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In Memory of Marhuma Sajida Jivraj-Dharamsi by Binte Abbas
Marhooma Sajida Jivraj wore many different hats. She was a beloved daughter, wife, mother, sister, friend, teacher, author, principal, artist, philanthropist among others. She devoted her time and energy to help the children and youth of our communities worldwide love Allah, the Quran and Ahlul Bayt through her innovative teaching methods, books, games, and products. She also devoted majority of her life in service to the poor and orphans in Iraq. Sajida was so full of passion and had such a energetic personality. When you were with her you would always be reminded of Allah. She has built her akhira, it is us who are left with the pain of life without her. She has touched the lives of so many people and will dearly be missed.
“We got the copy of the book Meet the Masumeen and I have been reading the book thoroughly. I must say it is ONE of the best books for children
(well even adults for that matter!) that I have ever come across. My 9 year old daughter- who LOVES to read- finished the book in about 1 and
1/2 days, she stayed up one night until 2:00am reading it. Now she calls me "Mrs. Hudda" and asks me to make adventures for her to go through.
I love the way they tied in very practical problems that kids face and then use the examples from the Masumeen to learn from."
Sister Arifa Hudda
“The long-awaited Meet the Masumeen has surpasses all expectations. Using the magical tool of time travel, the authors have brought the real life
stories of our noble personalities to life. This book is an essential part of everyone's home, and is an extremely useful addition to the Madressa classroom too!"
By a mum and teacher
“Meet the Masumeen is about a class that has very bad behaviour, but which changes when they get a new teacher, Mrs Hudda, who takes them back in time and they
learn about good traits through our Masumeen. I like how the book is made and how the authors put the stories of the Masumeen altogether, and how they have
used both fact and fiction together. I also learnt many things about the Prophet, Lady Fatima and Imams that we don't normally hear. I wish that I could be
in Class 786 too!"
By a 7 year-old boy
A Word from the Authors
Inspiration is an eleven letter word that has so much power. By definition it is a “divine influence
directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul.” How true this statement is, for the book you
are holding in your hands, is truly proof. In the year 2005, HIC Orlando Florida, formed a youth group.
Alhumdulilah, we conducted many activities, but it was one Friday night during our weekly discussions,
our fate had changed. That particular Friday night the Youth Girls were having a group discussion
with Sister Tahera Kassamali. We loved our discussions with her, for she is one of our role models who
talks the talk and walks the walk- what she preaches she practices so her worlds always touched our
hearts and souls. Taherabai was more like a friend who understood and never judged. That night as
we sat in a circle, she told us stories about our Imams- not those traditionally stories we hear in
majlises- stories that made us see our Imam’s in ways we never knew before. She made us realize that
they were individuals who we could emulate- and more importantly she made us yearn to learn more about
them. She lit the flame of inspiration in our hearts and Allah SWT’s plan was in motion.
The following Friday night discussion, we were blessed with our other amazing speaker, Sister Masooma
Hassan. Masooma Aunty was another favorite of ours, for she too had a way to reach the youths. That
night we had a Q&A, and one of the girls asked her what is the one thing the youths should focus on
this year. It seemed as if she was inspired by the Almighty, for her words are still in our hearts
today and you are holding the fruit of those words. “Islamic Shia Children’s Books!” Masooma Aunty
further explained the lack of well written books for the younger generation and motivated us. She
took the candle that was lit with the flame of inspiration from Taherabai and gave it a beautiful
holder, and inspired us even further.
The flame of inspiration by Taherabai and Masooma Aunty had our minds racing, our hearts anticipating
and the youths were inspired to write a book on the 14 Masumeen for the younger generation. A group
of us got together divided the work, the researchers, the illustrators, writers, editors. It never seemed
like a daunting task, even though it was huge task. The candle of inspiration kept us going. We had
meetings, tons and tons of emails, phone calls, the list was endless. Never did we hear complaints or
fight amongst ourselves, rather we made new friendships and learned the skill of compromise. Most
importantly, we learned to get rid of the "I" and replace it with doing things just for pleasing the
Almighty Allah SWT. This was truly a team effort.
In about 2 years, the project was complete but sadly the candle was flickering. We now had 14 books
but no way to publish it. Printing costs were immense; publishers had other projects, year after year
the books just sat in our computers. We were losing hope, and started to blow out the candle, but Allah
had the ultimate plan for surely He rewards the patient ones with something better than they had envisioned.
Five years later, I had asked a friend of mine to edit the books one last time, for we had a donor… The
donor fell through, but this editor was working with a publisher who was publishing her children’s book…
SubhanAllah our candle was lit again, and this time it didn’t blow out and Sun Behind the Clouds took
our inspiration and hard work and made it reach the hands of our little ones.
Looking back at this project, the amount of tears and frustration that was felt for that past 5 years,
we have learned firsthand how Allah SWT truly works. It was HE who choose Tahera Aunty and Masooma Aunty
to inspire us. It was is HE who choose the Youth and guided them to use their time in HIS service. It
was HE who choose our editors, and it was ultimately HE who chose who He wanted the book to be published
with. What we learned is, never give up on HIM, when you do something truly for HIM, HE will choose
HIS human angels to get the job down. NEVER GIVE UP-NO MATTER HOW MANY HURDLES YOU FACE-Have faith in HIM..
To all those Human Angels we have across in the past 7 years, thank you. We would be totally doing injustice
if we didn’t give a special thanks to Rumina, Shazia and Zainab for sticking through to the end and ensuring
that this book reached the hands it was meant for. Tehseen for being more than just a publisher, for
understanding this project was our precious baby and treating it like it was hers too. To the editors who
always met the deadlines, to the youth who made this happen and gave up their profits for the book to the
Orphans, and to the two who inspired us, know one thing, you were chosen by the Almighty and your reward
truly lies with the Almighty.
We hope and pray that we can light the flame of inspiration in the hearts of our readers to follow the
footsteps of the Masumeen and to work to serve the Almighty. We pray the Almighty accepts what little
we have done and may we answer the Awaited one’s call. Labbayk Ya Imam!