The second most sacred city for Muslims after Makkah, Madinah is the city where half of the rituals during Hajj and Umrah are performed. The word Madinah is an Arabic word meaning ’the city’. It is believed that Madinah was the very first city that followed the edicts of the Great Prophet. Often referred as ‘the city of Prophet’, Madinah was the place of refuge for Prophet Muhammad SAWW and his companions when they were exiled from the holy city of Makkah.
Madinah is the city where Prophet Muhammad SAWW lived, fought in pivotal battles, built a mosque and finally laid to rest. The city and its present revolve around the time when it was home to Prophet Muhammad SAWW and his companions. For the pilgrims who are going to the Saudi Kingdom for the sake of performing Umrah with Packages or Hajj or for those who want to witness the prestigious city themselves, here is a complete travel guide to Madinah so that they can do so without any trouble.
• The most prominent site in Madinah: The most prominent and important of all in Madinah is Masjid-al-Nabawi SAWW, otherwise known as Prophet’s Mosque, constructed by Prophet Muhammad SAWW himself. Paying visitation to this mosque and performing ritual there is an essential part of Hajj and Umrah and without which the Pilgrimage cannot be completed. A complex of Mosques, Masjid –al- Nabawi SAWW is regarded as the greatest buildings of all time all around the world. The Mosque like the Bait-ul-Allah also gains attention of the world because it receives worshipers than any other mosque in the world. The mosque is home to the resting places of Prophet Muhammad SAWW as well as his daughter Hazrat Fatima RA who is known to be one of the finest ladies in the history and it is believed that she would be the queen of ladies in heaven. The closest companion of Prophet Muhammad SAWW, Hazrat Abu Bakar RA also rests in Prophet’s Mosque. Madinah is also crowned to be the city who has the very first mosque of the Islamic history ever built, Masjid-al- Quba that was established in the 7th century.
• Non-Muslims are not permitted: Madinah and Makkah both cities are exclusively associated WITH Islam and represent the Islamic religion and history. Therefore, after a certain point, the non-Muslims cannot enter these cities. Non-Muslims can do their business and stuff in Madinah but cannot surpass from the point which is designated for the Muslim pilgrims only. Though the non- Muslims are not permitted to enter the city from a specific point, they still can see the beauty of its best sites from afar.
• Weather Conditions: like the rest of the Saudi Kingdom, Madinah’s weather is dry and hot almost all around the year. Winters are very cold but come for a very brief period of time. Mostly the weather is hot and dry so the best month to visit Madinah is in the winter months especially December. Muslims who visit Madinah for the sake of Umrah are also advised to perform their pilgrimage in winter months to avoid any health pertaining issues. Also, the summer time forbids a pilgrim to walk and sightseeing the attractions in the city.
• Major Attractions in Madinah: some of the major sightseeing in Madinah includes Masjid al- Qiblatain, Jannat al Baqi, Al-Madinah Museum, Madinah Saleh Tombs, Holy Quran Exhibition, Mount Uhud, Madinah Old Market, Yanbu and Garden of Hazrat Suleiman Farsi RA.
– Masjid al- Qiblatain: a majestic religious monument, Masjid al-Qiblatain is a complex structure of buildings whose all walls are painted white. The color gives peace and harmony to the viewers. Masjid al –Qiblatain is furnished with many miniature towers and domes, explaining its unique and magnificent architecture. There is a spacious courtyard as well where you can find hundreds of pristine palm trees. The interior of the mosque is also worth-praising including dazzling chandeliers, skillful carvings and ornaments made from natural wood.
– Jannat al-Baqi: the final resting place of many prominent Islamic figures, Jannat al-Baqi is the graveyard where many of the Prophet Muhammad’s SAWW relatives and companions are buried. Recently a tourist center is also built on the graveyard’s territory so that the excursion to the graves of prestigious personalities is organized for the tourists and pilgrims. The Cemetry is often visited by the pilgrims to make supplications for their prosperity, health and afterlife.
– Al-Madinah Museum: to know the history of Madinah, Saudi Arab and especially Islam, tourists cannot find a place better than Al- Madinah Museum. The museum is known for its wide collection of ancient articles. In Al- Madinah Museum, visitors can see the belongings of Prophets, utensils, jewelry, books, metals and unique relics that were once kept in the ancient mosques but are now the part of the museum. The museum serves as an information booth for the city and the people who visit it.
– Madinah Saleh Tombs: Madinah Saleh Tombs are archeological area in Madinah that is organized for the guests. The area serves as a ruin of an ancient city. An area of interest for the archaeologists and history lovers, Madinah Saleh Tombs are surely to be visited if you are a history lover and want to know more about how things worked in the past.
– Mount Uhud: the site that explains the eminence of a ruler and obeying the orders of a ruler, Mount Uhud was the battle site in the second most important war between Muslims and non-believers, Battle of Uhud. Though the Muslims lost the Battle of Uhud, the conflict enlightened the importance of a ruler and unity. Located 5 km north of the main city, Mount Uhud is also the burial ground of Hazrat Hamza RA (a great warrior) and other battle companions of Prophet Muhammad SAWW.
– Old Market Madinah: a place that holds religious significance, Madinah Market is a perfect place to buy presents for friends and family. The experience to visit this market is pretty amazing as Umrah visitors can see and buy traditional Arabian products.
– Yanbu: a mesmeric beach site near Madinah, Yanbu is like a resort area with splendid views, known for its pretty beaches, unwavering water, large and lush palm trees and white resorts, Yanbu must be explored while being in Madinah.