In aid of World Book Day 2017, below is an unedited excerpt from our forthcoming title the ‘Young Explorers’ Adventures in Madinah.’
The end of the journey was near and it was slowly dawning on our young explorers how they would have to leave the city of Madinah very soon. They had just over a day left in the city and there were still a lot of places to try and squeeze into their visits before they departed for home.
That morning after the Fajr prayers they sat in the Masjid quietly reflecting on their trip and all of the places that they had visited and all of the landmarks that they had seen. In the distance they could see the elderly gentleman who they saw earlier in the week. His long white thobe, immaculate and uncreased, adorned his body. His white turban sat neatly perched on his head. His deep black eyes had this piercing gaze about them.
He turned around to face them, momentarily smiling as he got up and started walking towards our explorers.
“I wonder what he wants,” whispered Ali to the other two. “Maybe he is coming to say Salam,” replied Zaynah as she moved closer to her sister.
Uncle Hamza stood up and greeted the old man as he approached the place where our travellers were sitting. “Wa Alaykum As Salam,” replied the old man as uncle Hamza embraced him like he’d found a long lost friend.
“I am Musa,” said the old man as he gently sat beside our travellers. “Musa Binyamin Ali, and I look after the sacred chamber in which the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his companions are buried,” he added.
“You work here?” asked Ali excitedly. “I do indeed my son. I am one of the few remaining Eunuchs that are employed to look after, guard and maintain the sacred chamber.”
“Wow!” cheered Maryam and Zaynah.
“I have been watching your group for the past few days. Seeing how you have taken in interest in the Mosque and its surroundings,” said Musa.
“We are here on a special mission,” added little Zaynah, “here to explore the historical sites of the city,” she said.
“How interesting!” replied Musa with a smile. “I thought as much and have come to offer my humble services,” he added.
“That would be really nice,” replied uncle Hamza as he informed their new friend of the sites and places that they had already visited.
“I can teach you about the houses of the companions that were located in and around the Masjid,” said Musa as he got up to leave again. “And if you’re really lucky, you may even get a chance to have a sneak preview inside the Scared Chamber!” he said with a glimmer in his eyes.
“We would love that!” exclaimed Maryam, Zaynah and Ali, excited at the prospect of being invited inside the Sacred Chamber.
“Meet me here after the ‘Esha prayers,” whispered Musa as he walked away and disappeared behind one of the many hidden doors of the Masjid.
“What’s a Eunuch?” thought Ali aloud, as our travellers got up to begin their day of exploring. “You can ask him when you see him later,” replied Zubair as they walked towards the exit gates of the Masjid.