Medina (Arabic: مدينه, al-Madinah; alternatively transliterated into English as Madinah) is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia. It currently has a population of some 600,000.
Medina is the second holy city of Islam, after Makkah (Mecca). Its importance as a religious site derives from the presence there of the Masjid al Nabawi, the Mosque of the Prophet, which was built on the site of Muhammad’s home and is where he is buried. The first mosque of Islam is also located in Medinah and is known as Masjid al Quba.
In 622, Medina became the seat of Muhammad’s growing movement after the Hegira. In 622 Muhammad was invited to come and live in Yathrib (the old name of Medina) and act as a sort of governor. Medina in those times was a divided city. Different clans and religions were eternally quarrelling and bickering and Muhammad brought unity to the city. All parties agreed to a pact drawn up by Muhammad and his followers. He invited all people in the city to follow the new religion of Islam. He had trouble however to convince the Jewish population (which was actually quite large) that Islam was the true version of Judaism.
- When the Jews refused to convert, the qibla was changed from Jerusalem to Makkah. A small group of converted Jews, however, stuck to the original qibla. They were known as the sect of the Qibla al-Qudsiyya.
In the ten years following the Hegira, Medina formed the basis form where Muhammad attacked and finnaly conquered Makkah. Even when islamic rule was established Medina remained for some years the most important city of Islam and the de facto capital of the Caliphate.
Under the first four Caliphs, known as the Righteous Caliphs, the Islamic empire expanded rapidly and came to include centres of learning such as Jerusalem, Ctesiphon, and Damascus. After the death of Ali, the fourth caliph, Mu’awiyya transferred the capital to Damascus and the importance of Medina dwindled and became of a religious more than a political nature.
It has been narrated that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said “Whoever visited my grave, my Shafaah becomes Wajib for him”.
The journey to Madinah is an Ibadah. It is a journey much longed and wished for. Therefore attention must be paid not to miss anything that is Mustahab.
- Going to Madinah at any time with the intention of visiting the Prophet’s Mosque is a Sunnah, as is performing salat in it. According to the hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon on him), a salat performed in the Prophet’s Mosque is better than a thousand salats in any other place excepting the Sacred Mosque (Masjid al-Haram) in Makkah.
- When you enter the Prophet’s Mosque, enter with your right foot first, saying the name of Allah the Most High, and evoking blessings on His Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and ask Allah to open the gates of his mercy for you. The recommended words for entering any mosque, including the Prophet’s Mosque, are:
“I seek refuge in Allah the All Mighty, and in His noble countenance and His eternal power, from the Satan the Rejected. O Allah, open to me the doors of Your mercy”.
- It is better to make Niyyah for Itikaaf even for a little while saying “O Allah I Niyyah for Itikaaf as long as I stay in the mosque.
- Perform two rakats of taiyya-tul-masjid (the salat of “greeting of the mosque”).
Then with all reverence and humility, serenity and submission stand at some distance from the Holy Face of Rasulullah (peace and blessing be upon him), with back facing Qibla. Thinking that one is in the noble company of Rasululla (peace and blessings be upon him), offer Salaam.
“Assalmu alaika ayyuhan-nabiyya wa rahmatul-lahi wa barakatuhu”.
(Peace be on him, O Prophet, and the mercy and blessing of Allah).
Then move a little to the right to stand before the grave of Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) and recite Salaam. Again move a little to the right to stand before the grave of Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), and recite Salaam.
- It is Sunnah to perform 2 rakats in Masjid Quba and its reward is equal to the recompense of one Umra.
- It is Sunnah to visit the graves of Al-Baqe’e cemetery, and the grave of Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) and the martyrs of Uhud, and the grave of Hamzah (may Allah be pleased with them); to greet them and to pray for the mercy of Allah upon them. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to visit all these graves and pray for the souls of those who were buried there.
1. Nearly all pilgrims visit Medina either before or after the completion of the Hajj. 1,601,034 Hajj pilgrims visited Madinah in 2007, an increase of 4% compared to the previous Hajj season. 1544 flights carried pilgrims to Madinah, and 1074 flights departed from Madinah
2. It is not required to stay 8 days and complete 40 prayers in the Prophet’s Mosque. Those who insist on this as a requirement base it on a weak hadith. It has no support in The Qur’an or any authentic Sunnah.
3. I love Madinah. I have yet to meet a person who has not been captivated by this city.
4. There are lots of historical sites in Madinah that are worth visiting. These visits are not part of the Hajj rite.
Remember to include the Quba mosque in your visits. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was reported to have said: “One who does wudhu at home, then offers prayers in Quba mosque is entitled to the reward of an Umrah.”
5. A practice we see nowadays is asking those who will be visiting the Prophet’s Masjid to say, “send my salaams to the Prophet.” This is not from the sunnah nor has it been recorded that any of the righteous predecessors did this.Shaykh ibn al-Uthaymeen rahimahullah states: I have heard some people saying in Madinah, “My father asked me to give his salaams to the Messenger,” but this is wrong. The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is not alive so that the salaams of a living person may be passed on to him. If your father sends salaams to the Messenger, the salaam is conveyed by those who are more able than you to convey it and are more trustworthy than you , namely the angels.So there is no need for that, and we say: You are where you are, wherever you are on earth you can say, “Peace be upon you, O Prophet,” and it will reach him faster and more reliably than that.” Majmoo’ Fataawa aShaykh Ibn Baz, 23/416, 417
Well-behaved, well-organized Malaysia pilgrims
Beginning from 2009 Hajj season, Malaysian pilgrims will be exempted from having their passports checked to enter Madinah from Makkah.
All pilgrims are required to stop at the Al-Hijrah station for passport checks.
- Saudi Arabia has given Malaysia the honour of being the first country to be given the waiver because of Malaysian pilgrims’ high degree of discipline and the country’s well-organized Hajj management.