It is never too early to share the beauty of Islam with our children and there is so much we can teach them, even when they are still toddlers. I used to read Islamic stories to my daughters even before I thought they were big enough for them and later I was often surprised how much they remembered and understood. Alhamdulillah recently a few titles have been released that are aimed specifically at the littlest Muslims and I’m thrilled to be able to share them with my youngest baby, who will be approaching 2 soon insha Allah. But the books are so pretty they attract the attention of older children, too.
Faatima and Ahmad by Razeena Gutta is a cute little series aimed at children aged 2 to 6, introducing Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to the little ones. We learn all about him through stories that Ahmed, the elder brother, learnt at school and is now retelling his little sister Faatima. The first book: We’re Little Muslims explains who the Prophet (SAW) was and who his family were; in the second, Miracles in the Desert, we learn about the time he spent in the desert as a baby. The stories are told in simple language, with just enough detail to keep children interested. The story of the Prophet (SAW) is told alongside the story of Faatima and Ahmad, like their trip to the farm. It is nicely illustrated and altogether makes a perfect read for this age group.
For the smallest babies my choice is Baby Traveller Bismillah by Elizabeth Lymer – a sweet little book with simple illustrations in bold colours which babies love. It has a repetitive text – favoured by the littlest readers – introducing the remembrance of Allah (SWT) when travelling, because, as Elizabeth Lymer reminds us: we should be “like a traveller in this world from birth”. The book is recommended for supervised reading with children from newborn to around eighteen months. The only drawback is the format – I would love it completely if it was a board book, so the babies could handle it easily. Ordinary books, even those with extraordinary content, do not last long in babies’ hands.
The third book that all my daughters love is My First Wudu Book by Hajera Memon from Shade7. It is truly one of a kind – a colour changing bath book aimed specifically at Muslim children. It is lots of fun watching as body parts get coloured once the pages get wet, and it is educational as well, teaching the sequence of ritual ablution. My youngest daughter, who is perhaps too small yet to understand what wudhu is, learns to name different body parts from the book while it floats in her bath! It is beautifully designed and a quality product. Great book!
Planting Trees of Knowledge – Klaudia Khan discusses dreaming big and reaching far with pioneering children’s book publisher Hajera Memon.
Eight Great Ramadhan Reads for Children – Klaudia Khan shares her family’s favourite stories for Ramadhan.
Klaudia Khan is a Muslim writer living with her husband and three daughters in the UK.