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Ayat Jamilah: Beautiful Signs: A Treasury of Islamic Wisdom for Children and Parents (This Little Light of Mine) Paperback – June 2, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up–This book aims to do for Islam what Conover's Kindness (EWU, 2000) did for Buddhism: reflect the ethos of the religion in a treasury of stories accessible to teens. Here, too, pithy sayings from the tradition are framed on full pages between the narratives, and 22 pages of notes and sources provide foundations and suggest further exploration. These stories from the Qur'an, from Muslim history, hadiths (oral tradition), and folktales originated in the Middle East, China, Indonesia, Africa, and even Muslim Spain; several are from Sufi teachings (e.g., Rumi's). Although many feature mullahs, women star in a couple of tales. Focusing on life lessons, even the stories identified as historical can have an idealized moral: a band of robbers converted by the honesty of a youth, or a thief reformed by a lone woman's kindness. Calligraphy and frames surrounding illustrations reflect the astounding inventiveness of design in the Islamic tradition. Of the dozen line-and-color illustrations, most represent a scene and reflect the cultural diversity of the sources. Several are merely decorative. Islam today is undeniably important: a work as informative and entertaining as this one, that helps readers to understand its values, should be welcome.–Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gr. 5-7. "Once there was and there was not" is the Arabic equivalent of "Once upon a time," and it begins many of the stories in this collection of folktales and stories from the Islamic world. One of the most popular folk characters is Mulla Nasruddin, a wise and witty spiritual guide. In one story, a woman comes to the Mulla's court and asks him to forbid her sweet-toothed son from eating candy, which the Mulla eventually does, but only after curing himself of his own sugar addiction. The book isn't only folktales; it also includes retellings of Qur'anic passages (including one about the infant Jesus), parables from the Hadiths, and stories from Islamic mystics like the great female saint Rabe'a al-Adiwiyah. Though somewhat less kid-friendly than its predecessor in the This Little Light of Mine series, the collection of Buddhist stories Kindness (2001), many of the tales from Ayat Jamilah will make excellent read-alouds, and the adapters have done a magnificent job of collecting stories from throughout the Islamic world, from China to Africa to the Middle East. John Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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This book is an invaluable resource for Muslim families wishing to pass on their culture and heritage to their children, but the morals and lessons contained within these stories carry a timeless wisdom that all peoples can benefit from regardless of faith. Non-Muslim families who want to teach about other cultures, or who want to show that Islam is not some evil monolithic force the media tries to portray it as, will also benefit from reading this. Stories of faith, honesty, kindness, charity, mercy and love are balaneced out with humor. The beautiful artwork and Arabic calligraphy add to this books appeal. Appearently, this book is part of a series detailing folk tales and proverbs from all of the world's great religions and there is at least one other book in the series published (this time focusing on Buddhism). I have yet to read it, but considering the outstanding quality of this book, I should like to get around to it eventually.
All in all, this is a book well worth getting. Even adults will appreciate reading some of the stories in here. I certainly did, and if you approach this book with an open mind I honestly believe you and your children will appreciate this book as well regardless of your religious or cultural beliefs.
Update more than 2 yrs after first buying this book:
I still LOVE this book! (I will take it tomorrow and read a couple of stories to my kids' class, to commemorate Eid, in addition to reading Hena Khan's 'night of the moon'). A great gift book to cherish for years to come!
In any case, this book is really great! Many thanks for the great product!