5 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Lives

by Ustazah Syariati Sulaiman 2020-11-23 • 10 min read
After finishing O'levels, Ustazah Syariati studied Islam in Damascus, Syria and attained a Diploma in Islamic and Arabic Knowledge. In 2013, she graduated with a Degree in Islamic Knowledge and Heritage from IIUM.
2020-11-23 • 10 min read

5 Best Books to Read

We are all aware that reading is the first revelation that Allah s.w.t. commanded our beloved Prophet Muhammad s.a.w during his encounter with angel Jibril a.s. in the dark cave of Hira. Since then, much emphasis and attention are given to this act.

Reading is a crucial part of a person’s life - not just in school or studying but as a hobby and a cultivated habit. It is enjoyed in many levels of society and for a good reason too.

They say, “As you read, you grow. You journey into new places.” In a pandemic like this where most of us are stuck in our cities, unable to see the world, we turn to books for comfort, like a good old friend. We indulge our minds in stories that unravel as we turn the pages, capturing our interest, evoking emotions and stimulating the mind.

We envision what the future might be. We can visit the past and immerse our thoughts deep in rich history and on some occasions, we reach out for books that tickle our funny bones or tug at our heartstrings. Reading good books is a cure to our loneliness, boredom or lack of mental stimulation. So keep reading and let your mind and soul do the travelling for you with more good books coming your way, InsyaAllah!

Here are 5 books I love:

1. Revelation: The Story of Muhammad: Peace and Blessings be Upon Him, Book by Meraj Mohiuddin       

Photo credit: Amazon

“By his late 30s, Muhammad s.a.w. was accustomed to the Haneef practice of extended meditation known as tahannuth:

This meditative temperament helped to widen the mental gap between him and his compatriots. He used to provide himself with saweeq (barley porridge) and water and then directly head for the hills and ravines in the neighbourhood of Makkah. His heart was restless about the moral evils and idolatry that were widespread among his people; he was as yet helpless because no definitive course or specific approach had been available for him to follow.”

Why do I love this book?

When I first flipped through the pages of this book, I was intrigued by the colour codes, graphics, illustrations, diagrams and as I continued to read the introduction, I was caught by surprise at how well the author presents the subject of Sirah to his readers. How much effort did Meraj Mohiuddin take over the span of 13 years to put this together?

Photo credit: Amazon

Unlike other biography work on the Prophet s.a.w. that I have read or studied, this book is a combination of elements of history brought to life. I find myself relearning about our Prophet, the people around him, the places and the extraordinary miracles. There is just so much here and I just grew in love with him s.a.w. more and more.

This book is a keeper and it really opened my mind and heart by bringing me to adventure through the 23 years of the Prophet’s life. Amazing!

2. Madame Blossom's Book of Poems by Erni M Kassim

Photo credit: Behance.net

"Did you notice the sky

Near sunset and sunrise

Hues of different colours

Both splendour and surprise 

...

Did you notice what I noticed?

Did you see all the beauty

Of nature all around you

In bloom and in Dew?

...

Be still, for just a while

Savour a different sight

Shun the billboard and the screen

Be still in nature and delight!”

Photo credit: Behance.net

Why do I love this book?

This book is just Love. Erni M. Kasim dedicated this book to girls, women and men who want to understand women. I  savoured the poems as I read and connected on many levels with the author.

Her quaint style, reflections and observations about nature, the world, relationships and people meant so much to me and appealed to my spirit, engaged my thoughts, provoked some feelings that sometimes I find myself gazing out indulging my mind in deep contemplation of life. It is such a comfort to read and this just does it for me. Comforting and delightful!

3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Some of the best quotes from ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ :

"You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don't you let 'em get your goat. Try fightin' with your head for a change."

"Mockingbirds don't do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corn cribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."

Why do I love this book?

It is a classic modern literature read by the young and old. This book was written from the point of view of a little girl, Scout, who lived with her brother and father (I will call him the hero of this story). The story starts slow and twists to grip you, revealing issues of crime, inequality, prejudice and discrimination. All cleverly stitched into the plot and gives a lasting impact on the reader.

The character of Atticus Finch, a father who brings up his children with such high morals and genuineness imparts to them bravery, truth, courage and self-confidence that imparts these values to those who read too. Deep and very insightful, this book is a must-read!

4. Joy Jots; Exercises for a Happy Heart by Tamara Gray

Photo credit: Wardah Books

“Bring joy to others, rejoice, spread joy. You are a Muslim. That is a joyful word in and of itself. Let it be your first joy jot.”

Why do I love this book?

The amazing 52 essays shed insights into betterment in many aspects of life. This is not just a feel-good book. It is like a sister, sharing knowledge and valuable experiences with you, digging deep into your being to realise the things you should be grateful for. It touches my heart and is just worth jotting my joy here, Alhamdulillah. Indeed it is joyful to be in the journey to my Creator.

4. Know can do! By Ken Blanchard, Paul J. Meyer &  Dick Ruhe

“People seem to enjoy the books I write, the CDs, the videos we produce, and the seminars I conduct, yet I don’t see alot of people actually using what they’ve learnt. The gap between what they know and what they do is driving me crazy!”

Why do I love this book?

As a speaker/teacher I am always looking for ways not just to educate or inspire others with knowledge and finding faith but also to help them with their beautiful transformation.

This book is an unbelievable tool that gives a clear direction on how to make your impact and content more memorable. What makes people do what they intended to do and how long does it take? It seems that the saying “repetition is the mother of all learning” rings true here! 

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