A very belated reply to Sister Tasmiya who must have given up on me!
Total number of books owned: About 250 maybe?
Last book bought: Sheikh `Aaidh ibn Abdullah al-Qarni’s “Don’t Be Sad” … wait… it was a gift! I can’t remember the last book I bought so I’ll leave it as it is … har har…
Last book read: I read two books at a time … yes, I do this often… heh… Both are by John Holt and they were given to me by a sister who contacted me through my blog ;) (She is truly a blessing – I’ll blog about this later in shaa Allah.) Anyway, the books are: “How Children Learn” and “How Children Fail”. They are truly eye-openers and have strengthened my conviction to homeschool (AND to improve my teaching methods).
Five books that mean a lot to me: The Qur’an is of course the most important. Since that is a given, I’ll talk about some other books instead. It is really hard to say which books I prize above others because each book I’ve read has enriched me in so many different ways, but here goes…
In no particular order…
1. Ash-Shifa by Qadi Iyad, translated by Aisha Bewley – I’ve read several biographies on the Prophet and, in general, love them all. Maybe tomorrow I’ll list another one of these books as my fave, flighty one that I am, but for now, I love this book to bits. It is not a chronological narration of the Rasulullah’s life. The book is divided into sections like: Allah’s praise of him; the miracles Allah manifested at his hands; the necessity to love him and so on. I love details so I refer to this book a lot!
2. As-Sirah An-Nabawiyyah by Ibn Kathir, translated by Trevor Le Gassick – I am not sure how many books there are in this series but I have only 4. Loads more details so I love digging in!
3. Patience and Gratitude – an abridged translation of `Uddat as-Sabirin wa Dhakhirat ash-Shakirin by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah – This came at a time when I really needed to learn to have sabr and tawakkul.
4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – I read this book when I was 11. I used to stay at my aunt’s house and would help myself to my cousin’s books. She was studying Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book in her literature class then. I loved it so much I would read it over and over again each time I visited. She gave the book to me years later – it is old and ratty and has her notes scribbled all over the pages but I can’t bring myself to buy myself a new copy.
The story is told by tom-boy Jean Louise “Scout” Finch and set in small and sleepy Maycomb, Alabama where “the day was 24 hours long, but it seemed longer”. It is the early 1930s at the height of the Depression. It is such a rich book dealing with prejudice, courage, innocence, cruelty, hypocrisy and love with simplicity and depth. When Atticus Finch’s Negro client was pronounced guilty for a crime he didn’t commit and the Black spectators in the courtroom rose to their feet as he made his way out of the courtroom, Reverend Sykes said, “Stand up, Miss Jean Louise… Your father is passing.” I cry each time I read this part!
5. Weeping from the fear of Allah by Husayn al-‘Awaayishah – A sister I know told her 3-year-old daughter the story of Bilal radhiallahu `anhu. When she came to the part where the Prophet passed away and spoke of how the grief-stricken Bilal did not want to say the adhan anymore, the child cried. She wept again when she related how the Muslims wept when Bilal did deliver the adhan in Jesusalem. It occured to me then that I don’t weep enough … so I am going to recommend this book by Sheikh Husayn al-‘Awaayishah and re-read it myself.