UPDATE: Added books from Theodor Nöldeke, George Sale, and David Margoliouth including a book found at Archive.org
At Jihad Watch, Robert Spencer and especially Hugh Fitzgerald have often exhorted their readers to read what the great Orienalists / Islamologists of yesteryear have to say about Islam.
Some of these books are hard to find or out of print. The Austin Public Library, for example, seems to have nothing from the classic Orientalists on Islam. There are newer scholars, such as Patricia Crone and Fred Donner, but nothing from Shacht, Goldziher, or Hurgronje. Happily I have just found a wonderful source of such books, available at no cost from Google.
A few years ago, Google made a deal with several universities that have large libraries, and set about scanning their books. Those books that are out of copyright are available for users to read and download. With the Google Play Books and the Play Books app, available on iOS and Android devices, users can now read works from some of the great Orientalists, including C. Snouck Hurgronje, William St. Clair Tisdall, and others.
These free digital versions are high quality. If you have a Google account, you can add them to your Play Books Library, and read them at the website, or you can download the Play Books app to your iOS or Android device, and read them there.
Among the works I have found :
C. Snouck Hurgronje :
- Mohammedanism: Lectures on Its Origin, Its Religious and Political Growth and Its Present State
- The Achehnese – Hurgronje’s monograph on the people of Acheh, Indonesia, including the Muslim subjects
- The Revolt in Arabia – Hurgronje’s account of the 1916 Arab Revolt of WWI
- The Holy War “Made in Germany” – Hurgronje’s account of the Turkish Jihad of WWI and Germany’s hand in it
Ignaz Goldziher :
William St. Clair Tisdall :
- The Religion of the Crescent: Being the James Long Lectures on Muhammadanism
- The Original Sources of the Qur’an
- The Sources of Islam: A Persian Treatise – St. Clair Tisdall’s examination of the Jewish, Christian, and Sabean influences on the formation of Islam
- An Examination of the Claims of Ishmael as Viewed by the Muhammedans
- An Manual of the Leading Muhammadan Objections to Christianity
- Christianity and Other Faiths: An Essay in Comparative Religion
Sir William Muir :
- The Life of Mahomet, Volume 1
- The Life of Mahomet, Volume 2
- The Caliphate: It’s Rise, Decline, and Fall
- Annals of the Early Caliphate From Original Sources
- Mahomet and Islam: A Sketch of the Prophet’s Life from Original Sources and a Brief Outline of His Religion
- The Corân: Its Composition and Teaching, and the Testimony it Bears to the Holy Scriptures
- The Mohammedan Controversy: Biographies of Mohammed
- The Mameluke; Or Slave Dynasty of Egypt: 1260-1517, A. D.
- Agra in the Mutiny: And the Family Life of W. & E. H. Muir in the Fort, 1857 : a Sketch for Their Children
- Sketches from Eastern History – Nine essays on various topics concerning Middle Eastern culture, religion and history
This is just the stuff I found in English. There is more in French and German as well, such as Henri Lammens on “calife Omaiyade Moʻawia”.