Muslim Children’s Books: Peace Be Upon You – Islamic Greetings Series

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On the CIP page, a short note from Foreman that tells how this story came to be appears to be the sum total of his research:. In Arabic culture, according to an article in Gulf News General 2 , camels are named for their ages and are assigned different names each year. Where are you? As Jamal trails further and further behind, he gets tired.

Jamal looks at the Falcons. They are lucky, too—the birds get carried everywhere, except when they soar through the sky, hunting the small creatures of the desert. But Jamal is a little camel, and camels have to walk, walk, walk. More about the falcons soon, but one wonders why one species of animal would envy another species of animal. Camels are considered members of the family and are treated like children: they are loved, fed, and talked to.

Pregnant camels are taken to the desert, where it is safe and quiet, to have their babies; and they come back after about a month. Camel calves begin training at three years, and then they are taught to follow with a rope 3. Back to the story: Suddenly, there is a sandstorm.

Sand in his nose. Sand in his ears…. They have bushy eyebrows, three sets of eyelids and two sets of eyelashes to keep sand out of their eyes. They also shut their nostrils to prevent inhalation of sand, they shut their lips to prevent sand from getting into their mouths, and they have thick fur that lines their ears as well. Falcons have an amazing ability to see great distances, and because they can catch wild birds and small animals such as rabbits, they are traditionally trained for hunting.

When they are traveling with their owners, their eyes are hooded to keep them calm and not focused on potential prey. In the old days, the falcon was caught, trained, used for the season and set free again as they are migratory birds.

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It would come back to its owner in the next season. Today falcons are kept year-round by their owners 4. Bedouins do not set their falcons loose to look for lost baby camels and navigate them home. Together they all set off toward the faraway city. When they arrive at the market, Jamal, the baby camel, has learned an important lesson in geography:.

Now Jamal knows the world is more than just sand. When his legs are long and strong, he wants to see it all. Camels are not trained for their tasks until they are three years old, which is not the case here. On the final page is an illustration of the future. Jamal now a grown camel, dressed in traveling camel gear and his rider, the nameless boy wearing a Bedouin vest but who still looks about the same age as he was when Jamal was a calf , are traversing the desert.

And one of those falcons is flying above them:. One day, the boy will ride on him. And Jamal will walk, walk, walk, far and wide, from gleaming cities to shining seas. Has the camel trained the falcon who had led him back to the convoy? Have they become friends? The cultural and economic reality is that camel calves are far too valuable to lose. For people who live in the desert, camels are a major source of survival—without these animals, they would die. Camels are financially valuable as well 5.

They may be given to a bride as her dowry, they may be part of an inheritance, they may be given as Zakaat a gift to charity as a religious requirement during Ramadan , and they are sometimes used in lieu of money. Some of the hadiths—the set of teaching stories and sayings of the Prophet that remain a source of Islamic religious law and practice—feature camels. This camel calf has a name, while none of the humans is named. The animals have wide eyes and expressive faces, while the humans have virtually no faces.

They look the same. They dress the same. And there is only one woman—a tiny figure in the background of one illustration. Jamal, the camel calf, gets left behind. Jamal, the camel calf, gets lonely. Jamal, the camel calf, gets tired. Jamal, the camel calf, gets caught in a storm. Jamal, the camel calf, gets rescued by a falcon from the convoy, who swoops down to guide him back.

Would this lost-and-found baby animal story have gotten positive reviews had it featured instead a colt who jumps the fence on a horse ranch in Montana, gets lost in a rainstorm and is saved by a friendly hawk who leads him home? Although the Prophet named his own camel, this is not a common practice today.

Interview Questions were compiled by Hadeal Salamah and Ariana Hussain For more an introduction on disability terminology and more resources please visit Disability in Kidlit.


If you feel comfortable with this question, how do you identify yourself? I am a Texas born and raised Muslim! I also have a very deep connection with my Egyptian roots, which I owe to my parents. I live in Texas with my husband and three little monkeys of children laughs. They keep us very busy and they are the source of inspiration behind much of my work! I wrote this book for them. Something that will hopefully live beyond my years on this earth.

Because the idea of this book was focused on diversity and traveling, it was important that we truly include countries from all continents. During my early days of research for the book, I would Google Ramadan celebrations across the world and the top few links would pull up celebrations from countries with large Muslim population. I worked closely with book editor Minha to ensure that the book truly does encompass a selection of ethnicities and skin colors representing the beautiful tapestry of our Ummah.

We went through countless back and forth edits, presented to community leaders and sample readers from all walks of life reviewing the content to ensure this was properly done. You state that one of your objectives in Ramadan Around the World was to showcase diversity and to be inclusive, of four disabled children. What kind of impact do you think that this can have in the Muslim community and in the non-Muslim community? Why did you choose to represent the children that you did?

The response that I have received from parents seeing their kids or even some of them seeing themselves represented in the book has been phenomenal. I received responses from parents who were brought to tears when coming across the specific countries that included children with various abilities. Even siblings of children with various abilities identified with the characters and were beyond happy about it. My background is in marketing and creative design and through leading various marketing efforts at nonprofits, I came across a lot of work that dealt with Muslims of various abilities within our community.

I was involved in helping some of these organizations cater to their needs and spread the word about their efforts. This really opened my eyes to a whole other part of our community that was simply not represented and, unfortunately, forgotten. This is changing now Alhamdulillah all thanks to these wonderful organizations building awareness and emphasizing inclusion in our community.

Not only that, but it is important for other children to know what these various abilities mean because they will most likely have classmates representative of different abilities. Because this is such a sensitive topic, I worked closely with parents and children represented in this book to double and triple check that the wording that was used was appropriate. Many of the characters in this book are based off of real characters which makes the book that much more relatable. Another of your objectives that you stated was that you wanted to book to be accessible for non-Muslims and Muslims.

What were some of the challenges that you faced writing for these different audiences? What elements did you have to consider when thinking about what people might or might not already know? What do you hope that the takeaway is for each audience? This book was, of course, written for both Muslim and non-Muslim readers with the ultimate goal of going beyond Muslim families to public libraries and schools libraries along with other mainstream educational outlets. This was critical. This is critical for my kids and future generations because I want them to be proud of their faith, their roots, and to be able to speak about it and have it spoken of within the classes.

To do this, I had to put myself in the audience shoes and switch back and forth between between a Muslim reader and non-Muslim reader mentality. So I had to continuously ask myself, if I was a non-Muslim reading this, would I be able to follow along with the conversation, understand the vocab, and be able to explain it.

This was especially important to keep in mind for non-Muslim educators who might be using the book for their classes. There is a glossary placed in the book and the website also is a great resource for more information about Ramadan and tools and resources for educators to use. From this, I hope that more community members take lead in being involved and contribute to this fabric of the community we live in.

If we want to be heard, we have to put in time, effort and contributions. You also talk about showcasing different family structures, but unlike the spreads with children with disabilities, where their impairment is explicitly stated, the family structure is left vague. Did you do this deliberately so that children with different family structures could see themselves? Do you feel like it is explicit, especially in the spreads with Amin in Malaysia and Gabriela in Australia? Most definitely! It was not explicitly mentioned because similar to skin colors, some thing do not have to be clearly mentioned.

Children are VERY smart beings laughs and those who identify with something in the book will know it and feel it. Children who are raised by their grandparents, for example, will make special note of that scene in the US where Ali and Asya are decorating the house with the grandparents and making cookies. We recognize that identity is intersectional, so please do list multiple titles, if applicable, that coincide with your identity. To be completely honest, there was never a point where I found myself in a story or gave a reaction similar to what I see my children give now once they see a character who they can relate to or a scene they see themselves in.

The other resource would have been books from overseas whenever someone happens to visit and grab a few for us. This is your first book and it is a self-published book that you worked on closely with your editor and illustrator. Could you explain a little more about the process you went through to publish your book? A whole ton of research laughs. I also tapped into my network to reach out to anyone and everyone that could be of help. Our work really is a community effort.

When we rise, we rise as a community and the more resources and tools that we have for children, the better grounded they are from any toxins. After writing a draft of the book, I asked around for suggestions on illustrators who can help bring the idea to life. Because my background is creative design and marketing, I had a great network of creative friends who helped me find Azra. I saw her work and immediately fell in love with it and really saw my book through her work.

When it came to publishing specifically, I had a specific idea in mind of what I wanted the book to look like and the dimensions and the overall design and this helped narrow down the publishing options. I also received some guidance from pioneers of children literature such as Saadia Faruqi , author of Meet Yasmin , and Omar Khawaja , author of the Ilyas and Duck series. Another core element to absolutely perfecting the book had to be bringing onboard the wonderful book editor Minha Kauser.

Her contribution was absolutely vital to giving the book a high quality finish. Minha is an educator, mother, traveler and active community member which made her contributions to the book a blessing! There are definitely a lot of ups and downs in the publishing process. Who are some of the authors, both Muslim and non-Muslim, and what are some titles that have had the most influence on you and your work? They shape how I approach much of my work and how I teach my children to approach problem-solving.

The list of wonderful authors goes on and on and includes leaders like Reem Faruqi, Naima B. Robert , and Asmaa Hussein. Do you feel that books featuring Muslims are being created and marketed in a positive way? Are there trends you like or hope will change? What is the best feedback that you have received from a reader? The most rewarding comments were those telling me how they and their children saw themselves in the characters in the book.

As Muslims, it is a needed tool both for our own children and for teaching other children about us. So, imagine my surprise when I felt my back straighten up and a smile stain my face for a long while after I finished reading this beautiful book about Ramadan traditions all over the world. Not because it showed so many beautiful Muslims from rich colorful backgrounds sharing the common bond of loving Allah in Ramadan, that was expected.

Nor was it for the diversity of skin tones, and cultures, and ages, and head coverings, throughout.


No, it was because there are characters with autism, and one that is hearing impaired, one in a wheelchair, and a little girl with diabetes who cannot eat all the candy, just a few. Me, an adult, a type 1 diabetic since I was 11, there in print, in a book about Muslims. Yes, I may have had tears, I might still as I write this review. It is powerful people, to see yourself in a fictional character, at any age.

You are making a difference. I am very blessed to say that the best and most successful marketing efforts for this book were done through word-of-mouth. When you have amazing, loyal readers, what better marketing can you ask for? What was your favorite book as a child? As an adult have you reassessed this? What are you reading now?

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Much of the ideas generated through this book came about from my reading of this book and I want to go back and reflect on the ideas and how I can continue to improve on my writing and creativity. What books are on your Muslimshelfspace? What are you working on next? As far as writing, I have something in mind but it is still an idea that is a work in progress so that will have to stay on the DL for now laughs.

Now that you have published your book, are you interested writing a book for a large publishing house? Oh yes, for sure! I think one of the most rewarding moments was printing out the shipping labels and reading the names of people and the countries where the book was being shipped to. This gave me a greater appreciation for the tremendous amount of effort that goes into every step of this process.

With that said, it is very tedious and tiring, especially when you have a family and three toddlers running around. Most of my work was done at night when they were asleep and at times, it was exhausting. There is also a great deal of marketing that you have to continuously keep up with and thankfully my background is creative design and marketing which came in handy, but of course major publishing houses have access to a much larger network of distributors that I believe the book is ready for.

Ramadan Around the World is an informational holiday book. Are there other genres that you are interested in writing in? The ultimate goal is to release original and timeless ideas, that will live beyond my years and benefit generations to come. My parents were immigrants who came from Egypt and raised us with a heavy focus on faith and culture. What she would do is just start from the first shelf and pick the first ten books. After we read those, she would return them and just pick up where she had left off the visit before in addition to any books we picked up.

This is how we spent our summers. Along with Saturday morning cartoons, visits to Chuck E. Cheese, and digging for worms, the library was the place to go to pass the summer. What do you hope the literature world looks like for Muslims in the coming years? In 20 years? I would like to see a larger variety of young Muslim authors covering more genres in writing. I imagine walking into mainstream bookstores like Barnes and Nobles and seeing displays when times like Ramadan and Eid roll around just like we see for Christmas and Hanukkah.

Are there any words of wisdom that you would like to pass on to young writers? There are a lot of wonderful people out there who want to help and their knowledge can be of benefit if sought out.

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As a young writer, asking for advice and pointing in the right direction was critical in the self-publishing process. What is something that you would like your readers to know about you? I would like to twist this question around a bit and instead ask a favor out of my readers. When I thought of the design and quality of the book, I wanted to ensure to produce something that would be highly durable and of quality. I also want to ask them to write a small dedication inside the book to whomever they are presenting the book to.

This makes handing it down that much more special. Interview Questions were compiled by Hadeal Salamah and Ariana Hussain When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer? What inspired you to become a writer? I always wanted to be a writer, ever since I was a little kid who wrote stories, plays, and epic poems because I thought it was fun! How did you decide to write for youth and what is your main message to them? I started to write for kids because that was the time in my life when books impacted me the most and helped shaped who I am today. I love the idea of my books resonating with kids the same way my favorites did with me.

For Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns and Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets what was your thought process in deciding which Islamic elements to relate with different colors and shapes? When writing Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets , I kind of wished I had saved a few things from the first book that would work great as shapes! But I tried again to focus on things are very significant in the Muslim faith or Islamic traditions and link them to shapes.

When you talk about Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets, you mentioned that the people in the book are Muslims from all over the world and mention specific countries. If you can, please tell us which countries, if any are represented in each spread, particularly rectangle and hexagon.

In the book you do not mention specific countries, why? Was that an intentional choice? Article The Meaning of Da'wah in Islam. Article What Is Halal Certification? Article Inheritance Law in Islam. List Books of Revelation. Article Meaning and Significance of the Day of Arafat. Article The Chador. Article Definition of "Jahannam". Article Muslim College Life.

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Article Definition of Jannah in Islam. Article Blood Money in Islam. List Islamic Swimwear in the U. Article Umrah. List Makkah Visitors Guide. Article Angel Jibreel Gabriel in Islam. Article Economic System and Rules of Islam. Article The Practice of Circumcision in Islam. Article Definition of Yawm al-Qiyamah. Article Women in the Quran. Article Shirk. Article The Importance of the "Hadith" for Muslims. The phrase that "there is no true God" negates anything or anyone that is being worshipped other than Allah, and the phrase, "except Allah", confirms that all forms of worship, submission and adoration must be for Allah Alone, without setting up rivals with Him.

The conditions needed to fulfill the meaning of ash-shahadatan are:. As for shirk associating anything or anyone in worship with Allah , it is divided into three types:. The one who associate others with Allah and dies on this shirk will not be forgiven and Jannah Paradise is forbidden to him, as Allah, Most Mighty and Honored , says:. Asking the dead or idols for help, slaughtering for them and making vows for them are examples of this shirk. Minor shirk ash-shirk al-asgar which is stated in the Qur'an or in the Prophet's tradition but is not the same as major shirk.

Riya showing off and swearing by other than Allah are examples of this kind of shirk. Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam , said, "Of which I fear for you the most is minor shirk. He, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam , also said, "He who swears by anything other than Allah commits minor shirk.

The Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam , also warned, "Do not say, 'Had Allah and such and such person willed', but say, 'Had Allah then such and such person willed. This kind of shirk does not necessarily lead to disbelief from Islam or an eternal stay in Hell. It negates, however, the completeness of faith. Hidden shirk. Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam , explained, "Shall I not tell you of which I fear for you more than I fear of the Antichrist? Alternatively, shirk could be divided into two kinds - major and minor.

In this case, the hidden shirk encompasses both the major and minor kinds depending upon the act committed. It is major if it is the same as the shirk of the hypocrites who hide their false beliefs while showing off Islam out of fear. It is minor if it is the same as riya. The five pillars of Islam are ash-shahadatan bearing witness that there is none worthy of being worshipped except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam , is His Messenger , establishing prayers, paying the alms zakah , fasting the month of Ramadhan , and performing pilgrimage Hajj if one can afford it.

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The nine conditions of prayers are Islam, sanity, maturity, performing the ablution wudu , cleanliness from impurities on the body, clothes, and place of prayer , dressing properly, having the intention of prayers, facing the right direction of qiblah direction of the Ka'bah at Makkah , and the praying at the proper time. The fourteen basic elements arkan of prayers are standing if one is able , saying allahu akbar Allah is the Greatest , reading the opening surah of the Qur'an al-Fatihah , lowering the head and back down at the right angle ruku' , resuming the initial standing position, prostrating with the toes of both feet, both knees, both hands and the forehead touching the ground sujud , rising in a sitting position, a short rest in a sitting posture between the two prostrations, tranquility in all actions, performing the basic elements of prayer in order, the last tashahud the second part , sitting for the last tashahud , exalting the Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam , and turning the face to the right side and to the left one saying as-salamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullah peace and mercy of Allah be upon you one time on each side.

The eight obligatory acts of the prayer are all the occasions of saying allahu akbar other than takbirat al-ihram which is basic ; saying samiallahuliman hamidah Allah accepts any who are thankful to Him by the Imam as well as the one who is praying alone, and saying rabbana wa laka al-hamd Our Lord, praise be to You for both the Imam and the individual; saying subhana rabbi al-athim Glory to my Lord, the Most Great in ruku ; saying subhana rabbi al-a'la Glory to my Lord, the Most High in sujud ; saying rabighfirli Oh my Lord, grant forgiveness to me between the two prostrations; the first part at-tashahud al-awwal ; and sitting for it.

First Part: "At-tahiyyato lillahi was-salawatu wat-tayyibat. As-salamu alayka ayyuha an-nabi warahmatullahi wa barakatuh, as-salamu alayna wa ala ibadillahi as-salihin, ashadu an la ilaha illallah, wa ashadu anna muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluh. Peace be upon us all and on the righteous servants of Allah.

I bear witness that there is no true God worthy of worship but Allah alone, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His true slave and Messenger.

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Second Part: "Allahumma salli ala muhammad wa ala ali muhammad kama sallayta ala ibrahima wa ala ali ibrahim. Wa barik ala muhammad wa ala ali muhammad, kama barakta ala ibrahima wa ala ali ibrahim, innaka hamidon majid. Exalt Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as you did exalt Ibrahim Abraham and the family of Abraham. Following the reciting of the tashahud , the slave asks Allah's protection from the torment of Hell, the torment of the grave, the trials in life-time and after death, and from the impostor Anti-Christ. After that he may supplicate and ask Allah whatever he wishes, especially the type of invocation said by the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam :.

O Allah I have inflicted a great deal of wrong upon myself and there is none other than You who can offer forgiveness. Grant me forgiveness from You and grant me your Mercy. Any prayer is invalid and nullified if any of the following acts are committed - Intentional talking, laughing, eating, drinking, uncovering the parts of the body of which are not allowed to be uncovered during prayer, excessive alteration in the direction towards the qiblah , excessive moving outside the regular acts and movements of prayer, without a proper reason and nullifying the ablution.

Notice: Washing the dead does not nullify the ablution except for that the washer's hand touches without any barrier the sexual organs. Kissing women with or without desire does not nullify ablution because the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam , once kissed one of his wives and prayed without performing ablution. This holds as long as there is no associated sexual excretions e. As for the saying of Allah, Most Glorified:. The contact with women is the involvement in a full sexual relation as related by Ibn Abbas companion and others, and it is the correct opinion.