Do you know that you can sign up your newborn baby as a library member? Yes, you can! This exciting membership programme by the National Library Board (NLB) aims to encourage joyous bonding time for parents and children at an early age. Oh yes, they will also provide a fantastic Baby Gift Pack too!
Image source: National Library Board
Today, it seems that children are more exposed to gadgets as a leisurely pastime. Permitting kids with screen time tends to be the most straightforward choice for parents nowadays. However, it might lead to damaging development for the kids. A KKH-led study found new links between child screen time and emotional and behavioural difficulties.
This reminds us of the saying, “the reason parents no longer lead their children in the right direction is because the parents aren't going that way themselves”. Thus, parents play a critical role in introducing children to books.
Reading is a crucial part of human development, especially for children at a very young age. As they grow up and absorb fresh knowledge, books can provide an excellent source of examples for children to build good moral values and cultivate creative ideas. Moreover today, our children are privileged to witness an increasing number of Islamic books that they can enjoy as compared to previously during our time.
There are, in fact, many good books that are not just engaging but impactful as well in conveying many concepts and topics on Islam. Thus, parents should take this opportunity and strive to develop good reading habits for their little ones even before they can read. Apart from being a great bonding session, reading also fosters children's linguistic development and enriches their experiences.
Even the first revelation that was sent to our Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. was the command to read - اقرأ. The command signals the importance of reading in Islam for human development and growth.
Here, we have narrowed down five of our favourite children's Islamic books that parents can consider introducing to their children:
Author: Ustazah Tan Nurul Hafidzah Binte Abdul Hadi, Maryam Dzinnira Binte Mohd Huzaini and Azlina Binte Wahid
Publisher: Salam Series
Moulding your children with the basic foundations of faith is one of the most crucial responsibilities of Muslim parents. The cheery Ana Muslim book is just what every Muslim parent needs to start introducing faith to the little ones. Authored by local writers, this award-winning bilingual English-Arabic publication conveys the basics of Aqidah (faith) to young children.
As the title suggests, it facilitates and explores one’s identity as Muslims and, at the same time, introduces children to foundational terms in Islam such as Allah, Muhammad, Quran and Qiblah, which are written in large and bold print as sight words.
Although words are minimal, the detailed and careful illustrations allow parents to interact with their children. They help readers stimulate discussion into various topics such as; Allah's creations, being Muslims, the adab (etiquette) with the Quran and others.
Furthermore, the colourful pictures of Singapore scenes are relatable, which would help bring the conversation to real life.
Also, in the series: Huwa Muhammad (He Is Muhammad) s.a.w.
Author: Ukht Husni
Publisher: Homely Hammock
Interestingly, we came across a book from this series at the National Library and borrowed it. We immediately fell in love with it and decided to buy the whole series for our children.
A fun, lively and engaging Arabic alphabet book that had our children request to retell the story repeatedly every now and then. Published by local authors too, Ukht Husni cleverly turned each Arabic alphabet letter into different characters, embarking on various adventures and settings.
Personally, this is our go-to series to teach our kids the Arabic alphabet. Besides the well-thought and intriguing storyline, it also provides a perfect opportunity for our children to practice finger tracing, pronunciation and letter recognition with pleasure and joyful learning.
Author: Fawzia Gilani
Publisher: Kube Publishing
A genuinely heart-warming storybook that touched our hearts when we read it the first time. It is a story of a kind-hearted farmer who yearned to perform a pilgrimage (Hajj) in Makkah. He worked hard all year and saved up to perform Hajj. However, whenever he set out for his Hajj, he would come across people who needed his help and gladly offered his hand to them. Subsequently, he then spent his savings on the people and sacrificed his intention to perform Hajj each year. However, he was still determined as ever and finally managed to perform Hajj at his old age.
This book is gold as it contains endearing lessons for the readers. We love how it highlights Yan's sincerity and willingness to sacrifice his desire. We believe such moral values will inspire children to be compassionate and generous. It had us in tears whenever we read the book's ending; it’s when Yan finally stood in front of the Kaabah saying, "I love you, Allah".
It proves that his journey to the Kaabah was driven by his true love and constant gratitude towards Allah. Also, the fact that the boy, Yan, had helped later sent him for Hajj was a testament that compassion breeds kindness.
Author: Zaheer Khatri
Publisher: Learning Roots
Image source: https://wardahbooks.com/products/prophetspond
A moving tale of a boy named Zayd, together with his mother, searching for a particular pond in the hope of meeting someone special. As they went from one pond to another, Zayd described the characteristics of the pond. His mother eventually realised that they were the descriptions of Rasulullah s.a.w's pond (Al-Kauthar) in the hereafter.
This book wins our hearts for the way it instils the sense of longing to meet the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. Filled with suspense and mystery, the story also relates to an authentic (Sahih) hadith about the Prophet’s pond in an engaging approach.
Additionally, this book captivates our children through its stunning illustrations and repetitive lines on each page, which enriches our children with lively language usage. It is a great way to introduce our children to how great the pond of the Prophet is and that it will be the meeting place for the believers with the Prophet s.a.w in the hereafter. We believe this will motivate children to strive to be good Muslims.
Author: Jawaad Abdul Rahman
An entertaining yet meaningful story about a boy who loves to eat. Wherever he goes, and to whichever country he travels to, he will find food to eat. Until, one day, he met a poor girl with her family who had not been eating for days. The boy finally finds joy not only in eating but also by sharing his food with others.
If you have kids who love food, this book will be an excellent tool to talk about the etiquette of eating and the concept of mindful eating habits. We usually expand our conversation and take the chance to discuss other relatable topics such as poverty, compassion, and people around the world.
Moreover, as the main character in the book travels from one place to another, it exposes children to the different foods and various cultures of other countries to appreciate the beauty of diversity. It is a lovely book to tell the children about different sites, particularly, during the current pandemic where travelling is restricted.
This article is a joint write up by Ustazah Tan Nurul Hafizah and Ustaz Ahmad Helmi. They are parents to three beautiful children who enjoy reading and are hopeful to cultivate the love for reading in their children.
Here are some books that you may want to read!
 Frank Hubbard, quoted in Daniel Fund & Cai Yiming, “It All Begins With Bonding” in Raise Your Child Right, Times Books International, Singapore, 2003
 Daniel Fund & Cai Yiming, 2003