Latest News & Events
New Book Coming Soon!
Introducing Through the Blue Gate, the second book in the Adventures with the Awliya series…
Summer began with the discovery of an amazing secret that took Jem, Mikael and Munira beyond the forest into the stories of old.
Now, joined by a new friend, the adventures continue into cities of wizards, stormed-tossed seas and the legacies of Muslim heroes…
Pre-orders opening soon!
To order Beyond the Forest, the first book in the Adventures with the Awliya series please click here.
More information to be released in the coming weeks.
Princeton Programme 2020
I look forward to returning to Princeton, even if only virtually, for their annual Mawlid. This year they host Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, who is the keynote speaker, before whose talk I will do a reading from the Soliloquy. Tune in insha’allah!
Adventures with the Awliya
Beyond the Forest
Suddenly they heard the sound of hooves and horns. Men appeared between the trees, armed with bows and arrows.
Jem turned to Mika. “I don’t think we’re in your forest anymore.”
When Jem goes to spend his summer holidays with his cousins in the countryside, he‘s expecting adventures. But not like these…
Join Jem, Mika and Mu through a doorway deep in the forest, as they travel to mysterious lands, across deserts, swamps and rivers, encountering bandits, castles and snakes, in search of some of the greatest figures in Islamic history: the legendary Awliya.
Beyond the Forest is the first book in the Adventures with the Awliya series.
“I found the book to be mysterious and funny. I liked how the book contained important lessons in life, including being kind to others and to always tell the truth. My favourite person was Sufi Sahib because he had the power to speak to the python. I like the name of the book and the fawn. Fawns are animals and I admire animals. I would be interested in reading more of these books.”
“The story of the fawn in the forest captured our interest from the start of the first two chapters when we were introduced to Jem, Munira and Mikael. We felt that we could relate to the characters who share similar likes to us when it comes to hiking, riding our bikes and looking for an adventure. The story really got more exciting after the sixth chapter when we learnt through Madam Rifqa and her Magic Mihrab about Islam and the Awliya Allah with whose stories we are familiar with. This made us feel proud of our Islamic History.”
Mueen and Zaheen
Ages 9 and 10
“What I really like about this book is that it really makes you picture what’s going on and takes you on the journey with the characters. My favourite character was Jem because he was very brave and loved exploring. I would 100% guarantee this book to anyone who wants to learn a bit about Islam and anyone who likes adventure. If you do and want to read about it then, surely, this is the book for you.”
“I thought this book was really good because it had lots of good vocabulary. I liked the characters and settings. There was a good picture at the front. I would recommend this book to other people.”
“A magical and inspiring read. I was captivated by the story from start to end. From the time I picked up the book I felt as though I had been transported into another world. The beautiful story telling allowed me to engage with my kids on matters of faith and good morals.”
“A beautiful story sprinkled with important lessons that can be enjoyed by children and their parents.”
Abdul Jabbar Ghauri
“A delightful book that stirs the imagination of children by linking them to tales of great figures from the past. These stories are rapidly disappearing in a day and age where technology and media rule all. The book implements the understanding that it is not the amount of wealth nor popularity that makes a person special, but the state of their hearts. A lesson that is as relevant to adults than children in today’s world.”
Syed Fahad Ali
The Soliloquy of the Full Moon
1st Edition: December 2015
2nd Edition: October 2020
2nd edition is available for order now.
Love of the Prophet (salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is the beating heart of religion. The purpose of mawlid celebration is precisely to inspire this deep love of and reverence for the Prophet (salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) – to transcend outward aspects of his words and deeds to reveal something of his inward reality.
To assist this noble endeavour, for over a thousand years, traditional works of mawlid have been composed in every language spoken by believers. English-speaking Muslims – long bereft of a work to call their own – can now fully enjoy the experience of mawlid in the highest rhythms and prose of their native tongue.
The Soliloquy of the Full Moon is an epic poem composed over twelve nights in Rabi al-Awwal 1436H. Over a thousand lines, it celebrates the virtues of the Prophet (s), the signs preceding his advent, the wonders of his birth and nursing, the first revelations and his night journey and ascension. It is the first work of its kind written in the English language – Barzanjian in form, Shakespearean in cadence – composed by the author at the age of only 15. May it be read, celebrated and reflected upon for generations to come.
“As someone who is more comfortable with English language as the medium for accessing information, the Soliloquy Mawlid is the first of its kind that I have been able to appreciate and enjoy and feel spiritually uplifted by the devotion articulated in this accomplished piece of work.
This would be considered an exceptional achievement by any accomplished author who is a scholar of Islam and learned about the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). It is all the more extraordinary given that it is the work of a 16 year old, Noor Yusuf, who was home schooled and whilst writing this book was also working towards the comparatively mundane GCSE exams. She has made her debut as a talented young Muslim female author and secured her place as a beacon of inspiration and role model for her peers in any educational setting. May Allah reward her for her immense effort in producing the Soliloquy of the Full Moon.”
“The Soliloquy of the full Moon, a treat for Prophetic lovers, delivers the Mawlid with eloquence and grace. The author has compiled a much-needed English rendition of praising the Beloved, which can be enjoyed by all for years to come. Peace and blessings upon our Master Muhammed!”
“A truly unique work of praises and celebration of the Best of all Creation in twelve amazing, beautiful chapters. Can be read all year round and perfect for the first 12 days of Rabi al-Awwal for the young and old. My children, nephews and nieces loved reading it in their Mawlid programs.”
“Original, inspiring, lucid, creative and accessible. This timely produced book is a great addition to the canon of Mawlid literature, yet it is unique because it is written in articulate, poetic English. With every page, every song, every couplet, one can get a sense of what yearning for the Beloved is. It is conducive not only for gatherings but also for solitary recitation and reflection. For those of you who want to know the Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him), look no further.”
“For thirsty souls yearning to find their way back to their Beloved…this book will transport you 1400 years in a truly unique and beautiful way. Be with your Beloved whilst reading The Soliloquy of the Full Moon!”
“A work of exceptional beauty – the first of its kind in the English language. The mind is astonished at the maturity of its style, and is excited as it considers the bright future for this young author.”
Shaykh Nasir Rashid
“Beautifully written, composed and poeticised, the Soliloquy of the Full Moon is a remarkable addition to the Mawlids written in honour of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ over the ages.
Not only is this work ‘an original English Mawlid,’ its author is merely 15 years of age, and this publication reflects her maturity of thought, command over the English language and, most of all, her flowing love for the Beloved of Allah and of us all – Allāh bless him and grant him peace. Amin.
With well-composed poetry, using beautifully appropriate English and balanced tones and rhymes, The Soliloquy of the Full Moon has set many standards in many respects. It is always a pleasure to read from wherever within the book and whenever I pick it up to read – there are not many books that can hold such a claim.”
Shaykh Tahir Mahmood Kiani
“A long awaited quality addition to the repertoire of many valuable resources now available for any religious gathering in the English speaking lands. This work highlights the immense importance of connecting our community both young and old and bringing them physically together to celebrate the life of our Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, the greatest contributor to human success and felicity in history and the one who is the source of our happiness in this life and the next. Through regularly reciting this work alone and in congregation, we are truly able to be mindful and fully appreciative of the blessing he truly is for us and motivate ourselves as a community towards positive change and heal the ills we all face in our lives.”
Shaykh Idris Watts, Abu Zahra Foundation
Lizard Point, Peninsula
Lizard Point, Peninsula
Pod Hollow, Suffolk
Princeton University, USA
Hagia Sophia, Turkey
Noor Yusuf is a young poet and author. Born in South Africa and raised in the United Kingdom, she has been writing and composing both long-form prose and poetry for a number of years. Her works have garnered her a number of awards at both local and national level, including being a three-times winner of the Young Muslim Writer’s Award. Her deep attachment to traditional Islamic spirituality informs the majority of her works.
At the age of 15, and over only twelve nights, she authored The Soliloquy of the Full Moon, an original work on the nativity of the Prophet Muhammad. This is a thousand line narrative epic of fully metered English poetry detailing the signs, wonders and prophecies that heralded the Mawlid – or birth – of the Prophet. It seamlessly fuses the classical cadences of Shakespeare and Milton with the equally classical genres of Arabic praise and biographical poetry, to create a work that is entirely unique and a definitive contribution to Western Muslim culture.
She has recently published Beyond the Forest, a children’s adventure story influenced by classics such as the Faraway Tree, as well as accounts of Muslim Sufis and mystics. This work – the first of a series – follows three young Muslim children on adventures through history during which they learn valuable life lessons. She has also authored a fully-fledged historical fantasy trilogy, which she hopes to publish soon.
She is currently completing a degree in linguistics, after having been home-schooled for a number of years, and is also pursuing traditional studies of Islamic law, theology and spirituality under her father Shaykh Dr Asim Yusuf. Besides writing, she is also an artist and the conductor of a children’s choir.
The heaven’s cloak descends upon the earth
Enshrouding her in darkness and in light;
The Moon is faint, prolonging its seclusion
In veneration for the holy nights.
Arise as the Muadhin calls his verses,
Inviting all to congregate in prayer;
A bittersweet denouement to the season
A welcome to an innocent new year.
This Month awaited by each turning season
By all alike, upheld in high regard,
That has the arrogant resign their reason
And drunkards all their drunkenness discard.
In waxing and in fullness and in waning,
The days are abstinent, the nights are blessed
With worship. For when Ramadan is reigning
Both saint and sinner will become their best.
Hail the Night of Power drawing nearer
Sacredness enveloping the Earth
Let us meet it well and reach another
Striving strong until the Day of Mirth.
*Day of Mirth – Eid
We have revealed the glorious Quran
Upon the Night of Power and Decree.
But how shall all ye people then perceive
What be this sovereign Night of Destiny?
This Night is greater than a thousand months
In sanctity of worship and reward,
Expended in remembrance and prayer,
In closeness and proximity to God.
And hence the seraphim and Spirit come,
Both seeking first permission from their Lord,
To settle every matter and affair.
So is there Peace until the break of dawn.
A versified translation of Surah Qadr with some exposition.
By the glori’ous morning light,
And in stillness of the night,
Never has your Lord abandoned you,
Nor does He turn in spite.
What comes after is far better
Than whatever came before;
And you soon will be well-satisfied,
Looked after by your Lord.
Did He not find you an orphan
And grant shelter in His place?
Did He not find you a wanderer
And guide you to His grace?
Did He not find you impoverished,
Enriching you in turn?
So do not oppress the orphan child,
Do not the beggars spurn.
For the blessings your Lord gave,
Gladly speak and gladly praise!
A versified translation of Surah Duha with some exposition.
Tertius paeanic metre
When Adam bowed and fervent prayed
Remembered he a word engraved
Upon God’s Throne, beside God’s name
‘Forgive me for Muhammad’s sake!’
His Lord then turned to him in grace
‘How came you, Adam, by this name?’
‘I saw it written on Your Throne –
To me, this name remains unknown;
And yet is blessed, I am sure,
Because You placed it next to Yours.’
The night removed its shadowed cloak
Forgiveness came and dawn light broke!
And Adam fell prostrate, at peace –
By whom but God’s Belov’d to seek?
Between Muhammad and Allah
There is no word these names to part.
Our Prophet in, primordial days,
Blessed our father, saved our fate.
My father, Shaykh Asim was speaking on the inner secrets of prayer. He spoke of the first Fajr: the salah Adam performed when he sought forgiveness through the name of the Messenger of Allah. There is not even a و between لا اله الا الله محمد الرسول الله, not even an ‘and’ to separate the name of Allah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم.
O Lady in the haven fair
Across the traverse of the seas,
Who walked the earth in elder days
And wove her blossoms on the trees,
We call to thee, to thee we sing,
O honoured daughter of the king
To hither cast thy gentle sight
O Maiden named for radiant light!
Fair light! Fair light of evenstar
That glitters near and blazes far,
Within the morning, shimmering,
Within the darkness, glimmering,
Amongst the angels, glistening,
And to her lovers, listening;
In raiment wrought of silver thread,
A coronet upon her head,
Upon her mantle jewels bestrewn,
A dance of stars around the moon.
Her beauty unbeheld by sight,
Her wisdom piercing the night,
Her noble station is bedight
With lordly, amaranthine light.
O Queen anointed by his light!
We call to thee, to thee we sing
That, as we honour thee, that thou
So honour our remembering.
Written for Sayyida Fatima Zahra on the occasion of the 3rd of Ramadan 1438.
For those who suffer sleepless nights
Aware that others aren’t asleep,
Who rise and take their pen to write,
Or listen while the others weep –
It is for them that angels bow
Their heads and say ‘Lord we were wrong
To think that men were hard of heart;
How can they be to sing such song?’
You are the ones whom love has touched
And melted you to liquid pure
Such that your wisdom freely spreads –
Your surety makes others sure.
In Earth and Heaven given fame
For sharing his most hallowed name.
‘… Do not forsake the ones who cross your mind in passing thought,
But find sincerity within the pain of being apart.
Remember them; perhaps they will remember you again.
And pray for them, these honoured guests, the callers at your heart.’
An extract from the longer poem ‘Forget-Me-Nots’.