Over the last fifteen years I have collected dozens of books on Islam: Tariq Ramadan, Al-Ghazali, Ingrid Mattson and Martin Lings, along with many other authors, share the bookshelf. My passion for collecting Islamic literature quickly outpaced my ability to read the books I bought and many still languish on the shelf with unopened bindings. Every Ramadan I make an effort to make my way through two or three books in hopes of slowly shrinking the “To Read” section which far outnumbers the “Read” section.
I feel enlightened and inspired as I slowly make my way through each book and am always ready for another recommendation, another gem to add to the shelf.
A friend suggested the Muhammad Asad translation of the Qur’an, saying the footnotes are clear and extensive, giving the history and context behind every chapter. I quickly ordered the three volume set. I am nearly finished with the first volume (chapters 1-9), over a year after I began this journey. It is a slow but steady course. I finished a large portion of the first volume last Ramadan; the detailed footnotes are overwhelming at times, but filled with great commentary and clarification.
In these first six days of Ramadan I have read more pages than I have in the last six months. My devotion deepens in Ramadan to a level I find difficult to achieve during the other eleven months of the year. With three and a half weeks remaining in this precious month, volume two waits patiently on the shelf. InshAllah, its binding will soon be opened as I continue my journey to gain a deeper understanding of our holiest book.
Najiyah Khan is a staff writer at altMuslimah.