In a now infamous interview, Katie Couric asked Sarah Palin which news magazines she reads (her equally infamous response was, “All of 'em”). The question is in fact a poignant one, because in today's world, the websites that you check and the magazines that you subscribe to do indicate what interests you.

Many times, I too have been asked what websites and magazines I would recommend. Unlike Sarah Palin, I do not claim to be able to read the over twenty-thousand magazines that are printed monthly on every topic imaginable (there's even a subscription magazine dedicated to raising sheep!).  However, I do subscribe to half a dozen or so publications in print, and try my best to read them at all odd times of the day (always take a few during plane rides; I also catch a few articles while brushing my teeth; sometimes even get one or two down while I'm supposed to be talking on the phone!).

Here's my current selection of websites that I regularly check, and magazines that I subscribe to. Feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments below.

Websites:

- BBC

Check on average ten times a day.

- Huffington Post

I'm not as regular a reader as most of the other people in my circle of friends (I typically check it once a day and scan the latest headlines). I find the website an overload of information and realize that if I did spend too much time there, I wouldn't get much else done. Nonetheless, a great resource.

- Al-Jazeera

Simply the best media outlet for events in the Arab and Muslim world.

- Arab News

When I lived in Madinah I would read this Saudi newspaper almost daily. I still like to keep up with the latest events and get a pulse of what's happening there.

 

- MuslimMatters

I have to check my own blog!

Magazines

- The Economist

Amazing. Just amazing. Words fail me here. There is simply no other news publication (to the best of my knowledge) that is as thorough and global. I look forward to receiving this magazine and typically devour it the same day I receive it. It is usually over one hundred pages of solid news from around the world (with an obvious and forgivable emphasis on the Western world). It is unabashedly leftist in its outlook and unapologetic in its frank analysis.

Bottom line: Did I mention 'amazing'?

The Atlantic

This is one of my favorite magazines. There are always analytical articles on current social trends, political issues, and foreign affairs. One article in arecent edition discussed the rise of 'alternative medicine' clinics that offer patients treatments in homeopathy, acupuncture, and other forms of medicine. The article interviewed both practitioners and opponents of such clinics and discussed the pros and cons of their existence. It was interesting to note, for example, that while many of these 'alternative medicines' (including homeopathy, which I personally think is just a lot of sugar tablets!) have never been clinically proven to cure diseases, they do have an 'advanced placebo' effect on many patients.

Bottom line: Very relevant and always thought provoking!

Mother Jones

An excellent publication that never fails to show the excesses of corporate greed and the failures of governmental policies and political incompetence. It also discusses human rights issues, politics, and culture. One of the leading liberal magazines in America.

Bottom line: Plenty of reading and ruminating material in each issue.

Scientific American

This magazine is a jewel – it keeps me abreast of the latest theories and discoveries in science. It covers chemistry, physics, biology, astronomy and anything else remotely related. It is written for an audience that is non-specialists, yet have a basic knowledge of all of these fields.

I admit I don't read each article, but there are always a few that catch my eye. One article in a recent issue discussed how technologically feasible it was to 'grow' meat in a Petri dish from a few molecules of protein. Soon, they predicted, there would be no need to actually breed animals and then kill them for the sake of their meat! (Personally, the thought of eating 'meat' grown in a Petri dish repulses me; additionally we'll need some cutting-edge ijtihad to figure out how such meat would be considered zabiha for the guys who follow the correct opinion of only eating zabiha meat!)

Bottom line: Keeps you in the loop about the latest scientific developments.

The New Yorker

I had to see what all the hype was about, so this is my first year subscribing. I don't know if I'll continue subscribing next year. While every issue typically has a news article that salvages the magazine for me (one recent edition discussed the rise of the English Defense League and the increase of Islamophobia in England), and its fiction story is a breath of fresh air, there is simply too much emphasis on the arts, movies and theater for my personal liking.

Bottom line: If all the articles fail, the magazine's notoriously sarcastic cartoons are off the hook.

Wired

For the geek in me. Really nifty gadgets reviewed, totally cool apps introduced, nerdy facts presented in colorful poster-like formats – what's not to like?!

Bottom line: Nerdiness isn't just cool, its respectable!

- Saudi Aramco's World

Very upbeat magazine about the historical and scientific legacies of Muslims, current accomplishments in the Islamic world, and events taking place related to arts and culture.

It is a bit simplistic, and sometimes (naively) innocent, but there's a lot of good facts to gain, and historical anecdotes to benefit from.

Bottom line: It's free and entertaining. Great reading material for kids as well.

- Harper's Magazine

I just subscribed to this one, and haven't received my first issue yet, so can't really comment. However from the stories that were forwarded to me from their website, I am looking forward to seeing what the subscription will bring. Will keep you updated…

 

What magazines and websites do you read? Leave your comments below…

 

44 Responses

  1. Usama

    As Salamu Alaikum akhi,

    Look forward to seeing you tomorrow at MAS for Doctrines of Faith! It’s my first AlMaghrib course and I hear only good things :)

    Take care,
    Usama

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  2. AlMadrasi

    Nice collection. I too check Economist and Sci Am regularly. I would also like to add Harvard Business Review, Nature and Science to the list. These 3 are typically not magazines, but journals. HBR has amazing articles on self-management and team dynamics which is relevant to the Islamic world and Dawah activities we indulge in. Highly recommended.

    I didnt see any Islamic magazines :). What is your opinion on the Al Jumuah magazine?

    Wassalam
    Al Madrasi Al Hindee

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  3. greentea

    5 of these are on my list too. I am curious as to lack of “Arabic” publications.

    Also, shiekh I was wondering do you visit sites that publish articles of other “islamic scholars” that you find interesting to read. jk

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    • Yasir Qadhi

      I used to subscribe to some journals i Madinah; when I moved back to America I had to cancel (at that time they didn’t send them oversees but I haven’t checked lately).

      My favorite Arabic Islamic journals were al-Bayaan, and one on modern fiqh issues (whose precise name is eluding me now…).

      As for Arabic websites for research, there are a lot. Of course Multaqa Ahl al-Hadeeth (the Arabic version) usually has some research pertaining to most any question that you might have. Al Waqefah has many classical books that you can download. And there are others as well…

      Yasir

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      • Mansoor Ansari

        Does Multaqa Ahl al-Hadeeth & have Al Waqefah websites?

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  4. mifrah

    Assalam Alaikum. Don’t you read TIME magazine too? I found it pretty insightful. And yes, the Economist sure is a gem. :)

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    • Yasir Qadhi

      I don’t subscribe to either Time or Newsweek (I used to a few years ago). After you experience The Economist, these other two appear to be elementary school level!

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  5. tayyibah

    asalamualaikum,

    very interesting. Even though I don’t follow your opinion on every issue, I still look up to you a great deal and respect you very much.

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  6. Ahsan Sayed

    I am obsessive about my BBC and Muslimmatters; both are homepages on my firefox. I don’t know if a Friday is ever complete without jumma and lunch with my fresh-off-the-print Economist. I cannot agree more on how “amazing” the Economist is. I’ve been a subscriber for two years now and I must confess: I am an addict.

    The New Yorker’s idiosyncrasies become endearing after some time. Their long, thorough articles about current events do “salvage” each issue. But, I do agree with you Sheikh that, I often find myself skipping the listings of plays, musicals, etc.

    As for Aljazeera. I find their news quality and style is similar to that of BBC’s. What I visit Aljazeera for is their opeds. Surprisingly, there is a refreshing amount of diversity in the kind of opinions given a voice on their opinion section. I actually stumbled upon a piece by Baghwati, the other day. Undoubtedly, there is a pro-palestinian tilt; of course I don’t fault them for siding with justice. I have replaced the NYTimes oped section with Aljazeera’s. The same names crop up too often on the NYTimes opinion pages and I have grown tired of their stale banter–ehem, ehem Norcera, Friedman, Cohen. Krugman can redeem the section, at times.

    Finally, I agree with you again ya Sheikh. Huffington can have its moments, but for the most part its filled with overly populist articles and too many other things.

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  7. Ammar

    Al-Jumua Magazine! – Nice articles about Islam.

    Internacionale! – Italian language – has the best articles of the entire global media in a monthly period- good.

    Le monde diplomatique! mainly french media but has an English translation too.

    Albislam – Albanian Islamic magazine- contains very good scholarly articles – unfortunately is not in English.

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  8. @ahkofallahks's

    man i say just put all these thing on ur twitter like i do..get everything at once.

    bbc,aljezeerah,huffington all bumpin on my timeline.

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  9. Nancy E Biddle

    Funnily enough, Facebook. The articles posted by friends I follow (Linda Jamila Koloktronis, Aisha Schwarts Writer, Activist, etc) are varied and facsinating. Also. The quarterly Islamic Writers Alliance magazine (Mix of articles, reviews and poems and stories.) Sisters magazine, by iPhone I get AJE, CBC, CNN, RT, CNET. I also subscribe to Google Alerts that allows me to follow topics, such as mentions of Islamic Fiction, which pointed me to this article because both Islamic and Fiction was mentioned

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  10. Yasmin

    Jazakallah khair for this very interesting post! Its nice to have a list of what a respected Islamic scholar, like Sheikh Qadhi, reads.

    By the way does anyone know if Oprah magazine is worth subscribing to?

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  11. shiney

    very interesting post…!
    i love Al-Jumu’ah Magazine! it simply can’t be beat when it comes to Islamic issues for the average Muslim and there are always words of wisdom to learn from every issue! and i love Kraft magazines too!
    websites i visit? well, mostly blogs like Muslimmatters, MuslimYouthMusings, Productive Muslim, VisionReinstated (into the core), Sadaf’s Space, etc.!

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  12. Mehzabeen (iMuslim)

    Nerdiness isn’t just cool, its respectable!

    I am taking that as a personal fatwa that will be used in my self-defense on the many occasions that I am called a nerd, geek, boffin, and other such affectionate nicknames.

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    • Yasir Qadhi

      Interesting websites – thanks for listing them.

      Personally I can’t imagine reading all that much every day – then I’d have no time left for Islamic reading!! But its good some people are doing that.

      Yasir

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  13. Mansoor Ansari

    Shaykh Yasir Check this out.,

    http://www.majalla.com/eng/
    http://www.majalla.com/arb/

    They do analysis on current politics of Middle East especially focusing on the Khaleej. They have a print edition too.

    Saudi Aramco World is available online too
    http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/

    My favorite article from them is from July 2000, The Longest Hajj: The Journeys of Ibn Battuta

    http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/200004/the.longest.hajj.the.journeys.of.ibn.battuta-editor.s.note.htm

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  14. someone

    Assalamu Aleikum,

    Awesome list, Sheikh Qadhi! However I have to disagree with you and your stance on the Economist as a left leaning paper, more like liberal , nonetheless its still a great resource.

    The New Yorker is a magazine that I find deeply intriguing, your right in that they often focus on arts, maybe even popular culture, I would venture to say more like high culture. I think their journalists are very bright, they take on subjects that have a deep philosophical nature, but make them accessible, for instance last year they did a story on procrastination. Also, one of their recent issues did a story on the process behind labels, and the minds behind such a lucrative enterprise.

    Le Monde Diplomatique one word Fantastique! Long and thorough analysis on world wide political issues, when i mean world wide, no one is spared or even discarded!!! Def. left leaning, its the french all their journalist are lefties:)

    Courrier International- Takes articles from respectable news papers in different languages and translates them, ingenious idea, and a worthwhile resource.

    Huffington Post, Just to read articles from people I respect like Haroon Moghul( an inspiring writer) ect…

    Alt Muslimah-MM-SuhaibWebb- The understand the pulse of Islam in America

    Foreign Policy-Just to criticize them, lol!

    Rue89: They have interesting takes on hot button issues, and actually cover stories, positive or even neutral ones, about Muslims in France

    I wish I had time to read the Nation, occasionally Al-Jazeera, and the BBC, I prefer thorough articles to quick reads.

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    • Abu Abdullah

      Salaams,

      Have you checked out the Majalla Magazine ? It is basically a on-line magazine, established since 1980, I used to remember them those days when I used to live in Saudia. It has quite good stuff, and also very close to ‘The Economist’. And it seems to be a sister publication from Arab News. They have 2 sites one for the English and the other for the Arabic, while they also have a more in-depth monthly PDF version that can be downloaded free from their website.

      I would strongly recommend that you take a look at their site and the PDF version of the magazine…

      URL: http://www.majalla.com

      BR,

      Wa Salaam…

      Abu Abdullah

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    • Leo

      Looks like we may be the only Natty-G readers here!
      But I agree, it’s at the top of my list.
      Is hk short for hong kong btw?

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  15. flower

    Salam Alaikum.

    Which major Islamic web-sites do you not like or do not recommend ?

    I strongly dislike “Islam-qa” because of their one-sided fatwas regarding women.

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  16. Imran

    Wow this is post is probably your most most useful and applicable one yet.
    Very beneficial and comprehensive

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      • Yusuf - Cincinnati

        Exactly. haha but it is a one stop shop for interesting things going on (b/c of comments/verification/thoughts of people)

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  17. Abu Muhammad

    Jazak’Allah khair Sh. Yasir for mentioning these magazines as I will also take a look at them. Personally, I read mostly from the internet and prefer news sites such as Asia Times, Guardian, BBC, Dawn, Frontline and follow a bunch of bloggers through Twitter. For technical stuff, I refer to SlashDot.org and Wired and of course, I really like National Geographic.

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  18. Umm Sulaim

    Nice to learn you keep abreast of scientific developments, and I can’t imagine meat ‘grown’ on a petri dish ending up on my lunch dish. Yuck!

    I receive daily headline updates (news, technology, health, science, women) in my inbox from a variety of news media. I only click on the link that interests me to read more.

    Umm Sulaim

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  19. Adnan

    Curious to know, what exactly is ‘left’ to you, Yasir? It’s a terrible exaggeration to call the Economist “unabashedly leftist”. The Guardian newspaper could get away better with that ascription than the mentioned magazine.

    And what exactly do you gain from these readings? Do you sum it up and incorporate it didactically in your talks and sermons? Please do tell, because I, too, read the publications and sites you listed above, and time to time hear your lectures and sermons for the past 4 years. I do not hear any pressing issues being imparted on to your listeners meticulously enough (or at all for that matter) to impact us all as human beings. Generally, this is where most Muslim preachers are lagging, but since you mentioned these readings, and I can only assume that what you read means something to you as a globally minded individual, the issues typically printed are truly pressing and normally left unattended by your lot of preachers.

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  20. Abu Ubayday

    Jazaks for sharing…

    Mine are:

    Democracynow.org (Get my daily news here… usually cover things that other big news outlet dont)

    aljazeera

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  21. Amatullah

    I love CBC for news, their radio programs are great.

    My social policy professor just recommended The Economist, I’ll have to check it out inshaAllah.

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  22. Rasheed

    Success Magazine and LifeHacker for secular matters
    Productive Muslim is good too.
    And of course Facebook :P

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  23. Sajidabdulaziz

    Salaam Shaykh,

    As a Brit I am intrigued that you list BBC as seemingly the number one choice for global news. Why not CNN, Fox, ABC etc I would’ve guessed (maybe naively) that these would be first choice amongst Americans?

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  24. Omar

    The Economist has good content but some of its articles have anti Islamic views & strong bias which are hard to digest. Other than that mainstream media outlets like BBC & Al Jazeera are good to an extent but when it comes to reporting about the Muslim world & Islam a lot of it is extremely ignorant & unfair. Double standards are evident in their reporting but that has been a historical trend for a long time in case of world media. Would love to see a Islamic channel reporting it the way it is without sugar coating or trying to be politically correct or painting Muslims/Islam in a negative light. Oh and exposing & shaming the oppressive governments & rulers whichever country they maybe part of but off-course in the current politcal context it’s not easy to achieve such an idealistic situation. Allaahu Musta;an.

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