Recently I was approached to review the children’s book Allah to Z. Initially, I was stoked. Sure I’d like to receive a FREE book so I can write you a review! I mean, seriously, if this is the perk of the blogging business sign me up!
But then came the moment of dread.. I was going to have to give an honest review for some one who just gave me a free book! What if I didn’t like it? Can you say akwaaard?
Alhamdullillah, I had no need to worry… Allah to Z is actually a really great read with my kids. Granted, I don’t love the title, but I DO love the content. As the author goes along the alphabet, she touches on a lot of Islamic concepts.. Salah, Zakat, Ramadan, Wudoo, the Ka’bah, and a multitude of other hodge podge Islamic subjects are mentioned.
The thing that I enjoy the most about the book is that it serves as a conversation starter with my kids. For example, Y is for Yusuf, and the dream prophet Yusuf had where he saw 11 stars, the sun, and the moon bowing to him is mentioned. This was a GREAT time to tell my kids a little bit of the story of Prophet Yusuf. (And come on, how could I kid not love the story of prophet Yusuf! It’s full of action and adventure).
What my kids enjoyed the most about the book would have to be the illustrations. (Although perhaps the rhymes would be a close second).
The only disclaimer I would have to make is that there are some small mistakes in the wording. For example, the book states that Allah has 99 Names IN ALL. There is a hadith stating that whoever enumerates (memorizes, learns the meaning, calls Him by these Names, etc) 99 of Allah’s Names will enter Paradise, but Allah has more than 99 Names. And, in fact, we can find more than 99 Names mentioned in the Quran and the Sunnah. (You can find the hadith here).
Another story mentioned in the book is the story of the spider that made a web to conceal the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa salam) in the cave of Thawr when he left Makkah. You can find a discussion of whether this story is authentic here, but I personally prefer to stay away from it.
The book also mentions using Tasbeeh beads, a discussion over which you can find here. Although mentioning the beads is perhaps not a big deal, I would have preferred if the author had mentioned the sunnah method of doing tasbeeh on one’s fingers, instead.
Overall, though, my kids and I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and I have a feeling it’s going to not only be one we read together a lot, but also one they ‘read’ through, on their own, for quite some time!