بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْن،وَالصَّلاۃ وَالسَّلامُ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ الْکَرِيم وَعَلیٰ آله وَاَصْحَابه اَجْمَعِيْن۔

Journey to Madinah & Visiting

the Masjid of the Prophet and His Holy Grave

Merits of Madinah:

Madinah holds a huge number of merits. Allah and the Prophet have accorded Madinah an exalted place in their eyes. We should remember, that it is the city where the Prophet (PBUH) migrated to, lived in and rests there even today.  Islam flourished here and reached to the far off corners of the world. Madinah is also called ‘Taiba’ and ‘Taba’ which translates as ‘the pure place’.  The reward for all the acts of worship increases to manifold in Madinah. Let’s see how the Prophet himself praised the city:

  1. Aisha (RA) narrated that the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said, ‘O Allah, make us love Madinah more than we love Makkah.’ (Sahih Bukhari)
  2. Anas (RA) narrated that the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said, ‘O Allah! Bestow on Madinah twice the blessings You bestowed on Makkah.’ (Sahin Bukhari)
  3. Abdullah ibn Umar (RA) narrated that the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said, ‘If a person patiently bears the trouble he has (during his stay in Madinah), I will intercede for him on the Day of Judgment”, or said, ‘I will bear witness for him.”  (Sahih Muslim)
  4. Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said, “If a person from my people remains patient while facing the hunger and harshness in Madinah and on the troubles there, I will intercede for him on the Day of Judgment.” (Sahih Bukhari)
  5. Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said, "There are angels guarding the roads of Madinah; neither plague nor Dajjal will be able to enter it.” (Sahih Bukhari)
  6. Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said, “Whoever has the means to die in Madinah, let him die there for I shall intercede on behalf of everyone who dies there." (Tirmidhi)
  7. Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said “Belief (Iman) will return to Madinah (near the Last Day) as a snake returns to its hole.” (Sahih Bukhari)
  8. Sa’ad (RA) narrated that the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said, "None plots against the people of Madinah but that he will be dissolved (destroyed) like the salt is dissolved in water." (Sahih Bukhari &Sahih Muslim)
    1. Sa’ad (RA) narrated that the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said, "Madinah expels bad people as the bellows removes the impurities of iron." (Sahih Muslim)
  9. Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said, "Do not set out on a journey except for three mosques: Al-Masjid al-Haram, my Mosque, and the al-Masjid al-Aqsa.” (Sahih Bukhari)
  10. Abdullah ibn Umar (RA) narrated that the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said,”One prayer in my mosque is better than one thousand prayers in any other mosque except al-Masjid-al-Haram.” (Sahih Muslim) A hadith in IbneMajah mentions the reward equal to 50,000 (fifty thousand) prayers. The rewards should depend on the sincerity and composure of the prayer.
  11. Anas (RA) narrated that the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said, Whoever prays forty consecutive prayers in my Mosque, missing no prayer, it will be recorded that he is safe from the Fire, is saved from punishment and is free from hypocrisy. (Tirmidhi, Tabrani & Musnad Ahmad) A few scholars have declared this Hadith as weak (non-reliable) while the others declared it good to argue with. Therefore, make it a point to offer all your prayers in the Masjid of the Prophet during your stay in Madinah because it multiplies the reward 1000 times and according to the Hadith recorded by IbneMajah50,000 times. Additionally, the abovementioned merit of the consecutive forty prayers will also be achieved.

The Virtues of Visiting the Prophet’s (PBUH) Mosque:

Clarification: The visit to the grave of the Prophet (PBUH) and offering salutations there are not categorically an essential part of Hajj. However, the visit to the grave of the Prophet (PBUH) and offering salutations and tributes is always fortunate and rewarding. A few scholars decreed it mandatory for those with means.

The virtues of visiting the Holy Grave:

  1. Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said, “If someone offers salutations and sends blessings on me standing by my grave, I hear it myself. And if a person offers salutations and sends blessings from somewhere else then all his needs of the world and of the Hereafter are fulfilled and on the Day of Judgment, I will intercede and witness for him.”  (Baihaqi)
  2. Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said, “Whoever offers greetings on me by my grave, Allah communicates it to me and I return the greetings.” (Musnad Ahmad, Abu Dawood)
  3. Abdullah ibn Umar (RA) narrated that the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said, “If someone visits my grave, my intercession for him becomes mandatory.” (Dar Qutni, Bazzar)
  4. Abdullah ibn Umar (RA) narrated that the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said, “If a person comes to visit me (grave) with no other intention, It becomes my duty to intercede for him.” (Tabrani)
  5. Anas (RA) narrated that the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said, “The one who visits my grave with the hope of reward, he will be next to me and I will intercede for him on the Day of Judgment.” (Baihaqi)
  6. Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said, “Do not take my grave as an idol (deity). Allah cursed those who took the graves of the Prophets as idols (deity).” (Musnad Ahmad)

During the entire journey to Madinah, recite Durood and Salam profusely. Allah says, “Surely, Allah and His angels send blessings to the Prophet. O you who believe, do pray Allah to bless him, and send your Salam (prayer for his being in peace) to him in abundance.”(Surah Al-Ahzab,56)  The Prophet (PBUH) said, “If a man sends Salat on me once, Allah bestows him with mercy ten times and ten virtues are recorded for him.” (Tirmidhi)

Visiting the Masjid of the Prophet (PBUH): On arrival in Madinah, set your luggage in the residence, clean yourself through bath or ablution (Wudhu), put on a decent dress and head out to the Masjid with all respectful excitement. Enter the Masjid with the right foot first and say the dua of entry. First of all, come to the place between the tomb and the pulpit (Mimber). The Prophet (PBUH) said about this place, “What is between my home and pulpit is a flowerbed from the garden of the Paradise.” Offer two Rak’ahof the greetings to the Masjid (Tahiyyatal-Masjid) If this place is already full then pray wherever you find the space. And if Imam has already started the obligatory prayer, join the congregation.

Salat & Salam (Salutation and Prayers): Having performed two rak’ahof Tahiyyatal-Masjid (greeting to the Masjid), with all respect and reverence, walk to the grave of the Prophet (PBUH). The moment you get to the second screen, you should be able to see three holes. The first  hole lets you have a glance at the grave of the Prophet, see through and respectfully present the following salutation;

Translation:

Prayer and peace be upon you, O the Messenger of Allah

Prayer and peace be upon you, O the Prophet of Allah

Prayer and peace be upon you, O the Beloved of Allah

Prayer and peace be upon you, O the Best of Allah’s creation

Prayer and peace be upon you, O the Leader of the Messengers

Prayer and peace be upon you, O the Seal of the Prophets

It is perfectly okay to recite the salat recited in the daily prayers. Having presented salutation and blessings on the Prophet (PBUH), move to the next hole which gives you a glimpse of the grave of Abu Bakr Siddique (RA) and recite the following salam:

Translation:

Peace be on you, O Abubakr Siddique

Peace be on you, O the Successor of the Prophet

Peace be on you, O the Companion of the Prophet in the cave

Peace be on you, O the first Caliph of Muslims

Thereafter, move forward to the third hole in the wall and offer greetings on the grave of Umar Farooq (RA) recite the following salam;

Peace be on you, O Umar ibn Khattab

Peace be on you, O Ameer al-Momineen

Peace be on you, O the Second Caliph

Peace be on you, O the martyr under the niche

Note: Salam is exactly what is mentioned above. Hence, whenever you wish to offer Salam again, just repeat the entire process.

Important Tips: Sometimes pilgrims do not get to stay even for a minute in front of the grave of the Prophet (PBUH) when it is overcrowded.  In such circumstances, patiently walk with the queue reciting Salat and when you approach in front of the first hole which gives you a glimpse of the grave of the Prophet (PBUH), briefly offer Salam on the go and then proceed to the second and third whole offering Salam in the same manner to Abu Bakr Siddique (RA) and Umar Farooque (RA) respectively.

Riyadh al-Jannah (The Flowerbed From Paradise): In the old building of the Masjid of the Prophet (PBUH), the place between pulpit and the grave is called Riyadh al-Jannah (the flowerbed from Paradise). There are marble pillars erected to mark the Riyadh-al-Jannah. All the pillars are named. Performing prayers in Riyadh al-Jannah entails extra reward and the place is known for the quick acceptance of prayers made in there.

The Shed of Ashab al-Suffah:Behind the chamber of the Prophet (PBUH), there is a small shed. This portion has been designated for the residence and education of the homeless Companions (RA) who would engage themselves in the acquisition of knowledge from the Prophet (PBUH) and made themselves busy in recitation and prayers. Abu Hurairah (RA) is one of the bright alumni of this school. The number of the learners and residents of the Suffah constantly kept changing. Sometimes there would live about 80 companions (RA). Verse 28 in Surat al-Kahf has been revealed to praise the mates of the Suffah which asks the Prophet (PBUH) to sit with them. Having an opportunity, you should try to offer two rak’ah nafl there and recite a little from the Qur’an and pray as much as you can.

Jannatul-Baqi (Baqi al-Gharqad):  The cemetery of Madinah, Jannatul-Baqi is located at a stone’s throw distance from the Masjid of the Prophet (PBUH). This cemetery is the heavenly abode to a large number of the Companions (RA) and great spiritual personalities. During your stay in Madinah, make it a point to visit this cemetery often and pray for forgiveness, mercy and spiritual elevation from Allah.

The Mount Uhud:  Located about 4-5 kilometres north of Madinah, this is the mountain the Prophet (PBUH) expressed his love saying, “This mountain loves us and we love it too.” (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim) The battle of Uhud took place in 3 Hijri right in front of this mountain where Rasulullah (PBUH) suffered a wound and 70 of his Companions (RA) were martyred. All the martyrs have been buried there. The fences are now set up around their graves. In the fences, there rest the Prophet’s (PBUH) Uncle Hamza, Abdullah ibn Jahash, Mus’ab ibn Umair (RA). The Prophet (PBUH) used to visit the place often to pray for the martyrs. Therefore, it is recommended to visit the mount Uhud during the stay in Madinah.

Masjid-e-Quba: Other than the Masjid of the Prophet (PBUH), there are many other Masjids in Madinah. One may visit themtoo. However, other Masjids can be visited for their historical significance. As for Quba, it is sunnah to visit it. It is located at a distance of about four kilometres from the Masjid of the Prophet (PBUH). This Masjid is the first to be built in the Islamic history. When the Prophet (PBUH) migrated from Makkah to Madinah, he stayed with the tribe of Banu Auf. There the Prophet (PBUH) laid the foundation stone of the Masjid Quba. Allah (SWT) says about this Masjid, “the Masjid built out of piety”. After Masjid Haram, the Masjid of the Prophet (PBUH) and Masjid Al-Aqsa, this is the Masjid of highest merit. Rasulullah (PBUH) used to walk and ride to Masjid Quba. (Sahih Bukhari & Muslim) Rasulullah gave the news, “If someone comes out of his house into this Masjid to offer prayer, he will receive reward equal to the reward of an Umrah.” (Nasai).

Activities to perform in Madinah: The pilgrims should consider every second of their stay in Madinah incredibly valuable and spend most of the time in the acts of worship. It would be absolutely fortunate to spend time in the Masjid of the Prophet (PBUH).Who knows if another visit would be possible for him or not. Efforts should be made to make sure to offer all the five prayers in the Masjid of the Prophet (PBUH) as it multiplies the reward by 1000 or 50,000. Salat and Salam should be offered as many times as possible. Offering a plenty of nafl (optional prayer) will add more reward to the credit. The avoidance of worthless discussions and quarrels is highly recommended. It is better for pilgrims not to waste their precious time in shopping. No one knows if they will return to the city of the Prophet (PBUH) ever again.

Women’s Issues: Women should maintain proper Hijab as no Ihram is prescribed for the visit to Madinah. If a woman is having her periods, she should not enter the Masjid of the Prophet (PBUH) to offer Salam. However, she is allowed to offer Salam from outside the BabJibreel, Bab-al-Nisa or Bab-al-Baqi. Once her periods are over, she can visit the grave of the Prophet (PBUH) and offer Salam in the proper manner. Since, separate areas are allocated for men and women in the Masjid of the Prophet (PBUH), at the time of the entry, everyone should plan their exit and meeting point in the group.

Return from Madinah:The return from the city of the Prophet (PBUH) must be heavy and tearful, but console yourself that even from the thousands of miles, Allah communicates your Salam to the Prophet (PBUH) through angels. At the departing moment, pledge to never digress from the path of Allah, pledge to keep Him happy and pleased, pledge to stick to the way of life of the Prophet (PBUH) throughout the rest of your life and make a promise to preach Allah’s religion in the world.

Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi (www.najeebqasmi.com)