What is On Your Bookshelf? A Reading List of Our Scholars’ Favorites Children’s Books
From their time in the womb, babies are said to be able to recognize certain sounds and music. At the age of forty, our Noble Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was instructed: “Read [O Prophet] in the name of your Lord” (Qur’an, 96:1). Reading is an important and beneficial habit that can prove to be a source of great richness for anyone, especially if cultivated from an early age.
Trying to fill your child’s library with books? This SeekersGuidance Children’s Reading List features some titles suggested by six SeekersGuidance scholars. These books have either been enjoyed by scholars in their youth or by their children. This list was compiled for children twelve years and under but some titles can be enjoyed into teenage years.
SeekersGuidance scholars recognize the immense importance for young children to read, and to not just read many books, but to read broadly and in a guided way. The list includes titles from a variety of genres – from Islamic to non-Islamic books, educational and real-life inspired stories to fantasy, fiction, and adventure novels. They are books that help develop the mind and the character – books that tickle the imagination and inspire. Included are books that make learning about religion and life fun yet meaningful, and tales of virtues and morals.
Next month’s On My Bookshelf reading list is Fiction Books.
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
“This book is clearly written and has an inspiring style.”
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
“It was read to me by a dear uncle during childhood Summer visits to Karachi. My uncle brought the passages to life; which made me keen to read the books on my own. Since my childhood, I’ve read Lord of the Rings at least 8 times; and listened to the audiobooks several times… There are many lessons for children of all ages in great tales like Lord of the Rings. They also cultivate imagination, good writing, build attention spans, and focus… ”
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome and Arthur Ransome’s books in general
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens and Charles Dickens’ books in general
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling and Kipling’s books in general
“Got me wondering about why the British were the ones telling stories about India…”
Shaykh Abdullah Misra
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch
Let’s Talk About Disobeying by Joy Berry
Ustadha Shazia Ahmed
“I pray that there is barakah [blessing] and tawfiq [success] in this for everyone. My children’s book suggestions are Hilmy the Hippo five-book children’s set” by Rae Norridge:
Imam Yama Niazi
“These are books I benefited from a lot. I loved them. Some I taught and found that they are really good for young kids.”
Mercy to Mankind by Dr. Abidullah Ghazi and Dr. Tasneema Ghazi
“I taught this book for younger kids, ages 7-12 and they seemed to really like it.”
Our Faith and Worship by Dr. Abidullah Ghazi and Dr. Tasneema Ghazi
“I taught this and loved the book overall for kids, it covers the essential matters.”
Short Suras by Dr. Tasneema Ghazi and Dr. Abidullah Ghazi
“I first learned my suras with this series. I really think they are done so well.”
Portraits: From the Lives of the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad by ‘Abd al-Rahman Basha
“This book is amazing, three volumes. I really, really loved this when I was young.”
Juz ‘Amma: 30 For the Classroom by Abidullah Ghazi
Shaykh Amin Buxton
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Ustadha Iman Badawi
Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Little Women By Louisa May Alcott
Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
The Berenstain Bears Series by Stan and Jan Berenstein
Help Me Be Good Series by Joy Berry
Dragon Tales Book Collection by Dav Pilkey
Warriors Series by Erin Hunter
The Little House Collection by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Garth Williams
Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
Continue Your Search for Knowledge
Questions and Answers Relating to Parenting
Explaining a Hadith on Disciplining Children
Fitrah and What Happens to Children Who Die Before Puberty
How Is a Child with Autism Viewed in Islam?
How Do We Deal With Parents Who Emotionally Abuse Their Children
How to Raise Children in Difficult Environments?
Rights of Children in Detail
When Should Children Start Praying?
Why Worry About Children If We Know They Will Go to Paradise?
Articles Relating to Parenting
A Ragged Shirt and Toast Crust: Raising Successful Children
Helping our children find the light in dark times, by Hina Khan-Mukhtar
How To Make the Prophet Muhammad Real for Small Children
Ibn Khaldun on the Instruction of Children and its Different Method
Traditional Methods of Raising Children
Videos on Parenting
Parenting in the Age of Social Media, by Ustadha Rania Awaad and Hosai Mojaddidi
How Can I Raise My Children in the West?
Podcasts on Parenting
How To Talk To Children About Death?
Courses from SeekersGuidance on Parenting
Shaykh Abdullah Misra
Shaykh Abdullah Misra was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, into a Hindu family of North Indian heritage. He became Muslim at the age of 18, graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in Business Administration and worked briefly in marketing. He then went abroad with his wife to seek religious knowledge full-time, first in Tarim, then in the West Indies and finally in Amman, Jordan, where he focussed his traditional studies on the sciences of Sacred Law (fiqh), hadith, Islamic belief, tajwid, and sira.
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Toronto in Arabic and French. She then lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterwards, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she resided for 15 years, and studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences with local and travelling scholars. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her husband and children.
Imam Yama Niazi
Imam Yama Niazi has studied with local scholars in the USA for a number of years which culminated in him becoming an imam of the Islamic Society of Santa Barbara for 8 years. He served the community by teaching and leading prayers. In 2015 he founded “ the blessed tree “ a nonprofit specifically for bridging gaps between the Muslim community and others. He has spoken on many Muslim platforms throughout the USA and Canada and conducted programmes in local communities in North America. He is an instructor at SeekersGuidance.
Shaykh Amin Buxton
Shaykh Amin Buxton was born in London. He converted to Islam in 1999 and read Arabic and Islamic Studies at SOAS, University of London. He also studied the Islamic sciences in a traditional setting in both Syria and Yemen. He has edited and translated a number of books which include Imam al-Haddad’s ‘Beneficial Counsels’ and Umar al-Khatib’s ‘Prophetic Guidance’. Since 2017 he has resided with his family in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is involved in several educational and social initiatives including New to Islam Edinburgh and Rafah International. Shaykh Amin Buxton is one of our esteemed internal scholars.
Ustadha Iman Badawi
Iman Badawi is an American-Muslim female scholar of Egyptian decent. During her undergraduate years, she founded and became the first president of her university’s Muslim Student Association. Upon making the decision to pursue Sacred Knowledge and starting a family, she left her medical career to focus on studying, teaching, and rearing her children.
She has studied in the US, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. She holds an ijazah (license) in the recitation of the Quran. She has studied arabic, poetry, tajwid, aqidah, qur’an & hadith, tasawwuf, shafi’i fiqh and usul. She specializes in hanafi fiqh & usul, but also has deep interest in hadith Studies and quranic exegesis. She continues to pursue more advanced studies.
She has experience teaching adults, youth, and children for over 15 years. She is the founder of Halaqat-un-Nur (the Circle of Light), a study circle and community service initiative for women. She currently resides in Chicago with her three children.