Philadelphia – Sunset on Wednesday marks the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.
It is time for Muslims around the world to reflect on their faith, which is not always represented in literature.
But one Philadelphia author is trying to change that. Her latest book is inspired by her strong foundation in the Islamic faith.
My father recalled: “My father was very unapologetic, and would pray anywhere.” Beautiful Tompkins Bigelow Since then she has been raised in West Philadelphia and Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.
A strong foundation of faith is something Thompkins-Bigelow has always had, but hasn’t always seen in the media.
“As a black Muslim child, I haven’t really come across a lot of books that focus on black Muslim children,” she said.
This is why the former teacher became an author.
Her work places black Muslim characters at the center of stories in brightly colored children’s books.
She said of the upcoming book, “Prayer in Secret is a book about a boy who really wants to pray all five prayers.” “His father gives him a prayer rug or prayer rug. He’s actually sneaking around his school and trying to find places to pray in secret.”
But prayer, you say, should not be a secret. It is central to the Islamic faith especially during Ramadan, which is 30 days of self-reflection, good deeds, fasting from sunrise to sunset and prayer.
“I know a lot of kids who, especially during this holy month, really want to say their prayers during the school day, but it can be hard to be that kid,” she said.
She added that the main character in “Prayer in Secret” has to learn to stand up for herself and ask for a place to pray.
She hopes that showing this character’s secret struggle will encourage more Muslim children to practice their faith with pride and help others understand.
“Everyone is open to children’s books,” said the author, whose work has received recognition from news outlets such as NPR and Time Magazine. Adults love children’s books.
With seven books under her belt, including an upcoming middle school adventure-style novel she co-wrote with three other Muslim authors, Thompkins-Bigelow brings stories you’ve never seen before to life.
She hopes this will help Muslim children see themselves not only during Ramadan, but every day.
She said, “To facilitate the presence of Muslim children in the world, and to make people understand and sympathize with them.”
“Salat in Secret” will be released on June 6. It can be found online or in stores.