I met a recent convert to Islam the other day, she’s an older lady (maybe in her early forties) and we talked for a bit and she asked me for some reading material pertaining to women’s issues/roles in Islam. She told me of some of her experiences in different masajid and she also wanted to know more about hijab.
There was one masjid she went to where the khutbah was completely in Arabic and another masjid that always followed up the Arabic with the English translation. There was the time she began to make salaah in the masjid with her head uncovered and the sisters gently rushed to adorn her in hijab.
I consulted with several sisters mostly converts whom I respect on what books to get for her and these were some of the suggestions:
The Ideal Muslimah by Muhammad Ali al-Hashimi
A Hand Through the Door for My New Sister by Yasmin bint Ismail
Make Wudu & Salaah like the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam by Muhammad S. Adly
Two glossy WhyIslam brochures called Status of Women in Islam and Unveiling the Mystery of Hijab
I have not read any of these books/brochures. Knowing myself I would have selected:
The Book of Emaan by Ibn Taymiyyah
Islam and the Destiny of Man by Charles Le Gai Eaton
Although none of these works actually deal specifically with issues relating to women, which is what she asked. I suppose my main concern with converts is their understanding of tawhid, the oneness of Allah and its implications and the principles, practical application, and implementation of emaan, faith before any secondary and tertiary issues.
If one has a solid foundation of emaan it will never leave the heart but if their emaan is weak then they will fall out of Islam just as easily as they entered into it.
So my additions to the books suggested by the other sisters are two CD’s by Safi Khan containing four lectures:
Any other suggestions?