its history or of the conditions under which thousands of pilgrims from far flung regions of the Islamic world travelled to the heart of the Arabian peninsula. This pioneering book concentrates on the pilgrimage in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when Mecca was ruled by the Ottoman sultans. At a time when, for the majority of the faithful, the journey was long, arduous and fraught with danger, the provision of food, water, shelter and protection for pilgrims presented…


The Origins of Islamic Reformism in Southeast Asia

By Azyumardi Azra,

Book cover of The Origins of Islamic Reformism in Southeast Asia: Networks of Malay-Indonesian and Middle Eastern 'Ulama' in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries

This is an extremely fine book that traces and discusses the origins or intellectual roots of Islamic renewal and reformism in Indonesia (and the Malay world in general). What makes this book special is that, among others, the author used rare academic sources (e.g., Arabic biographic dictionaries that have never before been analyzed or utilized as research materials) to reconstruct the history of Indonesia’s Islamic reformism. The book shows that an orthodox form of Islam in Southeast Asia was the product of intellectual and religious networks between Muslim societies in the archipelago and the Malay-Indonesian Islamic scholars in the Haramain (Mecca and Medina) who transmitted Islamic scholarships, knowledge, and discourses to them since the seventeenth century. 

The Origins of Islamic Reformism in Southeast Asia

By Azyumardi Azra,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Origins of Islamic Reformism in Southeast Asia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Islamic renewal and reformism is an ongoing process which is commonly thought to have started only in the twentieth century. Professor Azra's meticulous study, using sources from the Middle East itself, shows how scholars in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were reconstructing the intellectual and socio-moral foundation of Muslim societies. Drawing on Arabic biographic dictionaries which have never before been analysed or used as research materials, Professor Azra illuminates a previously inaccessible period of history to show the development of the Middle Eastern heritage in the Indonesian archipelago.

The reader can trace the formation and expression of Indonesian Islam and…


Jews and Islamic Law in Early 20th-Century Yemen

By Mark S. Wagner,

Book cover of Jews and Islamic Law in Early 20th-Century Yemen

Drawing on memoirs, Jews and Islamic Law in Early 20th-Century Yemen provides an engaging portrait of Yemeni Jews in the decades before their mass migration to Israel. Wagner chronicles the vast social and political challenges that Yemenis faced and how these impacted the intimate ties and sometimes formidable tensions between Jews and Muslims. His book is one of the most entertaining in Jewish studies. Like the memoir writers upon whom he draws, Wagner has an eye for a good story. We learn about Jews from all walks of life – upstanding rabbis and merchants, but also practitioners of magic, bootleggers, swindlers, and ruffians who are unafraid to brawl with Muslims. All of these stories are carefully analyzed and contextualized by Wagner, who is deeply learned in both Jewish and Islamic literature.

Jews and Islamic Law in Early 20th-Century Yemen

By Mark S. Wagner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jews and Islamic Law in Early 20th-Century Yemen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In early 20th-century Yemen, a sizable Jewish population was subject to sumptuary laws and social restrictions. Jews regularly came into contact with Islamic courts and Muslim jurists, by choice and by necessity, became embroiled in the most intimate details of their Jewish neighbors' lives. Mark S. Wagner draws on autobiographical writings to study the careers of three Jewish intermediaries who used their knowledge of Islamic law to manipulate the shari'a for their own benefit and for the good of their community. The result is a fresh perspective on the place of religious minorities in Muslim societies.


Forgotten Queens of Islam

By Fatima Mernissi,

Book cover of Forgotten Queens of Islam

This book has rightly become a classic in the field and is a book I keep returning to for Mernissi’s fantastic insights into the particularities of queenship in the Islamic world and her fascinating examples of the agency of royal women. Mernissi’s passion for the subject, and for the wider history of women’s political agency in the Islamic world springs from the page, making this an absorbing read. A more recent work that builds on Mernissi’s book and is also highly recommended is Shahla Haeri’s The Unforgettable Queens of Islam - both Mernissi and Haeri make clear connections between royal women of the premodern era and modern female politicians today.

Forgotten Queens of Islam

By Fatima Mernissi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Forgotten Queens of Islam as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this extraordinary and powerful book, now available in paperback, Fatima Mernissi, one of the most original and distinctive voices in the Islamic world, uncovers a hidden history of women leaders of Islamic states stretching back over fifteen centuries.


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