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Laila and the Sands of Time

Genre: MG Chapter book

Ages: 9-12

Available: @muslim.memories

I was super surprised by myself at how much I enjoyed this MG debut novel by @shirinshamsi1

Laila is a young girl going on Umrah with her aunt and uncle after her dad passed away. She is struggling with her grief and pulling away from her faith. When she touches the black stone, she is transported back in time to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) time. There, she disguises herself as a boy to protect a baby girl and her family and get her from Makkah (where the idol-worshippers are) to the safety in Medina. When she comes back home, she learns to make duaa and turn to Allah to protect her baby sister, as well as live with hope until she can meet her dad again in Jannah inshaAllah.

When I looked at the back cover and read that the main character travels back in time to the Prophet’s (pbuh) time, I raised my eyebrows. It is not easy to navigate a story based around the time of the most beloved man of all time in Islam. But I was pleasantly impressed by how the author navigated the time change, and I was glad to see that there was no Islamic inaccuracies. The only note I made was that some might be uncomfortable with the black stone itself being what propelled the time travel, as it does have Islamic and historical significance.

The book itself was full of amazing Islamic knowledge and tidbits were sprinkled around about seerah and Islamic history, wudu and prayer, hajj and umrah. The black stone itself was also explained very well to the reader, as well as what the Jahiliyah period was and how the Prophet (pbuh) preached goodness and protected baby girls from the pre-islamic practice of burying them alive.

I love how strong Laila is. She stands her ground and loves those around her fiercely. I also like that she learns to come back to her faith and to live with hope and love. This is very much a story that is filled with lessons for young readers.

I also enjoyed the STEM knowledge in the book about DNA in science class, and the references to Chicago and the Field Museum (which I have been to!!)

I loved how action packed and thrilling the story was and look forward to more MG stories from this author!

price: 13 usd


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