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Kids’ Islamic Books Offer Rare Education
"My passion was teaching children, but I realized there was no coordinated material and lessons were just written for general audiences," Husain A. Nuri told Times of Oman on Tuesday, August 20.
“I knew I needed to do something.”
Born and raised in India, Nuri has immigrated to America to work in finance.Years later, he felt a passion for teaching young children, discovering absence of teaching book for Muslim students.
That was the moment he decided to fill the void for good English-language books and curriculum covering Islamic teachings and Qur’an.
Six years ago, he managed to reach solution for the problem, starting a publishing company called Weekend Learning with his brother Mansur Ahmed, who also taught Islamic classes to children on weekends.
The new books made a huge success, establishing itself in huge markets including US, Canada, UK and Australia.
The books have also invaded Persian Gulf countries, being used in some schools.
The Weekend Learning is not the first publishing company to target Muslim children in the west.
In 2006, psychologist Naif Al-Mutawa introduced a new comic-book series about Muslim-inspired superheroes to teach children about the 99 attributes of Allah.
Powered by magic gemstones, each of the series' characters hails from a different country and portrays one of the 99 attributes of Allah.
Introduced in a colorful and interactive way, the books are aimed at serving children of all backgrounds and cultures.
“Instructions are given in English,” Nuri explained.
“Even if the families speak Arabic, in order to facilitate children, it's important to give instructions in English.”
The new publishing house has managed to introduce a new educational series called Islamic studies which has 10 levels.
Other educational books were also offered about the Prophet Muhammad's life (peace be upon him), reading and writing Arabic for the Qur’an, and other relevant subjects.
"It took off really well because it provided a curriculum,” Nuri said.
“None of the Islamic studies books published by others had a curriculum.”
Other books cover a wide range of topics about Islam, many of which are important for Muslim communities in the West to prevent them from losing their faith.
"One of our objectives is not to make them radicalized but to make them good Muslims with a good understanding and a good grounding and rationalized," said Nuri.
Though there are no official estimates, the US is home to an estimated Muslim minority of six to eight million.
A Gallup poll found this week that the majority of Americans Muslims are loyal to their country and optimistic about their future in the United States.