MUST READS for the Student of Knowledge


We would like some advice about the books which the seeker of Islamic knowledge should obtain, study and refer to.


Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah)

Praise be to Allaah.

‘Aqeedah (basic tenets of faith):

  1. Shaykh al-Islam Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab (may Allaah have mercy on him).
  2. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah.
    • Al-‘Aqeedah al-Waasitiyyah (Principles of Islamic Faith ) which deals with Tawheed al-Asmaa’ wa’l-Sifaat
    • This is one of the best books written on this topic, and it is worth reading and studying.
    • Al-Hamawiyyah
    • Al-Tadmuriyyah – These two books are more comprehensive than al-Waasitiyyah
  3. Al-Tahhaawiyyah
    • Al-‘Aqeedah al-Tahhaawiyyah, by Shaykh Abu Ja’far Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Tahhaawi
    • Sharh al-‘Aqeedah al-Tahhaawiyyah by Abu’l-Hasan ‘Ali ibn Abi’l-‘Izz
    • Al-Durar al-Saniyyah fi’l-Ajoobah al-Najdiyyah, compiled by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Qaasim
    • Al-Durrah al-Madiyyah fi ‘Aqeedah al-Firqah al-Mardiyyah by Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Safaareeni al-Hanbali.
      • This book contains some general statements which go against the madhhab of the salaf, such as his saying, “Our Lord is not an essence or an attribute or a physical entity, exalted be He.” Therefore the seeker of knowledge has to study it with a shaykh who is well versed in the ‘aqeedah of the salaf, so that he can explain the general statements in it that go against the ‘aqeedah of the righteous salaf.



  1. Fath al-Baari Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhaari, by Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqallaani
  2. Subul al-Salaam Sharh Buloogh al-Maraam, by al-San’aani,
    • his book combines between hadeeth and fiqh.
  3. Nayl al-Awtaar Sharh Muntaqaa al-Akhbaar by al-Shawkaani
  4. ‘Umdat al-Ahkaam by al-Maqdisi.
    • This is an abridged book; most of its ahaadeeth are narrated in al-Saheehayn so their authenticity does not need to be researched.
  5. Al-Arba’een al-Nawawiyyah, by Abu Zakariyya al-Nawawi.
    • This is a good book because it includes etiquette and a good methodology, and important basic principles, such as the hadeeth, “Part of a person’s being a good Muslim is his leaving alone that which does not concern him.” (Narrated by Imaam Ahmad, 1 – 201; al-Tirmidhi, 2318; classed as hasan by al-Nawawi in Riyaadh al-Saaliheen, 73; classed as saheeh by Ahmad Shaakir in al-Musnad, 1737). This principle – if one made it the path upon which one walks – would be sufficient.
    • Another principle is given concerning when one should speak, “Whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day, let him say something good or else
      remain silent.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Adab; Muslim, Kitaab al-Luqtah, Baab al-Diyaafah).
  6. Buloogh al-Maraam, by al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqallaani.
    • This is a very useful book, especially because it mentions the narrators, and quoted the opinions of others scholars, who said whose hadeeth is saheeh and whose is da’eef, and he comments on the hadeeth to say whether they are saheeh or da’eef.
  7. Nukhbat al-Fikr by al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqallaani.
    • This is considered to be a comprehensive work. If the seeker of knowledge understands it completely then he will have no need of many other books of mustalah (the science of hadeeth). Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) has a useful way of writing, which involves examining every issue in depth and categorizing the topics he discusses. If the seeker of knowledge reads it he will find it stimulating, because it is based on making one think. I say: it is good for the seeker of knowledge to memorize it because it is a useful summary of the science of mustalah (science of hadeeth).
  8. The Six Books (Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Sahih Muslim, al-Nasaa’i, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah and Tirmidhi).
    • I advise the seeker of knowledge to read them often, because that will serve two purposes: reviewing the main sources of Islam and reviewing the names of hadeeth narrators. If you often review the names of hadeeth narrators, then whenever you come across the name of one of the narrators of al-Bukhaari in any isnaad, you will know that this is one of the narrators of al-Bukhaari, so you will benefit from this knowledge of hadeeth.


Books of fiqh

  1. Aadaab al-mashiy ila’l-Salaah by Shaykh al-Islam Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab
  2. Zaad al-Mustaqni’ fi Ikhtisaar al-Muqni’ by al-Hajjaawi.
    • This is one of the best texts of fiqh. It is a blessed book, brief and comprehensive. Our shaykh, ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Sa’di (may Allaah have mercy on him) told us to memorize it, even though he had memorized the text of Daleel al-Taalib.
  3. Al-Rawd al-Murbi’ Sharh Zaad al-Mustaqni’ by Shaykh Mansoor al-Bahooti
  4. ‘Umdat al-Fiqh by Ibn Qudaamah
  5. Al-Usool min ‘Ilm al-Usool.
    • This is an abridged book which serves as an introduction for the seeker of knowledge


Faraa’id (laws of inheritance)

  1. Matn al-Rahbiyyah by al-Rahbi
  2. Matn al-Burhaaniyyah by Muhammad al-Burhaani.
    • This is a useful and comprehensive abridged book dealing with all the laws of inheritance. I think that al-Burhaaniyyah is more comprehensive than al-Rahbiyyah in some ways, and it gives more information.



  1. Tafseer al-Qur’aan al-‘Azeem by Ibn Katheer
    • This book is good for tafseer based on reports and it is useful and trustworthy. But it does not pay much attention to matters of grammar and style.
  2. Tayseer al-Kareem al-Rahmaan fi Tafseer Kalaam al-Mannaan by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Sa’di
    • This is a good, easy and trustworthy book, and I recommend it.
  3. Muqaddimah Shaykh al-Islam fi’l-Tafseer.
    • This is an important introduction.
  4. Adwaa’ al-Bayaan by al-‘Allaamah Muhammad al-Shanqeeti
    • This is a comprehensive book covering hadeeth, fiqh, tafseer and usool al-fiqh.


General books on some subjects:

  • On (Arabic) grammar:
    1. Matn al-Ajroomiyyah. This is an abridged book.
    2. Alfiyyah Ibn Maalik; this is a summary of the science of grammar.
  • On Seerah (Prophet’s biography)
    1. Zaad al-Ma’aad by Ibn al-Qayyim –
      • The best book that I have seen. This is a very useful book in which he mentions the biography of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) from all angels, then he discusses many rulings.
    2. Rawdat al-‘Uqalaa’ by Ibn Hibbaan al-Busti
      • This is a useful book despite its brevity. He compiled a large amount of useful material and stories of the scholars, muhadditheen and others.
    3. Siyar A’laam al-Nubalaa’ by al-Dhahabi.
      • This book is very useful and the seeker of knowledge should read and refer to it.
        From Fataawa al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (rahimallah), Kitaab al-‘Ilm, p. 92



6 Responses to “MUST READS for the Student of Knowledge”

  1. Great suggestions. May I make another? My new book, Ibn al-Haytham: First Scientist, tells the fascinating, true story of the great medieval Muslim scholar who overcame bouts of mental illness to develop the scientific method two hundred years before the Europeans learned of it—by reading his books. It is the first full biography published in English about the eleventh-century Muslim scholar known in the West as Alhazen or Alhacen. I point out that the development of the scientific method was a direct outgrowth of Ibn al-Haitham’s faith. He believed that human beings are flawed and only God is perfect. To discover the truth about nature, he reasoned, one had to eliminate human opinion and error and allow the universe to speak for itself. As a result of his deep skepticism toward human understanding, Ibn al-Haytham designed the first verifiable physical experiments to test hypotheses.

    • Bismillah,ir-Rahman,ir-Rahim.
      Ashahadu An Laa illaaha illal llahu
      Wa Ash Hadu Anna Muhammadan Abdu Hu Wa Rasooluhu

      ”I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah
      who is without partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) is the Rasool.”
      “O Allah, Shower Your Peace come upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as you have brought peace to Ibrahim and his family. Truly, You are Praiseworthy and Glorious. O Allah, Shower your blessing upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as you have blessed Ibrahim and his family. Truly, You are Praiseworthy and Glorious”.
      Dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam, As-Salaam Alaikum!
      My Name is Khalid U.Ibrahim. I am in need of your (Du’a) Prayers for ALLAH’s Help and Protection. (Ya ALLAH!) OALLAH! I Beg of you to Bestow on us (the Believing Muslims) a Home, a Home of Safety, Security and Peace in this World Life, Out of the Reach of the Dajjal and his army, and also Grant us a Home of Safety,Security and Peace in the Life Hereafter,Out of the Reach of the Fires of Hell!.(Ya ALLAH!) OALLAH! I Beg of you to Increase our Faith and Devotion, and to Bless us with Peace in our Hearts and Souls.(Ya ALLAH!) Please Forgive All The Believing Muslims,(Ya ALLAH!) Please grant All the Believing Muslims the Best in this world Life and the Best in Hereafter, and(Ya ALLAH!) Please Protect us(the Believing Muslims) from own Nafs, and(Ya ALLAH!) Please Protect All the Believing Muslims from the hands of the Dajjal and his army.] {No One in this World care!} (Ya ALLAH!) OALLAH! I Beg of you for the means to do good, and to avoid evil, and Bless us to Love the poor, and I beseech you forgive us(the Believing Muslims) and have mercy on us. And When you subject the people of theWorld to trial, Protect us from being affected by it.(Ya ALLAH!) OALLAH! I Beg of you, your Love and Protection,and the Love of those who Love you, and Grant us the Love of all such actions that will bring us closer to you, with our Love and Devotion to you.(Ya ALLAH!) OALLAH! I thank you for all your Mercy and Protection that you have bestowed on us, and all that you have given us in these trouble times that we are facing,(Al-Hamdolillah!).

  2. As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmat Allah,

    Jazaaki Allah khayr for this post! I think

    Al-Qawaa’id al-Arba’ah – Four Principles of Tawheed (pdf)
    Kashf al-Shubahaat – Removal of Doubts ( pdf )

    might be linked to the same pdf.

    Also, have you looked at for the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir?

    I hope all is well.

    As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmat Allah,
    Your Sis in Islam

  3. fearthedunya Says:

    Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

    Jazakum Allahu Khayran for the correction Mariam, I recently found out about and mashallah it is amaizng. It makes it so easy to find ayahs walhamdulilah.

  4. Aboo Redundant Says:

    Salam alaikum wa rahmatullaah,

    what about ? I tried and it seems pretty cool. Unfortunately the translations on these tafaseer sites in english are only abridged. If you can read the Arabic, the best site I’ve seen on Tafseer is the (click the arabic) since you can see Tafseer Qurtubee, Tabaree, Ibn Katheer and Jalaalayn.

  5. syed feroz Says:

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    May Allah bless shaikh Uthaymeen (Rahmatullah Alahi) with Jannatul Firdaus for his great service to the Ummah.

    I am really happy to see his advice for those who seek Islamic Knowledge.

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