Must Read Books

Islamic History
  • Muqadimah by Ibn-e-Khuldum
  • All Naseem Hijazi Novels
  • All Mirza Altamash or Novels 
  • Tamim Ansari's Destiny Disrupted 
  • Tareekh-e-Dawat o Azeemat by Abul Hassan Ali Nadvi (7 Volumes)
  • Suqoot-e-Baghdad se Suqoot-e-Dhaka taq by Mian Muhammad Afzal
  • Ahya ul-uloom by Imam Ghazali
  • Dr. Hameed ullah's Khutbat-e-Bhawalpur 
  • Tazkirah by Innayatullah Khan Mashriqi
  • Tahfeem-ul-Quran, Moulana Moududi
  • Tazkiya-e-Nafs by Ameen Ahsan Islahi
Islam and its Comparision with other Discourses
  • Islam aur Jadeed Science Nae Tanazur Main by Muhammad Zafar Iqbal
  • Islam aur Siyasi Nazriyat by Mufti Taqi Usmani 
  • Quran Aur Musalmano Kay Zinda Masail by Dr. Burhan Ahmed Farooqi
History (Miscillineous)
  • Pakistan ke Siyasi Wadere (Urdu)
  • Yahodi Protocols (Urdu version)
  • The Secret History of Mossad by Thomos Gordon
  • Embattled Innocence by Suleman Ahmer
  • Culture and Imperialism by Edward Said
  • The Last Mughal by William Dalrymple
  • The Battle for God by Karen Armstrong
Autobiographies, Biographies
  • Ar-raheeq-ul-Makhtoom by Safi ur Rehman Mubarakpuri (Prophet Muhammad s.a.w)
  • Malcom X Biography
  • Three Cups of Tea by Greg Morteson
  • Mian Kampf, (Adolf Hitler)
  • Banker for the Poor, Muhammad Yunus
Society, Sociology, Social Behaviour
  • Malcolm Gladwell's 
    • 'Tipping Point', 
    • 'Outliers'  
    • 'Blink'
  • Danial Goleman's 
    • 'Emotional Intelligence', & 
    • Social Intelligence'
  • Critical Mass by Philip Ball
  • Alvin Tofler's
    • Future Shock
    • The Third Wave
  • Demoralization of Western Culture by Ralph Fevre
Business Strategy
  • Maverick by Ricardo Semler
  • Jim Collin's 
    • 'Built to Last' 
    • 'The Good to Great'
  • The Blue Ocean Strategy
  • E-Myth by Micheal Gerber
  • The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz
  • Building Social Business by Muhammad Yunus
Personal Effectiveness
  • Stephen R. Covey's 
    • 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People', 
    • 'The Principle Centered Leadership', 
    • 'The Eighth Habit' & 
    • 'The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families'
Education, Pedagogy
  • Insult to Intelligence by Frank Smith
  • Courage to Teach
  • All books by John Holt
Globalization, Financial System, Critique of Modernism
  • The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein
  • The False Dawn by John Grey
  • Lord of Finance by Liaqat Ahmed
  • The Grip of Death by Micheal Rowbothom
  • The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Talib
  • Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Talib
  • Casualties of Credit Carl Winnerlind
International Politics
  • All books by Noam Chomsky
  • Genesis of the Final Crusade by Abid ullah Jan
  • Ghost Wars by Steve Coll
  • The Coming Anarchy by Robert D. Kaplan
  • Ye tere pursarar bande by Mufti Rafi Usmani on Afghan Resistance during Soviet's Invasion
  • RAND's report 'Building Moderate Muslim's Network', and 'Civil Democratic Islam'
  • Jostein Gardner's
    • Sophie's World 
    • Looking into the Glass Darkly
    • The Solitaire Mystery
  • Liquid Modernity by Zygmunt Bauman


Some Books Recommended by Shahnawaz Farooqi to understand the ideological differences in between Western and Islamic Civilization. A brief discription if also provided for each book by Farooqi sb. 

1. Tahafatul Flasafa by Imam Ghazali (RA): This is the most initial and comprehensive work on the clash among Islamic and western (Greek) values. This was written to counter the penetration of classical Greek philosophy into Muslim thinkers and intellectuals, when such penetration began for the first time in history. Ideas of Ibn-e-Rushd are greatest evidence of infiltration of Greek thoughts, and in this book Imam Ghazali actually argued the fundamental points of Rushd’s thinking. This book was published by Islamic Cultural Institute (Idara Sqafat-e-Islamia) in Lahore many decades ago.

2. Tahafatul Nahafa by Ibn-e-Rushd: This is the answer to the Imam Ghazali’s book mentioned above. For anyone who is interested in witnessing the intensity of the counter attack of Greek Philosophy and the stature of response by Rushd, this would be a must read.

3. Maktoob-e-Imam Rabbani (3 volumes): This book is the collection of the work of Hazrat Mujdid Alf-e-Sani (RA), which contains the discussion on Islamic beliefs, its differences with non-Islamic ones, and the incompatibility of Islamic with the non-Islamic civilizations.

4. Entire collection of Iqbal’s poetry, especially the one called Zarb-e-Kaleem (Declaration of war against modernization).

5. Some books by Abu Ala Maududi (RA) like ‘Fundamentals of Islamic Civilization’, Tanqihat, and Al-Jihad fi-al-Islam.

6. ‘Jadidiat’ and ‘Waqt Ki Ragni’ by Hasan Askari: The book Jadidiat graphically portrays the history of decline of western values and ideals, and the implication it holds for the humanity. ‘Waqt ki Ragni’ book highlights the differences among the traditions of Urdu and English literature.

7. ‘Sir Syed and Hali’s Concept of Nature’ by Dr. Zafar-ul Hasan: This book beautifully talks about how the western concept of ‘Nature’ was ill-perceived by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Altaf Hussain Hali, and how serious were (are) its implication on the Urdu literature, let alone Islamic concepts. This book discusses the semantic differences in the meaning of the word ‘Nature’ among Hindus, Christians, and as claimed by Modern Western Civilization, in contrast with its meaning described by Islamic Ideological framework. This is probably the best known work available on the subject.

8. ‘The New Poetry and the Complete Man’ and ‘Mashriq’ by Saleem Ahmed: The first book is one of the most significant, aggressive and antagonistic and book in Urdu literature’s critique section. This book tells us about how the concept of a complete man (with all its physical and metaphysical characteristics) disappeared due to the influence of western thinking and replaced by a partial concept. Siraj Munir compared this work of Saleem Ahmed with metaphysics of literature itself. Ahmed’s second book ‘Mashriq’ comprise of a long poetry, which highlights the falsification of Islamic values by the influence of western philosophy and alteration in the symbolic elements of its culture.

9. Collection of Akbar Ila Abadi’s Poetry: Akbar is one of the greatest asset of Urdu literature. The initial stages of the clash among civilizations cannot be witnessed by avoiding Akbar’s poetry. The greatness of Akbar can be perceived only by realizing that his poetry even influenced the thinking of Iqbal. Furthermore Akbar’s creative ability is very much comparable with that of Iqbal as well. Although Akbar’s style is more satirical, whereas Iqbal discusses the same ideas in a profoundly serious and philosophical way.

10. ‘Afqar-e-Sir Syed’ by Ziauddin Lahori: This book is an extract of 25 years of research done by Ziauddin Lahori, in which the author has collected statements of (Sir) Syed Ahmed Khan under different heads. This book reflects Syed’s mindset and the immense influence it has on the intellectual and academic development the Muslims of subcontinent.

11. The Decline of the West by Oswald Spengler: This book, which was written before the WWI, is considered as a classic among the western literature. However it was published much later in 1926. This book describes the fundamentals of western civilization, the influence of Greek Philosophy on the same, and sequentially talks about its decline. This book presents the clearest synopsis on the crisis within the western ideological framework.

12. ‘Crisis of the Modern World’, ‘The Reign of the Quantity’, and ‘East and West’: These books were written by a Frenchman Rene Guenon who was named Sheikh Abdulwahid Eesa after he reverted to Islam. One of the most notable critics of Urdu Literature, Hasan Askari, termed the Frenchman as the greatest thinker of the western civilization born in the last 700 years. Revolutionary Intellectual of Iran, Ali Shariati said that Guenon’s work is one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century, and his influence is no lesser then that of Albert Einstein. These books contain immense and eloquent critique on modern western philosophy which clearly informs its readers that where and how Islamic Philosophy differs from that of modern western ideological framework. ‘Figure of speech and Figure of Thought’ and ‘What is Civilization?’ These books were written by Anand Kumar Swami after getting influenced by Rene Guenon. The first book talks about how the influence of western philosophy on arts and how the concept of creation of life have brought its inhabitants down to such low levels that the difference among humans, animal, and foliage have diminished. The second book ‘What is Civilization?’ discusses the meaning of civilization in context of different religious civilization and how it differs from the meaning as perceived by the modern western civilization.


List of book on Modernist interpretation of Islam & its history, critique of western philosophy recommendation by Mr. Zulfiqar Khimani. Necessary for having informed view about what others say, irrespective you agree or disagree with them.
  • Islam and Modernity by Fazlur Rahman (Islamic Studies, Protestantization of Islam – the book will inform you is quite an old phenomenon)
  • Major Themes of the Qur'an by Fazlur Rahman (Islamic Studies)
  • The Venture of Islam (3 volumes) by Marshall Hodgson (Muslim History)
  • Rethinking World History by Marshall Hodgson (History in general, more importantly the author challenges the euro-centric approach of writing history and shows how writing of history has been used by imperial powers including Muslim empires)
  • What is History? by E H Carr (Philosophy of history, address the issues of ‘fact’ vs ‘interpretation’ and role of historian)
  • The Educated Imagination by Northrop Frye (Literary criticism, address the importance of literature and how the genre of literature is different from other forms of writing)
  • The Ulama in Contemporary Islam: Custodians of Change by Qasim Zaman (Islamic Studies, monograph examined Ulama and Madrasa education. He challenges the assumption that Ulema have remained largely traditional and passive – author uses examples from Pakistan, Egypt and many other countries to demonstrate that Ulema are not inflexible and were in fact very active in responding to social change – this is will be a good source of understanding if you are concerned about Protestantization of Islam)
  • Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject by Saba Mahmood (Islamic Studies and Social Theory, ethnography that examines the grass-root activities of women mosque movement in Egypt)
  • The Interpretation of Cultures by Clifford Geertz (Social Anthropology - Classic masterpiece if you are interested in understanding ‘culture’)
  • Rethinking Islam: Common Questions, Uncommon Answers by Late Prof. Mohammed Arkoun (Islamic Studies, examines the basic tenants of Islam, however, unlike traditional approaches to the subject Prof. Arkoun uses approaches developed in anthropology, philosophy, semiotics, and history, to examine Islamic tradition and its relationship to the West – a powerful critique of Orientalism and traditionalism in Islam, again useful if you are interested in the subject of Protestantization of Islam)
  • The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism by Max Weber (Social Theory and Classic master piece of social theory. The author argues that the sustenance and development of capitalism is due to the ethical ideals found in the Protestant ways of living) 
  • The Idea of the Holy by Rudolf Otto (Philosophy of Religion, examines the notion of God/sacred in comparison to mundane and profane, although author uses examples from Christian context but one can see parallel in Muslim theology as well)
  • The Sane Society by Erich Fromm (Social Theory, critique of capitalism)
  • One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society by Herbert Marcuse (Social Theory)
  • Liquid Modernity by Zygmunt Bauman (Social Theory)
  • All That is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity by Marshall Berman (Social Theory)
  • Understanding the Qur'an: Themes and Style by Muhammad Abdel Haleem (Quranic Studies)
  • Deschooling Society by Ivan Illich (Education, critique of schooling)
  • Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire (Education and critique of curriculum and teaching practices)
  • Self and Sovereignty: Individual and Community in South Asian Islam Since 1850 by Ayesha Jalal (South Asian history)
  • The Disappearance of Childhood by Neil Postman (Social theory examines the social construction of childhood and its disappearance)

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