Firstly I would like to apologise for not updating this blog recently. We have been deep into fasting for Ramadan, around eighteen hours a day, and all our energy has been centred on that. It is important that we keep our bodies healthy and nourished, while being able to balance our daily lives. As we focus on our body it is important to keep the mind in check, not just for you, but for the whole family.
During the month of Ramadan we leave a large portion of the day free without food. There is a big hole that is not filled with cooking three or four times a day, so we are often left with large chunks of time. As we need to be careful not to overexert ourselves during the day, reading provides the perfect way to keep both our bodies and minds engaged, without losing sight of also giving back to those in needs.
It is important to keep children distracted during Ramadan as the hunger can sometimes get the better of them. I have found that using this time to teach a series of lessons can be rewarding for both parent and child. With one whole month to focus it is important to pick the best resources for your children. There are lots of children’s books for Ramadan available to inform and intrigue. Each book listed has important lessons in each. Some focus on the significance of family, the moon cycles and the importance of prayer. There is something in the list for everyone.
Ramadan Moon by Na’ima B. Robert
This beautifully illustrated book captures the marvel of Ramada and Eid-ul-fitr. The story is both written and illustrated by Muslims, who aim to captivate and enlighten children who celebrate Ramadan and even those who don’t. The story follows the waxing of the moon from new crescent and until waning and sight of the second moon.
Magid Fasts for Ramadan by Mary Matthews
Set in present-day Egypt Magid is too young to fast and doesn’t want to wait to join in. His whole family are fasting without him so he decides – against Mama and Baba’s orders – to start. What follows is an illuminating look at fasting and the practices of Islam.
The Shared Lantern (Let’s Celebrate) by Eileen Lucas, Yasser Gaessa
The Shared Lantern envelops the generous spirit of Ramadan through the eyes of five-year old Mohammed, who was inspired by the Belia books. This book is a touching look at the kindness and compassion of Ramadan.
My First Ramadan by Karen Katz
This delightful book looks at the journey of one young boy as he begins his first-ever fast. Join the young boy, and his family, on their journey through Ramadan.
The Best Eid Ever by Asma Mobin-Uddin, Laura Jacobsen
A wonderful story of a young girl who decides to help out two young refugees in celebrating the best Eid ever. When Aneesa’s parents leave for the Haji pilgrimage in Mecca, she is feeling a little left out so Nonni gifts her beautiful outfits for each day of Eid. When she meets the young refugees later at prayer she decides to give them the best Eid ever. A perfect tale those celebrating Eid in North America.
Night of the Moon by Hena Khan and Julie Pasckis
This is the story that begins at the start of Ramadan’s first night until the final moon and start of Eid. Yasmeen watches each phase of the moon while living in the West. Yasmeen and her family are very excited about Ramadan, and have lots of special dinners and parties each weekend. The book explains a lot about fasting as well as the importance to giving to the poor.
Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns by Hena Khan
This book looks at the many important aspects of Ramadan and Eid through rich colours. Here we look at traditional lanterns and the charitable nature of Ramadan.
The White Nights of Ramadan by Maha Addasi
Set in Persian Gulf country this book looks at the Ramadan traditions that are celebrated in the Girgian festival. There is a sense of American Halloween here as children dress up in traditional clothes and go to houses asking for treats from neighbours. A great story for young children who are still new to Ramadan.
Moon Watchers: Shirin’s Ramadan Miracle by Reza Jalali
This is a perfect book for children who are not yet able to fast. It looks at the relationship between Shirin and her father, who takes her outside each evening to observe the moon. Shirin is desperate to join in with her family and the fasting, but her parents feel she is still too young. The book also looks at how other members of her family learn to fast, and her younger brother is caught stealing food when he thinks no-one is watching.
A Time to Pray by Maha Addasi
This book isn’t specifically Ramadan-related, but it explains the ritual of prayer through a Western child, Yasmin, who visits her grandmother in a Muslim country. Through her eyes and experiences readers learn the importance of the call to prayer, washing before prayer and dress for prayers. There are also lots of fun adventures that Yasmin has with her grandmother.
As you can see there is a lot of choice for both you and your children. Taking part in Ramadan should be as rewarding as reading about it. From the list above you have plenty to get started with.
Please do share your favourite books.