Muslims believe that the first revelation sent to Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) in Ramadan started from the word, “Iqra” which is Arabic for “read.”
Today, Muslims from all over the world still follow suit and read the Holy Book, the Quran with an extra fervor during this month. One of the goals behind it is to gain inspiration from the Quran’s message of love, mercy, hope, miracles, prayers and morals to then take steps towards becoming the best version of ourselves.
As a Muslim family living near Chicago, we uphold the reading and explaining of the Quran in kid-friendly ways to pass down the love of our faith, the Quran and Ramadan traditions. While we will miss going to our mosques this year, we’ll relive the memory of community and spirit with the following children’s books about Ramadan.
It’s Ramadan, Curious George, by H.A. Rey and Hena Khan
Best for ages: 0-4
Join in on the Ramadan fun with everyone’s favorite character George! This book is such a gem for early Ramadan learning and covers all the key aspects of Ramadan with rhythmic rhymes and engaging illustrations.
The Gift of Ramadan, by Rabiah York Lumbard
Best for ages: 4-8
Young Sofia is all too eager to fast and let her inner sparkles shine but will she be able to say no to some scrumptious chocolate chip cookies? Follow along as Sofia learns that there is more than one way to get a sparkly Ramadan heart. This book is love at first read and is perfect for wee celebrants too young to participate in fasting themselves.
In My Mosque, by M. O. Yuksel
Best for ages: 4-8
As a Muslim, this timely release was a blanket of fragrantly familiar, cozy warmth. Although the book is not focused on Ramadan, this heart-warming and timely read is a perfect gift for the tiniest of hearts missing Ramadan in their mosques during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s child-endearing text and charming illustrations present the inclusivity of mosques and the message of peace for all audiences.
Ramadan Around the World, by Ndaa Hassan
Best for ages: 4-9
This book is truly a must-have on everyone’s Ramadan bookshelf. “Ramadan Moon” takes you on literary adventure. Jump from continent to continent as you explore different places and traditions with the Ramadan Moon. This picture book is truly a learning experience for many and what gives it a cherry on top is its message of inclusivity and diversity in faith.
Ilyas and Duck – Ramadan Joy! by Omar S. Khawaja
Best for ages: 4-8
Muslims believe that smiling at others is one of the simplest forms of charity. Ilyas and Duck – Ramadan Joy gives everyone a reason to smile a little more. This page turner will leave the reader, smiling and chuckling whilst learning about the central themes of Ramadan. With rollicking rhymes and fun characters like the responsible Ilyas, quirky Duck, and grinch-like Mister Mean, this book has become a lovable read in our household.
Lailah’s Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story, by Reem Faruqi
Best for ages: 5-9
This advanced picture book is a treasure for every classroom setting where children from all backgrounds can be shown how to support a fasting Muslim child. This compelling read (one that our family often revists) is based off of the author’s real-life experiences as a Muslim child fasting in Georgia. Her reluctance to tell others about her fast is a relatable element for many Muslim children and Lailah is seen to escape to the library at lunch where she stumbles upon the perfect solution with help from the sweetest librarian.
Sadiq and the Ramadan Gift, by Siman Nuurali
Best for ages: 6-10
This chapter book highlights the sweetness of Ramadan that comes from sharing what we have with those less fortunate. This book is written in the essence of charity and aims to help children understand the importance behind it. Sadiq and his friends are in the Money Makers club and commit to raise funds for a new school in Somalia with a few bumps down the road.
Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet, by Zanib Mian
Best for ages: 9-12
One word, “addicted.” Yes, we are obsessed with the Planet Omar books and if you have yet to read these in your house, you are missing out on all the fun. Although this book is not completely about Ramadan there are many chapters that explore the month through the wildly imaginative Omar and his pet dragon H20 (imaginary pet-friend of course). This book will have your child laugh at the flip of a page and learn about the Muslim faith with Omar’s larger-than-life imagination.
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