Whether you're a home educator, parent or teacher, finding a program which is authentic is paramount to our goals to raise children who know for what purpose we were all created.
They say a picture paints a thousand words, so in this post I'm going to share with you some English Islamic Studies books in video form, that might help you to find something to suit your needs inshaAllah.
The books I'm sharing below, some of them I would use in that way (a basis for creating my own lessons) and some are open and go programs ready to use.
So depending on what it is you're looking for, you might use each suggestion differently.
This book offers a nice introduction to some of the fundamental basics of our religion, or a simple reminder for those who have learnt these concepts already.
Its divided into 18 short chapters, each ending with a few simple comprehension questions to help consolidate the learning and demonstrate what has been learnt.
I'm currently using this book with my 10 and 12 year old this year, as a curriculum guide to plan my own weekly lessons around.
You can see how we used chapter 1 to create a Tawheed folder printable (which you can also download), and also from the start of chapter 2, a 5 Pillars of Islam box.
The chapters are short, and the language very simple yet concise in meaning.
Knowledge based questions for Muslim children by Shaykj 'AbdulQadir ibn Muhammad al-Junayd published by Muwahhideen Publications.
This short book, is written in a question and answer format, with both Arabic and English text side by side.
It provides questions, followed by the answer which the child can memorise, explaining the fundamental matters of Islam.
I picked this up a couple of months ago, and although we haven't begun using it yet, it is an excellent book being in both languages.
al-Waajibaat (the obligatory matters) and Thalaathatul-Usool (The Three Fundamental Principles) compiled and translated by Umm Mujjahid Khadeeja Bint Lacina al-Amreekeeyah published by Taalib al-Ilm Educational Resources.
They were delivered as live sisters classes online a couple of years ago by its compiler, Umm Mujjahid (you can find a brief bio on this FAQ page), although I think these courses may still be running but I'm not sure.
The books themselves are certainly for the whole family to study from.
The content is thorough yet still simple enough for the average person to read and understand alhamdulillah. At the end of each chapter are a set of comprehension questions.
Both these explanations offer the basis of detailed ongoing Islamic study lessons with the children.
Its hard for me to say what ages this would be appropriate for, because it really depends on each child and what you are looking for from a book and how you intend to use it.
An older or more capable child may well be able to read and work through it alone, however I personally would say it would be better to study together with your children.
These are more like your typical school-type text book covering grades 1 to 12, are simple in writing and designed for active learning (you can check out sample ICO Islamic Studies chapters from each grade here).
The only thing I'd say is a downfall for some of the earlier books, is that they do contain pictures of living beings (which can simply be blocked out as you would other books with images) however I think later editions appear to not include them (from what I have seen).
If you're looking for something which offers a more open and go style curriculum, this program offers just that.
I first bought grade 1 several years ago from Salafi Bookstore in Birmingham, however they are no longer stockists. I have since contacted them to enquire about the authenticity of the books, and was advised they are fine to use inshaAllah. You can find them on Amazon.
I like using these books for those times when the kids need to do something, but you don't want to put the effort into preparing anything yourself (for whatever reason you might have!)….they make good busy-work books to fill in time.
They are easy to read and are delivered in a child friendly format, which although I do believe we need to talk our children through their Islamic learning, is possible for them to read and comprehend these pretty independently.
Just note, these have been designed for classroom use, so there are some group work activities throughout the book. If you are using these books at home rather than school / madrassa, you can do these with siblings, partner with your child yourself or adapt them for independent completion.
Eeman made easy published by al-Kitaab & as-Sunnah Publishing
They have since been on my book shelf and are benefiting my children Allahumma barik.
They are a set of 6 books, each one covering one of the Pillars of Imaan with comprehension questions throughout.
I believe they have been written for children (the blurb on the back says they have been structured to help elementary-level readers).
I haven't used them to teach from, but my children pick them up to read from time to time, and certainly could be used to form the basis of Islamic studies lessons, with questions throughout to help develop understanding.
I've seen these in Salafi Bookstore in Birmingham, and noticed they have stamped the inside cover with a statement that the contents of these books are considered sound. You can get them direct from their website Salafi Bookstore.
Know who you are taking Islamic knowledge from for yourself, and conveying to your children.
To end, I just want to remind you, how important it is we know from who we take our knowledge from.
There are many Islamic books and curriculums for children being published in the English language today, however not all of them are correct in their Aqeedah and their calling to the Qur'an and Sunnah.
We don't want to teach our children dua which are not authentic, or teachings which are based on falsehood, or stories which are not sound.
We want them to learn the Qur'an and Sunnah, and understand it the same way the Salaf as-Saalih understood it.
So check your sources always, and just because something looks visually well presented, it doesn't mean it would be suitable to use, if its written content is not authentic.
You can listen to this audio recording (and read brief notes) of Shiekh Ahmad ibn 'Umar Bazmool giving a lecture based upon the statement of Muhammad ibn Serin:
This knowledge is a matter of Din, so be careful who you take your din from.
May Allah guide me and guide you to that which is upon truth and correct guidance.