A City Guide to Al Medina Al Munawwarah
The second holiest city in Islam after Makkah Al-Mukarramah is none other than Al-Medina Al-Munawwarah. It is also recognized with various names such as City of the Messenger, Home of Immigration and Taibah. When the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) immigrated from Makkah, people from this city known as Ansar welcomed him. Al-Medina Al-Munawwarah literally means the city of light. Al Quba Mosque is the first mosque of Islam and it is also located in Medina. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was supported by the Ansars along with the Muhajireens. Together they joined him in fighting unforgettable battles which were monumental in the victory of Islam. Their unwavering love towards the Holy Prophet was subsequent and played a big role in the spread of Islam throughout the world. The Holy Prophet’s Mosque and his noble grave, the world famous Islamic University, The Holy Quran printing at the King Fahd Complex and many archaeological Islamic features are all found in this Holy city.
Millions of pilgrims visit the Prophet’s mosque after performing Hajj and Umrah. The Prophet’s Mosque is unique in its stature. The Prophet(peace be upon him) himself built the mosque along with his companions and led prayers in it for years.
The city is located in the Hejaz Region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Al Medina Al Munawwarah is surrounded by mountains. A number of historical mountains surround it namely: Al-Hujaj, Salaa, Al-E’er and the most important in Islamic history is the mountain of Uhad. Plentiful greenery is found amidst a hot and dry mountainous region. The city is geographically located 620 mts above the sea level. It is a desert oasis consisting of various stony areas from all sides.
Shops are lined up around the Prophet’s Mosque and they sell products of different varieties. The pilgrims generally prefer to purchase janamaz (prayer rug used to offer salaah), topi(caps), burqas or known in Arab as Abayas, Tasbeeh, beautiful old and new pictures depicting the holy city and mosques, DVDs or cds containing religious information, Holy Quran and other Islamic related products as precious souvenirs and gifts for their family and friends. The most favored product to take back from here is the different varieties of Dates. They are unique and special which are not found anywhere else in the world. Big shopping complexes and ultra modern malls sell products from all over the world. Pilgrims from different parts of the world visit the city. Luxury, Semi Luxury and budget Hotels are available to accommodate them. The visitors’ gets unique opportunities to get indulge in oriental and local dishes and satisfy their taste buds with the high quality fresh ingredients.
Comfortable and luxurious buses at an affordable rate are provided by The Saudi Arabian Public Transport Company (SAPTCO). They operate round the clock and are well connected with all the major cities of Saudi Arabia. Private buses also provide the transportation services. Taxis are a major source for the visitors to get around the city.
It is a great honor for the pilgrims to visit our beloved Prophet’s mosque. The Holy Prophet said:
“A salaah performed in the Prophet’s Mosque is better than a thousand salaats in any other place except Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah” –
Related by: Bukhari and Muslim.