When homework continually piles up throughout the semester, it is hard to think of doing any independent study for one’s own benefit. But sometimes, some independent study is actually more refreshing than draining.

During this semester, I have had the opportunity to begin studying Islam. For one of the fastest growing religions in the world, it is upsetting how little I knew about it. Once I decided that I desired to know more, I began perusing a few different sections within our library that contained literature on the subject. I found many decent resources, but I must say that my favorite book that I stumbled upon is Unveiling Islam by Ergun Mehmet Caner and Emir Fethi Caner. Although I am currently only 54 pages in, this book has taught me a substantial amount about this belief system.

The authors of Unveiling Islam, Ergun and Emir, are brothers who were raised as Sunni Muslims. Now, highly respected theology professors, Ergun and Emir wrote this book together in order to present the practices, ethics, and beliefs of Islam. Ergun and Emir helpfully present the Islamic beliefs by directly contrasting them to Christianity.

Some other books that were also helpful to me were Islam: A Short Guide to the Faith by Roger Allen and Shawkat M. Toorawa, and A New Anthropology of Islam by John Bowen.

As college students, there is so much to balance, and the idea of adding one more thing onto our plate doesn’t exactly sound like the most appetizing option, but amidst all of the stress of homework and extracurricular activities, it can be nice to set aside some time to invest in an area that is unrelated to your studies that interests you. Balancing time is key, but I encourage you to take a book, fiction or non-fiction, and set aside time during your semester to read for fun. With always reading for classes, the joy of reading tends to disappear. I challenge you to remember that reading can actually be quite an enjoyable endeavor.

~Leia Brunette