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My First Ramadan

My First Ramadan by Karen Katz is a sweet book about a little boy who is experiencing and celebrating Ramadan, as well as fasting for the first time. ⠀ ⠀

The story is written in first person, but no names are ever given. The little boy uses the word I for himself the whole time, and describes his family as Mama, Daddy, and my sister. Though it does seem a little confusing, a fun part of reading this could be substituting your own children’s names for the characters (my children ask me to do this in all the books, anyways.)

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This book is a nice blend of American culture and Islam. The boy describes his father as “Daddy” and eats food like “toast, buttery eggs, pancakes,” while also following Islamic pillars such as praying and fasting and Islamic sunnahs like eating dates at Iftar and going to the Masjid.

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I liked that the book contained a diverse group of Muslims and pointed out the different continents to the reader, which makes the reader aware that Islam belongs to all people, and not just people in the Middle-East. ⠀ ⠀

One of the problems I had with the book was the picture of the men in turbans eating dates. The description says that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) taught his followers to eat dates, and so I assume that the picture is supposed to be either of the Prophet (pbuh) or his companions. Either way, I understand that to be wrong in Islam and it made me uncomfortable.

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My second problem was when the word Islam was defined as “peace”. That is not the correct translation, as Islam in Arabic means submission (to Allah). The close word Salam means peace, but the incorrect translation bothered me, and I don’t want to teach my children wrong facts.

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That being said, the book does have useful information about fasting and good facts about Islam. It is also simple enough for children to understand.

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Let me know: Mamas who have this book, what did you think? Did you like the book or did those issues make you uncomfortable like I was?

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