The Gift of Ramadan — A Review

Assalamu aleikum!

the gift of ramadan

Ramadan is fastly approaching, and I finally get a chance to read and review a book I have wanted to get my hands on for quite some time alhamdullilah.

Summary : Sophia wants to fast for Ramadan this year. She tries to keep busy throughout the day so she won’t think about food. But when the smell of cookies is too much, she breaks her fast early. How can she be part of the festivities now?

Author : Rabiah York Lumbard

Illustrator : Laura K. Horton

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company

Review and thoughts : The Gift of Ramadan is wonderfully illustrated with a moving story. My only issue was the part of the salat portrayal on the women’s side. The father’s portrayal was fine with his eyes cast down.
On the women’s side, the neck of Sophia’s grandma is bare. She is basically praying with only her turban and her finger is raised in the air I guess to proclaim tawheed. I felt like this part wasn’t executed well or technically accurate. In addition, the strands of hair of Sophia’s mom are showing below her scarf during salat. Outside of salat, people are free to use whatever type of veil they like but during salat we should be thoroughly covered in my opinion to attract angels in the room.

Above all, The Gift of Ramadan explains this important milestone and holy moment for Muslims to those who don’t know while also portraying the determination of a young girl wanting to observe Ramadan in other ways she can instead.

Find it on Amazon here.

Rating : 4/5

Thank you for reading,

~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~

Ready for Ramadan 2019 : A Countdown and Review of Some Ramadan Books – III

Assalamu aleikum!

Check out three more books for #readyforramadan2019 below please.

 

In Ramadan Launch Poster

 

1. In Ramadan by Mariam Popal Hama

In Ramadan Front Cover

Summary: Contemplate the experiences and lessons in Ramadan through our animal friends. With 30 different aspects of Ramadan explored. Including the Arabic word for each.

Author & Illustrator: Mariam Popal Hama

Publisher: Prolance

Review: In Ramadan is a very artsy children’s book that will help children reflect on thirty basic elements of the nine month of the hijri calendar. Children will learn to link the holy month to the world around—animals and nature— them. The book also uses faceless animals and numbers to achieve this purpose. Finally,  In Ramadan will also increase the vocabulary of children and help them focus more on the light and souls of elements around of them.

sneak peak in ramadan

Thanks to Prolance for the free copy.

Rating: 4.5/5

Courtesy of the Dallas Public Library…

jinni night of moon

2. The Jinni on the Roof by Natasha Rafi

the jinni on the rooftop

Summary: Eight-year-old Raza is too young to fast, but he longs for the delicious parathas the grown-ups eat before dawn. The aroma of the flaky, golden bread tempts him. He cannot wait for the children’s breakfast, but he’ll get into trouble if anyone finds him up this early. Lying in bed, Raza hatches a plan. Will he get away with it? This is a delightful tale about a mischievous boy who learns the true meaning of Ramadan – patience and empathy.

Author: Natasha Rafi

Publisher: Pamir LLC

Review: The Jinni on the Roof is an hilarious story that portrays the level of genius of Raza, and his willingness to help his family during Ramadan. I definitely recommend it.

Rating: 4.5/5

3. Night of the Moon by Hena Khan

night of the moon

Summary: …this sweet tale follows Yasmeen, a seven-year-old Pakistani-American girl, as she celebrates the Muslim holidays of Ramadan, “The Night of the Moon” (Chaand Raat), and Eid. With lush illustrations that evoke Islamic art, this beautiful story offers a peek into modern Muslim culture—and into the ancient roots of its most cherished traditions.

Author: Hena Khan

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review: The illustrations are artsy and the story is evocative. Night of the Moon portrays the love relationship between a mother and her daughter during Ramadan. The reader will also learn to marvel at the beauties of the Creation.

Rating: 4.5/5

 

Thank you for reading,

~ A Ducktrinor Mom ~

Ready for Ramadan 2019 : A Countdown and Review of Some Ramadan Books – I

ramadan 1440 or 2019

Besides my personal stack of Ramadan books for children, I was surprised to find over twenty books dealing with Ramadan at my local library. They were written by Muslims and non-Muslims. While I was happy about the mix of the sources, I was also sad by the lack of the mention of the honorific title ﷺ of the Beloved, the misrepresentation and false facts that seeped and got weaved in some of them. As Muslim parents, we have to make sure that we are aware of what is and what is not Ramadan and Islam. Below is part of my current stack. Alhamdullilah for a library.

ramadan books at fofkys

In this post, I will review some books and in the spirit of our countdown to the Sultan of the Months, I will review the others insha’Allah.

1. Ramadan (Celebrate the World) by Hannah Eliot

celebrate the world ramadan

Summary: In the ninth month of the year, when the first crescent moon rises in the sky, it’s time to celebrate Ramadan! In this lovely board book with illustrations from Rashin Kheiriyeh, readers learn that Ramadan is a time to reflect on ourselves, to be thankful, and a time to help others.

What I liked: The book is suitable for a toddler like mine. He was naturally drown to it. The illustrations are bright and colorful. The texts are short and great for his attention span. Finally, the chickens made him giggle alhamdullilah.

What I didn’t like: The characters closed their eyes during prayers. This is a practice that other people of the book did and do. Muslims were advised not to do this. I’m not sure if it was a challenge to draw characters with eyes cast down instead of completely shut. Allahu alim.

Rating: 4/5

2. Max celebrates Ramadan by Adria F. Worsham

max celebrates ramadan

Summary: Omar invites Max to his house for the end of Ramadan. Family, food, and fun are all part of the special day.

What I liked: The book reinforces the notion of giving, and the holy month is a lot about being charitable. It’s also an easy read to tackle with a toddler.

What I found strange: Moon and stars at the window during the Eid al-Fitr feast. Most Muslim families would agree that Believers rarely have a Ramadan dinner. Everybody is already full by then. The majority of the time, we are eager to eat at mid-day after thirty days of not doing so. I could be wrong.

Rating: 4/5

3. Ramadan by Sheila Anderson

ramadan sheila anderson

Summary: Introduces Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting and prayer, and describes its history and the traditions and celebrations held for the holiday around the world.

What I liked: The book tries to answer basic questions about Ramadan succinctly. So, if you feel your child asks a lot of questions about Ramadan, this book can make your life easier.

What could have been worded better: “Muhammad is the founder of Islam. Muslims believe God told Muhammad how people should live their lives.” Everything about these two sentences is problematic to me. They were more Prophets sent with the message of Islam (Peace and Submission to The One True God) before Rasool sallallahu aleihi wassalam; the final and last Messenger. In addition, Islam is a way of life. It could have been worded this way in the second sentence.

Rating: 3/5

4. My First Ramadan by Karen Katz

my first ramadan

Summary: It’s time for Ramadan to begin. Follow along with one young boy as he observes the Muslim holy month with his family. This year, the narrator is finally old enough to fast, and readers of all ages will be interested as he shares his experiences of this special holiday in Islam.

What I liked: The book does a great job at showing the diversity of the adherents of Islam and encourages children to fast.

What I didn’t like: The characters also closed their eyes during prayers here too. It also felt like the protagonist’s family was missing their praying rugs, wore their shoes to pray and the little girl had no scarf on her head in the first pages of the book. She seemed old enough to don one in salaat.

Rating: 4/5

5. Rashad’s Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr by Lisa Bullard

rashads ramadan

Summary: For Muslims, Ramadan is a time for fasting, prayer, and thinking of others. Rashad tries to be good all month. When it’s time for Eid al-Fitr, he feasts and plays! Find out how people celebrate this special time of year.

Favorite part: “I’ve decided I’m going to watch the moon all year. I know it will grow bigger and smaller many times.” — Rashad

Rating: 4/5

If these books piqued your interest, add them to your collection of children books today by clicking on the hyperlinks. For more Ramadan reads, check here.

See you on March 4th and April 4th for more reviews of more books about Ramadan insha’Allah!

 

Thank you for reading,

~A Ducktrinor Mom~

Book Review: “Ramadan without Daddy” by Misbah Akhtar. — Between Sisters, SVP!

Originally posted on A Muslimah’s writings: “Ramadan without Daddy” by Misbah Akhtar is a book aimed at kids whose parents are not together anymore.? This book is different and is targeted at a specific audience. Divorce is difficult for the couple but kids are hit the hardest. They don’t understand what has happened and…

via Book Review: “Ramadan without Daddy” by Misbah Akhtar. — Between Sisters, SVP!

“The Size of a Mustard Seed” by Umm Juwayriyah – Covered Pearls Series

Umm J

The Size of a Mustard Seed is a great Ramadhan read I had the opportunity to finish on a road trip just before the 2016 fard fasting period. When your daily goals about reading or listening to the Quran are met, I urge you to read some urban fiction crafted by Umm Juwayriyah aka Maryam A. Sullivan because it highlights and captures well the beauty of Ramadhan accompanied of course with the struggle of our nafs.

For me it was a bit of a Ramadhan love story and I now understand better why Tohib Adejumo’s Love in Ramadan was partly inspired after her novel. In the domino effect of things, I was also inspired by Tohib and you will find out with time insha’Allah. I mean love in Ramadan can be with the Creator, it can be with yourself, it can be with a person, it can be with the deen, etc. Bottom line, it has a diverse meaning.

Going back to The Size if a Mustard Seed, it centers on Jameelah Salih, a 27 year old Indonesian-African American (post 9-11) who is a hair stylist and a college student. As the eldest of her family, she is a single Muslimah who acknowledged she has a lot of work to do on her person. In a nutshell, she is easily irritated and has an attitude problem she wants to keep under control. And one Ramadhan the opportunity to be a better Muslimah presents itself, and she grabs it.

In the midst of her self-betterment, a marriage proposal from a reknown imam comes in and Jameela while she’s excited at the idea of getting married, she finds herself being reserved about this suitor and takes a while before making a decision. Like clock work, when she makes up her mind, secrets come out of the closet. All she can do is put her trust in the One who will never forsake her to help her make sense of her situation.

Along the way, a platonic and halal love triangle surfaces and you will have to read to get more details on this part. The book is definitely suitable for teenagers and adults alike.

So like I mentioned earlier, she is the eldest of her family. Meelah, like her relatives call her, also has a younger sister named Khadidja who is married to a white revert Muslim man and a younger brother Adam who will turn out to be an exemplary young Muslim man and a dashing wakil.

The novel is diverse in terms of ethnicities and what we should take from it is that Islam has no color and no race is above another one. They are Black, White, Yellow and everything in between the shades Muslims. Muslims are a diverse people indeed! With that being said, there are still people who frown on interracial unions and The Size of a Mustard Seed touches on that a little bit with a particular character. No spoilers!

I’m so looking forward to Book 2 because I feel like Khadija’s story need to be told to great extent! Because of her untold story, I think many other Muslim writers were inspired by the great Umm Juwayriyah and that’s an honor masha’Allah. I could be wrong but that’s the impression I got so far. My rating? 5/5!

Get your copy on Amazon today. Better yet, gift it to someone during the Eid!

Jazak’Allah khair for reading,

Papatia Feauxzar