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Best Islamic Tafsir Books to Read During Ramadan


Published: April 7, 2022 • Edited: July 5, 2022

Authors: Yaqeen Institute

The Qur’an is an ocean of gems. Our predecessors knew this, which is why they authored a plethora of books that reflect on the profound meanings behind Allah’s speech. Compiled here is a list of books our Yaqeen scholars and fellows have enjoyed reading and referencing. We hope that you can find a deeper connection with the Qur’an by glimpsing at any one of these wonderful English resources (listed in no particular order).

  • Qur’an 30 for 30: Seerah Edition by Dr. Omar Suleiman and Sh. Ismail Kamdar
    • Many chapters and verses of the Qur’an were revealed addressing specific events that occurred during the seerah. This book delves into select verses from each respective juzʾ and is free to download here.
  • Qur’an 30 for 30: The Companion Reader by Dr. Omar Suleiman and Sh. Ismail Kamdar
    • This edition summarizes key ideas in each juzʾ with a focus on the divine arrangement of the Qur’an and is free to download here.
  • Way to the Qur’an by Khurram Murad
    • A powerful short read about how the companions of the Prophet ﷺ approached the Qur’an: with their body, mind, and heart. The author shows us how to view the Qur’an, not as a written piece, but as a force that can drive our daily lives.
  • How to Approach the Qur’an by Jamaal Al-Din Zarabozo
    • Highlighting the virtues of reciting the Qur'an, this particular book comes highly recommended by converts, for converts.
  • 114 Tips to Help You Finally Memorize the Qur’an by Suleiman Hani
    • A keepsake to motivate the young and the old to begin and continue memorizing the Qur’an. This book is great to reference and refresh our hearts with tips and techniques to become a hafidh al-Qur’an, memorizers of the Qur’an.
  • The Crowning Venture by Saadia Mian
    • A gem of relatable and inspiring stories from female memorizers of the Qur’an.
  • Meanings of Juz Amma by Tajan Quran Institute
    • A very easy, large print book that’s perfect for families to read together, covering surahs many of us already know by heart.
  • Tafseer As-Sadi by Abdur Rahman Nasir As-Sadi
    • This robust 10 volume series offers an uncomplicated, deep, and insightful explanation of the verses of the Qur’an.
  • Tafsir Ibn Kathir by Ibn Kathir
    • This is a famous work often referenced by scholars from all fields.
  • Safwat al-Tafasir by Muhammad As-Sabuni
    • A contemporary, simple and concise tafsir that combines multiple classical works.
  • Ma’ariful Quran by Muhammad Shafi
    • An eight volume series that employs an easy narrative style and examines thematic discussions on certain groups of verses.
  • Tafsir Surah Al-Fatihah by Abu Rumaysah
    • A concise and thorough explanation behind the most read chapter, Surah al-Fatihah.
  • The Heart of the Qur'an by Asim Khan
    • A short and wonderful tafsir of Surah Yasin with charts and diagrams for visual learners.
  • The Kingdom of God by Asim Khan
    • Another short read of Surah Mulk’s tafsir with images and diagrams to aid, as well as a foreword by Mufti Menk.
  • When the Stars Prostrated: Meditations on Surat Yusuf by Mohammad Elshinawy and Rania Abuisnaineh
    • A comforting read that captures the novel-reader inside you, this tafsir of Surah Yusuf offers deep insight into how each verse permeates into our current lives.
  • Lessons from Surah al-Kahf (Pearls from the Qur'an) by Yasir Qadhi 
    • These lessons offer incredible insights into verses from a  surah that was revealed to give strength to the Prophet ﷺ.[See similarly: Lessons from Surah Yusuf (Pearls from the Qur'an) by Yasir Qadhi].
  • Pondering Over the Quran by Amin Islahi (translated by Mohammed Sayeem Kayani)
    • This commentary spans multiple books to cover multiple surahs in-depth, while maintaining a focus on the coherence of the Qur’an.
  • An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur'an by Furhan Zubairi
    • A primer to delve into the various branches of Qur’anic studies and a perfect addition to any teaching curriculum. If you’re interested in this topic as a whole, Yaqeen also has multiple papers about it, with more in the pipeline.

Translations of the Qur'an

  • The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics) by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem
    • A translation for a reader looking for just the plain, brief points, and an easy, natural reading of the Qur’an.
  • The Holy Qur’an in Today’s English by Yahya Emerick
    • A translation of the Qur’an in a modern, free-flowing English void of ‘ye’ and ‘nay’ with extensive footnotes to give commentary on the revelation of the verses, significant changes the early Muslims faced after it was sent down, and the author’s own personal affirmations of the one true God.
  • The Clear Quran by Dr. Mustafa Khattab
    • A timeless translation that gives context to each surah, especially for those who may still be unfamiliar with the seerah of the Prophet ﷺ.

As with every book and author, there will be errors and controversies, because only Allah knows the real, full meaning behind His Holy Book. However, we hope that you can take what is good to deepen your connection with the Qur’an this Ramadan.

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Disclaimer: The views, opinions, findings, and conclusions expressed in these papers and articles are strictly those of the authors. Furthermore, Yaqeen does not endorse any of the personal views of the authors on any platform. Our team is diverse on all fronts, allowing for constant, enriching dialogue that helps us produce high-quality research.