With the growth of the internet, many Islamic books are readily available online either to read on your browser, or for you download in various formats. Over time, I’ve come across a handful of websites that host a repository of online Shi’a Islamic books. One of the most well known ones is of course Al-Islam.org, and there are a few other websites that tend to have a few books here and there (though not always a compelte library). However here are a few website that have online libraries and ones that I use from time to time:
1. Maaref Foundation
Review: This website was developed by the Islamic Ma’aref Foundation Institute from Qum, Iran and is under the supervision of different scholars. The website segments books by various categories ranging from Beliefs, Ethics to Islamic History.
2. Ziaraat.net Online Books
Review: This is a pretty old website that I have been visiting since the early 2000s. However a few years ago they put up a catalogue of various books in different languages, including English. It has books on topics ranging from comparative religion, jurisprudence, tafseer to even books on learning Arabic. Definitely check this one out.
3. Rafed Network for Cultural Development
Review: Rafed is one of the largest online Shi’a portals (visited by so many Shi’as that it is actually banned in Saudi Arabia). It was established by the Institute of Ahl al-Bayt (as) for Restoration of Books in 1983. The books are generally posted in a blog-like format, where the user may have to go back and forth between browser pages to change chapters, or if the book is not too lengthy it will be posted completely on one page.
4. Ahlolbait School of Thoughts – Research and Publication Institute
Review: This website has a huge collection of books, articles and as well as manuscripts available in English. The database of books can be cleaned up a bit and also organized a bit more efficiently by the webmasters. However if you have the time to skim and filter through them – definitely give this website a try.
5. Ayatullah Mujtaba Musavi Lari
Review: This is the official website of Ayatullah Musavi Lari who has done a lot in order to propagate the message of Islam through books. He is also responsible for opening an organization in Qum that sends free copies of his translated works to individuals who are interested anywhere around the world. Some of his English works can be downloaded from the website as well.