My praises of Ascent to Felicity is already on the first page. It is enough for aqida and fiqh. However the starting point should be Absolute Essentials. However I would also add Ta'limul Haq to the list for the following reason: it is less technically written and it has some important subsidiary details which are not in Ascent to Felicity. But for the laymen these three books should cover more than enough fiqh and aqida.
Fiqh al-Akbar in my opinion should be read after doing a course such as Aqida Tahawiyya audio lectures on ZamZam Academy or the aqida course on Seeker's Guidance. If Shaykh Faraz can make someone like Shaykh Faraz Khan then I have confidence that will be a good course. In general I do not find Fiqh al-Akbar for everyone, nor do I think everyone can grasp it completely without a teacher.
However I would also like to add some other books to the list:
i) Seerah: Sealed Nectar, etc --> Essential to develop love of RasulAllah
ii) Hayat al-Muslimeen
iii) Illuminating Discourses on the Noble Qur'an (tafseer)
iv) Path to Perfection and beheshti Zewar Part 6
v) Ma'ariful Hadith -- covers all the chapters of hadith in brief with simple understandable commentary
The above covers: fiqh, aqidah, tasawwuf, seerah, Qur'an and hadith.
I too found myself confused and overwhelmed by many books. However I broke it down to the following books for myself to focus on. I just read these books as much as possible (along with Riyad as-Saliheen - but I don't think that's essential).
This is not a final list. I really appreciate your input on developing a nice plan. I will email you a complete outline of my plan which I planned to follow but only do so partially.
I believe 2 books should be added to the cirriculam;
1. Uswai Rasul sallahuwasalam-By hazrat abdul hayy arifi. Very simple book on the various sunnahs to be implemented. A Muslim should study this book regularly and try to implement the teachings.
2. The sublime conduct-By maulana irshaad qasmi translated by maulana kolia and published by zam zam publisheers. More detailed about sunnah and once again should be studied from time to time with the intention of implementation.
3. The sirah book of martin lings. A great read with some certain weak opinions mentioned in there but still the book is a great book.
4. Hisnul Haseen. Has many duas from the sunnah and an easy morning and evening azkaar wird from the sunnah. Good for memorization etc.
I think al-faruqi made a great statement and before him fusoos as well. As shaykh Nuh said first become muslim then a sufi and not vice versa. This kind of ciriculam should be studied before giving bayt and even after one has established a connection with a shaykh.
Too many so-called sufis give more importance to their awraad than issues like salah with jamaat. Many sufis will finish awraad but not do any tilawat of quraan....anyway just some food for thought.
I would also suggest the following book:
It's one of the best books I've ever read, .
lizard eater saheb...I have seen HH has taken a liking to you. I should give you a medal for it. ALLAH bless you ameen.
he mentioned u by name on IA. I would say that deserves a medel. what do you say?