Pilgrim’s guide to

Madinah Al-Munawwarah

Introduction

Originally, Madinah was known as “Yathrib”. Historians mention that this name came from a man who lived there, known to be sick and this sickness was thought to curse those who visited. Aisha (r) herself mentioned that “when we reached Medina, it was the most unhealthy of Allah’s lands, and the valley of Bathan (the valley of Medina) used to flow with impure colored water” (Bukhari 1889). Many of us know the virtues and blessings of Makkah, however the prophet (s) made du’a to Allah to bestow twice the blessings on Madinah as He had bestowed upon Makkah (Bukhari 1885). Madinah is home to the Prophet’s Mosque, Masjid Nabawi, which is the second holiest and largest mosque in the world. It also hosts other Mosques like Masjid-Al-Quba and Masjid-Al-Qiblatayn.

History of Madinah

Introduction to Madinah and the part it plays in Hajj and Umrah

History of Madinah

The city of Madinah was originally known as Yathrib, an oasis city dating as far back as the 6th century BCE. The city of Madinah was not unfamiliar to the Prophet (ﷺ) when he emigrated there. His father Abdullah was buried there and when he was six years old he had travelled with his mother Aminah and their devoted slave girl Barakah (later to be known as Umme Ayman). Madinah is 210 miles (340 km) north of Makkah. At the time of the Prophet (ﷺ), the part of Madinah which was mainly inhabited by the Muhajireen (Emigrants) was approximately the size of the present masjid and the surrounding white tiled area.

Madinah: Masjid Al Nabawi

Masjid al Nabawi is amongst the holiest sites in Islam. The mosque was made by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the wake of the migration from Makkah to Madinah (Hijrah). According to Islamic history, it took Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions eight months to build Masjid al Nabawi 1,401 years ago. The construction of Masjid al Nabawi started in September 622 AD (Rabi-ul-awaal), and the mosque was completed in April 632 AD (Shawwal).

Stating the significance of Masjid al Nabawi, The Messenger (PBUH) of Allah SWT said, “Whoever visits me after my death is like he who had visited me during my life.

Hotels

Madinah Hilton

The Madinah Hilton is a beautiful hotel, located a very short walk away from the Holy Mosque and is in the heart of Madinah’s shopping district. The Prince Mohammed Airport is only a 25 minutes’ drive away and a variety of amenities are offered including free parking and wifi, a 24/hour front desk and facilities fro disabled guests. Attendants have continuously rated the service and hospitality as being top tier and the brilliant breakfast spread is definitely a bonus.

InterContinental Madinah-Dar Al Iman, an IHG Hotel

The InterContinental Madinah-Dar Al Iman, an IHG Hotel is described as having “unparalleled luxury”. In order to perfect the blend of space and modern amenities, each room offers enchanting views of the Prophet’s Mosque and is equipped with live Haram sound, allowing you to immerse in prayer. Rooms also feature private dressing areas, marble bathrooms, and amenities like an LCD TV and mini fridge. Guests can benefit from the convenient 24-hour reception and a laundry service and the Rotana restaurant serves a delicious variety of Arabian and international cuisine.

Dar Al Taqwa Madinah

Dar Al Taqwa Hote possesses a brilliant location in the courtyard of the Prophet’s Mosque as it is merely footsteps away, at only 3 meters, from the main entrance to the Holy Mosque. It also faces King Fahad gate’s ladies entrance and is close to shopping arcades and a commercial center. The hotel is just a 15-25 minutes’ drive from Madinah International Airport. Each room has satellite TV and a well-stocked minibar with free items. Al Marwa Restaurant serves international and local cuisines in a smart-casual setting. Guests can also relax in the lobby which features plush armchairs and a flat-screen TV.

Restaurants

Madinah has a rich pallete, sure to be favourable to all its guests - rice, chicken and camel meat are among the local tastes of the cuisine in Madinah.

Step

1


Memaz Restaurant and Cafe

Step

2


Rotana Restaurant - Dar Al Iman Hotel


Memaz Restaurant and Cafe

Memaz Restaurant and Cafe is a brilliant Mediterranean and Lebanese restaurant located on the King Abdullah Branch Road in Madinah. The cuisine further ventures into Middle Eastern and Turkish. In combining fine dining, and good coffee, they offer a geat selection of salads, soups, pizzas, grills and delicious desserts with great customer service in a beautiful setting. The restaurant has both air conditioning indoors and outdoor seating as well as parking and plentiful space for families.

Memaz Restaurant and Cafe is a brilliant Mediterranean and Lebanese restaurant located on the King Abdullah Branch Road in Madinah. The cuisine further ventures into Middle Eastern and Turkish. In combining fine dining, and good coffee, they offer a geat selection of salads, soups, pizzas, grills and delicious desserts with great customer service in a beautiful setting. The restaurant has both air conditioning indoors and outdoor seating as well as parking and plentiful space for families.

The Rotana Restaurant is located in the five star Dar Al Iman Inter Continental Hotel. This fine dining restaurant offers a wonderful spread of breakfast, lunch, dinner and breakfast buffets. The cuisines they offer include Arabic, Asian, Middle eastern, Morrocan and seafood. Although it’s located within the hotel, the buffet is actually open to the public and offers views overlooking the courtyard of Masjid An Nabawi, which is then easily accessible by heart.

Landmarks

Masjid Al Nabawi – The Prophet’s Mosque (SAW)

Also known as the Prophet’s Mosque, Masjid Nabawi isn’t only the city’s focal point, but it is also known as “The heart of Madinah.” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) established the mosque in the first year of Hijrah (migration) with the intention to create a place where congregational prayers were to be offered five times a day without any hurdles. Despite being a place of spirituality, many political, legal, and social activities were carried out in the Prophet’s Mosque. Today, it is one of the most popular places of Ziyarat for Muslims.  Its open-air architectural structure has a raised platform for reciting the Holy Quran. One of the most notable structures of the Prophet’s Mosque is the green-coloured dome at the centre of the mosque. This is where the graves of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Umar (RA), and Abu Bakr (RA) are located. Currently, Masjid Nabawi covers an area of 8.672 square metres, which is 100 times more than the size of the initially constructed mosque. This means that the architectural structure of Masjid Nabawi expands over the entire area of the old city of Madinah.

Jannat Al Baqi’: Resting Place of the Righteous

It is common to see Janazhs carried out in Medinah, after the obligatory prayers in Masjid Al Nabawi. The bodies thereafter are carried to top left corner of the mosque compound where there is an entrance to the cemetary called Jannat Al Baqi, the oldest and first designated Muslim cemetary in Madinah. The first man to be buried here was As’ad bin Zurara (ra), an Ansari companion, and the prophet (ﷺ) chose him to be buried in this place. The first companion of the Muhajiroon to be buried here was Uthman ibn Maz’oon (ra) who died shortly after the battle of Badr. The first member of the prophet’s (ﷺ) family, Ahl-al-Bayt, to be buried here was Muhammad’s (ﷺ) daughter, Ruqayyah, who passed away in 624 CE.

Masjid Quba

Masjid Quba is most significantly known for being the first mosque in Islamic history.  It was constructed in 622 CE, almost a year after the migration to Madinah, Saudi Arabia. Although the foundation of the Quba Mosque was laid by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), it was later completed by his companions, making it the oldest and second-largest mosque to date.It is said that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had spent 14 nights at the site of Masjid Quba praying Qasr prayers while waiting for Ali (RA) – who had stayed in Makkah to safeguard Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) life and help him escape. Even though Masjid Quba witnesses an influx of visitors and worshippers every year, the number drastically increases in the holy month of Ramadan. According to an Islamic tradition, performing wudu (ablution) and praying two Rakats in Masjid Quba is equal to performing one Umrah. The mosque is also a landmark, the site where the first Friday prayer was held.

Mount Uhud

Located in Northern Madinah, Mount Uhud is 7.5 kilometres wide and 3,533 ft. (1,077 metres) high. Mount Uhud is the place where the second most important battle between the non-believers of Makkah and the Muslims (Muhajireen and Ansar) of Madinah took place. It was fought on 19th March, 625 CE (3 AH). The initial victory of the battle turned to defeat for the Muslims when some fighters left their positions after mistakenly believing that the battle was over. Mount Uhud contains graves of 70 beloved companions who were martyred during the Battle of Uhud, including Musab bin Omair and Hamza bin Abdul Muttalib. Mount Uhud has several distinguishing features, the most unique of which are the volcanic rocks that include dark green, black and red granite, light gray Dacite, and red-pink Rhyolite. Mount Uhud has a unique landscape featuring “Maharis”- natural cavities that capture rainwater throughout the year, along with reefs and valleys. It also comprises numerous caves of minerals such as iron and copper, and features plateaus.

Introduction

Originally, Madinah was known as “Yathrib”. Historians mention that this name came from a man who lived there, known to be sick and this sickness was thought to curse those who visited. Aisha (r) herself mentioned that “when we reached Medina, it was the most unhealthy of Allah’s lands, and the valley of Bathan (the valley of Medina) used to flow with impure colored water” (Bukhari 1889). Many of us know the virtues and blessings of Makkah, however the prophet (s) made du’a to Allah to bestow twice the blessings on Madinah as He had bestowed upon Makkah (Bukhari 1885). Madinah is home to the Prophet’s Mosque, Masjid Nabawi, which is the second holiest and largest mosque in the world. It also hosts other Mosques like Masjid-Al-Quba and Masjid-Al-Qiblatayn.

History of Madinah

Introduction to Madinah and the part it plays in Hajj and Umrah

History of Madinah

The city of Madinah was originally known as Yathrib, an oasis city dating as far back as the 6th century BCE. The city of Madinah was not unfamiliar to the Prophet (ﷺ) when he emigrated there. His father Abdullah was buried there and when he was six years old he had travelled with his mother Aminah and their devoted slave girl Barakah (later to be known as Umme Ayman). Madinah is 210 miles (340 km) north of Makkah. At the time of the Prophet (ﷺ), the part of Madinah which was mainly inhabited by the Muhajireen (Emigrants) was approximately the size of the present masjid and the surrounding white tiled area.

Madinah: Masjid Al Nabawi

Masjid al Nabawi is amongst the holiest sites in Islam. The mosque was made by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the wake of the migration from Makkah to Madinah (Hijrah). According to Islamic history, it took Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions eight months to build Masjid al Nabawi 1,401 years ago. The construction of Masjid al Nabawi started in September 622 AD (Rabi-ul-awaal), and the mosque was completed in April 632 AD (Shawwal).

Stating the significance of Masjid al Nabawi, The Messenger (PBUH) of Allah SWT said, “Whoever visits me after my death is like he who had visited me during my life.

Getting There

Often people will travel to Madinah from Makkah, and to do so, there are a variety of options an individual can opt for. The distance between Makkah and Madinah is 434.3 KM, which would take roughly 4 hours to drive, and this could be the cheapest option.

There is, however,  new high-speed Haramain train which is becoming an increasingly popular option. The train  is a much safer and faster way of reaching the Holy cities. The classes and seats are comfortable and it’s new and clean and the train takes 3 hours from Makkah to Madinah.

A one-way ticket in economy costs £35 / 160 SAR per person and children pay half price and a one-way ticket in business costs £55 / 263 SAR per person and children pay half price.

The Train is a service from Makkah to Madinah but it is not a direct link, it makes 1 or 2 stops depending on your train to Jeddah Central train station and to King Abdullah Economic city before arriving in Makkah or Madinah. The Makkah Haramain Highspeed train station is located about 10- minute taxi drive from the Haram and the Madinah Haramain train station is located about 10 minutes from Masjid Al Nabawi as well.

Hotels

Madinah Hilton

The Madinah Hilton is a beautiful hotel, located a very short walk away from the Holy Mosque and is in the heart of Madinah’s shopping district. The Prince Mohammed Airport is only a 25 minutes’ drive away and a variety of amenities are offered including free parking and wifi, a 24/hour front desk and facilities fro disabled guests. Attendants have continuously rated the service and hospitality as being top tier and the brilliant breakfast spread is definitely a bonus.

InterContinental Madinah-Dar Al Iman, an IHG Hotel

The InterContinental Madinah-Dar Al Iman, an IHG Hotel is described as having “unparalleled luxury”. In order to perfect the blend of space and modern amenities, each room offers enchanting views of the Prophet’s Mosque and is equipped with live Haram sound, allowing you to immerse in prayer. Rooms also feature private dressing areas, marble bathrooms, and amenities like an LCD TV and mini fridge. Guests can benefit from the convenient 24-hour reception and a laundry service and the Rotana restaurant serves a delicious variety of Arabian and international cuisine.

Dar Al Taqwa Madinah

Dar Al Taqwa Hote possesses a brilliant location in the courtyard of the Prophet’s Mosque as it is merely footsteps away, at only 3 meters, from the main entrance to the Holy Mosque. It also faces King Fahad gate’s ladies entrance and is close to shopping arcades and a commercial center. The hotel is just a 15-25 minutes’ drive from Madinah International Airport. Each room has satellite TV and a well-stocked minibar with free items. Al Marwa Restaurant serves international and local cuisines in a smart-casual setting. Guests can also relax in the lobby which features plush armchairs and a flat-screen TV.

Restaurants

Madinah has a rich pallete, sure to be favourable to all its guests - rice, chicken and camel meat are among the local tastes of the cuisine in Madinah.

Step

1


Memaz Restaurant and Cafe

Step

2


Rotana Restaurant - Dar Al Iman Hotel


Memaz Restaurant and Cafe

Memaz Restaurant and Cafe is a brilliant Mediterranean and Lebanese restaurant located on the King Abdullah Branch Road in Madinah. The cuisine further ventures into Middle Eastern and Turkish. In combining fine dining, and good coffee, they offer a geat selection of salads, soups, pizzas, grills and delicious desserts with great customer service in a beautiful setting. The restaurant has both air conditioning indoors and outdoor seating as well as parking and plentiful space for families.

Memaz Restaurant and Cafe is a brilliant Mediterranean and Lebanese restaurant located on the King Abdullah Branch Road in Madinah. The cuisine further ventures into Middle Eastern and Turkish. In combining fine dining, and good coffee, they offer a geat selection of salads, soups, pizzas, grills and delicious desserts with great customer service in a beautiful setting. The restaurant has both air conditioning indoors and outdoor seating as well as parking and plentiful space for families.

The Rotana Restaurant is located in the five star Dar Al Iman Inter Continental Hotel. This fine dining restaurant offers a wonderful spread of breakfast, lunch, dinner and breakfast buffets. The cuisines they offer include Arabic, Asian, Middle eastern, Morrocan and seafood. Although it’s located within the hotel, the buffet is actually open to the public and offers views overlooking the courtyard of Masjid An Nabawi, which is then easily accessible by heart.

Landmarks

Masjid Al Nabawi – The Prophet’s Mosque (SAW)

Also known as the Prophet’s Mosque, Masjid Nabawi isn’t only the city’s focal point, but it is also known as “The heart of Madinah.” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) established the mosque in the first year of Hijrah (migration) with the intention to create a place where congregational prayers were to be offered five times a day without any hurdles. Despite being a place of spirituality, many political, legal, and social activities were carried out in the Prophet’s Mosque. Today, it is one of the most popular places of Ziyarat for Muslims.  Its open-air architectural structure has a raised platform for reciting the Holy Quran. One of the most notable structures of the Prophet’s Mosque is the green-coloured dome at the centre of the mosque. This is where the graves of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Umar (RA), and Abu Bakr (RA) are located. Currently, Masjid Nabawi covers an area of 8.672 square metres, which is 100 times more than the size of the initially constructed mosque. This means that the architectural structure of Masjid Nabawi expands over the entire area of the old city of Madinah.

Jannat Al Baqi’: Resting Place of the Righteous

It is common to see Janazhs carried out in Medinah, after the obligatory prayers in Masjid Al Nabawi. The bodies thereafter are carried to top left corner of the mosque compound where there is an entrance to the cemetary called Jannat Al Baqi, the oldest and first designated Muslim cemetary in Madinah. The first man to be buried here was As’ad bin Zurara (ra), an Ansari companion, and the prophet (ﷺ) chose him to be buried in this place. The first companion of the Muhajiroon to be buried here was Uthman ibn Maz’oon (ra) who died shortly after the battle of Badr. The first member of the prophet’s (ﷺ) family, Ahl-al-Bayt, to be buried here was Muhammad’s (ﷺ) daughter, Ruqayyah, who passed away in 624 CE.

Masjid Quba

Masjid Quba is most significantly known for being the first mosque in Islamic history.  It was constructed in 622 CE, almost a year after the migration to Madinah, Saudi Arabia. Although the foundation of the Quba Mosque was laid by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), it was later completed by his companions, making it the oldest and second-largest mosque to date.It is said that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had spent 14 nights at the site of Masjid Quba praying Qasr prayers while waiting for Ali (RA) – who had stayed in Makkah to safeguard Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) life and help him escape. Even though Masjid Quba witnesses an influx of visitors and worshippers every year, the number drastically increases in the holy month of Ramadan. According to an Islamic tradition, performing wudu (ablution) and praying two Rakats in Masjid Quba is equal to performing one Umrah. The mosque is also a landmark, the site where the first Friday prayer was held.

Mount Uhud

Located in Northern Madinah, Mount Uhud is 7.5 kilometres wide and 3,533 ft. (1,077 metres) high. Mount Uhud is the place where the second most important battle between the non-believers of Makkah and the Muslims (Muhajireen and Ansar) of Madinah took place. It was fought on 19th March, 625 CE (3 AH). The initial victory of the battle turned to defeat for the Muslims when some fighters left their positions after mistakenly believing that the battle was over. Mount Uhud contains graves of 70 beloved companions who were martyred during the Battle of Uhud, including Musab bin Omair and Hamza bin Abdul Muttalib. Mount Uhud has several distinguishing features, the most unique of which are the volcanic rocks that include dark green, black and red granite, light gray Dacite, and red-pink Rhyolite. Mount Uhud has a unique landscape featuring “Maharis”- natural cavities that capture rainwater throughout the year, along with reefs and valleys. It also comprises numerous caves of minerals such as iron and copper, and features plateaus.