As a student, I used to hate bibliographies, but that was because I was always writing them for the sake of practicing form (and torn between the legalisms of APA, MLA, and Chicago). It isn’t for a long time that students get to choose their own topics of writing and areas of interest. Well, not really choose. They are given a topic or range of topics, and given hoops to jump through. Perhaps some are lucky enough to have genuine interest in their topics, but others are just trying to clear the hoops to get the grade to get the degree. So the heart of research –the hunt for the good resource– and it’s primary activity of mining bibilographies are not the muscles students learn to exercise.
But now I’m free to peruse topics by intrinsic interest, and the bibliography has become a thing of joy, a mine for finding the next vein of information. So in that spirit, I’m going to write out the bibliography of books that I have read and want to read in my pursuit of the Quran, Arabic, and Islamic history. For each book I’ll write a review (though give me time to reread them before I write), so that if you are also interested in this topic you can check out whether each resource will suit your needs.
Hourani, Albert. A History of the Arab Peoples. 1st edition. Belknap Press, 1991.
Hoyland, Robert G. Arabia and the Arabs: From the Bronze Age to the Coming of Islam. 1st edition. Routledge, 2001.
Hoyland, Robert G. In God’s Path: The Arab Conquests and the Creation of an Islamic Empire. Oxford University Press, 2017.
Hoyland, Robert G. Seeing Islam as Others Saw It: A Survey and Evaluation of Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian Writings on Early Islam. The Darwin Press Inc., 1998.
Small, Keith E. Textual Criticism and Qur’an Manuscripts. Lexington Books, 2012.
Excited to Read
Guillaume, Alfred. The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Isḥaq’s “Sirat Rasul Allah”. Oxford University Press, 1955.
Stetkevych, Suzanne Pinckney. The Mute Immortals Speak: Pre-Islamic Poetry and the Poetics of Ritual. Cornell University Press, 2010.