A series of books for children about the afterlife is the latest undertaking by the Madrasah Centre of Excellence (MCE).
The MCE Tarbiyah A & B Team have created over 60 storybooks for children aged 4-7. The team is spread out in Dubai, London, Singapore and Iran. They have seen each book through a long and rigorous process of brainstorming, drafting, editing, reviewing, sketching, illustrating and finally printing.
The new books are intended to help introduce children as young as four to ideas about the joys and rewards of heaven (jannah), accountability and responsibility for actions and other ideas related to the afterlife.
Power of imagination
The creators said that ‘one of the most effective and natural ways of connecting with the afterlife is by using our power of imagination to perceive it as described in the Quran and Ahadith.’
The book encourages families to read these stories to imagine the afterlife together. It will help families have a common goal to strive to reach jannah, by allowing them to visualise and imagine the afterlife, and by making pledges to help each other stay on the path to jannah.
Children will learn that jannah is a real destination where you can have anything you desire. It is a place where life and blessings never end, and that it is important to work towards jannah through good deeds. The creators hope that children will become more aware of jannah and act in obedience to Allah (SWT).
Perfect design and story
Creating these books is a long process for the MCE Tarbiyah A & B Team. For example, there is initially a brainstorming phase when ideas for a module are discussed. There also need to be a number of drafts and editing of the story, and sketch designs for the illustrations. There are a number of different reviews until the perfect design and story is decided upon, and then the book can go out for print.
These storybooks are accompanied with teaching guides also written by the MCE Tarbiyah A & B team. The storybooks and teaching guides go hand in hand to introduce the children in a fun and engaging way to the some of the subtleties/realities of about the afterlife, and to expand their Islamic education.
The team said: ‘The artwork in these storybooks have been developed very thoughtfully. There are subliminal messages in the drawings that speak as loud as the words. With a subject that is often not written about for children, let alone drawn, we were faced with the exciting challenge of depicting the afterlife in a wonderful way. Thankfully, we have a very talented team of artists who do an excellent job of enhancing the message in the books with their clever and creative artwork.’