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1 Dec 2022

The importance of reading

The importance of reading

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Invitation
Zahra Onsori is the editor of The Invitation Magazine. She is an Indian Iranian creative who loves learning. Her particular areas of interest are culture & identity. Outside of researching, writing and collating stories together, she’s an avid reader and traveller.

The importance of reading

As humans, we have been telling stories since the beginning of time. To celebrate world book day, we wanted to share the importance of reading.

Before the internet was at the touch of our fingertips, the only way to gain knowledge was through reading. The first command in the Quran is ‘read, in the name of your lord.’

We are encouraged to ponder upon the state of the universe in Islam. Allah made us with innate curiosity, and to satiate this desire by learning and connecting with others is important.

Storytelling brings communities together. It cultivates happiness, shared learning and stimulates creativity. Empirical research has also highlighted how reading decreases stress, lowering blood pressure and improving brain development (i).

Reading with children at bedtime is a great way to engage in family orientated activities whilst improving your young one’s vocabulary and cognitive development. It is also a great hobby to engage in as an adult, and encouragement shouldn’t just be targeted towards the young ones!

The Majestic Quran

The one book we will keep revisiting as Muslims is the Quran. Every time we open the Quran it is guaranteed that we will come away with a new thought or something to ponder upon.

In the Quran it states “Indeed, of His servants, only the learned fear Allah” (35-28). Only through reading are people able to learn about Islam, it’s pillars and how to live our lives abiding by Allah’s word.

Only through reading are we able to learn about the rich history of Islam and the model character of Prophet Muhammad PBUH.

Whilst it’s great to read the Quran in Arabic, it’s important that we understand the Quran when we read it. To purchase an English translated copy of the Majestic Quran, click here.

Muslim authors to watch

It can be difficult finding Muslim representation within the literature world, however there are various Muslim writers that are emerging, and we wanted to share some with you all.

Esra Gultakan

Over at Karimia Institute you can catch our interview with Esra Gultakan, author of poetry book “The Shallows”, where she talks about her creative process, her passion for creating and her plans for the future.

Sahar Mustafa

Sahar is a daughter of Palestinian immigrants, and her heritage is a big inspiration for her books. Her latest book, The Beauty of her Face, tells a tale of headteacher Afaf Rahman who experiences a far right radicalised school shooter.

Yvonne Ridley

Yvonne Ridley is a British Journalist who was captured by the Taliban in 2001. She converted to Islam some time after and has written three books, one of them being a first hand account of her time in captive. You can watch our interview with her here.

Malala Yousafzai

Malala rose to fame after her story of being shot in the face by the Taliban. She was a target in Pakistan because she and her father were Education activists. Despite the violence she faced, she bravely continues to fight against injustice, and actively campaigns for women’s rights today. You can read her story in her autobiography “I am Malala: The Girl who stood up for education and was shot in the face by the Taliban.”

Shereen Malherbe

Shereen is a British Palestinian author whose written a children’s series and two novels. Her Palestinian Muslim identity is heavily featured in her writing. Watch our interview, where she shares her story and gives advice on how to become an author.

Hafsa Zayan

Hafsa has won the hearts of many with her book “We are all Birds of Uganda,” a tale about identity, race and belonging.

Jumana Moon

Jumana Moon is not only a storyteller, she’s also a UKCP registered Child Psychologist who uses her skills for therapeutic use. Her passion is to share her skill with others. Watch our exclusive interview with her here where she shares her storytelling tips.

Storytelling has the ability to make us laugh, cry, be curious and unlock our creativity. It is only with Allah’s blessing that we are able to feel all these things through the written word.

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