The following is a list of books which I highly recommend if you would like a better idea of the basic beliefs of Islam and good English translations of the Qur’an. I will add more over time but this is definitely a good list to start with!
The Study Qur’an: A New Translation and Commentary, Translated and written by
- This is by far the best English translation of the Qur’an I have had the pleasure of reading. What makes The Study Quran different from its counterparts is that it provides the early scholarly commentaries on the Qur’an, so that the reader can understand what the particular revelation means, why it was revealed, and under what circumstances may have prompted the revelation.
The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity, By Seyyed Hussein Nasr. HarperOne: 2004.
- Explains the core aspect of Islam, focusing on spirituality, peace, compassion, social justice, and much more. It is a great book for individuals who are looking for some of the basic principles of Islam.
Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, By Martin Lings. Inner Traditions: 2006.
- Just an all around good biography of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, told in an almost storybook form. When I read it I never had a hard time paying attention, and it is also one of the few good sources of Islamic history that can be listened to while on the treadmill at the gym, as it is available on Audible! It uses reliable historical sources that are considered sound sources by the Islamic scholarly tradition.