I had hoped to go through all the recently published non fiction hajj and Eid al-Adha books at my local library, the same way I went through the Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr ones to check for errors and accuracy, but they really didn’t have many, and those that they did have were not published in the last few years. I did find this book from 2017 and because it has some errors: saying Eid is in September every year, not mentioning all the parts of Hajj, which is ok, but overly stressing the stoning at the jamarat, pronouncing Hajj as Harj, etc., I thought to share it with you all, so that you too can contact the publisher and your local library and/or bookstore to see about pulling it if you are so inclined (booklifepublishing.com)
The 24 page non fiction book is a large 9.5×12 horizontal layout with beautiful pictures of diverse Muslims worshipping and celebrating. A little cartoon character, Noor, guides you to word pronunciation with a glossary at the end.The book starts out with a two page spread defining what a festival is. The next two pages define Islam. Page 8 then states that “Eid al-Adha is a festival celebrated by Muslims in September of every year.” And page 9 of the book says we throw pebbles at a wall, not that we throw pebbles at three representative pillars. It also says that Eid is celebrated for two to four days depending on the country. Religiously, it should say it is a three day holiday.
It then tells the Story of Eid al-Adha aka Ibrahim (as) being to told to sacrifice his son. I’m not sure why the book doesn’t says that Muslim’s consider Ibrahim a Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and instead call him a wise man. Indeed he was, but it seems very awkward to not mention how Muslims regard him, and seems to go out of its way to not say he is a prophet in Islam.
The next section is about Hajj which tells that it is performed in the last month of the Islamic year and that we walk around the kaaba seven times. No other info is given, but in the next section it again mentions the throwing of pebbles, really dismissing any other steps and making the sacrifice and stoning rituals seem to be the whole of Hajj which is incredibly misleading and erroneous.
The book shows that those not at Hajj, pray in congregation wearing new clothes, give and receive gifts and giving charity. In the section about Festive Food it only Buriyani from India is featured, it seems random. It should have been stronger that one third of the sacrifice goes to the poor, one third to friends and family, and one can be kept for oneself. This would show that meat is the highlighted festival foods in any culture celebrating. On the “Noor Says” page at the end, it has Hajj pronounced as “harj” which is wrong, it is Hajj, or possibly hadj.
My standards have dropped considerably, and would sadly not consider much of this major. But, it does provide another example of how involved and aware we need to be in our representation in mainstream nonfiction publications.