Medina: The Prophet’s (ﷺ) holy city and final resting place. With it comes immeasurable peace and tranquillity, a sacred place of historic, Islamic beauty. The Prophet’s Mosque, Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, is said to be one of the largest mosques in the world yet during prayer times, the entire mosque is packed full of people.
We pretty much spent our time doing exactly what we did in Makkah and the only thing we really wanted to do which was complete our five daily prayers in the Mosque. Whereas Makkah is well known for being sacred, Medina is beautiful in its historical value. Hearing the call to prayer every couple of hours didn’t just reach our hearts, it reached our souls. What’s even more spectacular is seeing such a large number of people come together at the sound of a prayer, in absolute silence, entirely absorbed in worship.
Al-Masjid an-Nabawi at Fajr
The most humbling aspect of entering Medina is knowing that our beloved Prophet ﷺ is buried there. Sadly, due to a large number of people and short time slots, we were unable to visit the tomb. The organisation of visiting hours for the tomb was terrible, I have to admit; when the doors opened, people ran towards the Prophet’s ﷺ tomb-like their lives depended on it. Islam clearly teaches us not to idolise or worship anyone other than God; The Prophet also warned us not to run in an act of desperation, the same way one should never cause harm to a fellow Muslim (i.e by pushing, shoving, crushing) whilst reaching his tomb. It’s a shame that many of those who visited the tomb on the day I went completely discarded these teachings they supposedly hold so dear. My father’s toenail was ripped by men crushing each other to catch a glimpse of the tomb. My foot was run over by a wheelchair. It was absolute chaos, and I urge the Saudi’s to organise their crowd control because it is unsafe.
Nevertheless, the Mosque and the tomb are truly breathtaking in their intricate beauty. Islamic teachings believe there to be an empty grave along with the Prophet’s ﷺ tomb, said to belong to our Prophet Isa (Jesus, peace be upon him) when he returns to the world for forty years. Knowing that the tomb was the closest I could ever get to the Prophet ﷺ not only brought me closer to Islam, it also filled me with pride in being part of such a peaceful, beautiful religion. In Medina, there are countless opportunities to learn more about our beloved Prophet and his teachings/what he lived for. For example, he spoke of equality within mankind, regardless of their religion or belief. He spoke of gender equality. He fought for his life, for his religion and for his people, to convey the message of Allah. (SWT)
Alhamdulillah, it makes sense for the city to be as beautiful as the religion itself.
Whilst in Medina, we also explored historical sites such as Mount Uhud, Masjid Al-Qiblatain and Jannat Al-Baqi. Each site holds stories of the Prophet’s ﷺ heroic struggles to convey the message of Islam along with other historical tales. To be on the same land, in the same place as our beloved Prophet is a truly enlightening spiritual experience. I can only hope and pray that all my Muslim followers and friends experience what I have because it is like no other.
View from the top of Mount Uhud
Graveyard of the Prophets
I want to thank my wonderful grandparents and my parents for making this trip possible. Their determination for us all to experience this and so early in my life has had an immeasurable impact on me and I’m grateful beyond words that they’ve given me this gift. Inshallah my prayers for them were heard.
On a final note, I want to thank Allah for allowing me to experience this trip and everything He has to offer us. Coming back from Makkah and Medina, I spent the following weeks incredibly sick with my ongoing health conditions amidst new bugs I’d picked up along the way. Allah (SWT) looked out for me whilst I was in Makkah and Medina, blessing me with perfectly good health and no pain. Although these past few weeks have been the most challenging yet, I’ve embraced the peace He’s bestowed on me; every time I feel scared, nervous or in pain, my soul goes back to Makkah and I remember His plan for me is still in motion – I just have to ride through the worst of it. When I needed it the most, He gave me the strength to go on, to fight my body. Whenever life gets tough, or there are obstacles in the road, I can now embrace the peace my soul has finally found.
And I know I can make it through to the other side.
Maghrib Prayer on our final night in Medina (Photo: Mama Hamid)
لآ اِلَهَ اِلّا اللّهُ مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُوُل اللّهِ