I wasn't brought up in the Muslim tradition (I was brought up as a catholic) but I have become interested about Islam as an adult.

I would like to read and learn more about it. I asked a good friend of mine and he recommended me reading this book before reading the Quran to get previously an overview of the Islam. I'm planning to follow his advice but I haven't been able to get this book yet.

What lectures would you recommend to an adult with no previous knowledge of Islam to gain some insight and understand its traditions? Would you recommend me an approach similar to the one that my friend suggested or would you recommend me reading directly the Quran?

I know that there are a lot of different groups which may differ in some aspects and understanding of some topics but, as I have no previous knowledge, I would like to read something as general as possible.

  • 1
    These type of questions are usually not welcome here. But, have a look at these resources like Sunni Hadith, Shia Hadith, Qur'an PDFs, Multiple translations of Qur'an etc. These are considered some of the authentic books in their pure form. Sep 13, 2015 at 20:10
  • 1
    The best thing is, you need not read any of the above books completely, but you can jumble and read the interesting things from those books as, when and how you like. But, try to read Qur'an completely. All the best. Sep 13, 2015 at 20:20
  • General recommendations-style questions such as this don't work well under the Stack Exchange model (see relevant meta post: meta.islam.stackexchange.com/q/261/22). I would suggest asking in Islam Chat instead and see if anyone there would be interested in discussing the topic.
    – goldPseudo
    Sep 14, 2015 at 23:31

2 Answers 2


Why read the books of creations, when you can read the book of the Creator?

Read Quran. It will answer all your questions, sooner or later.


Well I'm not good at this but let's see if i can help:

First i don't know what you know about Islam and how deep you would like to start so maybe you can jump some steps:

  • I would first try to read a book about islam written by a non-muslim author which the muslims you know do recommend!
  • Then a book from any other author just to make a difference.
  • Then if I'm interested to know more about a matter maybe ask here again or search for books about it.
  • One could later read some good interpretation of the Quran: good may mean with commentary's or a detailed translation, which explains and gives backgound information (of course you could ask here again)
  • As for Hadith books (as a sunni) i would recommend to start with light books like the 40 Hadith of an-Nawawi or Riyad as-Salihin from the same author because bigger Collections would be confusing without background information or someone to ask!

And always feel free to ask!

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