The Prophet’s Mosque (Al-Masjid Al- Nabawi) in Medina holds the Prophet Muhammad’s burial chamber.
Since the Ottoman Empire, the keys to this holy site and the mosque’s minbar have been kept by a group of eunuchs originally from Abyssinia, known as the Guardians. At one time the Guardians numbered in the thousands, there are now only seven remaining, who live in recluse and spend their days in a small room connected to the burial chamber itself.
Though they have an 800 year history, their existence is ephemeral, they drink their coffee in paper cups and break their fast with a piece of bread, not leaving marks or keeping belongings there, remaining transient in their role as keepers of the chamber. Though they are glad to meet and connect with anyone who visits them, they live modestly and quietly, and without many dealings in the outside world.
The Guardians exhibition is on display at Leighton House from 21 October 2015 to 29 November 2015.
Saturday 24 October; 3:30 – 5pm (tour of the exhibition with the artist)
Museum open everyday except Tuesday 10.00am – 5.30pm. Entry to Museum is £7 (concessions £5)