The Miraj Story

How it all began

Told by its founders,
AbdulMateen Sansom and Adiba Ataeva.

Once upon a time in a far away land called England there lived
a little Muslim boy. He loved audiobooks and spent hours
listening to them while playing with his Lego or in the car, during
breakfast and going to bed at night. His favourite ones were
about trains and airplanes, moles and toads, dragons and super-
heroes. He listened and listened... and listened some more.

But one day, when the clouds were grey and heavy with rain,
thunder shook the little boy's house and something strange
began to happen. His iPod dropped from the shelf - bang! His
iPad tumbled onto the floor - dum, dum, dum. His CD player
hissed and went silent. The little boy grabbed his headphones
and hid them under his pillow.

"Ooooooooo..." boomed a voice... "Little boy, little boy. Have you
read your Islamic books?"

Story telling and sound effects are integral to our family culture. So much so, that one of us,
AbdulMateen, is a sound designer and Adiba is a radio producer.

Like all parents, we wanted the best for our son, Jamal. We wanted him to spend more time away from
the TV. And as Muslim parents we were especially keen to find ways he could learn about Islam that
would genuinely engage his attention.

Jamal loved listening to stories, but the books on Islam we found could not compete with the stories
about moles, dragons and super-heroes.

"Hmmm..." we said, scratching our heads. "Something 'digital' might be more appealing. He's a modern
Muslim boy with all the latest gadgets."

So we searched on iTunes, Amazon and many other websites. Failing to find anything suitable, we
bought a children's audio Bible - beautifully written, narrated and produced.

"Perhaps we can teach him our wonderful religion by playing these Bible stories and pointing out the
differences between Islam and the Judea-Christian tradition" we thought.

Jamal loved that audio book. But that made us scratch our heads again - they were quite sore by this
time.

"Hmmm..." we thought. "If we can't find an Islamic equivalent, produced to such a high standard,
there's only one thing for it: we'll have to make it ourselves."

And so the Miraj journey began.

 

It took us nearly two years to hand pick the right team - skilled audio producers and sound designers,
professional writers and editors, dedicated educationalists and religious consultants with expertise in
classical Arabic, the Qur'an and Hadith. We tested our stories from every angle. We re-wrote them for
months before finally going into the studio.

Now we are proud to describe Miraj Audio as the world's first independent digital publisher specialising
in English-language Islamic audiobooks for children.

We strongly believe that Muslim children growing up in secular Western countries should enjoy quality
Islamic media, comparable with the best of mainstream media in terms of writing and production.

Building on our great oral heritage, Miraj Audio uses the power of storytelling to help children
experience the beauty of Islam and engage with its values and tradition. We don't preach, but we
stimulate the imagination and excite curiosity - genuinely engaging children with the wonder of Islam
and the rewards of knowledge.

There are two sounds we have learned to love. One is the silence that enfolds children when they're
gripped by our stories. The other is the noisy chatter that breaks out afterwards, when the last sound
fades and everyone wants another story.

That is the exciting future for Miraj - sharing more and more wonderful stories together.

"The little boy peeped from under his duvet. "Hey, Thundery
Voice" he said bravely. "I'm not afraid of you. Tell me who you are."

"Jamal", said the voice. But it wasn't thundery any more. "Would
you like to listen to `Dawood and the Giant?"

"Mum? Dad?" said the little boy. "I can't believe it's you!"

"Here," they said, showing him a CD. "We've made you an Islamic
audiobook!"

But is it as good as those Bible stories?" asked Jamal.

"We think you'll like our story even better," said his mum and dad,
giving him a big cuddle. "Let's listen to it together right now."

THE END.