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
Struggling to Surrender or Even Angels Ask by Jeffrey Lang
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:
Forgiveness & Giving Salaam and In Need of Allah & the Importance of the Quran.
Any other suggestions?
My suggestion, make sure they know their basic tawheed – uloohiyya, Prophethood, and Hereafter and purpose of life, then intro to fiqh – salat and siyaam, and zakat (hajj, umrah can wait) – then 6 pillars of eeman very briefly – then they can then start them up on eeman building stuff like understanding the Names of Allah, this usually will take care of tawheed Asma was Sifaat and aspects of your eeman like sabr, tawakkul, shukr, uboodiyyah, humility, humbleness, rahmah, etc. etc. I think the last few aspects are necessary because converts most of th time, atleast fromw hat I have seen go through tough times and things like thsi can always help them overcome or pass through there fitan. Them understanding the Sunnah of Allah and the servants reaction and the way he/she deals with it can really help them. Allahu ‘Alim
Alhamdulillah, tawheed, the pillars, and emaan are the main areas I focus on with any convert. She asked for books specifically about women’s issues but also expressed a desire to increase her knowledge in all areas.
In sha Allah, when I take her the books and cd’s, which I put in a nice gift bag (that’s very unlike me) I’ll ask her if she wants to get together sometime so we can go over some things like fiqhi issues relating to the pillars. I know that even with extensive reading before and after my conversion, some of these small but important details escaped me because I did not interact with other Muslims or have a teacher.
Asalaamu Alaikum Muslim Apple,
I don’t have any book suggestions but I pray that Allah ta ala rewards you for assisting the new sister. As you alluded to, sometimes simple interaction with another Muslimah can be invaluable!
Great list, I’ll say one thing..that Yasmin bint Ismali’s books has SOME flaws but over all it’s good. She should also check out the fiction book buy Umm Zakiyyah “If I should speak” and ” A Voice”. Both are great islamic based materials to give more info on the lives of converts (even thought it’s fiction it resonates for all muslimahs that I know)
Insha~allah, Allah(swt) will give you much rahmah for your direction of this sister. And if she wants more info..i’d suggest the web, sites like http://www.islamiccity.com and http://www.islamfortomorrow.com as starters.
Your sister in islam
i have to say i hate pamphlets called ‘status of woman in islam.’ thanks for giving her alternatives.
the ideal muslimah is definatly a good choice, i read some of it myself
may Allah reward you.
I remember that after my conversion, I was so starved for knowledge that I read just about everything and anything I could get my hands on that was in anyway remotely connected to Islam and while there is a lot of good literature in English, I definately suffered through some poorly written pamphlets and books.
I was also thinking of getting her the Nurani Qaidah and cd set so she could begin learning to read Arabic, she saw me reading the Quran, and said she also wanted to learn Arabic. But I think, it’s best to have a teacher that can correct the pronounciation of the letters.
Translations of the Quran are often problematic but the most poetic and easiest to read one I’ve seen is the one by Aisha Bewley and AbdulHaqq.
Sallam ALaikoum wa rahmat ALlah..
mashaALlah.. it’s good news to hear about a convert.. 🙂
inshaAllah she remains on the right path..
I suggest a book called “what does she expect better” by Dar al salam..
it’s a very lovely book.. the words are easily read and the issue’s discussed aren’t complicated at all 🙂
AssalamuAlikum Here is a list that is helpful. I will divide it into two segments, complete beginner and beginner+1
The Correct Aqeedah-Ibn Baaz
Essential Lessons-Ibn Baaz
Wudu and Salah-Syed Adly (with pics)
Menses etc.. — Dar-us-Salam
Transliterated Juzz Amma
Fortress of Muslim
A small Biography of The Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) like When The Moon Split.
Tenants of Faith-Ibn Uthaimeen
Explanation of Important Lessons for Muslim Women — DaruSalam(its new but good/excellent)
Advice to Muslim Women- ALi al Halabi
Something on Moral Manners or An Abrdiged Version of 40 Ahadith or Riyad us Saliheen.
It is all about Progression and not overloading
Candle of Hope & Broken Doors,
In sha Allah, I’ll keep these suggestions in mind. I gave her some materials last week and in sha Allah we will meet up later to discuss some issues.