It was only last night that I met my tribe and we gathered around mugs of hot tea to take some time out for ourselves, our days are filled with raising our children. Different homes, different children and different lives, but we all have similar challenges as Muslim parents, much of which revolves around identity and raising confident Muslim children.
When I personally look back at my own childhood, one thing that was absent was children’s books filled with characters like me or homes that reflected my life. Decades on, with two young children who are of mixed heritage I seek books that are filled with characters that look like them, perhaps I just long for them to feel the acceptance that I at times didn’t feel in the playgrounds and parties.
The Proudest Blue is aimed at 4 – 8-year-old children and has already captivated me. It doesn’t just feature a Muslim child in hijab, but it aims to tackle the grand issue of identity from the perspective of a child – and that for me is powerful.
In a recent interview with Bustle, Ibtihaj shares the reason for the book and her own journey with the hijab. She tells Bustle, “My hijab brings me closer to God and reminds me to lead every step with faith,” and “I’m proud to have the freedom to wear what I want and each of us is deserving of that right to wear what we want”
The front of the book sees a Muslim child of colour wearing a sea blue hijab, with what looks like a younger sibling floating in a paper boat.
The subtitle reads, “A story of Hijab & Family”.
The book follows Faizah from her first day of school and it’s her sisters first day wearing the hijab, a hijab that’s blue. The blue is described as blue like the ocean and a sky which for me, evokes feelings around the word freedom. The book tackles the subject of those who do not see the beauty in the hijab, and demonstrates the girl’s strength through the journey. The story also shares the tight bond between siblings and Ibtihaj has described that the sisters know the beauty of their religion and hijab.
The book is beautifully illustrated by Hatem Aly and co-written by Ibtihaj Muhammad and S.K Ali
Pre-order here to read this beauty of a book when it releases on October 22:
— S. K. Ali (@SajidahWrites) February 6, 2019
We still have a while to wait as the book is released in October of this year, BUT pre-orders are being accepted, a tip from one mama to another – don’t wait till tomorrow, head over and order it now!
I am so proud of my sister Sajidah Kutty (pen name S. K. Ali). She just co-authored a children's book with U.S. Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad and Hatem Aly.
Below is my sister's post for some more information:
"I wanted to share my book with Ibtihaj…https://t.co/drRnBbcQDn
— TheMuslimLawyer (@faisalkutty) February 6, 2019
Co-founder of Amaliah amongst many other roles. Selina is passionate about empowering those around her and just trying to be a better person. She loves looking after plants and a good cuppa because motherhood and running Amaliah.com is not for the faint hearted. She is also Co-founder to Aishah and Eesa and currently a one digit mother, Alhamdulilah. You will find her in the local charity shop, garden centre or park with her kids. Have a listen to the Amaliah Voices podcast. Link in bio peeps. To join the Amaliah Writer Community email me at [email protected]
By Selina Bakkar