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Young Explorers’ Adventures in Makkah: Book Review


Young Explorers’ Adventures in Makkah: Book Review


Young Explorers’ Adventures in Makkah was written by Abu Zaynah (Jashim Ali) and published by Islamopedia in 2016.

cover pageI won 2 copies (first the ecopy and later the print) from the Ayeina’s Gratitude contest. Alhamdulillah for awesome gifts.

I allowed my 7 year old niece who is a book-lover and a high level reader to enjoy it even before I did.

From her level of engagement and excitement, I knew something interesting had caught her attention. I wasn’t sure what to expect but couldn’t wait to sample the text myself.

The ‘Young Explorers’

The main characters Zaynah, Ali and Maryam and Ali were 10, 11 and 13 years old respectively. They were the ‘young explorers’. They had won a school competition and got the chance to make the journey for Umrah. The story is a travelogue which documents their journey, to be presented at a special school assembly on return.

The book explores Makkah and the important sights that were part of the history of Islam; and also part of the life of the Prophet (saw) and his companions. It also presents holy sites with their historical significance, all infused in the adventures of the ‘young explorers’.

I love the pictures of the actual sites that were used along with related Qur’an verses. It re-reinforces the link between revelation and those special sites. The sketches were also useful, they made the descriptions very relatable.

As a teacher and a learner, I particularly like the way some personal growth skills were exemplified throughout the quest and in such a practical way. They include research, leadership, team work, observation, discussion and note taking among many others.

Travel for free

The book gave me the unique opportunity to travel through the seerah, rich Islamic history, modern day Makkah and general Islamic knowledge all in one afternoon. It was a simple blend of modern life along with spiritual rites and some interesting cultural elements.

Book review

With the Hajj season upon us, this is an awesome opportunity to introduce the special journey to the Muslim youth and mankind in general through this heartwarming story and guidebook. The visual elements will make every reader a young explorer at heart.

The biggest takeaway for me as captured by the author in a few lines is,

”To do Hajj while young, fit and strong if possible because its a tough experience for many and not leave it deliberately until old age. ”

The text also reminds us that there’s no better time then NOW to,

> Ingrain true love of the Prophet (saw) and blessed lands in our youth;
> Make du’a to be able to embark on this journey sooner in life;
> Gain relevant knowledge about the the great journey;
> Foster zeal about going back to our roots;
> Help preserve Islamic legacy;
> Kick start personal growth.

You can be an explorer too

Its so easy to see why ‘little miss’ was so eager to complete the book. No doubt, she feels she’s a co-owner since I let her read it first. I hope to post her review of the book, hopefully she will draw her favourite parts too. I’m no artist so no drawings from me, sorry.

Make a commitment today to explore Islamic history in a fun and educational way. There’s a lesson for everyone in the beautiful text.

I recommend for you to read it especially in this season even if you are not going for Hajj this year. Next year could be your turn, and there’s nothing like having an early start.

So start with a sincere intention first. Let Abu Zaynah take you on a fun, free adventurous journey to Makkah and back again without the typical hassle of travel.

Every library needs a copy. Every home needs this guide. And I would love to see it turned into an app someday insha Allah.

Get yourself a copy today.

Have you read this book? Which other engaging guidebooks on Hajj can you recommend?



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  1. Jashim January 16, 2017

    Assalamu Alaykum,

    If anyone is interested, we are currently running a giveaway for a signed copy of our book on the Islamopedia instagram page. Get in touch if you would like to enter.

    JazakAllahu Khair

    1. Amina Edota January 18, 2017

      Wa alaykum salaam wa rahmatullah,

      Masha Allah, that sounds interesting. Will check it out Insha Allah.

  2. Jashim Ali September 30, 2016

    Thank you @YouthlyHub for such a wonderful review of our book. I am sorry it’s taken me so long to comment on here.

    As a thank you to all your readers, I am happy to offer a 10% discount of the RRP to anyone coming via the Youthly Hub to order a book.

    JazakAllahu Khair again.

    Keep well.

    Was Salam

    1. Amina Edota October 2, 2016

      Jazaakaallah khayr for your kind words and generosity. May Allah bless all that you do.

  3. Sainab September 3, 2016

    It’s so sweet that you want to do your nieces review as well. I’d love to hear her view on it.

    1. Amina Edota September 4, 2016

      I love reading the reviews of younger children ~ its often such a fresh and unique perspective.

  4. Bouchra Rebiai September 2, 2016

    Sounds like an amazing book! Even if it’s a kiddie one, I’d love to get my hands on a copy, it seems quite interesting and cool.

    I tagged along at the age of 8 when my parents went for Hajj, and it was an intriguing experience, even though we didn’t get to do any sightseeing since we were simply heading out from Jeddah, rather than coming all the way from overseas, which is when they take you around and make sure you see everything that needs to be seen – especially Cave Hira!

    May Allah bless your reading endeavors (and your niece’s ones as well, too)! Ameen.

    1. Amina Edota September 4, 2016

      You got that right, it is such a cool book and very beneficial. And that makes the two of us, I read all books no matter what age its written for. I consider this one relevant for adults as well.

      I learned soooo much from it ~ of history and Islamic knowledge. Just because its child-friendly doesn’t make it childish if you get what I mean. It makes a concept such as Hajj very relatable Alhamdulillah.

      I would love to hear your thoughts on it when you do read it insha Allah. Wish I could read your journal of the trip as an 8 year old if you had one. What a blessed experience! It must have been intriguing indeed.

  5. Umme Hafsa September 2, 2016

    It’s soo cute that she’s enjoying the book. MashaAllah. It’s really great to know that the book in engaging and fun – those two components I think are key for keeping young Muslim readers engaged especially as there are so many other normal books that they could be reading but which aren’t always the best.

    1. Amina Edota September 4, 2016

      You are right, engagement matters always. Plus she’s got my ‘book-ish’ genes… Masha Allah.

  6. AYEINA September 2, 2016

    @iqrawrites: THAT IS RIDICULOUS lol.
    Glad to know you received the book alhamdulillah 🙂 and we loved to be a tiny part of its design team as well (the blue cover that is) <3

    1. Amina Edota September 4, 2016

      Allahuma yubaarik team Ayeina.

  7. Fatima September 1, 2016

    This books sounds interesting and educational. Definitely need to get my hands on it when my child grows old enough to understand.

    1. Amina Edota September 4, 2016

      You need to read it now, don’t wait for your little one to mature to understand it first.

  8. Shahira September 1, 2016

    This sounds such a novel idea to present the different acts of Umrah and also the historic places if Makkah. Any child will be riveted!

    Thank you for the review.

    1. Amina Edota September 4, 2016

      Yes, it is brilliant… Masha Allah. I love the idea.

  9. Joanna September 1, 2016

    Looks like a lovely book! My son is a bit small, but slowly starts understanding various stories more, so it would be great to add to our library. And I would probably benefit from it as a revert – kids’ books are actually the best for us reverts to learn about Islam!

    1. Amina Edota September 4, 2016

      You will benefit from it insha Allah. I’m not a revert but I enjoy children’s book a lot. Hope you get it added to your library soon.

  10. iqrawrites September 1, 2016

    “No drawings from me, sorry” hahaha.
    This sounds like a nice one. It’s really sad that people tell couples not to do Hajj until they have married off their children. That’s just not reasonable, fair or even realistic. Frankly, it’s considered a culturally legitimate excuse not to have done Hajj (while having the time and money to do so) if you have unmarried daughters. I mean, what?!

    1. Amina Edota September 1, 2016

      It is a very beneficial book sister Iqra. And the visuals just stuck with me, wish I could be brave enough to sketch some.

      Its silly for parents to miss out on investing in their young ones’ akhirah simply for cultural reasons. My advise to the youth is to be hardworking, start saving early and pray hard so Allah facilitates they make Hajj/ Umrah on their own (with mahrams for the sisters).

  11. Breharne August 30, 2016

    This was a lovely review thank you, I am always on the look out for new reading material for my girls :).

    1. Amina Edota September 1, 2016

      Masha Allah… I’m sure they will benefit from it especially in this Hajj season.

      The text and concepts covered is most suitable for pre-teens and above. For those under ten, they will have to be high level/ keen readers to make it through the text. The images are appealing for all ages though.

      I used it with a small mixed aged group just this week. The book was projected and we discussed the images because we had very young children among us. The children were so full of questions and were sad when it came to an end. I just can’t help talking about the visual appeal. Alhmadulillah.

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