The Euro class Volvo which was almost ‘flying’ on the smooth highway had completed a full ‘O’ turn on the flyover towards Madina, and suddenly a glimpse of something popped in my eyes… something heavenly bright, illuminating almost all colors of earth and again, with a flash its gone!
What is that? I was confused and sort of confident as well. Is that it?
Yes indeed, that’s it. My Grandma assured me. That is Masjid e Nabawi, mosque of the Prophet (sm).
And finally, after a long journey from the city of Allah, We finally arrived at the city of my prophet! Surprisingly calm and quiet, Madina is the place where every Muslim will feel safer than home, his mind will be at peace than ever and the overwhelming feeling of visiting the most beloved prophet is above everything, it can’t be described.
After reaching the SAPTCO bus stoppage, we headed for the ‘Sukul Bangal’ or ‘Bangla Town’ of Madina, where a big number of Bangladeshi hotels, restaurants and shops are clustered together. Whenever you’ll see the Bangla signboards and listen people speaking in their very own ‘Noakhailla’ colloquial tones at this far, 5000 miles away from home, this will surely make you more confident and comfortable!
Interior ceiling of the Mosque
We then headed for the Masjid, which is known as ‘Haram Sharif’ in here just like Makka. And yet again, the sky high glooming minarets and the glowing view of the Mosque made me dumb for a while. The doors, with rich Gold plated woodworks and every single column of the huge mosque with different designs (with Brass and Gold!) was enough for my eyes for that day! Thousands of pilgrims are there, walking – talking even sleeping, but very humbly, with low voice showing respect to Prophet Muhammad (sm). The Masjid premises were surrounded with long pillars. First, I thought they were just part of the design. But after Fazr prayer when the sun rose up, those pillars become alive and started to spread. After a few minutes, I figured out those were all giant umbrellas and then after a while…. I found myself under a strong shed! No scorching desert sun over our heads…. the Masjid and its outside are just calm cool as before, though the temperature was just above 40 degrees!
Umbrellas are opening!
Unlike Kaba, Masjid e Nabawi is just a mosque so it is not kept open all day-night. Rather, just after the salah times, it remains closed. Again, specific times are maintained for both men and women to perform Ziayarah to the grave of Prophet Muhammad (sm). Adjacent to the mosque, lies the great Graveyard known as Jannat-ul-Baki, where most of the family members, friends and followers of the great prophet are resting forever. This graveyard is still open, and any pilgrim dies in Madina, are buried here.
Jannat-ul-Baki: The Historic Graveyard
Interior of the Mosque
There is a specific portion of the Mosque adjacent to the Rowza (grave of the Prophet) which is been called as Riaz ul Jannah, the Garden of Paradise. This place is demarked with a green Carpet and Prophet Muhammad (sm) told that, any prayer to Allah will be granted from here. So, it remains extremely crowded every moment. Pilgrims gather here to perform salah and then, they cry and pray to Allah, the creator. I managed to get there twice, but the Masjid officials and Security didn’t allow anyone to stay there for a long time so that everyone can get a chance. This place also includes original Mehrab (from where Prophet Muhammad (sm) performed salah).
Rowza Sharif – The Grave of Prophet Muhammad (sm)
We then went for sightseeing, the major incidents of life of Prophet Muhammad (sm) happened in this city and adjacent places. One of the places was Shuhada Uhud. The battle of Uhud was one of the major historical events that taught many lessons for Muslims all over the world. The Graveyard of martyrs of Uhud is just under the mountain. We spent some times there, commemorating the battles and sacrifice of the followers of Prophet for Islam.
The battlefield of Uhud – Just bellow the Uhud Mountain
Apart from Masjid e Nabawi, Madina holds some historical mosques, like Masjid e Quba (first mosque in history of Islam), Masjid e Ju’ma (first mosque where Salatul Juma was held) and Masjid e Kiblatain (the mosque where the kiblah was changed to Kaba from Jerusalem), Masjid e Jul Hulaifah (from where Prophet started Ihram during Hajj-Umrah) and many others. We managed to visit some of them, performed salah and prayed for Muslim ummah.
Masjid e Kiblatain
On one morning, I along with a Bangladeshi student with whom I befriended in my visit went to visit the historical Jameya Islamia (Islamic University of Madina). This was a mind blowing experience, and the campus was also great both in sense of external views and beauty and internal studies and research. This institution plays a vital role in contemporary Muslim scholarship since a very long time. The cosmopolitan campus, student residence with pure Islamic Arabian flavor was simply splendid.
Faculty of Law & Sharia, Madina Islamic University
On another afternoon, I suddenly found something very interesting which none of our Bangladeshi Hajjis told me before, a huge and surprisingly rich Library, just in the second floor of the Mosque. This library holds collections on almost all possible Muslim languages. I was amazed to see a bookshelf full of Bangla books (Islamic, of course). Most of the readers were the students of Islamic Universities and other institutes of Madina, but the number of pilgrims was not bad as well.
The Library of Masjid e Nabawi
After passing all those busy and scheduled (!!) days in Madina, our stay there came to an end. My mom and grandparents did some shopping but I didn’t, my mind was overwhelmed with the life of my Prophet and some lifelong memories, I do not need anything else. Apart from the spiritual memories, my stomach was also satisfied with some Arabian cuisine. Those less spicy foods, various types of dates and other fruits, colored rice and tasty meats and worst of them all, Camel Milk (?!)…. well, I had enough! We packed our bags, started for the bus stoppage (it was a return ticket) and headed towards Makka, on our way home.
Herd of wild camels: In the deserts of Madina
The visit to Madina, the chance to stand in front of My Prophet Muhammad (sm) was one of the greatest experiences of my life. It taught me to purify myself from all the sins I committed; it reminded me to be a better person than what I am and it showed me, that Islam is the only solution for everything. My spiritual journey comes to an end by this, and I felt like I was reborn in the world with thousands of things to do. Needless to say, this journey changed my life forever.