The streets of Yathrib welcomed him, and thereafter the streets of Madinah have welcomed the ummah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) with open arms. Madinah, the city of the most beloved creation is like no other city in this world. After all, when it is the residence of the greatest of humanity, each and every corner is showered with blessings, from a single speck of soil to the skyline encompassing the beautiful city that is home to our Prophet.
The minarets of a white palace can be seen afar as you enter the city; the palace is Ahmad’s masjid, more commonly known as Masjid Al-Nabawi. Even before a believer has taken his/her first step in Madinah, he/she is overwhelmed by the sweetness of the air; a teaspoon of honey cannot compare with the air of Madinah. Subconsciously, as the first few steps are taken on a land full of history, one lowers their head in respect, as a believer will no doubt feel the shadow of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). With the calling of prayer in the background, a believer’s heart will be guided to Ahmad’s masjid for a congregation, bowing down to Allah (SWT), the Most Merciful. It dawns upon oneself, that although prayer is conducted in the direction of the Ka’aba, in Makkah, a visit to Madinah will cause an everlasting yearning for Masjid Al-Nabawi. Such is the impact of the city which accepted not only our Prophet, but the divine message bought with him and his practices.
As the wind passes by cooling the visitors of Madinah, it is inevitable that the mind will drift away to the time when the Prophet was alive amongst his noble companions. The feet of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) have touched the Earth of the very streets that Muslims walk on today, and from Masjid Quba to Masjid Al-Nabwi, our Prophet has bowed down as a servant of Allah (SWT). Imaam Maalik, may he rest in peace, spent his entire life walking in Madinah barefoot; hence avoiding the prospect of placing sandals upon the footprints of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). His love and respect for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) cannot be underestimated for walking barefoot an entire lifetime is no easy task. The verse ‘do not walk proudly on the Earth; your feet cannot tear apart the Earth nor are you as tall as the mountains (Quran Al Isra 17:37) is implemented by millions of Muslims at the greatest degree. It is placed within the body, mind and soul of every Muslim to walk with respect and dignity when we ponder over the character of the noblest being, the one we call the final Messenger of Allah (SWT).
Within Masjid Al-Nabawi amongst the huge crowd, peace and serenity are found. This spreads right across the city, and noticeably departs at the borders of Madinah; the feeling of loss is certainly experienced within the surrounding and oneself when the unfortunate time comes to leave. At this point, the focus should be diverted to appreciating the favour bestowed upon you from Allah (SWT); that is to have prayed in Masjid Al-Nabawi, to have paid respect by giving your salaam to the place where Prophet Muhammad lays to rest and his Companions (Abu Bakr Siddique and Umrah Farooq RA) as well as to have stood in Heaven; all these blessings granted in Madinah, a city which was chosen by Allah (SWT) for His beloved creation. It must be of immense comfort for those persecuted, forced to leave their homes and take refuge elsewhere when considering the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Surely, the example of our Prophet demonstrates that home is not the place of birth (e.g Makkah) but rather where the heart finds rest and where love flourishes amongst the community (Madinah). In this example, there are signs for those who reflect.
Heaven on Earth is only true with the city of Madinah. Riad ul Jannah, which means Garden of Paradise, is found in Masjid Al-Nabawi. An authentic hadith confirms that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stated ‘between my house and my mimbar (pulpit) lies one of the gardens of paradise’ (Bukhari). The garden is distinguishable from the rest of the masjid with green carpet. It is highly recommended that two rak’ah nafl are prayed whilst being present here, asking Allah (SWT) for mercy and granting Paradise to the righteous followers. It is not possible for a dua to be rejected in Paradise, thus this opportunity must not be missed. Due to the vast number of Muslims visiting Madinah, some, no fault of their own, leave without praying in Riad ul Jannah. The tranquility experienced during the remembrance of Allah (SWT) on this land resembles that of Paradise, a taster of what is yet to come for us. InshAllah.
Each and every Muslim must attempt to visit Madinah once in their life. The simplicity of life does not exist anywhere like it does in Madinah. From the golden doors to the pillars of Ahmad’s masjid, the mind will forever remember poignant aspects of Madinah; a blueprint is created and never will you look at images of Masjid Al Nabawi in the same way again.
Even in my dreams, Madinah, you call to me.