For fans of romantic fiction and readers of Na’ima B Robert we are very pleased to have a preview of She Wore Red Trainers, her forthcoming halal romance, to download.
She Wore Red Trainers is about life, love and Islam and how young adult Muslims find their path.
Ali loves basketball and motorbikes, volunteers at a children’s summer camp and has big plans for a gap year teaching in Mexico
Amirah is a gifted artist who also enjoys hanging out with her opinionated, noisy girlfriends, scoffing burgers, planning glitzy nights in and compiling a league table of fanciable boys..
The pair have similar ambitions, hopes and dreams to any bright, urban 18-year-olds, but when they fall in love at first sight during a long South London summer spent waiting for their A-level results, what follows is not straightforward.
As Muslims who have tried and rejected a mainstream teenage lifestyle, Ali and Amirah must fit their attempts to get to know each other around the expectations of their families and the rules of their religion. They almost never get a chance to speak, even exchanging glances is frowned upon and there are endless misunderstandings and disappointments.
Can they experience the normal passions and adventures of young adulthood while remaining true to the deen (spiritual path) of Islam?
Will they have a halal happily ever after?
As some of you will know we are publishing Naima Robert’s next novel, which is titled SHE WORE RED TRAINERS.
It is a book about two young adults falling in love and their struggles to contain their feelings in order to uphold their faith. It is also a book that makes it clear that romance and religion are perfectly compatible.
We will have a sample chapter available soon.If you want to see it like please add a comment to this post.
In the meantime, take a look at the book cover and let us know your first impressions.
Every year brings new challenges to us all, and every year we are that bit older. I ask myself, ‘Am I that bit wiser?’
I am in the fortunate position to travel and experience this beautiful world we live in. As an artist, my eyes are constantly seeking new colours, textures and subjects to paint. As an author, my mind searches for new tales to tell, drawing inspiration from the rich diversity nature has to offer. Sitting at a waterhole, with only the sound of the grass rustling in the wind and the constant chatter of the birds is an enriching experience for me. It gives me time to reflect on life.
Very often, in this busy world, we forget the simple rules and principles that make our lives, and the lives of our friends and families, more tolerant and peaceful.
The Great Race to Sycamore Street is a fun adventure story featuring two Muslim children. It is for children aged between 9 and 14, and will not only entertain them but give them some wonderful insights into the character of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and their faith.
In the story a prominent character is Grandma Hana’s peach tree. This famous and cherished tree is not only used to find fruit to fill one of Grandma Hana’s famous pies, it also offers the children Hude and Amani an example for themselves. In order to get the best fruit the tree must have firm roots, a strong trunk, several branches and an abundance of leaves. And, similarly in order for people to have good character they must have firm belief at their root, a strong faith in the oneness of Allah, and the Prophethood of Muhammad, perform several acts that testify to their faith and belief such as prayer, fasting and giving charity, and follow the abundant actions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), our guide. If people have those features their fruits will be good character, such as such patience, honesty, kindness and generosity. Even when faced with nasty neighbours!
The Great Race to Sycamore Street also sees Hude and Amani challenged by their Grandma Hana to follow the example of the Prophet (pbuh), his Sunnah. She encourages them to be kind to their neighbour’s dog after it eats their cookies, to be quick to calm and slow to anger when faced with bullying, practice archery and be good to neighbours, even if they aren’t nice to you. By the end of the story Hude and Amani are challenging each other to act in these exemplary ways.
Specific verses in the Qur’an and ahadith (plural of hadith) are mentioned in The Great Race to Sycamore Street because Muslim parents and guardians often refer to these two sources when instructing children on how to behave and what constitutes good character. Hence, we are providing the references below to share with readers in case they wish to find the original sources that inspired the author themselves.
To download the free Qur’an and Hadith references please click the link below.
Dawud Wharnsby has recorded a brand-new song for his latest book, published by the Islamic Foundation, titled Hear Me Beat My Drum. It is a song for children and families celebrating Ramadan, the lunar month of fasting and worship prescribed in the Qur’an.
The song was conceived while Dawud was living in both Syria and Egypt. He wanted to share a part of Ramadan’s charm in both countries, which was a man who would walk down the streets pre-sahur, beating a duff and calling out to wake people up.
Hear Me Beat My Drum by Dawud Wharnsby
Illustrations by Shireen Adams, taken from the book Colours of Islam, published by the Islamic Foundation.
Dawud Wharnsby UK Tour 2013, a set on Flickr.
Look through all the highlights of our recent tour with Dawud Wharnsby in the UK to promote the publication of the COLOURS OF ISLAM songbook and CD.
Kube Publishing is sad to announce the death of Sister Kulthum Burgess, a talented artist who worked as one of our freelance illustrators.
Kulthum was born Giovanna De Bianchi in Rome in 1964 and embraced Islam in 1987, along with her husband Ahmed Ridwan Burgess. Together they have been living in the UK for the past 20 years.
Kulthum Burgess was a gifted artist. Her career as an artist included work on school murals, producing decorative Islamic tiling and the illustration of children’s books. The first work she undertook for Kube was A School Girl’s Hero by Umm Aamina. This was a challenging project as the book was about the character of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). She also later worked on other titles for Kube: Hannah and her Grandma, The Colour Blind Boy, Our Grandma, Our Granddad, The Lost Ring, and Husna and the Eid Party.
A signature feature of Sister Kulthum’s work was her ability to create recognisable individuals in an accurate and realistic manner, which helped to transform the stories that she illustrated. To do this she used real life models and asked them to pose for photographs, scene by scene, before she would begin her illustrative work. She was committed to depicting people from diverse backgrounds in her artwork. Her work as an illustrator came to be appreciated by a global readership.
Sister Kulthum was sadly diagnosed with cancer some time ago and as a result could not take on any more work illustrating children’s books. We pray Allah grants her the highest rank in Paradise, al-Firdous. Sister Kulthum leaves behind her husband, Ahmed Rizwan, her four sons, Mansoor , Mahmood, Omar and Adam, and her six grandchildren; may Allah grant them all patience and fortitude.
(Written by Anwar Cara on behalf of Kube Publishing)
Snow White: An Islamic Tale by Fawzia Gilani, illustrated by Shireen Adams
Involving the power of a djinn, poisoned dates, seven dwarf sisters-in-faith and a mysterious old peddler woman in the woods wearing a face veil, this lyrically-told story offers a unique twist on this fairy tale, whilst keeping the classic much-loved story intact, that includes a hateful and vain stepmother, a considerate huntsman and a charming prince.
Set in the heady snow-strewn woodlands of Anatolia by the illustrator Shireen Adams, this tale of flight, friendship and forgiveness is richly detailed, and beautifully brought to life.
Snow White is the second book in the ‘Islamic Fairy Tales’ series, which looks to offer meaningful and faithful variants of these popular worldwide stories.
Fawzia Gilani has worked as a teacher, librarian and school principal in the UK, USA and Canada since 1993. She is the author of thirty children’s books, mostly on the topic of Eid.
With the release of the award-winning book When Wings Expand by Mehded Maryam Sinclair approaching, we thought we would ask the author a few questions about the book and her future plans.
Please tell us a little about yourself and how you became a children’s author.
I re-discovered the power of story thirty years ago when my sons were toddlers. That led me to using story as a therapeutic technique when I later worked as a therapist in an adolescent alcohol and drug abuse treatment center. This work paved the way to a fourteen-year career as a touring and teaching storyteller in the US with the Vermont Council on the Arts. From there I reverted to Islam, around 20 years ago, and since then I have been very interested in the work of serving the Muslim community by researching what has been lost and writing with a new eye stories that are edifying and inspiring and reflect the Truth.
When Wings Expand is your latest book. Tell us a bit about it.
Wings is a journal of a well-loved Muslim girl whose mother is dying of breast-cancer. She names her journal, a gift from her mother, and then chronicles her days as one would to a trusted friend for the next two years. We learn from her how it feels to anticipate, then experience, then grieve and then recover, and we witness how she is able to share her newfound capacities with a girl in dire need of help.
What was your inspiration for When Wings Expand?
Alhamdulillah I was given experiences of death to learn from. My mother died when I was fifteen, my brother died just after I delivered my second son, and my dear friend died six years after that. These were all deaths among non-Muslims before I reverted to Islam. After I became Muslim and began to learn more about the truth of death, I wanted to explore that in greater depth and started writing this work as a story. At that time it wasn’t a journal, and I hadn’t covered much of the main character’s struggle and grieving. I showed it to the then-Kube children’s editor Fatima D’Oyen, and she suggested turning it into a journal and focusing more on grief and healing. This frightened me, I must say, and I had to live through a few more years looking inward and studying before I could finish the writing.
The book presents an affirmation of faith, rather than the typical crisis of faith, after a life-changing event. Was this intentional?
Yes, it was. Most of what gets published is about the crises of faith and the failures of faith. That is actually a very one-sided picture. I wanted to give a view of the felicity, aid and peace that comes with being committed to taking the Deen as it has been prescribed rather than the way we think it should be. Those are the stories that sometimes get ignored in the current marketplace atmosphere. And yet people want and really need those stories, maybe even more than the sensational ones, which reinforce a prevalent world-view of cynicism.
Do you have any future plans for more Muslim books?
Please make dua for me! I want to finish two other projects, young-adult novels of historical fiction based on the history that has been lost and obliterated.