Foundational Knowledge for the Aspiring Scholar

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Foundational-Knowledge-for-the-Aspiring-Scholar Mecca Books

Foundational Knowledge for the Aspiring Scholar


As we enter the concluding ten nights of Ramadan, the dedicated team at Mecca Books has carefully handpicked a collection of the most enriching and essential reads from their extensive catalog.

We've put together a curated list of our top 16 picks, perfect for those looking to bestow the blessing of sacred knowledge upon an eager learner, whether that may be a loved one or yourself.

The Quran Beheld

"The Quran, when understood in Arabic, delivers an oomph that can’t be replicated by a direct translation. The Quran stupefied auditioners; narrations recount that some were struck unconscious. The Quran Beheld surpasses other translations in delivering that oomph in English, and it’s weighty and heart-rending. It pulls at your heart-strings and doesn’t let go." - Khalid AR 

The Noble Qur'an

This new edition of the Mufti Usmani's widely-read translation offers a greater attention to the English translation, conveying Islam's eternal message with greater clarity and ease for a modern Western audience.   

The Creed of Imam Bayhaqi

This foundational work covers essential tenets of faith concerning Allah (swt), His Messenger (saw), the beatific vision of Allah in the Hereafter, predetermination, the natural predisposition to Islam, His angels and Books, the punishment in the grave, the Resurrection, Paradise and Hell, the law of obeying rulers, miracles of the saints, the Companions, the Prophet’s family and the four rightly guided caliphs.

The Essential Islamic Creed

This work by Shaykh Aḥmad ibn Zaynī Daḥlān is a summary of the core tenets of faith in the manner of the Late-Sunni Tradition, enumerating what a Muslim should believe regarding Allah; the prophets;  the Divine Scriptures; the angels; the Resurrection Day, with its prelude and finale; the  Prophet’s Companions [may Allah bless him and give him peace] and miracles of Allah’s friends.

The Provenance of Man

This offers an invaluable exploration of humankind's origin story, the creation of Adam, in the context of the contemporary discourse. The following quote from pg. 153 best describes the value this text offers: “...given the many intricacies surrounding the topic of “Evolution and Islam” found in our times, it is highly advised that authorized instructors of Sunni doctrine address this matter in an exhaustive manner. For it is an issue that begins as a mere prick of a thorn, but when left unattended, has the potential to metastasize into a theological malady as regrettably experienced and witnessed by so many today.”

An Explanation of the Divine Names and Attributes

This work by Shaykh Aḥmad ibn Zaynī Daḥlān is a summary of the core tenets of faith in the manner of the Late-Sunni Tradition, enumerating what a Muslim should believe regarding Allah; the prophets; the Divine Scriptures; the angels; the Resurrection Day, with its prelude and finale; the Prophet’s Companions [may Allah bless him and give him peace] and miracles of Allah’s friends.

The Book of Wisdoms

True to its name, the pages of this book feature an invaluable compilation of wise aphorisms from one of the luminaries of the Islamic tradition - this is an excellent compendium of wisdom and an essential part of every scholar's library. 

The Book of Assistance

To endeavor to know Allah is to fulfill the very purpose of our existence, and to know Him is to know His beautiful names, attributes, and acts. In this work, taken from his large exegesis of Sura al-Fatiha, Ibn 'Ajiba details the meanings of Allah's Ninety-Nine Beautiful Names (al-Asma' al-Husna) and shows readers how to come closer to Allah through the three-fold path of connection, inculcation, and realization...

The Book of Remembrances

"I have had this book for quite some time and found it so engaging because of the vast number of supplications contained within it. It covers many topics such as leaving the home, entering and leaving the mosque and adhkar after the fard prayers etc. I would recommend this book to every Muslim who wishes to seek nearness to Allah through the teachings of our prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)." Omar A. 

The Beginning of Guidance

"This really is a magnificent work for acquiring guidance through taqwā. If everyone abided by the counsel given here then the world would be a better place. Though the advice is from almost over a thousand years ago it is still relevant today as it was then and this is why Imām al-Ghazālī has so many works translated in to English, he transcends time... This was one of Imām al-Ghazālī's final works hence as per the description by the publishers, "it embodies a lifetime of learning, experience, and spirituality." If you're in need of motivation, a spiritual increase or maintenance, read this work and it may give you the boost it gave me. The advice is timeless and beneficial." - Tahir H. 

A Handbook of Spiritual Medicine

This spiritual guide to the self is a handbook of tazkiyah or ‘self-purification’... The antidotes to our ailments are drawn from Qur’ānic verses and authentic ahādīth (Prophetic sayings), inspiring mindfulness of the Almighty Cherisher and His Beloved Prophet. This guidebook, drawing on the 11th and 12th Century works of the ‘Proof of Islam’ and wondrous sage, Imām Abū Hāmid Al-Ghazālī, can be applied to our busy lives in the modern, hi-tech era, and will prove accessible to people of all ages, all denominations: believers and non-believers alike.

Ascent to Felicity

"I have been looking for a long time for a solid resource on Hanafi Fiqh - something as comprehensive as the Shafii Safinat un Najjah. Ascent to Felicity is what I've been searching for all along. The main text is a concise summary and the work that Mr. Khan has done in supplementing this with notes gives it the comprehensive nature that one would desire out of a primer such as this.The book highlights some foundational creed and is followed by the correct application in accordance to the Hanafi Way." - Aadil Q. 

The Forty Hadiths of Imam Nawawi 

Imam al-Nawawi’s 40 Hadith have come to be known as the most comprehensive, and holistic, compilation/collection of hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) that convey the essence of Islam.

The Muwatta of Imam Muhammad 

"This one of the more fascinating books in my library; not only does it provide a deep insight into the early community of the Sahabas, particularly the Caliphate of Sayyiduna Umar, but also an insight into the early interaction between the Hanafis and Malikis. Imam Muhammad transmits the hadith and athar he took from Imam Malik, then, where Imam Malik's verdict differs from Imam Abu Hanifa's, he provides supplementary hadiths from which the Hanafi position is derived." - Taha M. 

Riyad as-Salihin: The Meadows of the Righteous 

Riyad as-Salihin is a collection of almost two thousand Hadiths on numerous subjects, selected from the Sahih collections and other canonical books of the Sunnah. This blessed book, containing the treasures of the noble Sunnah and Prophetic guidance, was greeted with immediate scholarly approval and has established its worth in terms of the far-reaching and long-term influence it has had on Muslim character, conduct, education and reform throughout the Ummah and across the centuries.

Glimpses: The Life of the Blessed Prophet

Glimpses provides essential information about the Prophet’s background, ancestry, character, and household, the various stages of his life, his miracles, and his political and military activities. In that way, it is a summary of the most important facts about him. It is also a window into what the Prophet wished to achieve for mankind and for his community.

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