Monday 4 December 2017

#HajjSeries... Madinah continued

Asalaamu Alaykum Readers, 

I greet you with the universal greeting of peace...
A feeling one experiences every single day in Madinah, this most beautiful and tranquil city. Each day one walks in the footsteps of our Great Islamic leaders, martyrs and caliphs (teachers of Islam). The Mosque of the Prophet (PBUH) is one of the most sacred sites in the world, and as I walked around the area of the mosque, the sanctity is so tangible it infiltrates the consciousness and even the body. Despite the intense heat, and the crowds, I have never felt such an overall sense of peace and wellness as I did in Madinah. It was as if my heart was home, and the daily trips to the mosque, the explorations and visits to historical sites was a mere orientation for my heart.

We spent 12 nights in Madinah, and during the pilgrimage we aim to emulate and follow the Prophet's  (PBUH) actions and rituals on this journey. My first intention was therefore to perform 40 prayer times in the sacred mosque, which was was easily achieved within this length of time. Whenever I travel, I am always keen on the history of the destination, it is therefore natural that I was wholly engrossed in the life and history of our Beloved Prophet (PBUH) in this serene city, which is a complete reflection of the way our Prophet (PBUH) lived and carried himself. This city which is his final resting place, houses his body as well as his spirit, which is evident with every single step one takes in this city. 

Our days in Madinah were spent in performing prayers in the sacred mosque, daily visits (if possible) to the Sacred Chamber (Rawdah Mubarak) which is the tomb of the Nabi Muhammad SAW, and buried alongside him in this tomb are the first two caliphs (teachers) of Islam, Abu Bakr RA and Umar RA. Each day upon entering the sacred mosque, which houses this tomb, I would utter salutations upon these three Great men, these men who have formed a constant presence in all my muslim school teachings and subsequent Islamic history lessons.  My first visit to the Sacred Chamber was an intensely stirring experience. It was moving on such a deep level, it's difficult to articulate and to actually put it into words. It was really such a privilege to be able to visit and pay respects to their tombs on a daily basis; these men, who fought, triumphed and spread the word so that I could practise my religion without oppression. 

It was a daily mission to get into the sacred chamber; and, for a woman, a carefully timed and planned event. I was extremely fortunate and managed to visit regularly without incident i.e. the long waiting queues, pushing, shoving and being interrupted whilst paying respects at the tomb. 

For me, Madinah was a time of acknowlegdement of our Beloved Prophet PBUH and as such I was keen on visiting all the places he frequented, lived and prayed. In between the prayers and visits to the sacred chamber, we went to the outskirts to visit important historical sites. The most notable was our visit to the plains of Badr. On this ground, the most important battle, The Battle of Badr, took place, a battle where our Beloved Prophet PBUH triumphed in the name of Islam. It was an unbelievably scorcher of a day when we set out to visit this site, it could easily have been 50+ degrees, and our travelling group were still adamant on climbing down to the actual terrain on which the battle occurred. I was overwhelmed with emotion as I stood on the walls of the well, in which the opponents bodies were piled, and felt so emotional standing there as testament to the triumph of that day, 17th Ramadaan AH (624 CE). Just being able to visit this hugely significant site, is paying homage to those who came before... 

Apart from the Sacred Chamber being the foremost site to visit at Masjid Un Nabawi, there are  other areas around the mosque which have significant historical importance. The Green Dome, which is visible from the outside of the mosque houses the tomb, but was also the location of the Prophet's (PBUH) first residential quarters. Very close to this, there is a spot where Uthmaan RA, the third Caliph (teacher of Islam) and son-in-law of the Prophet (PBUH) was martryred. These are areas one walks through every single day, and I cannot stop picturing these events in my minds eye (with a pensive heart) as I traverse the grounds of the mosque. 
A little bit of a walk around the mosque, about 300m south west, reveals a tiny mosque, Masjidul Ghamama. This tiny mosque, which was merely an outdoor area during the time of the Prophet (PBUH) is not open for the 5 daily prayers, but is significant as the place where the Prophet (PBUH) performed the prayer for rain. And immediately after this prayer, the clouds (ghamama being the Arabic word for clouds, and also the name of the mosque) gathered and they were blessed with rain! It was also the outdoor spot where the Eid salaah was performed for a few years before the death of the Prophet PBUH.

There is so much more to say, and so much more to share... and as I write this I relive every single momentous experience. I feel every single emotion all over again! There really is no journey like this one, aptly dubbed the #JourneyOfaLifetime ❤️
I hope you enjoy going on this voyage into my pilgrimage through these little titbits as much as I enjoy sharing it 🕌

Look out for the next instalment of my #HajjSeries 

A selfie with some Indonesians, who love to hear about South Africa!

A stop at a well Bir Ar Rawah which dates back 1400 years, and served as a refreshment stop
for the Prophet PBUH and his troop on their way to The Battle of Badr. This well water is
believed to have healing properties.

Standing on the wall of the well where the opponents bodies were piled,
the well has since dried up (as seen behind us)

On a walking tour we stopped at the cemetary, Jannatul Baq'i which houses
many of the Prophet's (PBUH) relatives and companions

This is the area of the mosque which houses the tombs, the Green Dome is visible; and also
the first quarters of the Prophet PBUH

The tiny mosque, Masjidul Ghamama

While exploring and looking for places to eat, we obviously stumble across
some nice malls and shopping spots!

Also on the fringes of the mosque, an exhibiton of the 99 names of Allah 
There is a story related to each gate of the mosque

The hill on the far side of the plains of Badr, it has been established that Angels descended from this hill
to assist the Prophet PBUH during the battle. It is believed that the pinkish tinge of the hill (which is unlike any other  hills in Madinah which is just rock and black mountainous terrain) indicates the spot where the Angels descended

 A mosque has been erected at the spot which marks the command post of the Prophet PBUH during the
Battle of Badr.
Thank you for reading!

Ciao for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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