Aya and Yusuf is a delightful animated series for Muslim children, which weaves Islamic values seamlessly into meaningful and entertaining stories.
Aya and Yusuf is a lovely animated series about twins Aya and Yusuf, who live in the countryside with their parents and grandparents and a band of furry friends. Each episode highlights a Quranic verse, which is woven into a fun and educational story.
The importance of treating people and the world around us in the right way and understanding the wisdom of Islamic values is at the heart of this series, which explains and illustrates ethical concepts in an uncomplicated and entertaining way that is easy for children to understand. The Quranic teachings around which the stories are based are universal, making the series accessible to a wider audience and appropriate for diversity education for children from other backgrounds.
In the first episode their dad tells them “A kind word is like a wholesome tree with firm steady roots and branches that reach up to the sky,” drawing this from Quranic verse 14:24. Aya is confused by this and asks “What does that mean?”
Rather than offering a ready answer, their father tells them to think about what this might mean while they go out into the garden to play. Once there, a puzzled Yusuf muses, “A kind word is like a wholesome tree… how can a word be a tree?” In their garden adventure they find the answer to what this could mean and excitedly go and tell their dad that they figured it out all on their own. What is particularly lovely about this episode is seeing the father encouraging his kids to think for themselves and believe in their own abilities.
This animated series for Muslim children presents us with endearing characters in a familiar and welcoming setting, with Islamic geometric patterns and calligraphy on the walls and other references to Arab culture, as family members carry out everyday tasks such as gardening and cooking. Each episode focuses on family values and a Quranic idea or principle, such as protecting nature’s balance, not being wasteful, moderation, kindness, being helpful, working together, patience and perseverance, keeping trusts and being fair. The episodes end with reflecting on the day’s events, gratitude and prayer before falling asleep, giving children a positive model of how to end the day and integrate what they learn in their lives.
The charming animation style and talented voice actors together with an absorbing storytelling style will keep kids interested in what happens next. An original element that works really well in these lovely stories is the animations of luminous arabesque patterns that are drawn around the characters. These are used in the show to illustrate Qur’anic verses, morals and ethics and amazing elements of everyday life, highlighting their importance and transcendence.
Sara Sawaf, the founder and executive producer of AYA Animations is a Saudi Arabia-based, Syrian entrepreneur. Looking for animations for her own children when they were young which combined spiritual and moral values told in entertaining stories, she was unable to find what she was looking for. Deciding to take matters into her own hands she founded AYA Animations in 2015, releasing the animated series Aya And Yusuf in 2020. This show, about two Muslim children and their parents and grandparents, set in an inviting family home and farm, is fun to watch and succeeds wonderfully in explaining concepts and wisdom from the Islamic tradition in an accessible and interesting way.
Your children may also enjoy some of the other fantastic animated series for Muslim children on Alchemiya, such as The Journey, Kr1ng, and Ibn Battuta, and you can also browse Alchemiya’s Kids, Learn and Discover collection for more great shows for kids.