Ramadan Sale! The Story of Muhammad is the first animated and interactive book app about the blessed Prophet (peace be upon him) for children ages 4 and up. Written by American Muslim children's book author Alexis York Lumbard with classically-inspired miniature paintings by Maram al-Hidmi, the book covers the most essential aspects of the Prophet's life and mission. Based on Quran & Hadith, children will learn about the miracles surrounding his birth, his early travels, the first revelation, the central message of Islam, in addition to the Prophet's struggles and ultimate triumphs. Written as a story within a story, the essential seerah is told by a mother cat to her three kittens during bedtime. Complete with two songs, many children will learn by heart the life and story of our dear Nabi.
This wonderfully written book, with its breathtaking illustrations and moving music is a must-have for any Muslim family. What a beautiful way to share the story of our beloved Prophet with our young (and old!).
An amazing telling of an amazingly true story. This app addresses in a vibrant, memorable, and caring way the unforgivable dearth of meaningful, accessible stories in English concerning the Islamic tradition. Gorgeous artwork with beautiful melodies and singing (in both English and Arabic); plus there are hidden features that avail of the iOS’ special capabilities for enhancing user experience. For the sakes of all learners -- young and old alike -- one can only hope this book-app is the first of a new genre and expression of traditional wisdom. God bless.
What a lovely treat for my tablet!! I give this book app 5 stars for the following reasons: 1. A superb book. Lumbard, with her easy-to-remember and gentle poetry, gracefully reaches young hearts. Some of the couplets will surely be quoted by Muslim families for decades to come—the book beautifully describes the Prophet as “A lamp in the dark helping us to see / a light for all the worlds and a light for you and me.” Another favourite couplet of mine evokes Qur’anic teachings: “To Him we return, to Him we belong / So choose what is right and leave what is wrong.” These couplets are like precious jewels of wisdom the littlest of hands can grasp and contemplate throughout their childhood. The book is also set as a story within a story- young children will be able to relate to the excited kittens huddled around their mama for a dazzling tale of hope and faith! This woman knows the art of children’s book well!! I will definitely be on the lookout for more of her books. 2. High-quality artistry. A good picture book cultivates the imaginations of those as young as 4… and captures the inner child of those as old as 40! I appreciated the illustrator’s mindful and symbolic depictions: particularly, the image of Jibril, illustrated only with wings, is evocative and symbolic, an abstract point of departure for our minds to imagine and wonder about the 600 wings that filled the horizon when our blessed Prophet saw him! Images leave a profound effect upon our souls, especially to the highly sensitive and tender ones of young children. What is especially important to note is that in the art of a picture book, it is CRUCIAL to illustrate with care and symbolism. Al-Hidmi steers clear from the puritanical approach of i.e. ensuring that the sky was exactly the same shade of blue as it would be in 700s Arabia…an unfortunately common phenomenon in the Muslim world today. Al-Hidmi’s insightful illustrations and careful artistic choices give the mind clear visual images to grasp and hold on to, while also avoiding unnecessary detail and emphasizing abstraction…and so, our imaginations have a strong footing from which we can ascend far beyond what is depicted. 3. An invaluable teaching tool—and this is coming from a former Sunday School teacher! With the widespread use of technology in our homes and schools, this is a MUST-HAVE tablet app for any wired Muslim household or classroom. The story covers some essential events of the Prophet’s life which helps young children visualize a general timeline (birth, call to prophethood, the message in Makkah, the night journey and ascension, emigration to Madinah, battle of Badr, death) that teachers and parents can use a base timeline to then fill in with the numerous other events. The story also helps instill key themes (unity of God, the mercy and kindness of God) and lessons (the Prophet mediating the conflict of the Black Stone, kindness to all, perseverance through struggles) that provide a thoughtful starting point for class and dinner table discussions about Islam’s values and tenets. The app’s Read to Me and Read to Myself features are really helpful additions for educators and parents. Read to Me is endearingly narrated by Kamran Khan, with a steady and easy-to-follow pace that is essential for young ears, with the words highlighted in time to the narration. The book app’s Read to Myself makes the app age-friendly as it is a great feature for older readers. 4. Beautiful lullaby and ballad. David Dakake’s voice is mesmerizing and heart lifting. Despite the increasing population of Western and English-speaking Muslims in the world today, our collective library of ISLAMIC and ENGLISH lullabies and songs is very small. It truly warms my heart to see such beautiful poetry and music in praise of the Prophet that is fully set in the contemporary English language and caters to English-speaking context! Sing your children the ballad everyday, and by the time they’re in their teens, they will have the story of Muhammad instilled in their hearts! A truly precious gift (in age of exploitative, amoral and generally terrible music proliferated throughout the media.) What are you waiting for? Get it today and make sure you tell your friends and family!
Ma sha' Allah Alexis does a compelling job creating a vivid yet respectful perspective in teaching young and old the beauty of our beloved Prophet ﷺ and his journey. I highly recommend this app! The songs included are an added bonus which are truely enjoyable as well~
This is an incredible ebook! Worth every penny. The use of the classic miniature style in a modern children's book format is ingenious--incredibly well done. The sound effects are wonderful, with tala al-badru alayna in one frame, Quran in another, and the pilgrims call in another. The songs at the end should be instant classics for all English speaking Muslims. I am going to memorize these songs to sing to my children, to hlp them memorize the outline of the Prophet's life. An amazing accomplishment. Unfortunately, as with all such things in the Islamic community these days, the puerile, the pedantic, the punctilious, and the patronizing will ascend the soapbox to cry neigh unto masses. But rest assured this is a tasteful and beautiful portrayal of the Prophet that is sure to instill love and wonder in the hearts of the young. Personally, the songs actually make me tear up every now and then--really gorgeous. God is beautiful and He loves beauty.
It makes sense that in a children's book that tells the most sacred of stories, one would encounter stirring profundity in charming simplicity. Alexis York Lumbard's words, while carrying a precious message, travel easily into the heart. There is nothing more that one can expect of a first-class writer. It is a wonderful contribution to the hearts and minds of young and old English-speaking Muslims. In fact, people of different religious backgrounds can appreciate the sacred story of the Prophet Muhammad (‘alayhi as-Salatu was-Salam), the lucid way that Alexis Lumbard tells it, the captivating art through which Maram Al-Hidmi portrays it, and the angelic way in which David Dakake sings it. I mainly read this e-book through the "Read to Myself" feature -that is, without the voice-over narration. I assume, however, that the "Read to Me" feature, which provides the voice-over, would bring relief to parents with children who'd want to go through the story again and again. Kamran Khan's narration conveys a sense of awe throughout the read that I expect would increase the fascination of many young children with the story. The words and passages in the book roll easily off the tongue while reading to oneself. The experience is enriched altogether by the melodious voice of the singer, David Dakake, who, in a hidden sound effect, provides what might be the most beautiful call to prayer I have heard yet -and my ears have been fortunate enough to hear thousands. The recitation of the beginning of Surat Al-'Alaq is also beautiful and seems to palpably communicate some of both the gravity and beauty of that first moment of revelation. Alhamdu li Llah. Yes, aesthetes may breathe a sigh of relief. Many well-intended storytellers, in their illustrations today of Islamic stories for the young, avoid incorporating serious aesthetics into their work. Thankfully, this specific effort, "The Story of Muhammad," doesn’t. The songs, for example, are not Western pop-songs of an ephemeral genre with Islamic lyrics pasted over, nor are they a forced mesh of Eastern tunes and English lyrics. Rather, they are ballads that organically hold both a Western and an Islamic spirit. The harmonious combination of the near-timelessness of the Western ballad form with the sacred topic of these lyrics makes for something that is beautiful. For a better understanding, these songs must be listened to rather than read about. The animation is also done well and adds an unexpectedly enjoyable dimension. Having said that, I have experienced a few technical issues with the application. In expressing this, however, I was told of a scheduled update that would soon resolve technical issues. With that noted, the technicians and animators' work in this e-book, from the gliding characters and clouds to the glowing stars around the Prophet's turban, is impressive and adds a lot to the reading experience. The choice to make some of the characters move like shadow-puppets is also commendable. The animations had me joyfully tapping away at my phone's screen throughout the read. The story of the beloved Prophet, as told, drawn, and sung here, is moving. This application is a wonderful contribution to the Western-Islamic corpus of children's books and e-books. Of course, it is not for children alone. This review, for example, is solely based on my personal reflections on the application. I have yet to share it with my 12 year old brother; the experience for whom, I hope and expect would be just as pleasant as mine, if not more. Many thanks to those who facilitated this initiative. Masha' Allah.
Epic story, inspiring lyrics and music for the kids. I just downloaded this app and I can say that this is one of the greatest application for the kids about the Seerah. Especially for the families who wants to educate their children about the beautiful life of the Prophet (puh).
Finally a book on the Prophet (alayhi 's-Salat was-Salam) that will foster in children's imaginations a lifetime of love for the Messenger of God. This book and the songs that accompany it are a must have for every Muslim parent. There is nothing that even comes close to this wonderful production. I hope that further contributions of this quality will become the norm for Islamic children's books.
The story and especially the two songs included appeal greatly to my 6 and 2 year old. It's been playing nonstop in my home since we downloaded the app! Great work mashallah and we look forward to future endeavors.
This beautifully written poem on the Seerah and the ebook app is an excellent way to teach children about the beloved Prophet using an ingenious story telling approach that feeds the imagination and touches one's heart.
My wife introduced me to the author through her previous work (The Conference of the Birds), which we loved very much, and bought two copies: one for our kids and we gifted the other one. As soon as we knew about "The Story of Muhammad" PBUH, we didn't wait a second and purchased the app. After going through the whole app, we were disappointed, and we chose not to share the eBook with our kids because of the negligence we noticed in illustrating the seal of the prophet PBUH, and here is why: I would recommend following the examples of the majority of Islamic books and movies, which do not depict the form of the prophet (pbuh), but rather suggest his presence through implication (for example, a circle of light, etc.). Showing Jibreel AS giving the Quran to Muhammad PBUH as a finished book is not historically accurate. This could be creatively illustrated with just floating down letters (iqra' letter), for instance Showing the prophet sleeping on his left shoulder is a lie to his Sunnah. During Isra' (the night of ascension), our beloved prophet led the prayer in the Aqsa mosque, not in the Dome of the Rock mosque as illustrated, and this is another mistake (refer to Surat Isra', verse 01). Some might say these are small details and that kids will not notice, but I disagree. As a Muslim parent, I want to present Islam in its most accurate form to my children. And I believe that there are many creatove and beautiful ways to do this. And if the people before us had been negligent in portraying details of the prophet's life, then I think that his Sunnah would have been compromised centuries ago. I also noticed a few technical issues, like the size of the font, which is too small to read, so kids cannot follow the reading as it progresses. Also, the voiceover could have been recorded using a better microhone, to enhance the sound quality. Our beloved prophet deserves our attention to details, and accuarate portrayals of his life. Please consider my comments as constructive. I would like these suggestions to be addressed in the next update (it won't cost much to do this right, no printing cost involved). I gave this app a 1 star for the poem-like script. Best,