Book Reviews

A Cup of Mint Tea: Short Stories to Warm the Heart

A Cup of Mint Tea

Title: A Cup of Mint Tea: Short Stories to Warm the Heart (3 volumes)
Author: Iman al-Qaisi
Pages: each volume is roughly 80-100 pages


The author, an Iraq-American, holds a B.A. in Islamic Law, possesses ijaza (license) in Quran, has taught for 27 years in Islamic schools, and served as a director for a Quran school.

She wrote the series of motivational short stories for ages 10-18 on the pattern of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

This is what I like about them:

  • Short, simple, and easy to read
  • Touches a lot of topics to keep things interesting
  • Stories are mostly from Muslim tradition; but do not be surprised to read stories from Germany and Kansas!
  • Stories based on hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ or Islamic tradition are referenced
  • Uses prophets as reference for moral lessons
  • They come in an Arabic version as well for those interested in learning the Arabic language or supplementing the English books with the Arabic ones
  • 50% of the book proceeds will go to benefit Syrian orphans through Islamic Relief USA

How can the books be used?

  • Youth halaqas
  • Weekend Islamic schools
  • Quran programs
  • Bedtime stories to tell children

I will like to see tashkeel (dialectical marks) on the Arabic books in the next edition for easy reading and utility for both Arabic and non-Arabic speakers.

Also, those opposed to hand drawings of animate objects will find a few animal pictures within the artwork.

Lastly, while the stories will be enjoyable to a younger audience, some of the lessons drawn can be more suited to older teens. You can easily skip what you like to fit your audience.

I was genuinely pleased by the set of books and welcome the wonderful addition to the Islamic library. May Allah reward sister al-Qaisi for her efforts.