Support literacy in the Muslim community – Be a Muslim champion!

I’ve been a member of the Islamic Writers’ Alliance (IWA) for about a year now and have found the support and resources of this group to be extremely valuable. The IWA networks members through its online group (or egroup).

I’ve come into contact with many talented and hard-working Muslims from around the globe: poets, writers, publishers, editors, journalists, newcomers to writing and those who love just love reading. I’ve learnt more about the world of publishing and writing than I had ever known before. What’s more I’m happy to work with Muslims who value and advocate literacy in the Muslim community. 

That is why I want to tell you about the IWA’s campaign, Be a Muslim Champion, because it is an opportunity to support a unique Muslim organisation that is working toward a worthy goal.

Here are some of the activities and accomplishments of the IWA:

  • Grants book awards to Muslim schools.
  • Conduct annual poetry and writing competitions.
  • Publishes a quarterly online magazine
  • Published two anthologies that feature the works of members

If your child is a student in an Islamic school, it’s possible he may have access to books in his/her school library through a school award given by the IWA. Maybe your teenage child or a friend or even you would like to enter a Muslim run writing/poetry competition, then you can with the IWA. Maybe you’ve read some of the Islamic stories or poems you liked in the IWA’s magazine and anthology. 

The IWA is a non-profit organisation based in the U.S. that would love to have your support. You can join the IWA and/or give a donation.

- To find out more about the IWA or how to become a member visit the website

- To make a donation and for more information on how to Be a Muslim Champion visit here

Give your support to a Muslim non-profit organization that works to benefit our Muslim children and teens!

Reading – Poem by a young Muslim poet

image via flickr by Chocolate Geek

Today I am happy to share with you a guest post by Fida Islaih, a young Muslim poet. I stumbled upon her poetry about a year or so ago. Fida has kindly consented to my request and composed a short poem on reading and what it means to her. Read more of her poetry at A Poet Named Fida.

Reading

© Fida Islaih

 

Reading is like traveling

seeing, being in different worlds

all imaginable

if you let your mind go.

 

Reading is like pictures

but looking the way you want;

 

Reading is like writing

Letting the world know what’s on your mind.

New books and News: An Ummah Reads roundup

Just a quick post here with a roundup of some one bit of news and of the books I’ve come across (one just released):

First though, I want to mention the Tales of Dhikarville books that a reader of this blog introduced me to. I haven’t read these books but they seem to be simple stories that are aimed at encouraging good behaviour and Islamic habits in Muslim children. According to the publisher these books are:

“Colourful illustrated books with Islamic morals”

It appears that these books are based on the Mr. Men/Little Miss books which some of you may know. Each book featured a dominant character whose personality was based on his/her name for example, there was a “Mr. Chatterbox”, a”Mr. Messy”, a “Little Miss Bossy” and a “Little Miss Helpful.”

The writer of Tales of Dhikarville is H.B. Sahibzada and the illustrator is M. N. Sialvi. The illustrations follow the original series’ with short, chubby characters and simple, bold colours except that now they wear hijab, have beards and wear long clothing. Titles are catchy with some being Brother Dawah, Brother Hajj, Brother Tawheed, Little Sister Birr, Little Sister Salaam and Little Sister Taharah. Read a brief review of the series and about one title in particular, Brother Sawn here.

I haven’t been able to find a website, but according to the Facebook page, there seems to be more than thirty books in the series. I’m not sure if these books are available outside of the United Kingdom. Has anyone out there read the books in this series? I would love to hear about what you think.

A new book from the Islamic Foundation I’ve come across (which I haven’t read it as yet) is The Hijab Boutique by Michelle Khan. I am not sure what age group this book is geared toward but from the publisher’s site it may be for 7 to 10 years and according to the publisher’s website:

“Farah enjoyed her private girls’ school until the day an assignment to bring in something representing her mother to talk about for ‘International Woman’s Day’. Compared to her friend’s glamorous actress and tap-dancing mothers, what can her modest, humble mother have that is worth sharing with her classmates? To her surprise, her mother was quite a business woman!”

 

Last year I became a member of the Islamic Writers’ Alliance, an organisation of Muslim writers, editors, poets and authors. Members benefit from the support and advice that is shared. The organisation also produces a quarterly magazine and gives book awards and donations to Islamic schools among other things. Recently I was privileged to be interviewed by a fellow IWA member, Amina Malik, who asked me about what were my intention and hopes for Ummah Reads. Please stop by and read the online magazine here (scroll down, it’s the third interview).

Image credits: Tales of Dhikarville – http://alkokab.wordpress.com/ & http://en-gb.facebook.com/pages/Tales-from-Dhikarville/165515270169792

Poetry for Muslim children

Children like to hear poems read aloud, especially when they rhyme and/or are a bit silly. Sadly, if you happen  to be looking for Islamic rhymes for Muslim children and teens you will find yourself disappointed. That’s because there is very little available out there.

Although, last year around this time  I did review the few books of poetry for Muslim children which I know of. If you haven’t already seen these then check them out. 

Book cover of "Rays of Truth: Poems on Islam" by Ayesha bint Mahmood

Rays of Truth: Poems on Islam is a collection of thirty-two poems meant for young adults. In this collection of powerful poetry readers are drawn into a world that makes them ponder about life, death, sacrifice, faith and Allah. The poetry itself is inspiring and uplifting while at once calling the individual to realise the meaning of life.  Read more about this collection of poems here.

Muslim Poems for Children by Mymona Hendricks

 

Muslim Poems for Children by Mymona Hendricks is a collection of twenty poems for children between the ages seven and thirteen. The poems are about a variety of Islamic topics including the pillars of Islam (e.g. salah (prayer), hajj and fasting); Islamic identity, the Quran, brotherhood and parents.  The poems are written in a very simple form and rhyme.Read more about this collection of poems here.

The Muslim children’s author, Umm An-Nu’man has written some beautiful poetry. The rhymes and clear images the evoke make them great for sharing with a young child. Read aloud in the classroom or with young ones at home. See two wonderful poems by this wonderful author that I posted in the past here.

 PhotoCredits: Islamic Foundation store

Do you know of any collections of poetry for Muslim children or teenagers?

Do you or someone you know enjoy writing poetry? Then you have an opportunity to enter and win the only one of its kind for Muslims, the Islamic Writers’ Alliance’s  7th annual Poetry Competition. Submissions are being accepted until April 30th. Poems on any theme are allowed. View rules and details about the competition here.