Saturday, 22 November 2014

Book review: The story of Elephant

The story of Elephant is a unique pop-up and play book based on the well-known and much-loved surah Al-Fil, the story of the elephant from chapter 105 of the Noble Qur’an. It is a beautiful book with hand-drawn illustrations, interactive flaps, a children’s colouring map, press-out activity and quiz.
Book review: The story of Elephant: Surah Al-Fil
Written by Hajera Memon 
Illustarted by Anisa Nachett
The story of Elephant is a unique pop-up and play book based on the well-known and much-loved surah Al-Fil, the story of the elephant from chapter 105 of the Noble Qur’an. In 570 A.D. Yemen , the tyrant ruler Abraha leads his army of elephants to destroy Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala’s House, the Ka’ba, which is built by our beloved Prophet Ibrahim Alaihes Salam and his son Ismael alaihes salam in the holy city of Makkah. Armed with only supplications (dua), the leader of the Arabs relies on his faith and trust in Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala to save the Ka’ba and discovers some amazing miracles along the way.
It is a beautiful book with hand-drawn illustrations, interactive flaps, a children’s colouring map, press-out activity and quiz. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book with my three children (all under 7). Surah Al-Fil is my favourite childhood surah. I still remember when my dad told us the amazing story for the first time. I believe through this beautiful book I can help my children to cherish the story of the elephant forever insha Allah. The first page has a prologue which consists of an Ayah from Surah Ibrahim (14:35) teaching us the beautiful dua Prophet Ibraham Alaihis Salam made after he finished building the Kaba with his son Prophet Ismael Alaihis Salam.

The story starts with a small introduction on how Abraha became the ruler of Yemen and built a church to compete with the Kaba. It continues with how Abraha sent the army of elephants to Mecca and captured 200 camels belonging to Abdul Mutalib - leader of the Quraysh (who is also the grandfather of our beloved Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihe Wa Sallam), and the response (in English and Arabic) of Abdul Mutalib when he was called to see Abraha. The story also includes the dua Abdul Mutalib made to Allah, how Mahmud the elephant would keep sitting down when he was ordered to attack the kaba, and the flock of birds defeating the army of the elephant.

The story concludes with a page about how Allah protects the Ka’ba to this day, and how that year is known as the year of the Elephant and that Prophet Muhammed Sallallahu Alaihe Wa Sallam was born in this year. At the end the author summarizes three points we learn from this Surah, about answering of duas, Allah's protection, and the importance of controlling our anger.
Shade7 publishing is doing a fantastic job. We need more interactive books like this for our precious children. The book is a perfect gift for any occasion. To learn more about the book, do watch these two videos.


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