Arts and crafts · Book reviews

Favourite Islamic History Books

Whilst reading is a pleasure, its all the more beneficial when we can also gather knowledge at the same time. Its with this in mind that the following 2 books feature amongst my personal favourites when it comes to books for muslim children.

•The Story of Muhammed in Makkah   

•The Story of Muhammed in Madinah

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Both the books have been authored by Abu-Zahir and are published by Darus-Salaam Publishers. As suggested by the titles, the books are a summarised biography of the Seerah- the Biography of the life of our beloved Prophet , Nabi Muhammed (saw). Whilst our children undoubtedly come across much of the same content in their madressahs / Islamic schools, these particular books are so far away from the typical textbooks, it makes the story, indeed the history more compelling. The illustrations are bright, and colourful, which also lends a more inviting feel to the books. And indeed for muslim children in particular, this story is certainly one of the most important that they should know!

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The books are perfect for independant readers, yet language is simple enough for the youngest children to follow. The wording flows well and is without the heaviness that is usually associated with History books. Children fully grasp the important lessons and critical moments in the life of Muhammed(saw) while still being fully entertained. I also quite enjoy the continuity of the story, beginning right from before the birth of the Prophet Muhammed (saw) in the first book, Story of Muhammed in Makkah, til after his demise in the second book, Story of Muhammed in Madinah.

The only change I would have made personally, is perhaps to have had the story broken up into different chapters, instead of one long continous story. The only reason I would suggest this is so the different aspects, and important milestones in the life of Nabi(saw) can be appreciated accordingly, before simply moving on to the next.

I believe that there are other books in this series as well, Life of Adam(as) as well as the Life of Ibrahim(as) Based on what I’ve seen from the books we own, I’m also very eager to get a hold of the other books in the series. Knowing Islamic history doesn’t need to a boring task, it can be fun, and exciting, and that’s precisely what these books present it as.

As a side note: I purchased these books in Makkah itself, whilst we were on Hajj in 2010. In SA there’s a very strict quota system, and children are not allowed to accompany their parents during Hajj. On one of the days, I was particularly missing and longing for them, I walked into a bookstore, and thought that there could be no better gift to take home to them, than books which speak of the actual history of these cities, and the reasons they are so reverred by muslims throughout the globe.

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