This 14 page board book is a prayer based on Surah Fatiha and explores the first few ayats with reflective and thoughtful duas. It has soft muted illustrations of birds and nature on small 5 by 5 pages. The idea of the book is sweet and soft that I can imagine reading it with a child in your lap after salat, or perhaps whispering into them at bedtime, but it really is a prayer for the parents to read. Children might understand from the text that everything is from Allah swt and He is always with us and helps us, but because it doesn’t repeat those notions, I don’t think the message will stick. The vocabulary is not reflective of toddlers understanding, and really the comfort comes from them listening to a loved one’s voice not the text or pictures. I have five kids, this book was purchased when I was pregnant with the first one, I don’t think it has ever willingly been picked up by any of them or sat through in the idyllic picturesque manner that a person with no children would imagine spawning from such a heartfelt book. I hope I’m in the minority and other families have loved and appreciated this book as it was undoubtedly intended.
The book starts with a complete english translation of Surah al Fatiha. The next two page spread is entitled “Praise be to Allah” which is explored in the text of praising Allah for the blessing given and knowledge of Allah being close. The theme isn’t entirely on point, but follows the rhythm of duas: praising Allah swt and glorifying him mixed in with making your requests.
“Lord of the Universe” is the next heading, followed by “The Compassionate, the Merciful,” “Master of the Day of Judgement,” “You alone we worship and to You alone we turn for help.” The final section is “Guide us to the straight path.”
The book came out in 2003, and I was ecstatic to see it available, however, there are now just better and more varied options available, that this one will once again be lost on my shelves.