Under My Hijab, by Hena Khan and illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel, follows a young Muslim girl as she introduces readers to the powerhouse women in her life who wear a hijab.
In this picture book for readers 2–7, we see the narrator’s family members and friends at work and school in their hijabs and then at home without them. For example, her grandma is a baker, and “her hijab is carefully folded, like the crusts on my favorite pies.” We then see our narrator and her grandma baking cookies at home, where her grandma wears her hair in a bun. View Post
Big Red Lollipop is a picture book by Rukhsana Khan and illustrated by Sophie Blackall with one of my favorite things—casual Muslim representation.
When Rubina is invited to her first birthday party, her mother (who doesn’t have any experience with American birthday parties) insists that Rubina takes her little sister, Sana, along with her. She is hesitant, but she has no choice. Needless to say, the party doesn’t go well. The rest of the story is about how the experience of that party eventually draws the sisters together. View Post
If we women decide to marry according to standards, then we are gold diggers, but when you weigh us in terms of looks and chasteness, then you’re just being smart. I can’t stand these double standards.
I have frequently thought about the similarities between Jane Austen’s regency era and Muslim life, so I’m always glad to see an Austen reboot with a Muslim spin. Unfortunately, I found the Muslim representation in Soniah Kamal’s Unmarriageable offensive and the writing mediocre. View Post
There are too many of us now wanting much, much more than past generations. Contentment is now a scarce commodity.
Corruption has appeared in the land and sea,
for that men’s own hands have earned,
that He (Allah) may let them taste some part of that which they have done,
that perhaps they may return. (Quran, 30:41)
Signs on the Earth: Islam, Modernity and the Climate Crisis is a wake-up call and a call to action by one of the world’s leading Muslim environmentalists—Fazlun M. Khalid. Khalid tells the story of how money, power, and culture have created the current environmental crisis. While this book is full of information specifically about climate change and other topics, where it really shines is as a beginner’s text to talk about the interconnectedness of environmental issues, world economics, and world hegemony. For example, the development of modern day banking and colonialism (from the 1500s until today) are two of the major topics Khalid contextualizes in relation to the catastrophe that is our management of the Earth. Khalid even tackles the fact that I just alluded to the “management” of the Earth: we have dissociated ourselves from nature in order to rule over it. In reality, we are a part of nature and cannot survive separate from it. Quranic verses throughout the fact-heavy text show that environmentalism is as much a part of Islam as we are a part of the Earth. View Post
One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.
Today I have books about Malala Yousafzai for the entire family. Malala is the Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize winner and champion for girls’ rights around the world who was shot by the Taliban in 2012 while on her way home from school. Her story is an empowering one that we can all benefit from, and it is one that we should be sharing with the young people in our lives, both boys and girls. Pictured above from left to right are her memoir for adults, for young adults, and for children, as well as a picture book. Detailed information about each appears below. Happy reading! View Post