Top Ten Islamic Entertainment for Kids

I have two little boys (and a third one on the way) and I am always worried about what they watch on television. I do not stop my children from watching television completely as I feel that has negative results, but I have provided a controlled environment in which they only watch DVDs and programs which I have approved. Although, I let them watch a few animated movies, especially those by Pixar, I am always on the look out for quality Islamic shows for my children to watch and enjoy.

When I was a child, there was barely any Islamic media available for kids. I grew up listening to Zain Bhikha and Dawud Wharnsby’s nasheeds but that was all I had. Alhamdulillah, all that has changed as more Muslims have realized the importance of Islamic media and in the past few years, many products for children have been produced.

Thus I have compiled a list of my favorite Islamic entertainment products for children to share with other parents who have similar concerns. People may differ over the permissibility of these products (music, animation, etc) but this is not the forum for that. Please click here for a fatwa on this issue on music in television shows, and here for a fatwa about animation for children.

10. The Lion of Ain Jaloot

This is a one hour animated movie about the early wars between the Muslims and the Mongols. It focuses on the story of Saifudeen Khutuz (pronounced Khotos in the movie) from childhood until he leads the Muslims to their first victory over the Mongols. The problem with this movie is that the animation is a bit outdated and the voices are not in sync with the lips of the characters. However, what I really enjoy about this movie is that it gives you a chance to teach and discuss many important aspects of Islamic history with your children. One of the scenes in this movie is the sacking of Baghdad which is a very important event in the history of Islamic scholarship. This movie opens the doors to discuss such historical events with your children.

9. Harun Yahya’s nature documentaries

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Children love animals and nature (at least my kids do), and as such I feel much more at ease letting them watch Harun Yahya’s nature documentaries rather than those of Non-Muslims. Now the Non-Muslim produced animal documentaries are good but the advantage of the Harun Yahya DVDs is that he always links everything back to Allah and Islam. It is a beautiful way for children to learn about Islam and nature at the same time.

8. Nasheed Videos

This is a controversial area as there are so many different opinions regarding what is permissible or not in terms of nasheeds. Going with the majority view that wind and string instruments are prohibited, as is acting like you are in a rock video, there are still many Islamic nasheed videos you can let your children watch. I have a collection of nasheed videos by various artists like Zain Bhikha, Ahmed Bukhatir and Native Deen which I let my children watch as well a collection of nasheed performances on stage (call it a concert or whatever you like) without instruments (except a drum sometimes) or screaming girls in the crowd (I don’t approve of that).

My children’s first word was Allah which they repeated after hearing it in almost every nasheed, one of their first sentences was Laa Ilaaha Illallah which they learned from the song “Al-Khaliq” and the list of good things they have learned from these songs can go on and on. Thus far, I have seen only good results from raising my children with nasheeds, but that is a decision for parents to make based on the opinion they follow about nasheeds and music.

7. Stories of the Prophets – Yusuf Estes

PEACE TV has produced some of the best Islamic shows for children. The first one to make this list is Stories of the Prophets. Yusuf Estes is perfect as an Islamic teacher for children, looking like a jolly grandfather and with a very good sense of humor, he keeps the children entertained while teaching them the stories of the prophets (peace be upon them) and many valuable lessons from each story. This is a very important show to let your children watch and one of many reasons why I recommend PEACE TV for every Muslim home.

6. Whiz Kids & Wonder Kids

Other entertaining shows on PEACE TV are Whiz Kids and Wonder Kids, both feature performances by the children of the IIS (International Islamic School) in which the children deliver lectures, sing nasheeds, act out plays and overall provide good entertainment and lessons for children. I really like these shows because they provide positive role models for Muslim children, as your children can grow up watching practicing Muslim children on television.

5. Hooray for Baba Ali

Young people and teenagers are entertained and learn a lot through Baba Ali’s Reminder series, but for the little ones, there is Hooray for Baba Ali. A series of short videos in which Baba Ali entertains the kiddies by behaving like a child (more like a Muslim version of Mr. Bean) while teaching them many important lessons including obedience to parents, cleanliness, kindness to animals and so much more. The DVD of this series released by Milo Productions Inc. has some bonus nasheed videos which the children really love.

4. The Boy and the King

One of my favorite stories of all time, narrated in Saheeh Muslim and the Tafseer of Surah Buruj, the story of the boy and the king is full of great moral lessons. That is why this is one of my favorite Islamic movies ever. At a full feature length of one and a half hours, this movie tells the story of the boy who stood up against the king and his sorcerer and all the adventures that ensued. The movie’s animation is a bit outdated but it does not matter much because that is made up for with quality voice acting, a well written script and many morals and lessons for the entire family. This movie I recommend the entire family to watch together, not just for the kids.

3. Muhammad (pbuh): The Final Prophet

It is hard to choose between the Message, the Final Legacy (series on Islam Channel) or the animated movie Muhammad: The Final Prophet. All three tell the Seerah beautifully, but since this is a list for children, I will go with the animated movie as the best way to teach your children the basic Seerah. The movie is well-animated, has good voice acting, an excellent script and tells all the major events of the Seerah with many moral lessons in just one and a half hours. I find this movie perfect as an introduction to the Seerah for children, Non-Muslims and new converts.

2. The Zaky Series

1Islam Productions child division One4Kids have hired quality animators to put together a series of DVDs with an Islamic ethos about a purple bear named Zaky. There is so much to praise about this series. The animation is of the highest quality, the knowledge passed on is approved by scholars and authentic, there are no musical instruments and it is very well scripted. The best DVD in this series thus far is Time to Pray with Zaky which teaches children how to perform Wudhu, Tayyamum and Salah as well as many other lessons along the way. This DVD taught my children how to pray before they were two years old and at the moment they are learning their duas and surahs from this movie. If you don’t have this DVD in your collection, get it now. At the moment, we are eagerly awaiting the DVD release of the next Zaky movie in which he deals with protecting the environment.

1. Enjoying Islam with Zain and Dawud

Another PEACE TV production, this is a very high quality TV show, which I love watching with my children. This show stars Zain Bhikha, Dawud Wharnsby and five wonderful Muslim children in a library in which they discussed many important Islamic topics using many creative means and of course many nasheeds (with no instruments except the duff). The show has a catchy theme song which gets my children excited and glued to the TV, it has a brightly colored set, brilliant actors and in every episode your children will learn many valuable Islamic lessons. Yet another reason to have PEACE TV in your home.

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52 responses to “Top Ten Islamic Entertainment for Kids”

  1. Sayf says:

    Mash’Allah, an excellent article with a lot of useful resources, may Allah reward you! Yusuf Estes really is everyone’s jolly grandpa lol! Mash’Allah.

    When are you going to make a top-ten list for top-ten lists? =D}

  2. shumaila siddiqui says:

    MAshaAllah an excellent article!
    Lots of stuff for upbringing Muslim children in an Islamic environment. I love peace tv programmes esp the children’s programmes .

  3. AnonyMouse says:

    Oooh, I used to watch the Lion of Ain Jaloot and The Boy and the King!
    Another good movie is the Muslim Scouts series – I remember watching the Muslim Scouts in Africa movie, which was pretty fun.

  4. […] is the original post:  Top Ten Islamic Entertainment for Kids | MuslimMatters.org This entry is filed under Book, Film, Nas, News, Rock, Various Artists. You can follow any […]

  5. Reyaz says:

    Assalamu Alaikum, just to add to Bro Ismail’s list # 11 Habil and Qabil its available on youtube.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmsnAgqd9hc

  6. Slave of Allah says:

    Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

    Concerning Harun Yahya: … according to him, the world is only one set of images presented by God at the human heart to test it, Harun Yahya, written in his book “Have You Ever Thought about the Truth?” p.86: ‘Actually, there is no observable difference between the setting of the dream and of the “real world” as we call it.’ and further it writes: ‘The “outside world”, on the other hand, just as in our dream, takes the form of the images presented to our spirit by Allah. In other words, the human being is not in the universe but the universe, is in the human being.’ In the same page: ‘… the “outside world” seems to be so realistic is the perfection of the senses and the images. Our Creator creates a perfect world for us. What misleads us is the excellence of the creation of these images. Briefly, we can define the universe, as an image perfect enough to call it almost “real”.’ On page 87: ‘In this case, the answer to the classical question: “Where is Allah?” becomes clear. According to those who do not adhere to the Qur’anic way of life and thinking, Allah is “up in the sky” watching them from a distance and rarely interfering with worldly affairs…’ Then finally he states in the same page: ‘Yet, as it has been emphasized until now, matter is just a perception. It is not an alternative for Allah to exist outside this collection of matter. Allah is everywhere. Nothing can be out of Allah’s existence.’ (Here again the belief of wahdatul-wujÅ«d which is identical to Hinduism and pantheism) May Allāh protect us from such belief and deviation. SubhānAllāhi ‘ammā yushrikÅ«n – Glorified is Allāh! (High is He) above all they associate as partners with Him.

  7. Syed J. says:

    Assalam alaikum,

    I used to be a ardent fan of Harun Yahya and his writings and work until i stumbled upon a couple of things very much disturbing to the basics of our relationship with the Prophet SAWS, and also this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJTj0bp_oSo

    I would love to see Scholars on MM shed light on this please, as many people do seem to benefit from HY’s works.

    JK.

  8. Atif says:

    Assalamu’alaykum
    Subhan Allah, I could have used this list last weekend at the ISNA Bazaar! Khayr, I did end up getting “Hooray for Baba Ali”, all praise is for Allah (swt).
    I think some of these videos need ratings. For example, when Nimrud executes 1 person in Zaky’s “Story of Ibrahim (as)” video, this might be a little heavy for younger children (even though the execution isn’t shown, the kid still knows what happened).

    Also, as Dr. Bilal Phillips has mentioned, not everything Harun Yahya says is authentic, as in Evolution of Deceit he mentions some pantheistic beliefs. So one should be careful in that regard.

    Jazaak Allah Khayr

  9. Abu Aaliyah says:

    Asalaamu Alaikum,
    I agree with nasheeds by Zain bhika and Dawud W. but Native deen, I don’t know about that. They are more hip hop version and better suited for teenagers and those who are in transition from mainstream rap music to less music. I was in that boat before, I enjoyed them because of the music. The lyrics was good but I was bopping my head back and forth like before, so I had to stop.

    • Wa Alaikum Salaam

      I guess it depends on one’s Fiqh position towards Native Deen and the instruments they use. I know many parents who encourage their children to listen to Native Deen and many others who regard it as Haraam. Actually, when I orginally wrote this article, I thought I deleted the words ‘Native Deen’ but I had actually forgotten to, because I know their songs are controversial.

      Parents need to provide Islamic entertainment for their children, when it comes to Nasheeds, the opinion/math’hab the parents follow on this issue will influence which nasheeds they allow,

  10. Abdul-Malik Ryan says:

    What about Adam’s World?

  11. iMuslim says:

    JazakAllah khair for this list… I have now decided to invest in a couple of Zaky DVDs for my cousin’s kids, and my friend’s little ones, insha’Allah. Early Eid shopping!

    • I though you were going to say that you are going to invest in producing more children’s entertainment products.

      Actually I want to produce some children’s shows myself, got a lot of creative ideas but do not have the resources or media skills.

      Enjoy your shopping.

      • Abu Sabriya says:

        Salaam,

        Regarding producing Children’s videos, what is the ruling on creating animations? Is it the same as the prohibition on drawing images of animate beings with faces? Before I became Muslim I spent many years producing/writing films, but gave it up due to mixed feelings about how halal it would be to continue doing this.

        Lately I’ve been having second-thoughts and perhaps going into Children’s video might be a productive avenue for me (I have produced animated works in the past, although nothing too elaborate) as long as it can be halal. Although I realize it doesn’t necessarily have to be animated to be successful.

        Jazakum Allahu khayrn

        • Wa Alaikum Salaam Wa Rahmatullah

          Actually many scholars regard animation for children as permissible and an eexception to the prohibition of image-making, please click here for more details.

          In fact, these many scholars encourage the production of Islamic cartoons as an alternative to the other projects out there.

          If you have the skills and resources, I encourage you to go ahead and produce Islamic animation for our children.

  12. iMuslim says:

    Oh, one wee bit of criticism (this wouldn’t be an MM comments thread without it!)… you mention DVDs, TV shows, animation, anasheed… all very good.

    But what about books, yaar? ;)

    • Actually I didn’t mention any books because I restricted this list to video format entertainment. Once my kids start reading, I’ll work on a Top Ten List of children’s books.

    • sister when one is passionate about there carrier it brings joy ,happiness and smiles with a sense of calmness and peace .Islam is about peace and I like seeing my Muslim sisters happy and in the work place and able to feel independent and not lose yourself. Remember he first words that the prophet rasul Allah (pbuh )was iqra Read which applies to both men and women. Education should not be taken away from me because my spouses insecurities we all grow and stand up for ourselves as we d mature teach in our children to read it’s the key to success I’m excited to introduce Islamic books and vidieo want to get the tv show hopefully offered in my area ssf Salamualacum and May Allah bless you for passing to me this information so my kids get closer to there deen and need to be exposed daily

  13. Very good reference list for the family, insha’Allah. Jazak Allahu khairan Brother Ismail.

  14. muslimah says:

    asalamualaykum

    it was a very nice article, i am also on the look out for halal entertainment for my baby as she grows up.

    i just wanted to give you some naseeha, if you don’t mind.

    i know it is very hard, and near impossible, to stay away from music when you let your kids watch TV. pretty much everything has background music. but that doesn’t make the music halal or “okay” for your precious children’s ears. even the fatwa you gave the link to (although i am not sure who sh. khalid al-majid is) says that it is not sinful if you don’t have a choice, if you are in a situation that music is there but you don’t deliberately listen to it. i have heard this idea before from shuyookh and they explain that if you are in a grocery store or something and there is music in the background, as long as you are not trying to listen to it, inshaAllah you would not be sinful. i mean, you have to go to the store! but that is very different from putting on a DVD and sitting your kids down in front of it, and then you hope that they don’t pay attention to the music.

    i know that, subhanAllah, we are just trying to find the best options and sometimes it seems like we’re choosing between Bad and Worse. but if you do choose to allow your kids to watch stuff that has background music (and Allah knows that all of us are struggling to do good and avoid evil), then i advise you to not feel that it is halal, but rather feel that it is sinful, and avoid it when you can, and don’t make your kids feel comfortable with hearing any type of music.

    i am making du’a that Allah gives the best to your children and mine.

    your sister in islam

  15. transposition says:

    AA —

    I cannot condone the inclusion of anything by Harun Yahya. Creationism is not a value that needs to be passed on to the next generation of muslims.

    • Sayf says:

      Agreed, I’m sure he’s a nice guy – but they really shouldn’t be selling his anti-evolution and freemasonry work in Islamic bookstores. Pseudoscience and conspiracy theories hurt kids, I haven’t seen the videos mentioned in the articles though, I’m sure they’re nice.

  16. Bella says:

    dawud wharnsby ali is no longer a muslim (dont know if he ever was or if it was an act). check out the FAQ on his blog.

    • Amad says:

      Couldn’t find anything about that. Can you point to a link?

    • Bella, I think you’re wrong. He was just at ISNA, by the way. What I think you’re referring to is the way he chooses to talk about da’wah, which may strike you (or me) as possibly questionable. He has stated that he believes in one God and all the prophets Mentioned in the Qur’an…anyone who has heard his songs know that he is a Muslim. I would be more careful about making such claims.

      Allah knows best.

  17. Olan says:

    May Allaah guide the brother to a correct understanding and application of the deen. This article about his religious philosophy is actually worrying.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawud_Wharnsby_Ali#cite_note-20

    Olan

  18. Monzir says:

    As-salam alykoom,

    There’s also RecessKids Magazine, a Muslim kids’ magazine. For more info you can visit http://www.recesskids.com

    Here’s a YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWponUMdok8

    -Monzir

  19. Ghauri says:

    Assalam o Alakum

    I have a good link for children for Islamic games, movies , cartoons at;

    http://www.ITandQuran.com/kids.htm
    http://www.ITandQuran.com/cartoons.htm
    http://www.ITandQuran.com/videos.htm

  20. Mwatumu hatibu says:

    Assalam aleikum, can we get the movies above in the local market, i am in Nairobi-Kenya.

  21. Habibi says:

    What about Misri Bunch Videos ?
    http://misribunch.com/misri/

  22. Faroq says:

    Assalaamu alaikom,

    Anyone who is interested in professional (online) courses, seminars and resources on Islamic parenting can visit: http://www.effectiveislamicparenting.com. It has great articles and courses and you can even subscribe to their Email Training for free… Worth a visit.

  23. Huma says:

    2 of our favorites:

    Alif is for Asad video- great songs by kids and excellent Arabic teaching tool, it’s a about a bunch of kids visiting the zoo
    Salam, Salam and the queen bee, Salam and the knights of virtue. My kids and I love these :)

  24. Assalaamu alaikum, Hurray for Baba Ali series is actually produced by Milo Productions Inc. Milo Productions Inc. is a specialist in the production of children’s television series. Our work is produced for TV channels around the world and has been viewed in most continents. We take great care in the design and writing of TV programs ensuring both a fun and educational experience for children. We have over 20 years of experience and offer full production services, consultation, training and project management. Visit http://www.miloproductionsinc.com and http://www.muslimkids.tv

  25. […] of it.  This is also a good way to keep them entertained while teaching them valuable lessons.  Here is an extensive list of resources you can benefit […]

  26. ElvenInk says:

    Jazak Allah Khair for the excellent post. I didn’t know about many of these and will have to check them out, Insha Allah.

    • Michael Milo says:

      Al’hamdulillah, this week we launched a new website developed specifically for Muslim children – http://www.MuslimKids.TV. The site features hundreds of videos, games and fun educational activities for kids – including the Hurray for Baba Ali series.

      It is perfect for Islamic schools and home schoolers as there are lots of project based activities for the kids to upload to the site. There is a small subscription fee of $39.99 per year for a family – but well worth it for the amount of things available on the site.

  27. Assalamu Alykum brother. The list that you’ve compiled will certainly be useful for parents wanting to provide islamic entertainment to their children. As a mother, I had discovered most of these. My concern however is there are a very few videos. My kids have watched everything available many times and when you have to compete with TV, well, you just can’t. What we need is an Islamic entertainment channel for Muslim children. I would like to mention an excellent Islamic video here: Tuva: The wealth of Salah. It’s really good. I’ve been waiting for Tuva 2 for ages but it’s not available in Lahore so far

  28. Nabeel says:

    Following is a very comprehensive Fatwa from Dr. Bilal Philips. It also presents opinions of other scholars and demonstrate the permissibility of using images and cartoons for educational purposes:

    http://www.malawimuslims.com/hadith/cartoons-in-children-books/

    Allah knows best.

  29. Ahmad says:

    Assalaamu Alaykum. If you ever make another list, think about adding this to it!
    The Muslims Cartoon!
    https://youtu.be/6P0aXZo_wBQ

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