The enlightened city of our Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the second holiest city in Islam is in the Hejaz region of Western Saudi Arabia. It is that sacred place where our Prophet migrated to and then the preaching of Islam had gathered pace. Pilgrims from all over the world visit Medina as a part of the performance and fulfillment of one of the five pillars of Islam called Hajj.
The historical evidence of Medina is lucid to the entire Muslim community and they hold it sacred for this city being the home of Muhammad (PBUH) after migration from Medina. The three oldest mosques in Islam namely Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, Quba Mosque and Masjid al-Qiblatain are in Medina and the Muslims never miss the visit (ziyarah) to these mosques that refresh in their thoughts with the history of Islam and the sacrifices made by our beloved Prophet (PBUH). Yathrib was this city’s former name and later it was renamed to Medina by Muhammad (PBUH) himself.
Medina is a home to 1,300,000 people (recorded in 2006) and millions of Muslims visit it during different parts of the year. It is noteworthy here that it is strictly prohibited for non-Muslims to enter the central part of Medina, except the outskirts and many parts of the city including the Medina airport which are open to all. The pilgrims coming for the purpose of Hajj are allowed to enter Saudi Arab either through the Jeddah airport or through Medina’s Prince Muhammad bin Abdul Aziz Airport and from the airport they are carried by the luxurious and comfy buses which are prohibited for use by non-Muslims. Apart from the buses, the only public transport available throughout the city is the taxi.
Like the entire region of Saudi Arab, the city of Medina exhibits a very hot weather throughout the year and most people are not well acquainted with the climatic conditions if they come from a place having moderate or cold temperature so you must keep yourself hydrated from the moment you step out from the plane.
For Muslims, there is so much to do and look around in Medina. Whatever purpose they come for- work, education, business, tourism, Hajj or Umrah, their heart and thoughts are overwhelmed by the love of Allah and the city of His Beloved Prophet. Al-Masjid an-Nabawi is loved the most by all the visitors. Only the person who gets there can describe the true feelings of his heart. The peace, sacredness and the purity is not possible to explain in words. You cannot imagine the feeling when it is inevitable to stop the tears that stream down your face when you go at the Roza e Rasool (SAWW).
The people who visit Al-Masjid an-Nabawi also like to see the other two mosques mentioned before. Other places to see in Medina include the Old Bazaar, Mount Uhud, Jannat ul Baqee and Jabal Magnit. Each of these places carries a narration in them that is worth knowing not only for the lovers and followers of the religion Islam but for the ones who are non-Muslims and keen to be familiar with the knowledge and history of Islam.
Overall, Medina is a well developed city with sophisticated and comfortable accommodation choices, a vast array of huge shopping malls and the restaurants that serve amazing food from different cultures. There are specialties like the dates, prayer mats and beads that you can take back with you for your friends and family as the souvenirs from the Holy City.
|Currency used||Saudi Riyals|