The Young Explorers’ Adventures in Makkah
Author: Abu Zaynah
Editor: Uthman Ibrahim-Morrison
Forward: Shaykh Ahmed Saad Al-Azhari
So … I have decided to write a book, insha Allah. It is on the topic of the Sacred / Historical Sites in Makkah and Madina. The book is aimed at young readers and will be told as a story of 3 young people on an epic Journey through the holy lands of Makkah and Madina.
The first book is currently called “The Young Explorers’ Adventures in Makkah”. You can find some excerpts from the first draft below:
From the Blurb to the Book:
Zaynah, Maryam and Ali were three young explorers. Together with their guide, uncle Hamza, they explore Makkah, Islam’s holiest city. They take young readers on an exciting journey, revealing lands and places that were an essential part of the development and history of Islam.
Join Zaynah, Maryam and Ali on this revealing journey and find out for yourself about the hidden gems that lie within.
‘This book is intended to serve as a guide for when you and your young ones are performing Hajj or Umrah and to introduce you to aspects of Makkah and Madinah other than the Masjid Al Haram and the Masjid Al Nabawi, which are obviously the principal attractions. So much history surrounds both of these Mosques that I feel it is important that we maintain the knowledge that has been passed down to us about where the Prophet (peace be upon him) was born, where he lived, where he received revelation, where he fought his battles, where he rested, where he delivered his sermons, and so on. The aim of the final guide will be to lay out what might almost amount to a physical Seerah Trail of the Life of the Prophet (peace be upon him) whereby one can enjoy a visible and tangible experience of the environment where the events of the Seerah took place.’ – From the Author’s Preface
‘This book is a brick in the wall of resisting this cunning project of commercialisation of Makkah as it highlights the historically and spiritually significant places that deserve the visit of our people, young and old; rather than malls and shopping centres.’ – From the forward by Shaykh Ahmed Saad Al-Azhari
From Part 1: Departure:
‘After breakfast, they all prayed the Fajr prayer with uncle Hamza as the Imam. They then got themselves ready to set off to the airport. A minibus was waiting outside to take them to the airport. The flight was due at 9:00am. It had just gone past 5am and so they had plenty of time to get to the airport, check in their bags and grab a quick bite before getting on the plane.
The three explorers stood at the doorway of Uncle Hamza’s house, looking at the minibus as the adults loaded the bags. “I’m feeling a bit nervous.” said Zaynah, being the youngest of the group. “I’m excited!” exclaimed Maryam. “I’m still tired” groaned ‘Ali. Maryam held the other two explorer’s hands and pulled them gently along to the minibus. “It’s going to be great.” She assured the other two. “It will be the best experience of our lives.”’
From Part 2: Arrival & Umrah:
‘The journey to Makkah was around an hour and a half. The travellers chanted the Talbiyyah as they anticipated their arrival in Makkah.
“Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk, Labbayka La Sharika Laka Labbayk, Innal Hamda, Wa An-Ni’mata, Laka Wal Mulk, La Sharika Lak”
“Here I am, O Allah, here I am (to serve you), here I am, You have no partner, here I am, Verily all praise and thanks are Yours, and all power too, no partners do You have.”
The Talbiyyah is what is recited by the pilgrims all throughout their Umrah as a prayer and a reminder of why they have travelled so far to come to Makkah and what it is that they are seeking, i.e. the pleasure of their Lord – Allah.’
From Site 1: The Birthplace of the Noble Messenger (Peace and Blessings upon Him):
‘Uncle Hamza read to them a passage on the birth from the Life of Muhammad (peace be upon him) by the late Martin Lings:
‘There was great grief in Makkah when Harith returned. Amina’s one consolation was the unborn child of her dead husband, and her solace increased as the time of her delivery drew near. She was conscious of a light within her, and one day it shone forth from her so intensely that she could see the castles of Bostra in Syria. And she heard a voice say to her: “Thou carriest in thy womb the lord of this people; and when he is born say: ‘I place him beneath the protection of the One, from the evil of every envier’; then name him Muhammad.”
Some weeks later the child was born. Amina was in the home of her uncle, and she sent word to ‘Abd Al-Muttalib, asking him to come to see his grandson. He took the boy in his arms and carried him to the Sanctuary and into the Holy House, where he prayed a prayer of thanksgiving to God for this gift. Then he brought him once more to his mother, but on the way he showed him to his own household. He himself was shortly to have another son, by Aminah’s cousin Hala. At the moment his youngest son was three-year-old ‘Abbas who now met him at the door of his house. “This is thy brother; kiss him,” he said, holding out to him the new-born babe, and ‘Abbas kissed him.’ [Muhammad, by Martin Lings, Page 21-22]
The trio were amazed that they were able to witness the place in which the Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) was born. As uncle Hamza finished reading the passage and explaining to them the story of the birth they could hear the Dhuhr Adhan in the background so they hurried back to the Masjid for prayers.’
From Site 3.3: ‘Arafah
‘Fatima took out some snacks for the travellers as they rested and she told our young explorers about the farewell Hajj and the farewell speech that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had made at this spot. She read to them the entire speech, a section of which is reproduced below.
“… O People, listen to me in earnest, worship God (The One Creator of the Universe), perform your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your financial obligation (zakah) of your wealth. Perform Hajj if you can afford to.
All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.
Remember, one day you will appear before God (The Creator) and you will answer for your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone…”
She explained to the young minds the lessons that can be derived from this speech and encouraged them to learn and teach these to others as the Prophet (peace be upon him) had commanded: “All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again…”’
As you may have seen, I had been collecting the locations of the various sites in Makkah on the blog since having been to Umrah last year, and this spurred me onto thinking about producing something for young people to read and appreciate these places of historical significance to Islam.
I am not a writer by any stretch of the word so this is quite a daunting task for me. The purpose of writing the book is in light of the massive development works going on in the holy lands that is threatening the preservation of these historical sites. I would like to preserve as much of these in writing as possible for the future generations to come, insha Allah.
The book is currently in the final stages of production and a Kindle version will be launched before Ramadan Bi Iznillah. I am hoping to release the first print edition before the Hajj season insha Allah.
For enquiries or orders please contact Islamopedia@googlemail.com
I seek your Du’as in making this a successful project and would be grateful if you could share this effort with your family and friends.