The Children's Story Library: A Review of A Treasury of Islamic Tales

I am of the opinion that children should have their own personal libraries. Parent's need to help them build one. It will help build a life long relationship with books.

The liberary under review is "Children's Islamic Story Library Cassette CD ." Available from Sound Vision it is a splendid collection of 14 professionally produced audio cassettes and read-along books containing 64 stories.

Based on the extraordinary life of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) and his Companions, these stories bring the history of Islam, its heroic personalities, and their great qualities to life. Although mainly marketed for children, adults will enjoy them and learn from them as well.

Demonstrates True Characteristics of Islam

Beautifully written, illustrated, and narrated, these books and tapes wonderfully demonstrate the true characteristics of Islam. Even Muslims will be astonished at what Islam is really all about. Non-Muslims will never again be able to call Islam a barbaric, uncivilized, terrorist religion.

It would take a hard heart not to be touched by these moving stories as dramatically narrated by Zia Mohyeddin, Maryam Davies, and Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens). Some, especially the Love At Home, Love All Creatures, and A Great Friend of Children books and tapes, will bring tears to your eyes. They include heartwarming stories of the love of children for their parents, the love of parents for their children, and the love of the Prophet (SAWS) for animals, children, and humanity.

Example of One Story
One story tells of the great sadness the Prophet (SAWS) felt when he heard that some little children from the enemy had been accidentally killed by Muslims during a battle. The Prophet (SAWS) felt that children were innocent and had nothing to do with war; and he hated to see any harmed, whether Muslim or non-Muslim.

Another Example of a Touching Story
Another story titled "The Day the Prophet Wept" recounts the time a man came to the Prophet (SAWS) and confessed to him that before he became a Muslim he had killed his little daughter by throwing her into a well. He told of how he threw dirt into the well as the little girl pleaded for help. Tears spilled down the Prophet's face until his beard was very wet upon hearing this heartbreaking confession of the murder of a child by her father.

Other stories in the collection tell of the heroic exploits of Muslims, the lives of the early Muslim leaders (Caliphs), the great justice and mercy of Muslims, and how some like Abu Dhar, Umar, Abdallah Ibn Salaam, and Salman Farsi came to embrace Islam.

"An Unequal Fight" tells the story of how the young and brave Ali volunteered to fight a renowned enemy warrior who was challenging the Muslims to single combat and hurling insults at Islam and the Muslims. Although the great enemy warrior roared with laughter upon seeing Ali's young age and small size, Allah (SWT) gave Ali the ability to defeat and kill him.

Stories Provide Both Education and Entertainment
These heartwarming, exciting, and inspirational stories will give children some of the most important education they will get anywhere --- excellent moral, spiritual, and character training. They will teach children to treat their parents with love and respect; to be kind to animals; to be courageous, dedicated, just, and merciful; and to love Islam, the Prophet (SAWS), the Companions, and Allah (SWT). InshaAllah, these stories will contribute to making your children the kind of human beings and Muslims you want them to be.

Both for Children and Adults
Enough good words cannot be said about these educational and entertaining books and tapes. They are highly recommended for children and can be listened to and read by the whole family as an alternative to watching television. The only bad thing about them is that there are not enough of them. Although there are 64 stories, they will still leave you wanting more. No doubt, Islamic history has the stories and the events, but we need to encourage more Muslim writers, illustrators, and narrators to tell them. Every Muslim family could learn from and benefit from The Children's Story Library, and the entire library or selected books and tapes would make excellent and useful gifts for children.

By Ibrahim Bowers

Order Now: A Treasury of Islamic Tales: Cassette CD


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