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Open Thread Sunday 3/8/2008 [What are you Reading?]

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Recently, ibnabeeomar (or simply Omar) posted a great review on Groundswell, and as usual, he was able to tie the book’s underlying message and benefit to Islamic organizations and what we can do to use tools and information to help leverage our God-given capabilities beyond our small spheres of influence.

Not everyone reads books like Omar does, but as you are reading a book on business strategy, on making money, on marketing, etc., do you think of what ways you could apply it in your own life or Masjid, beyond the original intention of your reading?

And books don’t always have to be for some tangible beneficial purpose, many of us just enjoy reading.

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So, tell us what books you have been reading, what you recommend others to read and NOT to read, what gems you could apply to Islamic organizations/communities, or whatever else you found enjoyable…

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").

22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Amad

    March 8, 2009 at 10:57 AM

    Sign of how bad things are getting here…
    Ohio school gets 700 applicants for janitorial job

    A good article on the “bottom”:
    When economy bottoms out, how will we know?

    And it is going to be the longest one post-war
    Recession on track to be longest in postwar period

  2. abu Rumay-s.a.

    March 8, 2009 at 11:11 AM

    Bismillah,

    I would encourage the book worms (i’m guessing from this blog) such as Siraaj, Amad, Ibnabeeomar, Abu Noor, and others to continue to develop the book review section and compose a book review committee, subhanAllah, there are some really beneficial books that can be of great value to Muslims at large, and MM can spearhead this project.

    essentially, this committee would be responsible for finding good readers and assigning or recommending individuals to read books of their interests and compose a book review. Many of us have already read some worthwhile books which we can start with. The committee can choose a selected number of topics (non-fiction please!) such as: Faith based books, psychology/sociology books, , seerah/history, education books, economics/islamic finance books, Technology, Health/Sports, Science, Management/business, politics/current affairs, etc.

    I remember back in the days when I took some notes on one of shaikh Yasir’s first books, Riyaa (Hidden Shirk) and send to a brother who posted on his site and for some long time it was the highest read article and I hope that people benefitted and i hope it encouraged to get the book and learn more about their faith…so this example just illustrates insha`Allah the potential reward (may Allah accept from us sincerely) of writing a few pages…Moreover, it encourages people to look deeper and perhaps read the entire book and its a way of pooling resources and benefiting others.

    • Amad

      March 8, 2009 at 12:19 PM

      Anoymous: the book you mentioned is in Urdu, what is it about?

      Abu Rumay-s.a., interestingly, we already started a book review document internally… but we just haven’t been able to keep up with it due to a shortage of time, more than commitment.

      However, I am thinking that why limit the book reviewers to only a few of us… I mean, among the readers, there are many who are equal or better than us, who are avid readers and hopefully would be interested in doing reviews.

      So, I would like to open the floor and ask everyone who would be interested in joining a MM book club… essentially we can have a list of books (all types– Islamic and non-Islamic) recommended by us and the readers, people who pick one or more as a “task” to complete within a reasonable amount of time, and then submit the review.

      Br. Abu Rumays.a., may be you can help organize this effort too? Who else is interested?

  3. anonymous

    March 8, 2009 at 12:00 PM

    Aap Beeti by Hadhrat Shaykh-ul-Mashayikh Barkatul-Asr Fakhrul-Muhadditheen Shaykh-ul-Hadeeth Maulana Muhammad Zakariyyah Al-Kandahalwi rahimahumullahu wa akramahum fid darain

  4. anonymous

    March 8, 2009 at 12:33 PM

    Aap Beeti is the autobiography of one of this past century’s greatest scholars.

    It is a one-of-a-kind book, since not many of our illustrious scholars have written their own autobiographies.

    It is in two volumes, and, yes, it is in Urdu. There is an English translation though.

  5. Nihal Khan

    March 8, 2009 at 4:26 PM

    An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur’aan – Yasir Qadhi

  6. sis

    March 8, 2009 at 6:27 PM

    How to Approach and Understand the Qur’an – Sh. Jamaal Zarabozo

    The Fifth Discipline – Peter Senge
    – The Art and Practice of Learning Organizations… really good for making visions / institutions in our da’wah

  7. Al-Madrasi

    March 8, 2009 at 7:59 PM

    Salam,

    Off the topic may be, but still i do not know where to post it as our “Terrorists Attack Guest Sri Lankan Cricketers in Pakistan” is closed (and this is open thread anyway :) ).

    Here is an recent (March, 7, 2009) interview of Dr. Zakir Naik to NDTV, in which he talks about Terrorism, India’s Partition, Kashmir, education (closing the girls’ schools) and finally a words of dawa:

    Walk The Talk with Dr Zakir Naik: http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/video/video.aspx?id=60314

  8. Joyhamza

    March 8, 2009 at 8:26 PM

    Those who know arabic should read the treaty “Makarimul-Akhlaq” by Shaykh Bin Salih al-‘Uthaymeen. Precise yet a tremendous exertion of knowledge and wisdom. Rahimahullah. Looking at the state of the ummah in terms of manner, importance of study on akhlaq only increases:

    http://www.almeshkat.com/books/open.php?cat=18&book=120

    • Amad

      March 8, 2009 at 9:11 PM

      Abu Sabaya aka Tariq Mehanna, may Allah protect him from injustice, on Boston Globe http://tr.im/h9jz

      Br. Ahmad quoted in it… relatively fair article (what can you expect these days), amazing they quoted the bigot hate-monger, Islamophobe, Jawa Report. It is like quoting the KKK in some sense. There should be at least some qualification for being an “expert witness” even in a news article.

  9. Amatullah

    March 9, 2009 at 1:38 AM

    Assalamu Alykum

    The Post American World by Fareed Zakaria
    A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink
    World is Flat by Thomas Friedman
    Articles by economist Carlota Perez (www.carlotaperez.org)

    Required by Muslims to understand where the world is heading and how we should adapt to acheive the maximum in terms of education, dawah and uplifting the status of the ummah in general.

    BarakAllahu Feek,

  10. Amatullah

    March 9, 2009 at 1:43 AM

    Assalamu Alykum

    I was envisioning a book club for Muslims, where members could meet, review books, post favorite books…

    But we need truly dedicated individuals for that.

    BarakAllahu Feek

  11. Abu Zainab

    March 9, 2009 at 2:01 AM

    Two books:

    “15 Ways to Increase Your Earnings” by Sh. Yasir Qadhi. It’s a short read and each tip is completely actionable. You have the “easy” (istighfaar) to the more demanding (Hajj and Umrah).

    “The Four Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferris. A book about productivity (not time management). You can use this one to cut down on the number of hours you work so you have more time (for your family, their tarbiyah, ibaadah, etc.).

    Ferris also walks you through starting an “automated” business using a web site. Use this book to start a business. Donate the profits to your masjid; or donate the business to your masjid; or use the book to help your masjid start a business that can help wean it of off donations.

  12. ayesha

    March 9, 2009 at 7:19 AM

    Assalamualikum.

    An “ MM book club “…..sounds interesting!!
    and im looking forward for such a section

    well…at present im reading two books:

    1. “In the early hours”by Khurram Murrad
    on the subject of spiritual and self development……..just amazing mashallah!!

    2. “Enjoy Your Life” – by Dr, Mohd Abd Al-Rahman Al-‘Arifi (a very popular sheikh here in the gulf country!!)
    It deals with the art of interacting with people…as deducted from study of the Prophet’s life.The author has also shared his experiences on dealing with people…I see to it that I read only 2 chapters a day ….though its really difficult to resist reading further…as application is more important than completing the book!!

  13. abu Rumay-s.a.

    March 9, 2009 at 8:05 AM

    So, I would like to open the floor and ask everyone who would be interested in joining a MM book club… essentially we can have a list of books (all types– Islamic and non-Islamic) recommended by us and the readers, people who pick one or more as a “task” to complete within a reasonable amount of time, and then submit the review.

    Br. Amad:

    Great Idea! Along with the recommended books, one suggestion is to also have some of the “specialists” recommend some books that would serve a good/thorough intro to the respective topics. By “specialists” I mean those sisters/brothers who are professionals in their respective fields or have done extra study in a special area. For instance, other than the MM group, Ust. Yasir Fazaga/Dr.Altaf Hussain. – Psychology-Sociology, Diala M, Dr. A.H. Quick – History, and so on…

    As you said, I concur that the first steps would be to pick a set of topics, then try to find the most suitable books for those topics (through consultation with experts and/or recommendations of others)… in the meantime organize a team of readers and assign schedules…. it would also be good to develop a basic/typical book review format for the reviewers to follow, so that there is some constancy for the readers..finally, the selected books should, in general, have some practical aspect to it (as much as possible) so that people can maximize the benefits tworard their faith and improve their daily lives..

    some topics I suggest are : personality development, raising children, fiqh of seerah, Quran exegesis

  14. ny

    March 9, 2009 at 9:49 AM

    Salaam

    I have a short attention span and tend to book hop. At the moment reading:

    ‘In the early hours’ Khuran Murad (@ ayesha – it’s fantastic!)

    ‘ A Thousand Splendid Suns’ Khaled Hosseni – i just finished it, a really sad but well written story.

    ‘The Bottom Billion’ Paul Collier – good dissection of poverty in modern times.

    ‘A Shrt History of Nearly Everything’ Bill Bryson – have only just started this one, not sure what to make of it yet.

    I look forward to any book review section!

  15. Amatullah

    March 9, 2009 at 12:54 PM

    Assalamu Alykum

    Yes please InshAllah lets work towards the MM Club…we can work on reviews/ summaries as a collaborative effort (employing Google Docs), invite people to rank and comment on them, have a top ten list….

    The ideas are flowing…

    I would definitely be interested, InshAllah.

    BarakAllahu Feek

  16. abu Rumay-s.a.

    March 11, 2009 at 1:49 AM

    Sister Amatullah, you have all my support in this starting up this effort…since you are already familiar w/ MM, perhaps you can take the initiative and incorporate some of the thoughts that have been discussed and develop it further… once its organized, then a post can be made to encourage readers to participate… now its up to MM to take it further insha`Allah…

    regards

  17. tahir

    March 11, 2009 at 3:29 AM

    AOA

    There is such a dearth of good english books on islamic topics the ones that do exist are poorly written. we would encourage young people to translate more books into english so the new generation can have a wider library.

    in urdu there are many great books and i do translate excerpts from time to time for my blog sowebelieved

    recently i have read a great book on “Imam Mehdi” and its a haunting and faith binding read!

  18. MK

    March 12, 2009 at 1:24 AM

    Road to Mecca – Muhammad Asad……just started but I’m captivated so far!

  19. abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

    March 13, 2009 at 4:44 PM

    bismillah was salamu alaykum.

    @MK there’s a description of a Philistini praying in that book that i still think of today.

    @all — innalillahi wa inna alayhi rajioon. may Allah reunite these parents with their son in jannat, and may He give them better than their loss in this life and in the next. http://www.nypost.com/seven/03122009/news/regionalnews/queens/child_dies_while_playing_in_queens_159247.htm

    re: Tariq Mehanna — may Allah protect him from the injustice of those who twist the rope of law about their fist instead of using it to protect the rights of all. and the Rope of Allah is the best to hold fast to.

    @all — an excellent read: http://humanrights.ucdavis.edu/projects/the-guantanamo-testimonials-project/testimonies/testimonies-of-military-guards/testimony-of-brandon-neely

  20. musique

    March 15, 2009 at 4:12 AM

    I always checkout http://iamthewitness.com for news that you don’t get anywhere else – not even on this site.

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