The journey from Makkah to Madinah took around 6-8 hours via land and we took a bus heading there. Throughout the journey, I could visualize how Prophet Muhammad SAW traveled from Makkah to Madinah for “Hijrah” and my heart was humbled to know that even with our modern transportations, it took us around 6-8 hours; what is it to travel on camels under the scorching Arabian sun??! Along the way, we saw a lot of rockish mountains and blue yonder of sandy plains; once a while we saw herds of camels grazing the scarce grass of oasis. It was ethereal and I felt as if like I was in an artistic masterpiece of “The Prince of Egypt”.
The scenery on the way to Madinah. Camels grazing the scarce grass!
On the way, we rested at an R&R called “Fara’ or Farih” (I am not sure, I asked my Mutawif, Ustaz Firdaus Al-Amin but now as I am jotting down this experience, I forgot the name!). It seemed quite deserted but I could see several shops erected there; I guess on purpose to assuage the thirst and hunger for people who are on the way heading towards Madinah. There was also a small mosque of which we performed our prayers there. The ablution section and toilets were clean and satisfactory. We had our meals there, courtesy of Andalusia Travel & Tours and rested for a while savouring the place (I am satisfied with the service; no complaints at all!). There were a few street traders selling perfumes, dates and gems at the side of the road.
Hall at the R&R. We had meals there. Mak bonding with other entourage members.
On the way. Beautiful sunset. Subhanallah! I love the Middle East scenery.
We pushed around 4.30 p.m. from Makkah and arrived at Madinah around 11.30 p.m. As we entered Madinah, the entourage and I were captivated with the systematic urban planning; very modern and cleanly arranged as opposed to the hustle bustle and congested Makkah! We were whisked to a hotel complex compound which is not far from Masjidil Nabawi or The Prophet Mosque. No wonder people keep saying that their journey in Madinah are somewhat more relaxing in comparison to the one they had in Makkah as all the hotels are grouped into a complex which is situated in front of Masjidil Nabawi! So, there are no questions of a far-off hotel in Madinah! Hahaha!
Our hotel, The Mubarak Silver circa 200 meter from Masjidil Nabawi.
We even had 3 beds in the room!
For our package with Andalusia Travel & Tours, we were allocated at a hotel called Mubarak Silver Hotel which is circa 200 meter away from Masjidil Nabawi. It was quite lavish for us in comparison to Firdous Al-Umrah which served as our 7-days-residence in Makkah as it is big with 3 beds (since I paid for 2 persons per room; Mak & I) and a big restroom with jacuzzi; as opposed to the one in Firdous Al-Umrah in Makkah which was quite small. In addition to that, the hoteliers were very friendly especially the one who was responsible for our 4th floor; I guess he was a Bangladeshi or a Pakistani by the name of Jazim. Nevertheless, food in Madinah weren’t as lavish and delicious as the ones in Makkah as Andalusia Travel & Tours told us that the management had to accommodate for 3 entourages and to share with Indonesian entourages as well; therefore the food prepared were somewhat limited. Still, it was satisfactory for me; no big complaints on that.
My first view of the Masjidil Nabawi. So beautiful! (,”)
The first programme for us in Madinah was to visit the Sepulchre of Prophet Muhammad SAW under the Green Dome of Masjidil Nabawi itself. Of course for this first-time visit, our Mutawwif guided us, right from the location to the every bits of necessary prayers to recite at certain locations in the mosque. Around 6.30 a.m., we gathered at the hotel lobby and make a move (it was just 200 meter away! Haha!).
Our Mutawwif showed us the location of Raudhah, which was the area of the green carpet, between the Sepulchre of Prophet Muhammad SAW and the elevated stage of preaching of Minbar (‘mimbar’). It was reported that the area was considered as one of the gardens in Heaven and the area is being carpeted in green colour. It was reported that according to Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani & Imam Nawawi that it is encouraged for one to increase prayers in the area as the area is considered as sacred. From various sources I read (correct me if I am wrong), the name “Raudhah” was given by Prophet Muhammad SAW himself and therefore the name stays until today. One of famous quote by Rasulullah SAW is :-
“The space between my house and my Minbar is to be one of the gardens from Heaven. And my Minbar is situated on my pool.”
Raudhah, where the area being covered with green carpet.
That is why in order to get the Karamah (smithereens of blessings), a lot of people are vying and compete with each other to enter the small quarter!! Luckily for us, men; Raudhah is open almost 24 hours for us without much restrictions but for women, they are only allowed to enter within a few special hours AND they also to enter Raudhah WITHIN ETHNIC GROUPS!!!! For examples, Asians will be grouped together and that differs from the Arabians, etc. Complicated, isn’t it? Initially, I thought it was so difficult to enter and I HATE PUSHING with others especially big-sized Arabs who were so adamant and full with enthusiasm to enter!! But, Alhamdulillah, I have managed to enter Raudhah 4 times and I even had the chance to recite a page of Al-Quran! Alhamdulillah for that luck and I guess some of it, luckily thanks to my petite size.
The Sepulchre of Prophet Muhammad SAW. And beside that were Abu Bakr As-Siddiq & Umar al-Khattab.
Apart from that, the chance to witness the Sepulchre of Prophet Muhammad SAW which lies besides his 2 best companions (Sahabah); Abu Bakr As-Siddiq & Umar Al-Khattab was a great experiences. Of course, there were bound to be people who were so OBSESS by weeping and howling trying to touch the room and all (if not because of the roguish guards, probably these people would crash-in the sepulchres!); fortunately as Malaysians are following the Sunni, we are bound to remind ourselves to not becoming too immersed with relics or objects affiliated to Prophet Muhammad SAW. To respect, YES; but to howl and weep frantically, definitely NO.
I love the winged-like mosque poles. The shady “wings” will be spread when the weather is hot.
Prophet Muhammad SAW definitely loved Madinah al-Munawarrah as it accepted him when the Quraish in Makkah cast him away. The gracious welcoming by the Aus & Khazraj which made up as The Ansar really touched him. It was narrated by Anas (RadhiAllahu ‘anhu) that :
“Whenever the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) returned from a journey and observed the walls of Madinah, he would make his Mount go fast, and if he was on an animal (i.e. a horse), he would make it gallop because of his love for Madinah.” – [Sahih Bukhari – Book 30: Hadith 110]