Saniyasnain Khan, Founder of Goodword Books
Saniyasnain Khan is an Indian television host and children’s author, with over 100 children’s books to his credit. These are on subjects relating to Islam, and a number of them have been translated into French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Danish, Polish, Swedish, Bosnian, Norwegian, Russian, Uzbek, Turkish, Arabic, Malay, Thai, Malayalam, Bengali, Urdu, etc. His most recent books are 365 Prophet Muhammad Stories, 365 Days with the Quran and Bedtime Quran Stories.
After doing his post-graduation from the University of Delhi, he began assisting his father, the noted Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan. In 1996, Saniyasnain Khan established Goodword Books, which deals mainly with books on Islamic subjects. Realizing the need to educate the younger generation about the message of Islam as a religion of peace and harmony, he began writing stories for children. His first book, Tell Me About Hajj, was published in 1999. Afterwards he began to write children’s books based on the Quran and Hadith.
Goodword Quran Project
In 2009, Goodword started publishing the Quran translations in major languages of the world. So far Goodword has published the Quran in 25 languages including English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Sinhalese, Urdu, Hindi, Marathi, Malayalam, Punjabi, Kannada, Telugu, Gujarati, Bengali, Tamil, etc.
You are a leading publisher of high quality Islamic books for adults and children. How and when did you come into publishing?
In 1976, my father, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, started a magazine, entitled Al-Risala. At that time I was in the tenth class. I used to go to the Chawri Bazar to buy paper and would also visit the printers in the Jama Masjid area quite often. Somehow these visits influenced my choosing to make publishing a full time career which I did in 1983. In 1996 I founded Goodword Books. From 1983 to1996, I was engaged in publishing books written mainly by my father in Urdu and English.
Did you start the publishing house primarily for your father’s books?
The aim was to print good quality Islamic books. As there was a vacuum in this area at that time, I decided to launch Goodword Books.
Your mission is to educate the new generation about real Islamic values. How are you setting about achieving this goal?
I write stories on Islamic subjects and basically they are from the Quran. Every story that I write has a message and a moral value at the end of it. If we can familiarize the younger generation with these values, they will grow up as peaceful members of society.
How far have you been successful in reaching out to people of other faiths in explaining what Islam is?
We regularly organize lectures on interfaith harmony through CPS International. We attend various conferences in India and abroad which helps us in spreading the spiritual and peaceful message of Islam.
Do you participate in international book fairs?
We have participated in some book fairs in the international market Cape Town, London and Frankfurt and also we take part in major book fairs in India as well. We provide the translations of the Quran in several languages at a subsidized price, which has attracted a lot of attention and has helped in explaining to people the real message of the Quran.
How do you find the time to write regularly?
Writing is a junoon, a passion, and for your passion you always have abundant time.
How would you describe a good book?
A good book should inspire the reader; that is the most important factor. Also a good book in my case should bring me closer to God. It could be on any subject. For example, after reading Stephen Hawking’sA Brief History of Time, I was filled with awe and admiration for the manner in which God has created our huge universe. If creation itself is so big, then how big is its Creator?
You have published and distributed the translation of the Quran in more than 25 languages. Please shed some light upon this project of yours.
Yes, we have published translations of Quran in more than 25 languages international and Indian. With the help of CPS International, the NGO founded by my father, and its Chapters in India and abroad, we are distributing the Quran in schools, hospitals, mosques, museums and other places of tourist interest.
We have devoted teams of Quran volunteers in different countries, who are helping in disseminating the peaceful message of the Quran worldwide, so that it reaches every home.
In the present age, we have witnessed, a phenomenal rise in digital books and apps. How will this new digital platform help in spreading the word of God?
Realizing the importance of the internet and social media to take the Quran into each home, we are using every available online opportunity to organize e-dawah. We are developing the Goodword Quran App tomake the perusal and understanding of the Quran easy for readers. This App will have features and resources to make the reading experience of the Quran very easy and friendly.
(Extracted from Spirit of Islam magazine)
(Saniyasnain Khan can be reached at [email protected]