Are You Reading Enough?

It’s important to be mindful of the books we consume, so where should we start?

It’s important to be mindful of the books we consume, so where should we start?

When was the last time you picked up a book? Sat in a quiet space, and fully immersed yourself in another world. More importantly, when was the last time you allowed a book to teach you something new?

Self-care and quality time with yourself is essential to your growth journey. How can you expect yourself to take care of others if you’re not even taking care of yourself? One of the best forms of self-care is educating yourself and expanding your intelligence. And what better way to do that than reading a book?

It has been scientifically proven that reading can benefit you in multiple different ways. It improves your brain connectivity, allowing your brain to function more productively. Reading also increases your vocabulary and comprehension and can prevent cognitive decline as you get older. Regrettably, literacy rates worldwide have started to decline in most parts of the world. But can we be the ones to start to reverse that?

The first verse from the Qur’an that was revealed was the word, “read.”

ٱقْرَأْ بِٱسْمِ رَبِّكَ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ  Read! In the name of your Lord, who created (Quran 96:1)

Reading is a habit to be proud of, one encouraged for self-development on a large scale. Of course, that is dependent on what you read. What we consume contributes massively to the condition of our hearts. And as Muslims, we strive to be constantly purifying and improving ourselves. It’s important to be mindful of the books we consume, so where should we start?

Which books can teach us about what it means to be a woman? Which ones will help us to understand the world around us and allow us to keep up with it? Some by Muslim authors and some by others – all with the intention of aiding you in your growth journey in whatever way we can – here is a mixture of recommendations:

1. Reclaim Your Heart by Yasmin Mogahed

“As Muslim Women, we have been liberated from this silent bondage. We don’t need society’s standard of beauty or fashion, to define our worth. We don’t need to become just like men to be honoured, and we don’t need to wait for a prince to save or complete us. Our worth, our honour, our salvation, and our completion lie not in the slave, but in the Lord of the slave.”

2. The Ideal Muslimah by Dr. Muhammed Ali al-Hashimi

At a time when Muslim and Non-Muslim women are being harshly attached and attracted by the “feminist theories and studies”, this book is a good approach and a reminder that Islam has held women as highly esteemed and respected. It is enough that the Holy Qur’an contains a full chapter on women. The sources of Islam i.e., the Holy Qur’an and the Prophetic Traditions, have always spoken of women’s rights and made them full partners in the human venture of history more than any other religion or thought.

3. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus by John Gray

“Men mistakenly expect women to think, communicate, and react the way men do; women mistakenly expect men to feel, communicate, and respond the way women do. We have forgotten that men and women are supposed to be different. As a result, our relationships are filled with unnecessary friction and conflict. Clearly recognising and respecting these differences dramatically reduce confusion when dealing with the opposite sex.”

4. Atomic Habits by James Clear

“I knew that if things were going to improve, I was the one responsible for making it happen…These improvements were minor, but they gave me a sense of control over my life. A habit is a routine or behaviour that is performed regularly and, in many cases, automatically.”

Of course, there are hundreds of books out there that are just as beneficial, but it’s so useful to be pointed in the right direction. Each day is a new opportunity to learn something new – how will we seize these opportunities? We ask Allah to guide us and protect us from that which displeases Him, for without His aid we have no aid at all.