Category Archives: Book Review

Top Writing Tips by Muslim Authors #05


Ihram

Ayeina have been a supporter of ours since the beginning of our book the Young Explorers’ Adventures in Makkah. They carried out a proof read of the initial text, they provided artwork for some of the chapters and even designed the inside cover, all without charge.

They have provided the top tips for this week’s post on writing tips by Muslim Authors:

1) Utilise the time after Fajr as your mind is fresh and that time is full of Barakah (plus most of the family members are asleep at that time (especially kids *hurray*)). But please make sure you sleep early the previous night to save yourself from poking the pen in your eye while saving your head from hitting the notebook you’re writing on :p

2) When you think you don’t have the time to write even though you have like gazillion ideas in your mind – record it! Record the audio while moving around, cooking etc. (Mundane tasks that you do everyday). It not only saves time but clears your head – without the fear of forgetting all the concepts you had floating in there.

3) Read, read and read. Because readers are writers! It doesn’t mean you plagiarize (plagiarism kills creativity along with your reputation). It means simply reading for the vastness of your mind. For inspiration. For various perspectives. For understanding. For the love of words!

01-8x8cover-paperbackTheir book / journal entitled Alhamdulillah for Series is a great tool to bring positivity, thankfulness and shukr into our daily lives.

You can read our review of their Alhamdulillah for Series here and purchase the book from Amazon and all good bookstores world wide.

Alhamdu LillahThey also run an annual competition called the ‘Gratitude Art Contest’ which brings together people from all around the world highlighting the things in their lives that they are grateful for. Join their social media pages to view the talented entries and look out for future competitions as they run quite a few in the year.

Thank you to Ayeina for contributing your tips. We look forward to working with you on future projects insha Allah.

If you are a Muslim Author who would like to be featured in these posts, please contact us via mail@islamopedia.co.uk

 

Top Writing Tips by Muslim Authors #04


This week’s author feature is by sister Latifah Bint Mohammed. Latifah is the author of several children’s books and describes her journey to writing as follows:

‘Becoming an author definitely wasn’t on the cards for me. As I grew up I aspired to be different things; first a sweet shop keeper (I never really understood why people laughed when I told them this), then it evolved to becoming an accountant, a business woman and then a Maths teacher, which alhamdulillah I did become.

Sunnah RecipeI was always a writer, I just didn’t know. I’ve always been writing poems since I was a teen, back then it was a coping mechanism for all the whirlwind emotions that I would feel day to day. It was only after I became a mother did I start taking a keen interest into what was out there for young mini Muslims. Every night I would read to my baby of a couple months and ideas would just come surging into my mind, rhythmic, fun, colourful ones! The stuff that children’s books are made of!

My husband inspired me to write…. But it was actually two years later when baby number two came along did I finally take the plunge into this wonderful world. Even then I needed some coaxing by my wonderful sister who was my cheerleader, alhamdulillah! (and her husband. I just picture him sulking if I don’t mention him here).’

When we asked what tips she had for budding writers and her top 3 tips, this was her response:

When I Grow Up‘How can I become a writer? ‘ I hear you say?

Well anyone and everyone is a writer in their own right. Everyone should have a vision for themselves, a goal that they can work towards and push themselves towards and that too with tons and tons of dua for Allah to pave a way for you, in sha Allah.

If I had to simplify and pinpoint three ways to become a writer, they would be:

1) Read lots and see what is already out there.

2) Find your inspiration and your own style

3) Keep sharing your work with people who can give you honest feedback and then keep refining.

I’ve only just started my journey as an author and I am loving every moment of it. Alhamdulillah. :)’

Sunnah FoodsThank you to first time author, second time mom, third time sister, fourth time teacher Latifah for contributing your story and sharing your journey with us.

If you would like to check out any one of Latifah’s books then you can purchase them directly via her social media pages on Facebook and Instagram or through the Darussalam website linked below.

https://www.facebook.com/people/Latifah-Bint-Mohammed/100016774879100

https://www.instagram.com/latifahbintmohammed/

http://darussalam.com/catalogsearch/advanced/result/?author=Latifah Bint mohammed Anwar

Latifah has also kindly offered her book ‘When I Grow Up I Want to Be …‘ as a #Giveaway on Islamopedia. Please keep an eye on our social media pages for the #Giveaway which will be launched later in the day insha Allah.

If you are a Muslim Author who would like to be featured in these posts, please contact us via mail@islamopedia.co.uk

 

 

Book Review – Ramadan without Daddy


Title: Ramadan without Daddy

Author: Misbah Akhtar

Publishers: Djarabi Kitabs Publications

RWD coverRamadan without Daddy is a story of a young family who learn to live without Daddy around because Mummy and Daddy have separated and divorced.

The book brings to the forefront the emotional struggle and the changes that a family go through when a couple separate and it tries to deal with them in a child friendly manner.

The book begins with Danyal, the younger of the two children, asking where Daddy is. His sister Khadija explains that Daddy no longer lives with them because Mummy and Daddy are divorced. Mummy then explains that sometimes it’s better for Mummies and Daddies to live apart because living together makes them sad and unhappy.

There is a striking imagery about how if you try to place the right puzzle piece into the wrong hole, then it will never fit, no matter how hard you push it. And the harder you push you will not only be hurting the puzzle (metaphorically speaking) but you will end up hurting yourself too.

The story then develops into how the children cope without Daddy and how Mummy is coping, or not coping in some cases, without having Daddy around.

The book then ends with how Ramadan comes round and it is their first Ramadan as a family without Daddy at home. It’s sad because Mummy and the children miss having Daddy around but they make a promise that even though Daddy is not here, all will be ok and that they will deal with it as a family and become happy again.

Ramadan without Daddy deals with the very difficult issue of divorce in a Muslim family, which seems to have remained a taboo subject, even though the rate of divorce among Muslim families is steadily on the rise.

It’s a good book to teach Children that not all families have two parents and that sometimes parents do separate and things in the home can change. You can speak to children about friends and neighbours that may have faced divorce in the family and how they should be sensitive towards them if they are a bit down or sad.

Through the book you can also teach children about single parent families, step families, and even some families where grandparents or others are the primary carers of children. Although this book deals specifically with divorce, there are other reasons why children may only live in one parent families, for example the death of a parent, or a parent living abroad and so on.

Having said all of the above my only concern with the book is that it focuses a little too much on the negative impact that divorce can have on the family and how sad it can make everyone in the home.

Although in the end it gets to the part where things are starting to look better, I would have expected another page or two dedicated to how Mummy becomes Mummy again and cooks nice food for Iftar, and how Daddy starts to visit again and take the children for visits a few days a week. The father rarely features in the book other then in what Mummy says about him or in the children’s imagination of him in far away adventures.

A little more focus on the outcome and how things get back to some sense of normality would have left a more balanced message from the book.

Maybe it’s because I am a man that my judgement is slightly clouded, or probably because I have never had to go through the ordeal of divorce in my life.

Giveaway with DjarabiYou can judge for yourself and see what you think of the book. Get a free copy of the book by entering our #Giveaway on the Blog, Facebook or Instagram. It’s very simple to enter:

  1. 1. Repost our #Giveaway post
  2. 2. Tag @islamopedia and @djarabikpub
  3. 3. Let us know via a comment, DM or email that you have done the above.

Simples!

You can also purchase the book from Amazon using the link below:

https://goo.gl/fpHzgo

 

 

 

 

 

Top Writing Tips by Muslim Authors #01


Islamopedia has teamed up with some awesome Muslim Authors to bring you their inspiration and top tips for writing.

Each week we will share an author, their books, and their top tips for writing / publishing culminating in a final list of top tips to be published at the end of the series.

We hope that you find these posts beneficial, and perhaps it may inspire you into putting your own pen to the paper.

The Muslims

The first to feature in these posts is Ahmad Philips the creator of the comic strips and cartoon series The Muslims.

Ahmad says, “My greatest inspiration for writing is seeing the materials that are popular but have immoral teachings in them. I don’t want my kids wanting to be gods or magicians or superheroes. I want to create material that can be entertaining, teach Islam, and be an act of ibadah for me.”

So when we asked Ahmad for his top 3 tips for budding Muslim Authors this is what he had to say:

(1) Just write. If you’re to write for 10 or 20 years, for sure your writing will get better. Don’t worry about writing a masterpiece. Just keep writing.

(2) Stay focused. Remove all distractions. Put your phone on silent, and turn off your Wi-Fi. If you have roommates or family make sure they know not to disturb you. Likely they’ll disturb you even more!  Finding those few hours in the day when everyone is asleep might be key.

(3) No excuses. It’s easy to come up with a million reasons why you can’t do something. I have no time, I lack the tools, I don’t know what to write etc.; No excuses, just do it!

You can check out Ahmad’s first Graphic Novel ‘The Muslims’ on the website https://themuslimscomic.com . The book is also available via Amazon and other outlets.

Ahmad’s artwork will also be featuring in our forthcoming title ‘The Young Explorers’ Adventures in Madinah’ insha Allah.

If you are a Muslim Author who would like to be featured in these posts, please contact us via mail@islamopedia.co.uk.

Book Review – We Love to Play Pray


WLTPP-front-cover-600x677Title: We Love to Play Paray

Authors: Nurah Tape and Zaahied Sallie

Publishers: Red Kufi Books

Pages: 28

We Love to Play Pray is a children’s book about a young boy named Suhaib who is intrigued about the prayer after witnessing his mother on the prayer rug making Salah.

As she finishes the Salah, he begins asking her questions about what she was doing, to which she responds by teaching him about the prayer and Salah.

This gives the boy an idea for a new game which they call ‘Play Pray’ and along with his siblings Yusuf and Maryam, they set up a makeshift Musalla area in their bedrooms to play.

They dress up in thobes and turbans and hijabs and pretend to pray in the Masjid. One sibling calls the Adhan, whilst another sibling pretends to be the Imam and in this way, under the supervision of their mother, they play and learn about the prayer at the same time.

WLTPP-Back-cover-600x600They learn about the names of the five daily prayers, about the timings of the prayers, they learn about the Ka’bah as the Qibla and many other aspects of the Salah.

The book is well written, easy to read, and accompanied with colourful illustrations to engage readers both young and old. We Love to Play Pray is a book that you will definitely enjoy reading with your children.

Next time you want to teach your children about Salah, why not do it via a game of ‘Play Pray.’ 

We love to Play Pray

Play Pray

Play Pray

We love to Play Pray

Every Single Day 

To get your copy, visit Red Kufi Books @: http://redkufi.com/store#!/We-Love-to-Play-Pray/p/60141061/category=16658002

Review – The Savvy Muslim Youth Manifesto


Title: The Savvy Muslim Youth Manifesto  savvy-muslim-youth-manifesto-cover-1880x2500

Author: Amina Edota

Published by: www.YouthlyHub.com

As far as manifestos go, the Savvy Muslim Youth Manifesto is one of a kind. It’s not full of the bold promises that never materialise in manifestos devised by political parties. Nor is it full of exaggerated claims and boastfulness found in manifestos of large organisations and companies. Rather it has within it gems from the Qur’an and Sunnah and practical tips to help navigate the personal and social spheres of our lives.

The 11 point Manifesto covers topics that range from being a True Servant of Allah and Life Long Learning to Managing Your Time and Involving Yourself in the Community. Written in an easy and readable language, the Manifesto is designed to empower us to live with purpose, passion, purity, patience, persistence, positivity and inner peace. It is designed as a guide to teach us how to live a productive and purposeful life. Continue reading Review – The Savvy Muslim Youth Manifesto

Review – Bangladesh Diaries


Bangladesh Diaries

By Salam Jones

bd-1

Bangladesh Diaries is a photographic journal of Salam Jones’ travels in Bangladesh. It is a product of over three months of travelling in the densely populated nation of 150 million people taking photographs of their way of life.

With over 300 pages covering towns and districts spanning from Kushtia to Dhaka to Sylhet, the book captures life as it is in this tiny country, featuring the places, the people and the foods of Bangladesh – all things that make up the culture of a country.

It captures the men, women and children of the country. It features husbands, wives, students, workers, farmers, rickshaw drivers, beggars to name just a few of the categories of people presented in the book. Continue reading Review – Bangladesh Diaries

Review – Khadijah: Mother of History’s Greatest Nation


khadijah_hardback-booksmall2_1024x1024Khadijah: Mother of History’s Greatest Nation

By Fatima Barkatulla

Published by Learning Roots

‘Khadijah: Mother of History’s Greatest Nation’ retells the story of one the greatest women in the history of Islam, and by extension probably one of the greatest women in the history of humanity.

She was the mother of the believers and the first wife of our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). She was the first to accept Islam and supported the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) during the difficult early years of Islam under the persecution of the Makkans and the Quraysh. Continue reading Review – Khadijah: Mother of History’s Greatest Nation