Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Can you discuss some guidelines relevant to composing children’s books? Is one allowed to write fiction for this purpose? Are there recommended forms that such a project should take? How much can an author write for children without an ijaza?
Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
1. Fiction writing is permitted if the content is permitted.
2. Writing beneficial literature is noble, and worthy of reward when accompanied by good intention.
3. Writing about the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), past prophets (peace and blessings be upon them), the companions and righteous is even more noble. However, one should be careful here that:
a) one not add details not transmitted, especially about the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), would be considered lying. However, top living fuqaha (such as Mufti Mahmoud Ashraf Usmani) have mentioned that one can include details that are understood or implied by the text, with cautious restraint;
b) one consult with reliable scholars when unclear about details, especially those related to matters of belief and law, and to deal with subjects (such as prophets and companions) with the respect they deserve; and
c) one have the work reviewed properly by scholars after it is complete, if it deals with subjects or stories of religious significance, to ensure soundness.
4. One should strive for excellence in one’s writing and publication, for the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Verily, Allah has commanded excellence in all matters.” [Muslim, Tirmidhi, and others]
And Allah alone gives.