Abdu’l-Baha was the eldest son of Baha’u’llah. When Abdu’l-Baha passed away on 28 November 1921, He was eulogized as One who led humanity to the “Way of Truth,” as a “pillar of peace” and the embodiment of “glory and greatness.”
Baha’is see the young as the most precious treasure a community can possess. In them are the promise and guarantee of the future. Yet, in order for this promise to be realised, children need to receive spiritual nourishment, such as can be found in the children’s classes happening all around the world.
Mulla Husayn: A Book for Young Children by Alhan Rahimi
Alhan Rahimi is a lovely young mother who saw a need and filled it. She has recently written a book called Mulla Husayn: The Story of the Declaration of the Bab for Young Children. The colorful book includes soft illustrations and thoughtful text. I found myself sitting next to Alhan at this year’s ABS conference and it was wonderful to meet her. Here is what she shared about her book:
Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Alhan Rahimi. I’m a Baha’i mother of two young girls (ages three and one). I also work as a medical Arabic interpreter and live in Ontario, Canada.
Baha’i Blog: What inspired you to write this book?
My children were my inspiration. I wanted my 3-year-old to have a better understanding of the Declaration of the Bab celebration. I actually want them both to have a good understanding of all the Baha’i Holy Days!
Baha’i Blog: Who is the book’s target audience?
I aimed for children under the age of five, but older children will benefit from it as well.
Baha’i Blog: What was the process like to put this book together?
Even though I heard this story myself countless times growing up, but it was necessary to go back to the sources and read it a few more times with a closer eye. It was interesting to try to find out what parts of the conversation between Mulla Husayn and the Bab would resonate to a young child. It definitely wasn’t easy as the topic itself is not for such a young age. Then came the writing of the story and, after that, selecting the illustrator. An editor had to go through it as well and finally the National Spiritual Assembly had to approve it.
Baha’i Blog: What’s something that you learned while writing this book?
I think some topics are difficult for young children no matter how much we try to simplify them. So, I look at this book as an introduction for young children to the Declaration of the Bab.
Baha’i Blog: Could you please tell us a little about the illustrations?
The illustrator is Alina Onipchenko. Thanks to technology, I found her online and all our communication was online. I explained to her what I exactly wanted for each illustration and provided her with images. Some images had to be edited once or twice for them to be what I had in mind and she did an amazing job!
Baha’i Blog: Where can the book be found?
It’s available on Amazon. I was also told that it’s available in the Wilmette House of Worship’s bookstore and some Baha’i schools in the U.S.
Baha’i Blog: Are you planning to write more children’s books?
In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a stay-at-home parent and a bookworm with a maxed out library card but professionally she is a museologist with a background in English Literature. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.