“Each of you is a shepherd and each of you shall be asked about his flock”
Bukhari and Muslim
I am always worried about what my child watches on television. I do not stop him from watching television completely as I feel that could have negative results. However, I try and provide a controlled environment in which he can only watch DVDs and programs which I have approved. This summer I have been on the look out for quality Islamic shows for him to watch and enjoy.
As a Muslim convert I have realized over the years that as a mother watching her child grow would also mean being able to hand down the importance of knowledge through books and interactions with other children his age group. Alhamdulillah, as society continues to change with the times so has the importance of Islamic media. Thus, in the past few years many products for children have been produced.
I have compiled a list of my favorite Islamic entertainment products for children to share with other parents who have similar concerns. People may differ over the permissibility of these products (music, animation, etc) but this is not the forum for that.
Stories of the Prophets – Yusuf Estes
PEACE TV has produced some of the best Islamic shows for children. The first one to make this list is Stories of the Prophets. Yusuf Estes is perfect as an Islamic teacher for children, looking like a jolly grandfather and with a very good sense of humor, he keeps the children entertained while teaching them the stories of the prophets (peace be upon them) and many valuable lessons from each story. This is a very important show to let your children watch and one of many reasons why I recommend PEACE TV for every Muslim home.
Whiz Kids & Wonder Kids
Other entertaining shows on PEACE TV are Whiz Kids and Wonder Kids, both feature performances by the children of the IIS (International Islamic School) in which the children deliver lectures, sing nasheeds, act out plays and overall provide good entertainment and lessons for children. I really like these shows because they provide positive role models for Muslim children, as your children can grow up watching practicing Muslim children on television.
Hooray for Baba Ali
Young people and teenagers are entertained and learn a lot through Baba Ali’s Reminder series, but for the little ones, there is Hooray for Baba Ali. A series of short videos in which Baba Ali entertains the kids by behaving like a child (more like a Muslim version of Mr. Bean) while teaching them many important lessons including obedience to parents, cleanliness, kindness to animals and so much more.
The Zaky Series
Islam Productions child division One4Kids have hired quality animators to put together a series of DVDs with an Islamic ethos about a purple bear named Zaky. There is so much to praise about this series. The animation is of the highest quality, the knowledge passed on is approved by scholars and authentic, there are no musical instruments and it is very well scripted. The best DVD in this series thus far is Time to Pray with Zaky which teaches children how to perform Wudhu, Tayyamum and Salah as well as many other lessons along the way. This DVD taught my children how to pray before they were two years old and at the moment they are learning their duas and surahs from this movie. If you don’t have this DVD in your collection, get it now. At the moment, we are eagerly awaiting the DVD release of the next Zaky movie in which he deals with protecting the environment
Muhammad (pbuh): The Final Prophet
It is hard to choose between the Message, the Final Legacy (series on Islam Channel) or the animated movie Muhammad: The Final Prophet. All three tell the Seerah beautifully, but since this is a list for children, I will go with the animated movie as the best way to teach your children the basic Seerah. The movie is well-animated, has good voice acting, an excellent script and tells all the major events of the Seerah with many moral lessons in just one and a half hours. I find this movie perfect as an introduction to the Seerah for children, Non-Muslims and new converts.
Insha’Allah, if you have something to add to this list of resources, please feel free to share your media experiences with your children. I would love to got to know more of your favorite places to visit with your children.