The Ramadan Challenge is back for a fourth year! This challenge has always been incredible for me. It allowed me to discover so many talented writers hailing from North Africa. In 2013,  I was very optimistic and challenged myself to read 7 books for the whole month. As you know, I was not on target. You can read all about it here. In 2014, I was more realistic and challenged myself to  read 3 books. I succeeded! You can read all about it here. 2015,  Well, I got carried away and choose 7 books.  For my 2016 reading goal, I will be targeting 1 book. You might be wondering why one book? The book that i have chosen is not any book, it is a challenging work of history and philosophy . And as such, it deserves to be read with all the attention and energy manageable.

I realized some of the readers might not be familiar with the concept of Ramadan. So here is a little overview:

Ramadan  is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar;Muslims worldwide observe this as a month of fasting. This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam.The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon, according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in hadiths. The word Ramadan comes from the Arabic root ramida or ar-ramad, which means scorching heat or dryness.Fasting is fardh (obligatory) for adult Muslims, except those who are ill, travelling, pregnant, diabetic or going through menstrual bleeding.

Source: Wikipedia

Very Interesting Facts about Islam in Africa:

  1. They are 421,938,820 Millions muslims in Africa as of 2013 ( 1,6 Billions muslins worldwide)
  2. The presence of Islam in Africa can be traced  back to the seventh century (7th Century)
  3.  Somali or Ethiopia  became the first safe haven for Muslims and the first place Islam would be practiced outside of the Arabian Peninsula
  4. Nigeria is number 6 out of the top ten countries with the largest muslim population worldwide

Disclaimer: These facts were found around the web, I can’t guarantee their veracity at 100%. As you are well aware, a lot of facts related to Islam in Africa are contested. Also,  some people have a tendency to exaggerate numbers and facts.



Francophone & Anglophone authors/books  will be mixed. No Arabic, unfortunately my arabic is not that strong!

Genre: Fiction and non-fiction

All arab countries including the gulf countries are in scope

To put things in context, here is a map of Northern Africa


And a map of the gulf countries:


Here is the book I choose:

The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History by Ibn Khaldûn (Author), Franz Rosenthal (Translator) 

download (1)

The Muqaddimah, often translated as “Introduction” or “Prolegomenon,” is the most important Islamic history of the premodern world. Written by the great fourteenth-century Arab scholar Ibn Khaldûn (d. 1406), this monumental work established the foundations of several fields of knowledge, including the philosophy of history, sociology, ethnography, and economics. The first complete English translation, by the eminent Islamicist and interpreter of Arabic literature Franz Rosenthal, was published in three volumes in 1958 as part of the Bollingen Series and received immediate acclaim in the United States and abroad. A one-volume abridged version of Rosenthal’s masterful translation first appeared in 1969.

This Princeton Classics edition of the abridged version includes Rosenthal’s original introduction as well as a contemporary introduction by Bruce B. Lawrence. This volume makes available a seminal work of Islam and medieval and ancient history to twenty-first century audiences.

Ramadan Mubarak and Happy reading!