Part 2, Our Umrah: The pleasantness of Masjid Nabawi
Madinah, where Masjid Nabawi is situated, is the only city
in the world which is so respected and visited every day
by millions of Muslims from all over the world for the love
of one man – Prophet Muhammad.
Madinah Al-Munawarrah (Madinah the Enlightened or Radiant) is the other city where the feet of Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him, had trodden – for 10 years.
The Prophet was born and bred in Mecca and began receiving Revelations from God at the age of 40. In the next 13 years he preached the Revelations he received from time to time but the pagan Meccans were not happy as what he preached went against their culture and way of living.
The Prophet lived at a time when the pagan Arabs worshipped numerous deities; they indulged in intoxicants; they practised infanticide (killing of female babies); they treated women as mere chattels and buying and selling them. But Islam advocated the worship of the One God; prohibited intoxicants, banned infanticide, condemned superstition and gave women their rights. All these and other positive changes made the pagans feel that their culture and traditions were being destroyed by his teachings and so treated him badly.
But the Prophet carried on with his mission patiently, bearing all the agony and hardship of the persecution. However, when the situation became unbearable, he decided to migrate to Madinah, which, at that time, was called Yathrib.
When Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him, and his close Companion, Abu Bakr stepped onto the soil of Yathrib (in the Gregorian year 622), the Yathrib people, who were waiting to receive the Prophet, and as soon as they saw him approaching, burst into singing the famous nasheed (Islamic song), “Tala al-Badru Alayna” (The full moon rose over us).
The Prophet’s migration, called Hijrah, was a turning point in Islamic history. The Islamic or Hijrah calendar begins from this triumphant event, a date that changed the history of the world. This oasis town, Yathrib, henceforth became known as Madinatul Nabi (City of the Prophet) or simply Madinah (Medina).
The Prophet and his followers built a mosque near his simple home, which became known as Masjid Nabawi (the Prophet’s Mosque).
The Prophet passed away in 632, and was buried near the mosque and whose tomb is today enclosed in a chamber at one end of the huge Masjid Nabawi building.
MASJID NABAWI, MAGNET OF MADINAH
Madinah’s central attraction is Masjid Nabawi, in which is located not only the Prophet’s tomb (no entry for people but they can look into the tomb-room from one side of the grilled wall) but the Raudhah ul-Jannah or simply Raudhah (Garden of Paradise) where people yearn to perform their prayers.
Off-wall photo of wall-picture of Masjid Nabawi of some three decades ago taken in Museum Haramain in Makkah during our visit to the museum.
Two of the numerous gates located around the compound of Masjid Nabawi. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.)
Among those in the group of 46 people who went for Umrah from 28 February to 12 March, are Ms Nurlyana Abdul Rahman and her husband, Mr Aizuddin. Nurlyana feels blessed to get the opportunity to visit Madinah and the Prophet’s Mosque.
Nurlyana at Jabal Rahmah (Mount Rahmah) in Arafah, during one of our visits to historical places in Makkah.
“The blessed land of Madinah will always hold a special place in my heart. The people who come in droves every day from all over the world with pious hearts and devout thoughts make this city very holy and special to me and to all Muslims in the world.
I will also never forget the tranquillity in my heart. The longing and thought of Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him, who is so loved by the Muslims bring great peace to my heart and to all – young, elderly, the poor, the rich – who come to Masjid Nabawi to be near his tomb and feel his presence.
At the Raudhah I prayed in tears of joy for being blessed to be given a chance to be in this holiest area of the mosque.
I pray I will be invited again by Allah to this holy land, InsyaAllah.” – Nurlyana Bte Abdul Rahman
EXTERIOR OF MASJID NABAWI
The huge doors on all sides of Masjid Nabawi.
In the marble-floor compound all around Masjid Nabawi, gigantic umbrellas that automatically open in the late morning provide shade to people performing their prayers and close at sunset for people to enjoy the evening atmosphere while waiting for the next prayer time or enjoy the serenity of the place after their prayers.
Views of the hotels located outside the compounds of Masjid Nabawi where people relax in the evening as the sun sets..
VISITS TO PLACES OF INTEREST
Some of the Umrah group members during the visit to a date plantation to see date palms at close range.
Masjid Quba: The first mosque built by Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him, during his migration to, and before reaching, Yathrib (Madinah). Like Masjid Nabawi, Masjid Quba was initially a simple mosque built with materials of those days.
Masjid Sayyid al-Shuhada in Uhud: The mosque was built in honour of Prophet Muhammad’s uncle, Hamzah bin Abdul Muttalib, who was martyred together with 70 other warriors in the Battle of Uhud that took place in this area in 3 Hijrah (or in the Gregorian year 624).
(1) Masjid Qiblatain (Mosque of the two Qiblas): The Qiblah is the prayer direction that points to the Ka’aba in Mecca. In the beginning of Islam, the early Muslims’ Qiblah was the direction towards Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem. Then, after the Prophet received the command to change the Qiblah from Jerusalem to Makkah, the entire congregation led by a companion changed direction during a prayer session. The old mihrab (prayer niche) had been removed to avoid confusion. (2) Mr Azman, a member of our group, likes the way the copies of the Qur’an are placed – in creative shelves.
Jannaṫ al-Baqī (Garden of the Baqi), near Masjid Nabawi, is the burial ground of many of Prophet Muhammad’s relatives and Companions, including Caliph Uthman.
INTERIOR OF MASJID NABAWI
Visitors (men’s turn) waiting to enter Raudhah ul-Jannah (The Garden of Paradise): “Between by house and my minbar (pulpit) there is a Garden from the Gardens of Paradise,” said Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him. Visitors to Masjid Nabawi would always look for an opportunity to perform a sunnat (voluntary) prayer at the Raudhah with men and women allotted different time to visit the area.
Another lady member in the group, who came with her husband, Mr Zaidi, is Ms Sarimah Safi’ee who was overwhelmed with blissful emotion when she entered the Raudhah (Garden of Paradise) in Masjid Nabawi.
Sarimah in front of one of the numerous doors of Masjid Nabawi.
“When the time came for the female members in our group to go to the Raudhah, I was a bit scared but I braved myself. Indeed, the crowd was huge but when I entered this special place, I was overwhelmed.
The moment I stepped onto the green carpet, suddenly my tears flowed uncontrollably. My heart burst with joy to be right in the Raudhah. And I kept saying ‘Ya Allah! Thank you very much for allowing me to be in this blissful place which I likened to Paradise.’
The crowd was thick, but I managed to perform my sunat pray, and I said my heartfelt personal doa,
After we went out of the Raudhah, I felt at ease. I was happy to have been given the chance by Allah to be in the Raudhah, even for a short time. and I am very grateful to Him for that. Alhamdulillah.” – Sarimah Bte Safi’ee
The intricate and unique architecture of the interior of Masjid Nabawi is a marvel to behold.
High decorative ceilings and air-con provide comfort to the worshippers.
Chandeliers, wall lights, huge pillars and domes (interior) enhance the exquisite atmosphere of the interior of the mosque.
(1) Zam Zam water is readily available for anyone to drink freely. Zam Zam water drums with disposable cups as shown are placed within short distances along the pathways and topped up hourly. (2) Copies of the Qur’an are placed at every pillar (with air-con outlets) for anyone to read it at leisure and worn-out copies are replaced every day. (3) Every Friday night, simple free meals are given to those who are fasting and breaking the fast, and the plastic cover-sheets and trash are cleared quickly to get ready for the Maghrib prayers. (4) Chairs are available for those who are unable to sit on the floor because of leg or knee problem/injuries. (These jobs, including vacuuming the carpets and cleaning the floor inside and outside the mosque, are carried out by a huge team of well-trained uniformed workers.)
The Green Dome is the exact location of where Prophet Muhammad’s tomb lies beneath in an enclosed chamber with Quranic verses forming grilles (gold mesh) for people to take glimpses of the tomb of their beloved prophet as they walk past the corridor of the chamber. (Visitors are not allowed to remain at the grille wall longer than a few seconds as to allow smooth flow of the unending movement of the large number of visitors.) Next to the tomb of the Prophet are located the tombs of his Companions, Caliph Abu Bakr and Caliph Umar.
In Madinah Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him, gave form and continuity to the Muslim community and the state with all the various elements of social, economic and political life he had been commanded by God to establish. From Madinah, the first Islamic state in Islam, the religion rapidly spread throughout Arabia. The next state to become Islamic was Makkah. It is in Makkah that the Haj and Umrah are performed.
(“Part 3, Our Umrah: The enthusiasm of Masjidil Haram” will be featured soon. “Part 1, Our Umrah: Opening friendship opportunities” has been published in this blog last week, 21 March 2018.)
30 March 2018