The House of Ibn Kathir: The Competition Begins...
Book 2 is now also available https://dsbooks.com.au/products/the-house-of-ibn-kathir-year-captain?_pos=271&_sid=2c2a3637a&_ss=r
A story of leadership, friendship and forgiveness
It’s Yusif’s first time away from home. The Dar Al Ilm Acadamy seemed to be the ideal place for him to pursue his studies, and achieve one of his lifelong ambitions – to memorise the Qur’an – or so his parents had decided... However, within the impressive walls of the old school, Yusif finds himself with more on his hands than he had bargained for. With house competitions, the pressure to become year captain, and some very mysterious goings-on, Dar Al Ilm has more in store for him than he had ever imagined! Review by Sisters Magazine: "Hearing the title ‘House of Ibn Kathir’, I thought immediately of the infamous scholar of tafsir and wondered whether or not I was in for a treatise on him and his family life. Finding this was not the case had me curious… The House of Ibn Kathir is based on an eleven year old boy, Yusif, raised by two strict and loving Muslim parents who inform him that they wish to send him off to the prestigious Dar ul-Ilm, once an old mansion, now a boarding school for boys in the old beach town of Hastings. Anxious and nervous about leaving home for the first time, he arrives at the school and settles quite well, taking to the lavish walls and its picturesque garden lawns, in what will now be his home. He befriends the oddest mix of friends you could ever come across; from the cool and competitive Reda, to the worrisome Warsoma, to the dwindling Daud and other colourful characters in his class. The teachers are even more interesting in their own ways. The school itself is split into four houses: House of Abu Hanifa, House of Ibn Kathir, House of Ibn Majah, and House of Ibn Ajeeroom, each with its own common room and dormitories. Each of the four houses consists of seven boys, picked at random, which throughout the academic year compete to earn points to win the House Cup at the end of the year; fondly mirroring Hogwarts in the Harry Potter Series. But the fact that each house is named after a great scholar may suggests the role Islamic personalities will have within the story. Every good deed and homework counts! The boys are, to their delight, placed in the House of Ibn Kathir. Having gained much popularity amongst his friends, strange things begin to happen to Yusif in the school and he and his friends find themselves caught up in an evil scheme. It was admirable to see small anecdotes of Islamic personalities pop up every so often, particularly from the characters, highlighting the importance for our sons and brothers to look up to these great men as positive role models. I was touched by the mention of Imam Nawawi and the fig tree that grows over his grave - a little something I never knew about! It’s beautiful to see how each of the characters has a weakness that is strengthened by the time we reach the end of the story. Yusif develops from being a timid and shy individual to someone courageous and unafraid to reveal the best of himself. The House of Ibn Kathir is a story of leadership and forgiveness, where the meaning of friendship and brotherhood is discovered. Reading this, I asked myself, could Sister Nazia be the Muslim answer to JK Rowling? Possibly. Hopefully. Insha Allah."