Words by: Mahreen Abid
Ibn Batutta & Zheng He: World Explorers
Al-Zahrawi: Revolutionizer of Surgical tools
Ibn Al-Nafis: First to describe the blood circulatory system
Queen Amina of Zaria: Engineering Pioneer and military strategist of Zazzau Kingdom, Africa.
Ibn Al-Haytham: Inventor of camera obscura
Al-Khawarzimi: Mathematician that laid down the foundations of Algebra
Fatima Al-Fihri: Established the world’s first university in Morocco
Ibn Yunus: Astronomer who mapped the sun’s position
Most of us have never heard of these names. Growing up in the American education system, I hadn’t heard of them. These are just some of Muslims who established the foundations of math and science. While the rest of the world was struggling through the Dark Ages, Muslim scientists and thinkers from Africa, The Middle East and Asia were making remarkable scientific advances and discoveries. Despite their significant contributions, most of the schools in the West never teach them in the classroom.
Growing up in the United States, I never saw people who looked like me portrayed positively in books, media, movies, etc. When a child sees themself portrayed or represented positively in media and history, their image of themself as a positive, boundless member of society is reinforced. On the contrary, when a child does not see themself represented positively, they either question the value of their contributions to society or have an image of themself and their people as negative or backward.
When our family made the decision to homeschool, there were not many visible homeschoolers on social media who looked like us. I figured it would be a good idea to share our journey into homeschooling as a Muslim family to show people that we are not intimidating and close minded as our culture is often portrayed. I started my YouTube channel, ‘Teacher Mabid,’ to connect with other homeschool families and to share my journey, the joys and fears, so that others may see that Muslims want to raise healthy, well-rounded, intelligent children, too.
Another reason we decided to homeschool to teach our children the history that was overlooked in our own education. We want them to be proud of their Muslim history and build confidence in who they are. Thankfully, there are many educational resources available today to educate our children on the accomplishments of Muslims and People of Color in history.
Here are a few cool books:
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I encourage you to seek out books that portray Muslims, People of Color, and other underrepresented peoples and incorporate them into your personal history education and the education of your children. Perhaps if we give a voice to all people it will bring about a positive change in our world. Together, we can create a better society.
Mahreen Abid is a Muslim-Eclectic homeschooling mom. She is a science teacher turned homeschool mom to three kids who grew up in California, but currently lives in Michigan. She loves enriching herself with reading, growing as a parent and teacher, and sharing her homeschooling journey on YouTube. Follow her on Instagram.