Tag Archives: Heshan Gunasekara

Before Birth, Beyond Life: A Muslim Mother’s Ode by Zenubia Arsalan illustrated by Heshan Gunasekara

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Before Birth, Beyond Life: A Muslim Mother’s Ode by Zenubia Arsalan illustrated by Heshan Gunasekara

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This 24 page book written in rhyme explains with love and Islamic oversight the circle of life.  From before birth and what happens after death, the tone and images of the book really are very beautiful and dream like.  The author suggests the book for ages 6-9, but I think even toddlers will enjoy the poetry and illustrations.

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The book is told from a mother to her child explaining that she is the answer to her  prayers, but that there is the One, the Creator, who knows and loves her even more.

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It details that everything about her is perfect and exact according to the will of Allah swt, even before her birth Allah knows and has decreed everything.

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Once born, your mom loves and prays and watches you grow, but at an appointed time you, like all of us will leave this world for the next.

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And that in the afterlife, inshaAllah once again we will be reunited.

Children are rarely sad when loved ones pass away, often pointing out that they are with Allah Subhanawatala now, and this book stems from that peace and comfort in knowing there is a world beyond this one.  Not just for children, this book would make a perfect gift for expectant mothers or as a reminder for older kids in families suffering from loss.

I have the paperback 9 x 6 size book as I’m here in the US, but a larger hardback version exists elsewhere and I think the illustrations would benefit from the larger size.  Also, the pictures are a shoutout to Dubai and I think kids who have been there or live there will equally enjoy the skyline on a number of the pages.

There is a talking points ebook for the book that you can get for free at https://littlemutaqeen.com/talkingpointsbefore/ that will assist you in presenting the information and concepts explored to older and more curious kids.  It talks about how to broach potentially awkward concepts (pregnancy, birth, death) and a maintain body positive message, clarity of heaven and hell, and so much more. I highly recommend it.