Reading List for Islamic Theology, Evolution, Intelligent Design, Secularism, Metaphysics, and Other Issues

The following list was provided to us by our dear friend, Shaykh Omar Qureshi, after my request for a list of suggested readings for students of theology interesting in furthering their understanding of Atheism and Evolution.

Reading list for Islamic Theology, Evolution, Intelligent Design, Secularism, Metaphysics, and Other Issues

(Updated on 5/10/18)

Anderson, Ryan T. 2018. When Harry became Sally: responding to the transgender moment. New York: Encounter Books.

Al-Attas, Muhammad Naquib. Islām and Secularism. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization, 1993.

al-Attas, Syed Muhammad Naquib. 2015. On justice and the nature of man: a commentary on surah al-nisa (4):58 and surah al-mu’minun (23):12-14. Kuala Lumpur: IBFIM.

Al-Attas, Muhammad Naquib. 2014. Prolegomena to the metaphysics of Islam: an exposition of the fundamental elements of the worldview of Islam.

al-Bayḍāwī, ʻAbd Allāh ibn ʻUmar. translated by Edwin Elliott Calverley, James W. Pollock, and 2002. Nature, man and God in medieval Islam ʻAbd Allah Baydawi’s text, Tawaliʻ al-anwar min mataliʻ al-anzar, along with Mahmud Isfahani’s commentary, Maṭāliʿ al-anzar, sharh Ṭawāliʿ al-anwār. Leiden: Brill.

Behe, Michael J. 1996. Darwin’s black box: the biochemical challenge to evolution. New York: Free Press.

Blankinship, Khalid. “The early creed.” The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology. Ed. Tim Winter. Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Brown, Jihad. The Problem of Reductionism in the Philosophy of Mind and its Implications for Theism and the Principle of Soul: Framing the issue for further. Available:

Burtt, Edwin A. (Edwin Arthur). The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Physical Science. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1954.

Click to access Burtt,_The_Metaphysical_Foundations_of_Modern_Science.pdf

Craig, William Lane. 1979. The kalām cosmological argument. New York: Barnes & Noble Books.

Craig, William Lane, and James Porter Moreland. 2002. Naturalism: a critical analysis. London: Routledge.

Dembski, William A. 1999. Intelligent design: the bridge between science & theology. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press.

Denton, Michael. 1998. Nature’s destiny: how the laws of biology reveal purpose in the universe. New York: Free Press.

Gagnon, Robert A. J. The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics. Nashville [TN]: Abingdon Press, 2001.

al-Ghazzālī, translated by ʻAbd-al-Laṭīf at- Tibāwī. 1965. Al-Ghazālī’s tract on dogmatic theology. London: Luzac.

al-Ghazzālī. translated by Aladdin Mahmūd Yaqūb. 2013. Al-Ghazali’s Moderation in belief: al-Iqtiṣād fī al-iʻtiqād. The University of Chicago Press.

Al-Ghazali. translated by David B. Burrell and Nazih Daher. The Ninety-Nine Beautiful Names of God, al-Maqsad al-asna fi sharh asma’ Allah al-husna. Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society, 1992.

Al-Ghazālī. translated by Eric L. (Eric Linn) Ormsby. Love, Longing, Intimacy and Contentment: Kitāb Al-maḥabba wa’l-shawq wa’l-uns wa’l-riḍā : Book XXXVI of the Revival of the Religious Sciences, Iḥyāʼ ʻulūm Al-dīn. Cambridge, U.K.: The Islamic Texts Society, 2016.

Girgis, Sherif, Ryan T. Anderson, and Robert P. George. 2012. What is marriage? man and woman: a defense. New York: Encounter Books.

Groff, Ruth. 2013. Ontology revisited: metaphysics in social and political philosophy. New York: Routledge.

Haught, John F. 2006. Is nature enough?: meaning and truth in the age of science. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Hazara Society for Science Religion Dialogue. Mansehra, Pakistan.

Ibn Khaldūn. Translated by Franz Rosenthal. The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History. New York: Pantheon Books, 1958.

Jalajel, David Solomon. 2009. Islam and biological evolution: exploring classical sources and methodologies. Bellville: University of the Western Cape.

Jāmī, ʻAbd al-Ghafūr Lārī, and Nicholas Heer. The Precious Pearl: Al-Jāmīsʼ Al-Durrah Al-fākhirah : Together With His Glosses and the Commentary of ʻAbd Al-Ghafūr Al-Lārī. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1979.

al-Juwaynī, ʻAbd al-Malik ibn ʻAbd Allāh, Paul Ernest Walker, and Muhammad S. Eissa.

A Guide to Conclusive Proofs for the Principles of Belief. Reading, U.K.: Garnet Pub., 2000.

Keough, Gary. 2014. Reading Richard Dawkins a Theological Dialogue with New Atheism. Lanham: Fortress Press.

MacIntyre, Alasdair C. After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 2007.

McGrath, Alister E., and Joanna Collicutt McGrath. 2007. The Dawkins delusion: atheist fundamentalism and the denial of the divine. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press.

Moreland, James Porter. 2008. Consciousness and the existence of God: a theistic argument. New York: Routledge.

Muller, Jeremy Z. Coming Out Ahead: The Homosexual Moment in the Academy. 1993 First Things 35 (August/September 1993): 17-24.

Available at

Murata, Sachiko. ‘Masculine-Feminine Complementarity in the Spiritual Psychology of Islam’ The Islamic Quarterly, 33 (1989), 165-87.

Murata, Sachiko. 1992. The Tao of Islam: a sourcebook on gender relationships in Islamic thought. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Nicholi, Armand M. 2002. The question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud debate God, love, sex, and the meaning of life. New York: Free Press.

Reilly, Robert R. 2014. Making gay okay: how rationalizing homosexual behavior is changing everything. San Francisco: Ignatius Press.

El-Rouayheb, Khaled. Islamic Intellectual History in the Seventeenth Century: Scholarly Currents in the Ottoman Empire and the Maghreb. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Setia, ʿAdi. “Atomism Versus Hylomorphism in the Kalām of al-Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī: A Preliminary Survey of the Maṭālib al-ʿĀlīyyah”. Islam and Science, 4:2, 2006.

Taylor, Charles. A Secular Age. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2007.

Wells, Jonathan. 2000. Icons of evolution: science or myth?: why much of what we teach about evolution is wrong. Washington, DC: Regnery Pub.

Ziadat, Adel A. 1986. Western science in the Arab world: the impact of Darwinism, 1860-1930. New York: St. Martin’s Press.


7 thoughts on “Reading List for Islamic Theology, Evolution, Intelligent Design, Secularism, Metaphysics, and Other Issues

  1. Salam,

    Jzk a very good list mashaAllah. If I could supplement the list with the following recommendations:

    [1] Evolution and ID movement:

    William Dembski, Debating Design: From Darwin

    William A. Dembski, The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities 

    Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis

    Stephen C. Meyer, Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design

    Stephen C. Meyer, Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design

    Jonathan Wells, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism And Intelligent Design

    [2] Theology and Philosophy

    Imam Al-Haramayn Al-Juywani, A Guide to Conclusive Proofs for the Principles of Belief: Kitab Al-Irshad Ila Qawati Al-Adilla Fi Usul Ati Tiqad (Great Books of Islamic Civilization) translation by Paul E. Walker

    Ulrich Rudolph, Al-Maturidi and the Development of Sunn Theology in Samarqand (Islamic History and Civilization) translated by Rodrigo Adem

    Jon Hoover, Ibn Taymiyya’s Theodicy of Perpetual Optimism (Islamic Philosophy, Theology and Science)

    Eric Linn Ormsby, Theodicy in Islamic Thought: The Dispute Over Al-Ghazali’s Best of All Possible Worlds (Princeton Legacy Library)

    Earl Edgar Elder, A Commentary On The Creed Of Islam (Aqaid an Nasafi with Taftazani)

  2. Assalam Alaykum
    JazakAllah Khayr. Is there any suggestion as to where specifically one should start. Perhaps a list that orders the books from beginner, intermediate, to advance.

    • Assalamu ‘alaikum,
      I am not sure what you mean by level of acceptance. However, the reason I recommended this book is that there are few books engaging the theory of evolution in English from the perspective of the Islamic tradition. This book is one of them and provides an English speaking Muslim with a series of potential problems the theory of evolution may have with the Islamic vision of reality and truth. At the same time, it clarifies for the reader some pseudo-problems Muslims may hold to be in conflict. Take for example the age of the cosmos. Many Muslim scholars and laymen hold it to be 6,000 years old. This is based on a hadith which Ibn al-Qayyim and others have declared to be weak if not fabricated. Chapter 2 of the book presents the verses of the Qur’an and Hadith related to this issue and provides a decent treatment of what the Qur’anic exegetes have discussed.

      Another point is the author is working from the sources of Islam and particularly the Ash’arite theological school. It is important to remember that any attempt at engaging with such a theory is precisely that – an attempt and can provide us with tentative conclusions. The task remains on the shoulders of other scholars to continue to provide their insights building on and benefitting from works such as this.

      I hope this helps with some of your questions.

      • JazakAllahu khairan Sh. Omar for your response. it is much appreciated. Hope all is well inshAllah. We miss your presence here but hope California is being good to you.

        BarakAllahu feek Shaykh,
        Abdul Sattar

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