[A] New Delhi based publisher, Saniyasnain Khan has come up with the splendid idea to bring out a wide range of children’s books on Islam in English. Published under the banner Goodword Books, its popularity is slowly climbing the charts, and distributors call them the Harry Potter books on Islam.
Originally known as Al-Risala [Arabic for “the Message”], Goodword Books boasts a wide range of children’s products: Islamic children’s books, Islamic story books, board games, puzzles, gift packs, coloring books, mazes, crosswords, word searches, Quran stories, seerah stories, and many more exciting and fun-filled ideas and activities. With a hundred distributors in 20 countries its main markets are the UK, USA, India and Pakistan.
Some of the titles: Tell Me About the Prophet Muhammad, Tell Me About Hajj, Tell Me About the Prophet Musa, Tell Me About the Prophet Yusuf, My First Quran Storybook, and many more are very popular. His books have been translated into French, Danish, Turkish, Urdu, Arabic, Malay, and Uzbek languages.
One can’t help but wonder if these themes meet Saudi Arabia’s children-textbook standards?
Talking to DinarStandard Saniyasnain Khan says Islam is essentially a religion of peace and harmony but there are two main reasons why some people dislike Muslims and Islam. One is violence that has been associated with it while the other is the perceived bad treatment of women by Muslims.
“˜I felt that there was a pressing need to educate the new generation about the real Islamic values so that they become little ambassadors of Islamic goodness and they also stimulate them to learn about Islamic ideals as they grow up,” said Mr. Khan, whose first book “Tell Me About Hajj” has sold over 30,000 copies.
“Children get a lot of negative information about Islam. There is a big need to give them the right picture so that they grow up to be peace-loving individuals” said Mr. Khan who often contributes articles on spirituality to the Times of India.
Interesting statement. At first, when Khan says that Muslim children “get a lot of negative information about Islam” it seemed that he was indicating the negative “propaganda” surrounding Islam. But the “big need to give them the right picture so that they grow up to be peace-loving individuals” implies that the “negative information” about Islam isn’t what infidels say about it, but how Muslim adults teach it.
A trustee of CPS International, a non-profit organization working towards peace and spirituality, Khan says “my endeavor is to present books for children that provide a solid foundation of Islamic moral values. The basic purpose of these books is to teach themes carefully chosen from the Quran and other Islamic sources so that the children not only learn its ethical values but also embody them in their lives.”
Why all the “care” when choosing themes, Mr. Khan? Why not represent them all? Surely you don’t find some of those “themes” problematic?
Goodword’s area of specialization is Islamic stories for children based on the Quran and Hadith. There are more than 500 plus titles to its credit. These books are completely dedicated to developing meaningful and wholesome Islamic and moral values.
Mr. Khan, sums up his dream saying the long term vision of Goodword is to generate the love of Islam in children and young people so that when they grow up they spread its beauty around them.