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Magid Fasts for Ramadan Hardcover – January 29, 1996

3.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Realistic fiction for tweens
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At a time when many Americans are becoming more aware of the Islamic faith, this book, which explores the Muslim tradition of fasting during the month of Ramadan, is most welcome. Magid, who is too young to fast, watches the other members of his family fasting and wishes to be a truly obedient Muslim too. Unbeknownst to his family, Magid promises Allah that he, too, will fast. His family discovers his fast, and while Magid is chastised for being dishonest, his religious desires are honored, as he is given a modified fast to follow. Excellent watercolor illustrations add to the charm of this book. An informative afterward about the Islamic faith, a glossary and a pronunciation guide make it a good tool for teaching children about Islam and the awakening of religious desires. Ages 5-10.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4?An interesting look at an Egyptian Muslim family's celebration of Ramadan through the eyes of eight-year-old Magid. The boy wants to fast from sunrise to sunset, a tradition usually reserved for those 12 and older. Mama consents to his skipping breakfast but he secretly plans and executes day-long fasts until his older sister discovers his deception and tells their mother. Magid realizes through gentle reprimand and family discussion that an obedient Muslim is also a truthful one, yet he receives congratulations from his grandfather for his true fast of the heart. Lewis's watercolors blend well with the text and give readers an accurate sense of character, location, and cultural tradition as well as a skillful portrayal of emotional nuance through facial expressions and physical stances. The artist's utilization of Arabic border motifs at the chapter heads echoes patterns seen in tile mosaics of the region. This is a refreshing visit to a '90s Muslim family that accurately represents Islamic practice and the spiritual reasons behind it. This attractive title is a warm and welcome companion to Dianne MacMillan's Ramadan and Id Al-Fitr (Enslow, 1994), which presents information from a purely factual point of view. Magid is an amiable ambassador for his faith.?Celia A. Huffman, Worthington Public Library, OH
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 650L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books; Library Binding edition (January 29, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395665892
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395665893
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,782,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Although at first I was pleased to see that a book for children had been published on Ramadan, I was very disappointed to discover the main premise of the story: that an 8-year old child is too young to fast. As a Muslim mother and teacher, I really found it incredible that the family discouraged Magid from fasting, and that he had to sneak in order to try. This is highly atypical of Muslim families in general (although perhaps more commonin Egypt). Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam; children have always been encouraged to fast at least a few days from the age of 7, and to increase the number of days fasted each year until they get used to it and are able to fulfill their religious requirement by the time they reach puberty. Although fasting may seem like a difficult and possibly even cruel thing to ask or allow a child to do, in fact millions of children around the world do so happily and successfully each Ramadan. Fasting as practiced in Islam (abstaining from food and drink from dawn to sunset) is good for the health, builds stamina and self-control, and develops empathy for the poor. Children really gain a tremendous sense of achievement when they complete even one day of fasting, and it is good for their self-esteem. I hope that we will see a more authentic book about a child's experience of fasting in the future, from a Muslim author.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I and my wife were very disappointed with this book as Muslim parents. The principles that the book promotes to it's audience, Muslim youth; are dangerous and erroneous ones. The child Majid, the main character in this story wants to begin fasting for Ramadan at age 7 and is not permitted by his parents, he disobeys and lies to his parents in order to follow his own desires. His sister who is 12 does not want to fast and is allowed to follow her own desires. Lying is a sin in Islam regardless of the reason, this is not a behavior that should be excused or accepted. At age seven a child is old enough to begin at least a partial fast and should in order to prepare him/her mentally and physically for the task when it is required of them at puberty. If this had been done with the sister in the story she would have been fully prepared and fasting at 12. This book appears on the surface to be benevelent and harmless but it promotes a false image of Islamic family behavior and values to non-Muslims and a very poor example for Muslim familes to follow. Absolutely not recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I just picked this book up from the library and my kids and I were *shocked* by the treatment of the subject matter. A boy who is almost 8 wants to try fasting but his parents actively prevent him from doing it?! And the 12 year old sister has only negative things to say about fasting? And the parents force the 12 year old to fast only because they don't want her to be the only kid at school not fasting? Huh?????

The idea that a family would actively prohibit their child from even *trying* fasting on his own and then get *angry* at them for trying is mind-boggling to me. I don't agree that fasting behind everyone's backs was "deceptive". Not surprisingly, Magid changes his mind about fasting at the end and decides that he's "too young" afterall. Wow. So in a few short years he can have the same negative attitude his sister has? So he can fast not because he wants to, not for God, but only for appearances?

It is also somewhat misleading that Magid's family says he will wait until he is older to fast when Ramadan will fall in the cooler months and then be easier. As Ramadan falls only 11 days earlier every year, most kids can't wait for the cooler months to start fasting.

Finally, the repeated emphasis on being a "truly obedient" Muslim rubs me the wrong way. Although some deeper reasons for fasting are briefly mentioned, the repetition of this phrase screams to me stereotypes of Islam as a religion that emphasizes strictness and unfeelingness and rote rules. Why is the emphasis not on being a "truly dedicated" Muslim or a "strong" Muslim or a Muslim who tries hard or a boy who can be like the grownups, or SOMETHING other than "obedient".
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Format: Paperback
It's the first day of Ramadan, and Majid's parents tell him he isn't old enough to fast. (And Majid's older sister is expected to fast this year, and finds it very difficult.) But Magid doesn't want to wait and decides to fast secretly. This book is an answer to teachers' prayers for a satisfying story about Ramadan. Here is a young boy struggling with the challenges of his faith and being lovingly assisted by his family, which includes a grandparent living in the home. Their solution for both Magid and his sister demonstrates the loving compassion in Islam - compassion that finds particular demonstration during this special holy month.
This review was written by Muslim parents who disagree with M.Hassan's one-star review. Isn't diversity wonderful!

Teachers/Librarians: suitable for Kindergarten - 7th, social studies/humanities.
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