A to Z of Akhlaaq
Moral Values for Children
Author(s): Nafees Khan
Reviewed by: Abdul Sabur Kidwai, Aligarh Muslim University, India
This title is an illustrated book for children which lists alphabetically the ideal traits for modern Muslims. The alphabetical list is selective in that some entries are in English, for instance, cleanliness, while others are in Arabic, for example, dhikr. Non-standard transliterations abound in the book, beginning from the title akhlaaq to ayaath, shaitaan, deen, Ahadeeth, etc. Even more frustrating is that the very many transliterated terms are not explained where they occur, but rather find mention in the Glossary (pp. 30–31) at the end of the book. Considering the audience for this book comprises very young children, it makes little sense not to explain these non-English terms when they occur in the text. Similarly, concepts such as hypocrisy are not elaborated upon. Ideally, a book such as this should be suitable for unguided reading, but the lack of immediate explanations and the exceedingly advanced vocabulary necessitates adult supervision. Words such as ‘disregarding’ and ‘surety’ are not common, and are certainly not expected in children’s books. The book is rhymed, and while it is generally engaging, it does seem a bit contrived and forced at occasions.