- Crystal, David. 2004. Rediscover Grammar. Third edition. London: Pearson Longman. [Recommended as a general introduction to the kind of grammatical concepts that will be employed on this course].
- Ryding, Karin C. 2005. A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Weninger, Stefan ed. 2011. The Semitic Languages: An International Handbook. Berlin: de Gruyter Mouton. [Gives an overview of the family of languages to which Arabic belongs. Students are advised to begin by reading Part VI, which deals with Arabic specifically].
- Albert Hourani, A history of the Arab peoples (Faber)
- Malise Ruthven, Islam in the world (Pelican)
- Ignaz Goldziher, Introduction to Islamic theology and law (Princeton University Press paperback)
- Michael Cook, Muhammad (Oxford University Press, Past Masters paperback)
- Hugh Kennedy, The Prophet and the age of the caliphates (Longman)
- Roger Owen, State, power and politics in the making of the modern Middle East (Routledge)
- H.A.R. Gibb, Arabic literature (Oxford University Press paperback)
- M.M. Badawi, A critical introduction to modern Arabic poetry (Cambridge University Press paperback)
- Margo Badran and Miriam Cooke (eds.),Opening the gates: a century of Arab feminist writing (Virago paperback)
- Xavier de Planhol, The world of Islam (Cornell University Press paperback)
- Dale Eickelman, The Middle East: an anthropological approach (2nd ed., Prentice-Hall paperback)
- Richard Ettinghausen and Oleg Grabar, The art and architecture of Islam (Pelican History of Art).
- T.F. Mitchell, Writing Arabic (Oxford University Press paperback) [for learning the script].
Islamic Reform and Conservatism: Al-Azhar and the Evolution of Modern Sunni Islam (Library of Modern Religion) Hardcover – December 8, 2009