Can you tell me what other books a Muslim should read besides the Qur’an?
I am sorry for not being able to fully comprehend your question. Do you want to know whether there are any other books that a Muslim must read to qualify as a good Muslim, or does your question pertain to information regarding reading material on various aspects of Islam to enhance one’s knowledge of Islam? As far as the first implication is concerned, there is no “must read” or “should read” book besides the Qur’an. The Qur’an is the only book that a Muslim should read and ponder over, regularly. While, if your question concerns suggestion regarding general reading material on Islam and topics related to Islam, then I would suggest reading books on the specific aspects of Islam that interest you more. However, general topics in the list may include Seerah (books on the life of the Prophet), Tareekh (Muslim history) especially covering the life of the Caliphs, and a brief collection of Hadith (sayings ascribed to the Prophet) – like Mishkaat al-Masaabih.
However, “further” study in Islam, as in any other field, is a very vague term. The extent and contents of this “further” study may vary considerably with a variation in its objectives and targets of this “further study”. Obviously, if the study is to be taken up at an academic or a scholarly level, then it would become quite difficult to set any limits for it. While if the study is to be taken up at a common man’s level – to enhance one’s understanding of Islam – then the above mentioned disciplines, with the Qur’an as the basic text and guide, may prove to be an effective starting point.
I must confess that your question has brought to light an important issue, which was thus far in the dark. I shall soon try to prepare a brief list of books of various disciplines related to Islam, which should suffice as reading material to enhance one’s basic knowledge of Islam.
24th August 1999