The Hijab Boutique by Michelle Khan
With many muslimahs deciding to don the hijab in Ramadaan for the very first time, as well as the time when young girls receive the most encouragement to wear hijab, I thought this would be an ideal time to share my views on this delightful little book. This is a simple, well-written and very relateable story. More especially for girls who live in communities where muslims are a minority.
Farah loves her school, her mom and her best friend. She excels at art, and is happily going along with life…until she gets a school assignment which requires her to bring in an interesting article relating to her mums life. Farah can’t think of anything that’s particularly interesting about her mum. Farahs mum is a simple, hijab-wearing, modest lady, and this puts Farah in a particular predicament. Especially when compared to the mothers of her classmates. They are women who are actresses, jewellery designers, make up artists, tap-dancers…
And then, Farah discovers her mothers soon to be launched hijab shop! As mother and daughter learn to make peace with the loss of Farah’s dad, and begin rebuilding a new life without him, Farah also learns more about her parents pasts. At the same time, she learns the importance of hijab, the Islamic rulings about it, and of course the fun aspect, in terms of the different types of hijabs, the types of fabrics, the different ways to drape a hijab, and about the hijab accesories from the undercaps to the hijab pins!
The author does a wonderful job in explaining why Muslim women wear the Hijab, and it’s explained in a way that people who are unfamiliar with it, or only hear what the media tells them, can get a different perspective.
The story also captures the uncertainties and occassional difficulties muslim children experience when faced with questions of their faith. As Farah learns more about her faith, she also gains more confidence in explaining her religion better.
The main message children and adults alike can take from this story is acceptance, acceptance of themselves, and accepting those around us who are different. The book is very short with only 56 pages, and has simple black and white pencil-style illustrations.
Overall, its a very cute, fun, informative and enjoyable read. Even though the recommended age of readers for this book is 10+, Ive been reading a few pages every night to Little Miss whos currently just 5, and even she enjoys it tremendously.
An certainly a book for every home with muslim daughters!