Rehan and the Mysterious Book by Farozan Warsi
📚 BOOK REVIEW 📚
Title: Rehan and the Mysterious Book
Author: Farozan Warsi
Illustrator: Robin Dewitt
I don't recommend this book.
Islamic Content: The Qur'an
Concerns: References to Allah as the author of the Qur'an, referencing to the language in the Qur'an as 'Quranish'
Rehan has a talking hamster for a pet that only he is able to hear. He finds a new book in his bookshelf that he recognizes to be the Qur'an but strangely he is not familiar with the language it is written in. Gus, the hamster suggests it is Quranish. Upon more observation, they notice there is no author stated in this book, so they run to ask Rehan's mother.
Where do I begin with this book. I understand the good intention behind this book, to introduce the Qur'an to children in a unique way but, in my honest opinion, the execution is a complete flop from start to finish.
Now, being in the Muslim lit circles for a while, more than once I have come across a statement alluding and referring to Allah (swt) as the author of the Qur'an. This statement is very problematic. Allah, the Almighty has disclosed, through ayat and hadith, a total of 99 names, '.author isn't one of them. Recognizing that His names are not limited to only 99, the rest are unknown to us. Thus, us as regular folk have no right or liberty to start making our own lists of what we should refer to our Creator, as scholars instruct us to only use the names that have been revealed to us. Secondly, the Qur'an is the spoken speech of Allah (swt) that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s) through the Angel Jibril, again through speech over the span of 23 years. The title 'author' insinuates that Allah wrote the Qur'an and then sent it down, which is absolutely incorrect.
No doubt that the Qur'an is a sacred text and should be treated with the highest form of respect in comparison to any other books we may possess. Thus, yet again, taking the liberty to refer to it as Quranish, which I understand is meant to be a playful spin for some giggles, in my view is a line we should not be crossing. Even after the mother corrects them, and Rehan is encouraged to organize his messy bookshelf, Gus (the hamster) tells him 'It's the Qur'anish thing to do."
I don't even want to get into the technical flaws of the storyline itself as I think the points mentioned above overshadow everything else. This story is suggested for 7-11 year-olds, yet I find this whole concept of the child not being familiar with Qur'an or its language is a little too childish from my view.