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40 Books every Muslim Youth Must Read before 40


40 Books every Muslim Youth Must Read before 40


****Post updated January 2017*****

There is no doubt, reading is a gateway to growth, learning & personal development. It enriches your knowledge, stimulates the mind and helps to conceptualize ideas in deeper ways.

For those curious minds, books will help you explore history, travel & new trends. You will also learn about different cultures & various sciences; and generally keep your mind alert and updated.

In today’s world of pings and chats; social media networking with its instant gratification, it is very easy to neglect this important learning habit. A little time dedicated to regular reading can change your life forever.

With some priority setting including a better sleep habit, you can incorporate a healthy dose of reading into your daily schedule.

Whether you are reading frequently already or want to get started, here are books you must not miss out on. The list is your easy guide to building knowledge, intellect, faith & personal library. You will surely gain inspiration and feel empowered while at it.

A big JazaakumAllah to all those readers who contributed to the list. It’s not too late to include a suggestion in the comment box below, so we can make the list up to 100. [I don’t think we have a reader who is a heading for the big 100 years though]. But I’m sure it will be beneficial to the frequent readers to keep growing the list.

What do you say? Let’s dig into our ”40 before 40”.

Worship Shelf (On Living Islam & Boosting Eeman)

1. Dua Weapon of the Believers by Yasir Qadhi. All you need to know about Dua (supplication) as a tool for your worldly and hereafter success.

2. “The Declaration of Faith” by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fawzaan al-Fawzaan. It is about the declaration of “Laa ilaaha illallaah (kalimah), how it stands out amongst the various types of remembrances and how it is merely not something that is uttered by the tongue rather it has certain conditions and meanings attached to it.

3. Reclaim Your Heart by Yasmin Mogahed. Described as a manual on how to protect your most prized possession, your heart. This book looks at love, pain, loss & happiness from a unique perspective.

Reclaim your heart

4. Youth’s problems by Sheikh Muhammad Saalih Al-Uthaymeen. It discusses problems facing the youth and how to overcome them in the light of the Qur’an and Sunnah.

5. 15 Ways to Increase Your Earnings from the Quran and Sunnah by Yasir Qadhi. A short treatise explaining the Islamic manner in which Allah (swt) and His Messenger described how Muslims could increase their money. The book gives clear encouragement to Muslims to seek only halaal earnings and shun haraam means & gains.

6. Peace and conflict resolution in Islam by Abdul Fatah Bello. The author looks at practical ways to foster peace & understanding between individuals, families and communities. He stresses on virtues such as forgiveness, tolerance and reconciliation, drawing from the Qur’an and sunnah.

7. The Music Made Me Do It: An In-Depth study of Music through Islam and Science by Dr. Gohar Mushtaq. A well researched book looking at effects of Music on the body, mind and soul from a balanced perspective. The studies of Muslims and non Muslims alike are included. You need to have this in your library – seriously!

Cover page for Dr. Gohar's book on Music - 4o Books post on Youthlyhub.com

8. A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam by I.A Ibrahim. A short but concise book written in simple English with clear illustrations on general information about Islam & Islamic beliefs.

It provides reminders of the various signs and miracles mentioned in the Qur’an & a call to the truth of Islam & Prophet hood of Muhammad (saw). This book makes a perfect gift for Muslims and non Muslims alike.

9 – 18. Golden Advice series by Darussalam. A family series focusing on important advice for different times & situations from authentic sources.  It looks at basic morals, character building blocks and pure creed and worship of Allah (swt) alone. The series includes:

9. Part 1 ~ The Concise Legacy
10.Part 2 ~ O My Son! ( The Advice of Luqmaan)
11.Part 3 ~ Do not Become Angry
12. Part 4 ~ Guard the Tongue
13. Part 5 ~ Be patient and Paradise will be Yours
14. Part 6 ~ Rizq and Lawful Earning
15. Part 7 ~ Do not be Envious
16. Part 8 ~ The Muslim Home
17. Part 9 ~ O Young Man!
18. Part 10 ~ Be Steadfast!

Personal Development Shelf (On Productivity, Leadership & Skills Building)

19. Enjoy your life by Dr. Muhammad ‘Abd Rahman Al -‘Arifi is a book that cites exemplary situations from the life of the noble Messenger (saw) on how to balance between worship and worldly affairs; it gives insights into the art of interacting with people drawn from the Prophet’s life. Boost your positive emotions from this great read.

20. Don’t be Sad by Dr. Aid Al Qarni. It is a book full of wise words and inspiration that every youth needs to accompany them in times of need and ease. The author’s words draw you close just like a sincere friend would pull you close.

21. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell.  A book which combines facts, figures and real stories to get you thinking about success in a new light. There’s a lot to learn and so much more you can relate to, from the Outliers’ stories citied. So the wise Muslim youth can focus high achievement, success & excellence not only for worldly reasons but also remembering the hereafter.

cover page of Outliers'

22. 7 Habits of Highly effective people by Stephen. R  Covey. A book for all seasons and times. In seven chapters, the author shares lessons and  habits you need to develop to improve your self-worth. It is a book to read over and over again.

23. How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie. The title says it all. This book delves into practical skills you need in your personal and professional life for great communication and uplifting your  interpersonal interactions.

24. Eat That Frog!: Get More of the Important Things Done – Today! by Brian Tracy. Even if you don’t like frogs, there is enough to take away from this book. It teaches about a technique that can help you get much more done in life. Just what you need to manage your time & life.

25. Psychology from The Islamic Perspective by Dr. Aisha Utz. The author moves beyond how numerous scientific theories typically explain the true human nature and accompanying behaviour & emotions. She delves into the spiritual nature of man and how this nature connects to our purpose in life and ultimately happiness and success in this life and the next.

Relationships Shelf (On Parenting, Marriage & Family life)

26. Nurturing Eeman in Children by Dr Aisha Hamdan. This is a good book for Muslim parents and potential parents alike. The author gives practical tips with regards focusing on the overall development of children from an Islamic point of view. The parents can  use it as a guide  for raising children with faith, strong character and Ihsaan.

27. Loving our Parents: Stories of duties and obligations by Abdul Malik Mujahid. If you think you are a loving child already, read through these stories to boost your inspiration and find even more ways of fulfilling your special role. Each story has it’s unique flavour and takeaway lesson but the main one is that you should love your parents in better ways each day; you are never too young or old.

28 – 31. The Muslim Family – The Marriage Series – Muhammad al-Jibaly  The author Muhammad Mustafa al-Jibaly created a unique series that gives details on the Muslim Family, starting from courtship stage through marriage and into the parenting stage.

The Muslim family series book cover - Youthlyhub.com
28. Part 1The Quest for Love and Mercy (Regulations for Marriage & Wedding in Islam)


29. Part 2Closer than a Garment (Marital Intimacy According to the Pure Sunnah)


30. Part 3The Fragile Vessels (Rights and Obligations between the Spouses in Islam)


31. Part 4Our Precious Sprouts (Islamic Regulations for Newborns)


32. Blissful Marriage: A Practical Islamic Guide By Drs. Ekram and M. Rida Beshir. A very comprehensive & practical book based on authors’ wealth of experience, theory, case studies and examples from real marriages; albeit based on the North American society. With the research findings, Quran and Hadith references as well as scholarly opinions, you have a lot to learn not withstanding the society you live in.

33. The 5 love languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to your mate by Gary Chapman. The author details five ways to express love which he calls love languages. These languages are meant to guide couples to give and receive love, and strengthen their relationship in the process. These languages can be adapted to serve in nurturing your day to day relationships as well.

Fiction Shelf

34 – 36. If I should speak trilogy by Umm Zakiyyah. A gripping story from start to finish.  You will most definitely relate to one or more of the characters as they go through their daily challenges, spiritual battles and emotional tides.

34. Part i. If I Should Speak: a novel

35. Part ii. A voice

36. Part iii. Footsteps

Great People’s Shelf (Biography/ Autobiography/ Memoir)

37. Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources by Martin Lings. A very different approach to the story of the greatest man who ever lived, Muhammad (saw).  It is based on Arabic sources of the eighth and ninth centuries. It is a simple narrative with a fresh, lingering style and taste.

38. The Sealed Nectar (Ar Raheeq Al Makhtoom) by  Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri. This seerah book looks at the life of Prophet Muhammad (saw) through different stages. It is deep and gripping with detailed accounts to learn from, regarding our Islamic heritage.

39. Men & Women around the Messenger (saw) by Khaalid Muhammad Khalid and Dr. Abdel-Hamid  Eliwa. A concise biography of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (saw) – both females and males. They are our ideal role models, so who better to learn about the ideal lifestyle and character from? Get motivation and aim high from these distinguished figures in history.

40. From My Sisters’ Lips by Naima. B. Roberts. This international bestseller was written as memoir and includes personal narratives of other reverts to Islam. It explores the inner struggles and private thoughts that confront new Muslims in an easy-to-digest way. Every Muslim, female or male will find inspiration from a fellow sister on her journey to faith.

From my sister's lips book cover - Youthlyhub.com

And here’s a BONUS title for YOU because although its short and easy to read; but will serve as your long time companion and give you doses of inspiration when you need it.

The Savvy Muslim Youth manifesto by Amina Edota (Chief mentor and morale booster at YouthlyHub.com). It is an empowerment manual for Muslim youth (and youthful Muslims).

The Savvy Muslim Youth manifesto cover page

Read a sample here.

FACT: Some people actually read only a book or two each year. Some even less, meaning NONE.

>>> NEXT STEPS: You can develop a better reading habit starting with just 5 minutes today. The more you read, the easier it becomes. Simply save or print out the list above and get book hunting.

  • Check out Amazon ebooks for instant downloads. Try other websites and blogs, libraries, charity stores or you can borrow from friends and family {but make sure you return in same condition you were given}.
  • Get a buddy or two to read the same titles with, then meet after a month to discuss what you have read. Begin with the titles that you feel will impact your life the most at this very moment.
  • Dedicate part of your monthly budget to buying at least one book, or saving towards a book – it could be an ebook which usually costs less. There are some free ebooks online as well. Try Kalamullah to get started.
  • If you prefer an auditory experience over a visual one, then definitely try an audio book  via audible free trial.

No matter how your reading schedule looks at the present moment, you can still make it happen In Sha Allah.

Which of these titles have you read? And which others deserve to be included? Please share.

photo credit: ginnerobot via photopin cc



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  1. sumairasmr August 13, 2017


  2. Islamic Shop July 20, 2017

    Masha Allah, it was a nice information.

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  5. A.NOWFIA AAFRIN July 8, 2017


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  8. Sheerina September 10, 2016

    Muhammad As If You Can See Him – Dr Aid Al-qarni

    1. Amina Edota September 10, 2016

      I have that title on my wishlist. Jakaazillah for the recommendation.

  9. Sheerina September 10, 2016

    You Can Be The Happiest Woman in the World. – Dr Aid Al-qarni
    The Ideal Muslimah

  10. hurra safya May 22, 2016

    Martin Lings should be number one. Dont forget Hamza Yusuf books! Muslims should also read philosophy and classics if only to broaden reading capability.

    1. Amina Edota May 24, 2016

      Martin Lings is a great read. I can understand you pushing for it to be made number 1.

  11. Mohammed Amer Ali April 27, 2016

    What an amazing article with so much of research and information Moreover a productive discussion on comments. mashAllah. Taqaballal Allah.

    Although I read few book discussed here… would like to bring few more in Notice.
    Muqadama of Tafheem ul Quran-(approx. 18 pages introduction before the tafseer). this will give so much of insight on Quran Revealation, its understanding etc.

    Witness unto Mankind- By Sayyid Abul Ala Moudoodi(R.A). shahadat e Haq in Urud.
    Deen e Haq- by the same Author
    A brief History of Revivalists movements in India.

    1. Amina Edota April 27, 2016

      JazaakAllah khayr for the contribution brother Mohammed.

  12. rubayah March 24, 2016

    MashaAllah, what a great and beneficial list for us… Jazakumullah Khayran dear Sister…

    1. Amina Edota March 26, 2016

      Wa iyyak. Baarakallahu feeki.

  13. Abdiwahab Aden January 11, 2016

    Greetings ! Much impressed with the list.
    Thanks again for your Effort in helping others and Spreading the Words of ALLAH and Prophet Mohammed(P.B.U.H). kindly where can i order these list in case i need.

    Thanks and best regards,
    Abdiwahab Aden

    1. Amina Edota January 11, 2016

      Baarakallahu feek.

      You can get most of them online through Amazon – some even come in kindle version for instant download. Otherwise it will have to be other online stores or physical bookshops depending on where you live.

  14. Noorunnisa January 11, 2016

    Assalamu’alaikum Wr Wb

    I strongly recommend Tariq Ramadan’s The Messenger, a biography of the Prophet (saw) which focuses on the lessons and values we can gain from each aspect of the Prophet’s (saw) life.

    And may Allah reward you for this effort.

    1. Amina Edota January 11, 2016

      Wa alaykum salaam wa Rahmatullah wa Baratuhu,

      That sounds like a must-read title. Jazaakillah for the recommendation.

  15. FADLULLAH WILMOT January 6, 2016

    More should be added to this list.
    Muhammad Assad The Road to Mecca
    Syyed Hossain Nasr: Ideals and Realities of Islam and Islam and the Plight of Modern Man
    Tariq Ramada The Quest for Meaning and Islam the West and the Challenges of Modernity

    1. Amina Edota January 8, 2016


  16. Aina January 3, 2016

    MasyaAllah jazakumullahu khair for the suggestions ! I’ve read some of the books mentioned and i didn’t even knew they were in the list of must read. But i have to admit, they’re really good. 🙂

    And i want to add another one.
    Rekindle your life by Dr Muhammad Al-Ariffi
    This book teach us on how to guard our private part in the 1st few chapters. Plus, the writer sends his message through stories which for those who doesn’t like lengthy text on facts, this book is highly recommended. I also recommend this book to those who are involved in medical profession as it also has some medical fiqh and the job as a muslim doctor.

    Enjoy your books my brothers and sisters! 😀

    1. Amina Edota January 4, 2016

      Wa iyyak…

      Thanks for the recommendation – sounds like a must read. I look forward to ‘rekindling my life’.

  17. Rs December 1, 2015

    MashaAllah what a wonderful list! JazakumAllah khayran, very comprehensive! I have one humblr suggestion, I would also recommend two essential books for Muslim youth: ‘The Principles of State and Government in Islam’ by Muhammad Asad and ‘Towards Kindling Our Faith’ by Dr. Muhammad Musa Al-Shareef!

    1. Amina Edota December 1, 2015

      Wa iyyaki.

      Thanks for the recommendations, would love to read those titles myself.

  18. Mohamed Guleid October 29, 2015

    Thank you for the list and explanations as well.

    Greetings from Somaliland/Somalia. It is possible to get them for free downloading. Please Advice and refer to me if any of them can be downloaded without paying.

    Thank you and May Allah Reward you on this abundantly. Keep Working hard.

    1. Amina Edota October 29, 2015

      Thank you for reading and commenting Br. Mohamed.

      I have some awesome Somali friends, peace be with you and your family.

      Kallamullah.com has books for free download. Check it out. I don’t know if you can get many of these titles for free.

      1. Mohamed Guleid October 31, 2015

        Dear Amina.

        Thank you for the compliments.

        I appreciate for the warm well come and site referral. Thank you and Will benefit from them In Sha Allah.

  19. Nadiya Qayyum October 14, 2015

    I’ll definitely look forward towards the list of books suggested above.
    I had a suggestion to include PAULO COELHO’s “THE ALCHEMIST”-the book lays good impact on the reader. It makes you hold a firm belief on “whatever happens, is for a reason, every good and bad is from Allah., whatever written is meant to happen and there is a reason behind every happening”.
    And its really a nice book.

    1. Amina Edota October 18, 2015

      Wa alaykum salaam. Thank you for the recommendation. I have heard a lot about it. Its on the ‘ever growing’ wish list.

  20. Aneesa October 3, 2015

    Salaam everyone, Minaret by Leila Aboulela is a fantastic read! It’s sad but also deep and moving.

    1. Amina Edota October 6, 2015

      Thanks for the contribution. Well noted, will try to read it soon.

      Is it fiction?

  21. Mohammed M. September 4, 2015

    I would suggest:

    100 Inspirational Sayings of Prophet Muhammed (SAW). It has modern relevant commentary for every Muslim adult, youth, and even non-Muslims.

    Link to website and Amazon e-book version link:

  22. Shan Sheeraz March 9, 2015

    Assalam u Alikum Dear,

    Thanx for Comments.

    Letus explore, dissipate and share the knowledge base in general and islamic teachings in particular.

    So here goes the Another Episode Of Addendum to list:

    1-5.Miracle Series By Harun Yahya
    Miracle In Ants,DNA, Hormones,Honey Bees , Darwinism Refuted etc
    6. Islam the Misunderstood Religion By
    Mohammad Qutub
    7.Islam Aur Zindagi by Yousuf Al Qardawi
    8. Old man and the sea …noble prize winning novel by Ernest Hemingway
    9.Towards Understanding Islam by Syed Abu Ala Maududi
    10.Concept Of God…The Phd Thesis Of Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips

    Shan Sheeraz

    Next Episode Coming Soon…

  23. Shan Sheeraz March 8, 2015

    Analyzing …

  24. Sheeraz Shan March 8, 2015

    Jazak Allah U Khairan….

    Salam Dear…

    Although a good index , it can be extended to a mile. I would like to add few titles as under:

    1.GOD ARISES BY Wahidudin Khan
    2.Islam and modern Challenges by same author …published by goodword books india
    3.The Alchemy Of Happiness By Al Gazzali
    4.Return Of Pharoh by Zainab AlGazzali
    5.Fake Pearls By Syed Iqbal Zaheer pub. by Iqra Welfare Trust
    6.Atlas of creation…Masterpiece by Br. Harun Yahya n all other books penned by him.
    8.Secrets Of Success By Merill Douglass
    9.The Alchemist By Paulo Coelho
    10.The Bible the Quran and Science By
    Maurice Bucaille…

    To Be Continued….

    Shan Sheeraz
    Allah Hafiz…Take Care

    1. Amina Edota March 8, 2015

      Wa iyyak… always a pleasure to add more books to the reading list.

      Perhaps we can make it up to 100 titles soon In Sha Allah.

      Baarakallahu fik.

  25. Abdulhafiz February 13, 2015

    This is without doubt a great list. Its a good blend of different aspects of Islam. I’ve read a pretty good number on the list, while hoping to lay my hands on the rest.

    1. Amina Edota February 13, 2015

      That’s great Br. Abdulhafiz. I hope you make it through the list. Baarakallahu feek.

  26. UmmHanifah February 1, 2015

    Salaam dear,

    Jazaakillah for this, i really needed it as I have found myself reading less. I have read a few on the list and intend to complete it in shaa Allah. Can’t wait for the piece on procrastination.

    Fi amanillah

    1. Amina Edota February 7, 2015

      Wa iyyaki dear Sister,

      Its so easy to fall behind with regular reading, right? Let me know how it goes with the reading list…

  27. Saad Ahmed August 18, 2014

    Jazakumullah, This is most comprehensive list ever. I would like to include one more book to this list by WAHID IBN ABDESSALAM BALI titled “Sword Against Black Magic & Evil Magicians”. Thanks

    1. Amina Edota August 19, 2014

      Wa iyyak.

      Thanks for your contribution Br. Saad, it sounds like a beneficial book.

  28. Ayat August 15, 2014

    Thanks for the insightful list. I enjoyed and benefited from “In the footsteps of the Prophet” by Tariq Ramadan.

    May I suggest adding this book list to amazon? There are searchable reading lists for various topics and this would be a good one in case people don’t find it on your website they can find it there.

    1. Amina Edota August 15, 2014

      Thanks for the feedback and suggestion. Will add that title to my reading wish list IA.

  29. Tasnim Faruqui June 15, 2014

    Great list.Although I am in my early forties,the list is extensive and covers all the areas of our life.Thank you brother for a great article.Lets strive to increase our Taqwa and leave the footprints in the sand for the next generation to emulate by adhering to the core of these books.Reading is one habit that should be inculcated in our youths from a young age.

    1. Amina Edota June 17, 2014

      You are right Sr. Tasnim, reading is an important part of our legacy as we can see from the great books authored by the great scholars of the past. Let’s keep reading and nurture the reading culture in the younger generation in order to better ourselves in all areas of life.

      Btw, I’m a sister not brother.

      Jzk for reading and posting a comment.

  30. Said Hasan June 1, 2014

    Great list.
    I will start with Don’t be sad.
    I rarely read books because I have procrastination problem and could easily give in to distractions.
    Since “Eating the frog” is out of my reach at the moment, could you please write an artice about how to beat procrastination and distractions?
    Some of the books I suggest but didn’t read fully or want to read are:
    1. Ideal Muslim.
    2. Freedom and responsibility: an Islamic perspective by Dr. Hasan al-Anani.
    3. Realities of faith by Umm Muhammad.
    4. The lean startup by Eric Ries.
    5. The power of choice.
    6. 1001 inventions.
    7. Islam and the world by Abu Hasan Ali Nadwi.

    1. Amina Edota June 2, 2014

      Reading will do a lot of wonders for your mind, Br. Said. Why not start with short ebooks that can be completed in one reading? That will motivate you to read more.

      Don’t be sad is a good read. And it is written in an easy-to-read style. I hope you get to it soon. In Sha Allah will post something on how to crush procrastination soon.

      Thanks for the list. Its an interesting mix of topics, have a few on my wish list too.

      Keep reading and posting. JZK

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