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.
I 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.
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?