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Positively Muslim in the West: Alya Nuri – Child Author Extraordinaire

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Alya Nuri is a 10-year old American Muslim, author, and motivational speaker. She started her writing career at the tender age of 7 and has recently published a 4 book series called “Things Every Kid Should Know”. Her books target a younger audience and aim to educate and promote prevention of smoking, alcohol, drugs and bullying. Alya is a homeschooled 7th grader and loves reading books and working for the welfare of the poor and needy. She has written 10 articles and wants to continue writing more books for the betterment of youth. Her future goals include public speaking and coaching kids.

Alya is a very busy girl, but she was very accommodating in allowing MuslimMatters to interview her as a source of inspiration and encouragement for all Muslim parents and youth.  May Allah increase all of our children in ‘ilm and eman Insha’Allah.  Ameen.

How did your interest in writing begin?  How did you decide on the topics for your books?

Well, I started writing when my mom decided that she wanted to write her books. I went through many different titles until I asked my mom, “What do kids have trouble with?” Then she gave me the topics of Drugs, Alcohol, and Smoking and told me to research them.  I started researching about them until I had read more than 100 books between the 3 topics.  I then asked my mom for some true stories, and she helped me find some, and I was so sad.  I never knew things like this existed, and so I thought I must help other kids be aware of these dangers before they get addicted by accident.

Can you explain the process (from the concept stage to actually publishing) of publishing your books for kids?

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Well, my mom actually published my book because she has her own publishing company.   What I did was write my book, and my mom then made me use my own money to pay for the editor.  After editing, we had to have images created, then place them in the book, and the book was done.  Then I had to approve the way the book looked, and then it went to printing.  My mom did the rest.

What has been the response (from both adults and children) to your books?

Mostly positive.  Many of the kids love my books and are now aware of these dangers.  Most of the parents have given me great feedback.  However, there are always some negative comments on my YouTube channel.  Alhamdullilah, that is part of life, and my mom says you can’t please everyone, and our goal should be to please only Allah (subhanahu wata’ala).

In what way has your mother been a role model for you?

Watching her write books, multi-task, speak on stage, teach me how to cook, and many other things that many moms don’t do daily.  She has also given me homework, helped me with my assignments, and I love that she stays home to homeschool and be my best friend forever.  Insha’Allah.

What things did your parents do to motivate you during homeschooling when you wanted to give up?

I never really wanted to give up, and I love homeschooling.  My mom makes things easy.  If something is hard, she finds other ways to explain it to me or make me go through it again to better understand it.

Many people criticize homeschooling and say it stunts social growth.  What has your experience been with this?

I have been more socialized that anyone from school has been, from holding snakes and alligators, to speaking in front of hundreds of adults and students.  Alhamdullilah.  I think due to people not experiencing it themselves, they have many misconceptions and wrong ideas about home schooling.

What are your life goals and how do you plan to accomplish them?

I want to become a zoologist and many other things. I plan to speak around the world and help unite people from different color and races.  Most importantly, I want to be a hafidh of Quran and a Scholar of Islam, so that when I am making a difference in my career, I can explain  the real Islam easily insha’Allah!

What advice do you have for other kids your age in terms of setting and achieving their goals?  What advice do you have to parents?

Advice to kids: Insha’Allah never give up on your goals.  Anyone can do it with the help of Allah, but it will take time, so have sabr, for patience is the key to success.

Advice to parents:  If your kid says something, don’t put them down.  Support them because one day you will regret it.  Your kid could become something great if you give them a chance.

To learn more about Alya and her books, go to her website at http://www.alyanuri.com/.

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Hebah is a Muslim American with a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from UIUC. She was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee to Egyptian immigrants. She currently resides in Albuquerque, NM with her husband and two children. Hebah is a social activist who works to dispel the myths about Islam and Women in Islam through community presentations and panel discussions. She also heads Daughterz of Eve, a local Muslim girls youth group.

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Kashif Dilkusha

    December 13, 2010 at 3:22 AM

    Masha ALLAH.

    We need these type of children and parents.

  2. Nayma

    December 13, 2010 at 6:17 AM

    Aliya, may Allah help you be a source of inspiration for other kids and parents. Love you dearest!

  3. firoz85

    December 13, 2010 at 8:03 AM

    MashAllah, Ive watched this little sisters interview on the deen show and was amazed. I urge all of you to support her by subscribing to her channel.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/AlyaNuri and her website .

    May Allah bless you , your parents and your progeny InshAllah with whats best in this life and the hereafter.

  4. M87

    December 13, 2010 at 5:12 PM

    Judging by Alya’s writing skills, she sounds much older than 10, mashAllah. I think its great that along with her mother, Alya has gotten her work published. Entering the mainstream dialogue by publishing the work of Muslims, particularly young Muslims is a way to counteract the dominant stereotypes of Muslims in the media. A role model can be of any age.

  5. N.Khanie

    December 13, 2010 at 8:21 PM

    This looks like a great book for kids to read. Bullying is a topic that almost every kid deals with! Looks like I’m heading to the library soon!

  6. Kmn79

    December 13, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    It’s a wonderful idea to write about kids’ daily problems. It can make kids interested in the book and they will want to read it.

  7. Amaal

    December 13, 2010 at 9:05 PM

    This is truly amazing Mash’allah!
    Couple of things:
    1) This definitely inspires me to homeschool my kids for when that day comes, Insh’Allah.
    2) I can truly say, that just being 10 years old, you’ve done far more than any high-schooler has done in their life! Keep up the good work Alya, and I definitely hope you’re a role model to many other youth muslims around the world Insh’Allah!
    This really amazes me!

  8. Rafa

    December 13, 2010 at 11:10 PM

    Aww, so cute Masha Allah! Writing is a beautiful gift from Allah. Keep writing, Insha Allah. We need young Muslim writers in these times.

  9. Mohammed Homam

    December 14, 2010 at 3:02 AM

    I am proud of you, little sister. May Allah help you to become great islamic scholar. May Allah give you knowledge of both deen and duniya. Ameen!

  10. Faraz

    December 14, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    Masha-Allah, this is awesome. Very inspiring as a parent.

  11. Hena Zuberi

    December 14, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    Thanks for doing the interview Sister Hebah-
    Great advice Sister Alya-
    My daughter thinks your site is great and sends many duas for you.

  12. Amatullah

    December 14, 2010 at 7:00 PM

    Masha-Allah. The aql doesn’t fall far from the tree. Her mother Zohra Sarwari did a great job.

    Amatullah
    http://sisterswithpower.blogspot.com
    EMANcipate yourself

  13. Lakeisha A.

    December 17, 2010 at 10:02 PM

    Alya Nuri mother Zohra has done a wonderful job with Alya…I personally have spoken to Zohra over the phone about different issues that i wanted help with and Zohra seems very easy going and well-rounded. MashaAllah. By Allah’s will Alya will continue to have great influences and motivation to accomplish her future goals inshaAllah since her mother Zohra displays positive characteristics. Keep up the Great work Alya!! May Allah reward you and your family with many blessings in this life and the Hereafter. Ameen.

  14. Sabiha

    January 5, 2016 at 2:17 AM

    Alhamdulillah such an inspiration
    May Allah bless you with more n more knowledge….

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