(London, Dubai) A new children’s book has been launched to profile the woman at the heart of the Islamic Hajj pilgrimage – to combat the lack of awareness surrounding her story and how it is honoured within the Islamic faith.
An Ocean in One Drop: The tale of Hajar in Hajj retells the ancient tale of Hajar’s* struggle to find water for her infant son in the desert. This story is revered by Muslims worldwide who reflect on Hajar’s story within the Hajj pilgrimage, this is done through the Sa’ee ritual of walking in her footsteps.
The book promotes the power of women’s narratives and female role models, so that future generations can transcend gender inequality and injustice through greater consciousness of female sacred stories. It is the first book in the ‘Wise Women’ series of interfaith role models, which challenge stereotypes about women in Islam and combats patriarchal bias that has marginalised these stories.
In An Ocean in One Drop readers join Jamila and her grandmother on a storytelling adventure to learn about this pivotal story within the Islamic faith. Readers learn how Hajar overcame an impossible situation to save her son and ended up establishing early Mecca/Makkah.
The book utilises the deep philosophy of Persian poet Rumi to explain the connection between Jamila and her spiritual heritage. It also highlights colourful Islamic geometry and showcases an indigenous female Arabian art form called ‘Al Qatt Al Asiri’, which is traditionally created by women collectively, in layers.
Mariam Hakim, author of the book and Founder of Waw Stories, said: “It is my wish that every child, Muslim or non-Muslim, will know of and be inspired by the monumental effort that Hajar went through in the desert to save who she loved. This is a story about courage, patience, faith and love.
Often Hajar’s story is pushed to the periphery when it comes to learning about Hajj or Makkah. Yet her story should be central to these teachings and not merely an empty ritual. This book can help children learn about Islamic heritage in a positive and uplifting way. It also features a quote from the Bible about Hajar, helping families to have dialogue and bridge-build in a multi-faith world.”
Notes to editors:
- Contact details: Mariam Hakim, firstname.lastname@example.org, +447707917109 (UK WhatsApp)/ 054 791 1774 (UAE)
- A small-scale launch took place at the IHRC Bookstore in August 2019. More UK-wide events are planned as part of the July 2020 Waw Stories ‘Summer Reading Roadshow’.
- *Alayha Salaam = Peace be upon her in Arabic