Saniyasnain Khan’s book My Favourite Prophet Muhammad Stories encourages children to discover for themselves the message of the life of the Prophet and to find their own ways of applying the
Prophet’s timeless teachings to their lives.
Reviewed by Nigar
My Favourite Prophet Muhammad Stories
By Saniyasnain Khan
Published by Goodword Books, Noida (goodwordbooks.com)
Reprinted in 2018
Email: [email protected]
In my zeal to read an authentic biography of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), I felt that some of the old biographies might be too ‘heavy’. Morever, I didn’t know how much of it could be real fact and how much fiction. So, I preferred going back to the kids’ shelf and was delighted to discover Saniyasnain Khan’s book titled My FavouriteProphet Muhammad Stories. Published by Goodword Books, this colorful book, splashed with beautiful illustrations by Gurmeet, takes you back many, many centuries and is a lovely way for children and adults alike to learn about the early life of the Prophet.
The book is packed with fascinating accounts about people and places. We learn about the Kabah and how the pilgrimage to it was organized. We learn about the role of Mecca in major trade-routes. We learn about many incidents such as the re-digging of the Zam Zam well and The Year of Elephants, as well as the birth of Prophet Muhammad, his childhood in the desert and his early life in Makkah. My FavouriteProphet Muhammad Stories encourages children to discover for themselves the message of the life of the Prophet and to find their own ways of applying the Prophet’s timeless teachings to their lives.
Saniyasnain Khan has put in a tremendous amount of hard work to make the book lively and spiritually enlightening at the same time. The illustrations of the houses in Mecca centuries ago as the illustrator conceives them are very attractive, and so also are pictures of the food of those times! The images of pretty camels strolling in the desert and a herd of plump, woolly sheep grazing make you wish that you lived in those ‘good old’ times! If you really want to know how Mecca was then, this book is a good way to get a good idea it depicts a beautiful town that is minus the opulent malls and five star hotels which today surround the Haram.
One of the chapters I liked best was the one titled: “Every Prophet was a Shepherd.” In the early years of his youth, we learn that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would take the herds of sheep and goats of the people of Makkah outside the city to let them graze. In this way, he started earning at a young age. In later days, the Prophet told his Companions that there was no Prophet who had ever lived on this earth who had not worked as a shepherd. The Companions asked in surprise, ” You too, O Prophet.” To which the Prophet said, ” Yes, I too.”
How I wish we could live in times where people still grazed sheep and camels and travelled about in caravans along long trade routes!
Although this fascinating book may look like that it is for kids, adults too will find it informative. One critical comment though: I must confess that I am not at all happy about the way the book ends: very abruptly, and much too soon at the time when the Prophet returns from his trade caravan from Syria to Makkah. If the subsequent phases of the Prophet’s life are recounted in other books by the author, it would have been useful to indicate this at the end of the book.
That said, Goodword Books are doing an excellent job with their impressive range of books on Islam, and this one is definitely a precious treat.
(Do write to Saniyasnain Khan on [email protected] to buy the book!)