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Friday, 2 November 2007

Masjid Al-Aqsa - "The Farthest Mosque"

The Aqsa Mosque
(extracted from convertingtoislam.com)

The Aqsa Mosque, in Arabic: Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa, literally means "the Farthest Mosque". The sacred mosque is mentioned by name in the Holy Qur'an. It was the first Qibla (the direction to which Muslims faced when offering prayers) before the revelation from God of the new Qibla for prayers: toward the Ka'bah in the sacred City of Makkah.

The Aqsa Mosque is also called the Farthest Mosque because it was place of worship in the farthest west known to Arabs in the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and was sacred to both Jews and Christians. Historically, the Mosque was originally built by Prophet Adam (peace be upon him). Prophet Ibraheem (peace be upon him) rebuilt it. Prophet Daud (David - peace be upon him) began the reconstruction which was completed by Sulayman (Solomon -peace be upon him). The City of Jerusalem is Holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims world-wide as it has their sacred sites.

Today the Aqsa Mosque is part of a large complex of religious buildings in Jerusalem's old city known to the Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) and to the Jews as the Temple Mount. For the Jews, the Temple Mount is the place where, according to the Jewish belief, redemption will take place when the promised Messiah arrives. There are also Christian sacred sites in Jerusalem including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre - believed to be - the site of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the Church of John the Baptist and other religious sites.

Why is Jerusalem (Al-Quds) and the Aqsa Mosque Sacred to Muslims?
The City of Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque is sacred to all Muslims because its significance is related directly to God, God's Holy Book: the Qur'an and God's Final Messenger: Muhammad (peace be upon him). This is more than sufficient reason for every Muslim to consider the City of Jerusalem and it's Holy sites to be sacred, particularly the Aqsa Mosque.

Further more, according to the basic Muslim belief the Holy Qur'an is the final Word of God. Every word and every verse of the Qur'an is from the True God - Allah, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. Therefore people who appreciate and follow truth in their daily lives believe that the Qur'an is the highest authority and the clearest guidance for mankind.

Muslims take guidance from the Holy Qur'an, and God has verified clearly the significance of Mi'raj (the Night Journey) of the final Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the Qur'an.

The Night Journey - one of the most important events in the life of Muhammad (peace be upon him) - took place from the Ka'bah in Makkah to the Farthest Mosque (Al-Aqsa) in Jerusalem.

The Aqsa Mosque is the only site in the world where all the Prophets performed Salah prayer at one given time. It was here that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) led the prophets in that very prayer during the night journey of al Isra and al Mi'raj referred to in the Qur'an and hadith.

It was from the Aqsa Mosque that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) ascended through the heavens visiting the prophets again on his way to the Sidrat al-Muntaha (the Lote Tree) of the furthest limit.

We learn from the Holy Qur'an:"Glory be to Allah who did take His Servant for a journey by night from the Sacred Mosque (in Makkah) to the Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem) the precincts of which We have blessed, so that we might show hm some of our signs. Indeed Allah is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing."

The Hadith books and literature provides details of the Night Journey of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him).

The Blessed Land
The land around the Aqsa Mosque is referred to as the Blessed Land in the Holy Quran. [The Holy Qur'an, Surah 17:1]

Jerusalem is the holiest Islamic city after Makkah and Madina. Located in East of this great city is Al-Haram al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary). The entire complex is regarded as a mosque. In the middle is the Dome of the Rock, and glorious Al-Aqsa Mosque is situated at its southernmost end. The Dome of the Rock was built in 687 AD by Caliph Abd al-Malik. The first wooden Al-Aqsa Mosque was constructed by the Umayyads which completed in 710. The last major reconstruction was during 1035. Al-Aqsa is the largest mosque in Jerusalem where approximately five thousand people can worship in and around the mosque.

Al-Haram al-Sharif has been a very important place of worship for the Muslims. Also a great religious and educational centre throughout Islamic history for the Muslims, the Jews and the Christians, attracting great teachers from all over the world. The Islamic Waqf Foundation is in charge of the Aqsa Mosque, along with most of the major mosques.The Haram al-Sharif is of very important religious and political significance to Palestinians and to the Muslims around the world. Having the capital in East Jerusalem is a fundamental element of Palestine.

Prophet Ibraheem (peace be upon him) is buried near Aqsa Mosque in the city of Khalil, now called Hebron and many other Prophets' bodies (may peace be upon them) and some of the closest companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) are buried in the vicinity of the Aqsa Mosque.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) gave the area of Khalil (Hebron) as waqf (charitable trust) to the companion Tamim al Dari.

The last prophet of God, Muhammad (peace be upon him), while in Medina prophesied that the Aqsa Mosque will be in the hands of Muslims.

Visiting and Donating towards the Aqsa Mosque
Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) encouraged Muslims to visit the Aqsa Mosque and pray therein. Abu Hurairah is quoted as saying that the Prophet said:"Set out deliberately on a journey to three mosques: the Sacred Mosque (in Makkah), this mosque of mine (in Medina) and the Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem)." [Bukhari and Muslim]

Maimunah bint Sa'd is reported as saying that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) being asked about a person who is unable to travel to the Aqsa Mosque. The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied, "He should make a gift of oil to be burnt therein, for he who gives a gift to the Aqsa Mosque will be like the on who has prayed Salah therein." [Ahmad and Ibn Majah]

Abu Umamah al Bahili reported that the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) as saying: "A group of my ummah will remain firm upon the truth, dominating their enemies. They will not be harmed by their opponents until Allah’s decree arrives upon them." They asked: "Oh Prophet of Allah! Where will they be?" He replied: "In Bait al-Maqdis and its surrounding areas." [Ahmad]

Quick info about the al-Aqsa complex
Extracted from ouraqsa.com

Al-Aqsa mosque (or Al-Aqsa sanctuary/ complex) is the name for the whole area enclosed by the wall southeast Old Jerusalem. It houses nearly 200 ancient monuments, foremost among which are the Dome of the Rock (with the golden dome) at the heart of Al- Aqsa, and the Qibly mosque (commonly known as the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the one with the lead dome) - is the main Prayer Hall in the southern part of Al-Aqsa compoud.

The other monuments are minor prayer halls, domes, mihrabs (=chambers for prayer), schools, corridors, mastabas (=slightly raised grounds constructed for several uses including education), fountains, trees, pulpits, gates, wells, libraries, and other buildings.

The whole compound is a semi rectangle of 144 donums (=144,000 square meters); that is about 1/6 of the walled city of Jerusalem. Its western wall is 491 meters long, its eastern wall is 462m, its northern wall is 310m, and its southern wall is 281m. These boundaries have not changed since the area was first made a place for prayer, unlike those of the Sacred Mosque in Mecca and Prophet Mohammad’s Mosque in Medina , which underwent several changes over history.

Some pictures of of Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock
Taken from Flickr: computerguru and other Flickr publishers.

Al-Aqsa (Qibly Mosalla)

This is the entrance to the underground (basement) of old Masjid Al-Aqsa

Dome Of The Rock

For more Pictures of Al-Aqsa and the rest of Palestine Click Here!
The link will take you photographs by Nadia El-Awady (IslamOnline.net’s deputy editor-in-chief and managing science editor) titled "A Journey Through the Holy Lands". These beautiful pictures with written text was taken in 2006 - a must see for everyone!

Quick Facts
Taken from Friends of Al-Aqsa (aqsa.org.uk)

1. That Masjid Al Aqsa was the second Masjid on earth.
2. That it was built 40 years after the Kaba in Makkah.
3. That most scholars are of the opinion that Masjid Al Aqsa was first built by Prophet Adam [as].
4. That Ibrahim [as] rebuilt the Masjid Al Aqsa in Jerusalem with his son Ishaq [as] as he and Ismail [as] rebuilt the Kaba in Makkah.
5. That Prophet Daud [as] began the rebuilding of Masjid Al Aqsa.
6. That it was Prophet Sulayman [as] who finally completed the building of Masjid Al Aqsa.
7. That the Masjid Al Aqsa built by Sulayman [as] was destroyed in 587 BC by Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon.
8. That the Jewish people call this same Masjid Al Aqsa built by Sulayman [as] their Temple.
9. That the Jewish people re-built their Temple on the same site in 167 BC but this was destroyed in 70 AD and Jews were banished from Jerusalem at the same time.
10. That the site of Masjid Al Aqsa remained barren and was used as a rubbish tip for nearly 600 years until the Great Khalifah Umar bin al-Khattab liberated Jerusalem in 637/8 AD.
11. That the caliph Umar bin Khattab ordered the foundations of Masjid Al Aqsa to be laid and a timber mosque was built on the site.
12. That the Umayyad caliph, Abdal Malik ibn Marwan in 691/2 [72/73 AH] began the construction of the Dome of the Rock (the Golden Domed Mosque).
13. That the al Buraq wall or Western Wall where Prophet Muhammad [saas] tied al-Buraq on the night journey of al Isra is what the Jewish people call the wailing wall.
14. That Muslims consider the land or the Haram Sharif area to be sacred and holy, not the Masjid buildings that exist there -although these do have historical significances.
15. That the land of the Masjid Al Aqsa contains tow main buildings called Al-Aqsa [Black Domed Mosque] and the Dome of the Rock [the Golden Domed Mosque].
16. That Israel occupied Masjid Al Aqsa in 1967.
17. That fundamentalist Jews have made 100’s of attempts to destroy Al Aqsa since 1967 when they occupied it. A fire in 1967 destroyed the 900 year old Mimbar installed by Salah'ideen Ayubi, the Great Muslim Hero.
18. That many fundamentalist Jews want to re-build their Temple within Masjid Al Aqsa and destroy what exists there now.

Click on the picture below (Macromedia Flash presentation) to find out about past and future plans by the Zionists to divide al-Aqsa

May Allah (S.W.T) liberate our beloved al-Aqsa Mosque and save it from the occupation - Ameen.

Although this blog was designed to share Islamic knowledge rather than advocate political views, it is important to understand the sufferings of our Palestinian brothers and sisters and the importance of this beautiful city. It is also important to note that Zionist regime should not be confused with Jews in general. Zionists can be anyone - Jews, Christians, even atheist as it is not a religious concept. Many people of Jewish, Christian and non religious background protest profoundly against the occupation of Palestine and against the Zionist regime. One such Jewish group is the Neturei Karta, another is Jews Against the Occupation. There are even Christian groups such as Challenging Christian Zionism & We Hold These Truths that try to correct the wrongdoings of the Christain Zionists. There are also pro-Israeli human rights group that monitor and speak against what the discrimination that is taking place e.g. B'Tselem , machsomwatch, gisha, peacenow, gush-shalom even the Israeli Soldiers that occupy Palestine have reported their shameful behaviour in breakingthesilence. Here are some more organisations.

Dr Ilan Pappe, a Jewish historian believes that the majority of Jews in Israel are not religious. He estimates that only 15-20 % of the Jews in Israel are observing their religion. It is a very small portion of the society, and it became smaller because of immigration from the ex Soviet Union, whom a vast majority are secular.

Whilst that may be true (with all these good people and pressure groups highlighting the Palestinian cause) it is unfortunate to note that little is being done to help the Palestinians against the Zionist regime and that history of how these Terrorists took over Palestine (here's some quotes) is slowly being wiped off our history records. Palestine is the only country to be wiped off the map!
It is also unfortunate that the very media we rely upon receiving news is also deceiving us of the truth. Organisations such as AIPAC & CAMERA in the United States use pressure to promote Israel in a good way and try to dictate America's foreign policies.
Then there are organisations such as MEMRI and DEBK that falsify information and try and put Arabs in a bad light. You can read more about these groups here! - It is also important to note that the Zionist wouldn't have done all this by themselves without the support firstly from the Governments of Great Britain and now The United States of America who feeds Israel to keep the Middle East under control so they have a foothold in the Middle East. There have been many UN resolutions against the Zionist State of Israel but they all have been ignored and nothing has been done about it, to make it worse any new resolutions criticising Israel seem to be vetoed by the United States.
A documentary was produce dto highlight this issue "Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land: Media & the Israel-Palestine Conflict" - Click here for video!

There are many books by Muslims detailing the Massacres by Zionist when they physically took over the land (using force) but the book I would recommend you read would be "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine" by Dr Pappe, a Jewish person not afraid to write the truth.

The book tries to show that in 1948, the Zionist movement waged a war against the Palestinain people in order to implement its long term plans of ethnic cleansing (whereas Israeli historians, including 'new historians', claimed that the war was waged by the Arab world against the state of Israel in order to eliminate it and it resulted in expulsions of Palestinians). And since that ethnic cleansing was successfully implemented in almost 80% of Palestine without any global or regional repercussions - the ethnic cleansing policy continues ever since 1967 in the remaining 20% of the country. Creating a Jewish state in historical Palestine cleansed of Palestinians is still the ideolgoical infrastructure on which the state of Israel is based. How to achieve this goal is a divisive issue between Left Zionists - hoping to negotiate a settlement that would leave a small number of Palestinains in a greater Israel and the Right Zionsts willing to implement a more direct cleasning policy from the same area even today. Here is a link to this website http://www.ilanpappe.org/.

Palestine was a place where Muslims, Jews and Christians lived in peace (until the Zionist took control). So my second reading of choice Blessed are the Peacemakers: The story of a Palestinian Christian, has the story of Father Audeh Rantisi a Palestinian Christian Click here for book details.

Here are some extracts: The horror began when Zionist soldiers deceived us into leaving our homes, then would not let us go back, driving us through a small gate just outside Lydda. I remember the scene well: thousands of frightened people being herded like cattle through the narrow opening by armed soldiers firing overhead. In front of me a cart wobbled toward the gate. Alongside, a lady struggled, carrying her baby, pressed by the crowd. Suddenly, in the jostling of the throngs, the child fell. The mother shrieked in agony as the cart's metal-rimmed wheel ran over her baby's neck. That infant's death was the most awful sight I had ever seen. Outside the gate the soldiers stopped us and ordered everyone to throw all valuables onto a blanket. One young man and his wife of six weeks, friends of our family, stood near me. He refused to give up his money. Almost casually, the soldier pulled up his rifle and shot the man.

The last book again from a Jewish point of view to read would be "Broken Promises, Broken Dreams: Stories of Jewish and Palestinian Trauma and Resilience" by Alice Rothchild - Click here for extracts of the book.

Useful Links & Further Reading:
1. Al-Aqsa to Muslims: A Lost Tie? - islamonline.net

2. Significance of Al-Israa' and Al-Mi`raj - readingislam.com

3. Did the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) see his Lord on the night of the Mi’raaj? - Answer from islam-qa.com

4. The reason why the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) led the other Prophets in prayer during the Isra’ (Night Journey) - Answer from islam-qa.com

5. The importance of al-Quds for the Muslims – and do the Jews have any right to it? - Answer from islam-qa.com

1. Friends of Al-Aqsa - http://www.aqsa.org.uk/ (probably the the best resource available on the net - please spend some time on this website)
2. Did you Know?.. Facts - Palestinian/Israeli conflict
3. Jerusalem: Crossroad of the World - An Islamic Perspective by Dr. Mustafa Abu Sway
4. Checkpoint Watch - Photographs of what Palestinians have to go through every day

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Why is the Prophet’s grave in his mosque even though it is forbidden to take graves as places of worship?

Why is the Prophet’s grave in his mosque even though it is forbidden to take graves as places of worship?

Taken from islam-qa.com

The hadeeth says, “May Allaah curse the Jews, for they have taken the graves of their Prophets as places of worship”. So how come the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is inside his mosque in Madeenah?.

Praise be to Allaah.

The scholars have discussed this issue, in the past and more recently, and they refuted those who quote the fact that the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is inside his mosque as evidence that it is permissible to take graves as places of worship, or to include graves in mosques. We will quote the fatwas of some of our prominent scholars, which discuss in detail the matter raised in the question.

1 – Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

There is a specious argument put forward by those who worship graves, namely the fact that the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is in his mosque. The answer to that is that the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) did not bury him in his mosque, rather they buried him in the house of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her).

When al-Waleed ibn ‘Abd al-Malik expanded the Mosque of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) at the end of the first century, he incorporated the room into the mosque, but he did wrong thereby, and some of the scholars denounced him for that, but he believed that there was nothing wrong with it for the sake of expanding the mosque.

It is not permissible for a Muslim to take that as evidence that mosques may be built over graves, or that people may be buried inside mosques, because that goes against the saheeh ahaadeeth, and because it is a means that may lead to shirk by associating the occupants of the graves in worship with Allaah. End quote.

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 5/388, 389.

2 – Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about the ruling on praying in a mosque in which there is a grave.

He replied:

Praying in a mosque in which there is a grave falls into two categories:

  • Either the grave was there before the mosque, and the mosque was built over the grave. It is essential to shun this mosque and not pray therein, and the one who built it must knock it down; if he does not do so, then the Muslim authorities must knock it down.
  • Or the mosque was there before the grave, and the deceased was buried after the mosque was built. In the case the grave must be dug up, and the remains taken out and buried with the people (in the graveyard).
As for praying in such a mosque, it is permissible so long as the grave is not in front of the worshipper, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade praying in the direction of graves.

With regard to the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) which is incorporated into his mosque, it is well known that the Mosque of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was built before his death, and was not built over his grave. It is also well known that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was not buried in the mosque, rather he was buried in his house which was separate from the mosque. At the time of al-Waleed ibn ‘Abd al-Malik he wrote to his governor in Madeenah, who was ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez, in 88 AH, ordering him to dismantle the Prophet’s Mosque and add to it the rooms of the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). ‘Umar gathered the prominent people and fuqaha’, and read the letter of the caliph al-Waleed to them. That caused them distress, and they said: “Leave it as it is, that is better.” And it was narrated that Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib denounced the incorporation of ‘Aa’ishah’s room into the mosque, as if he feared that the grave would be taken as a place of worship.

Umar wrote a letter to that effect to al-Waleed, and al-Waleed sent word to him ordering him to carry out his instructions, so ‘Umar had no other choice. So you see that the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was not placed in the mosque, and the mosque was not built over it, so there are no grounds for those who try to quote this as evidence that people may be buried inside mosques or that mosques may be built over graves.

It is proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “May the curse of Allaah be upon the Jews and the Christians; they have taken the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.” He said that as he was dying, as a warning to his ummah against doing what they did. When Umm Salamah told him of a church that she had seen in Ethiopia and the images therein, he said: “Those people, if a righteous man among them died, they would build a place of worship over his grave. They are the most evil of people before Allaah.” And it was narrated from Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Among the most evil of people upon whom the Hour will come when they are still alive are those who take graves as places of worship.” Narrated by Imam Ahmad with a jayyid isnaad.

The believer should not accept to follow the ways of the Jews and the Christians, or to be among the most evil of people.

And Allaah knows best.

Answered by Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 12/question no. 292

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

The Prophet's Mosque in Madinah

The Prophets Mosque in Madinah
Taken from geocities.com/sjalam

The Prophet's Mosque in Madinah is the second most revered place of worship for Muslims around the world. Millions of Muslims visit the Mosque each year, to worship, to visit the Prophet's grave, and to see the city that gave birth to Islam. This pilgrimage is not mandatory as is the one to Makkah, but nevertheless popular. It is important to remember, however, that a visit to the Prophet's grave is not in any way to worship or revere him, but to commemorate his role as God's messenger, and to remind Muslims of his mortality and humanity.

The Prophet's Mosque was the first institution to be built following Prophet Muhammad's migration in 622 AD from Makkah, where he was born, to the town of Yathrib, which became known as 'Al-Madinah an-Nabi", or 'City of the Prophet', and is today simply Madinah.

Surrounded as it was by the shops and stalls of all kinds of merchants, the new mosque soon became the political and economic as well as the spiritual nucleus of the city, and played both a practical and a symbolic role in unifying the citizens, ultimately providing a solid foundation from which the Prophet and his companions could set forth and establish the Islamic state.

According to history, the manner in which the Prophet decided on its location, was to let his camel loose, and choose the site where it finally stopped to rest. The entire Muslim community, both the residents of Yathrib and those who had migrated from Makkah with the Prophet, participated in the construction of this first mosque, which was simply an open courtyard about 805 square meters in area surrounded by a wall made from bricks and tree trunks. On the eastern side apartments were built to house the Prophet and his family. By 629 the Prophet had enlarged the area of the mosque to 2,475 square meters.

Under the first four Caliphs, Madinah and the Mosque where the Prophet was buried continued to be the seat of government, reinforcing the synthesis of religion and governance in the Islamic state. The first two Caliphs, Abu Bakr and Omar, were buried next to the Prophet in the place that had originally been the Prophet's home, and which today is covered by the famous green dome of the mosque.

Throughout Islamic history, successive Islamic regimes have spared no cost or effort in dignifying and honoring the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah. In 638, the Caliph Omar Bin Al-Khattab increased the area by 1,100 square meters, and in 650 the Caliph Othman Bin Affan increased it by 496 square meters. The Caliph Al-Walid Bin Abdul Malik in 706 ordered an extension of 2,379 square meters, and 73 years later Caliph AL-Mahdi AL-Abbasi increased it by 2450 square meters.

For over seven centuries no additional improvements were made until Sultan Qaid Bey added another 120 square meters in 1483. Another three centuries passed, and in 1849 Sultan Abdul Majid initiated another extension of 1,293 square meters.

Soon after the establishment of the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932, King Abdul Aziz Al-Saud issued a royal decree ordering the expansion of the Prophet's Mosque, a plan implemented by his son King Saud in 1950. This first Saudi expansion was the largest the mosque had ever seen, and not only doubled it in size, but also brought about changes in the city of Madinah itself. The number of pilgrims continued to increase rapidly, from an average of 100,000 annually in 1955 to one million in 1970 and more than two million in 1980.

In 1973 King Faisal Bin Abdul Aziz ordered the construction of awnings on the west side of the mosque as a temporary solution to protect visitors from the elements, and in 1981 Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz began research into plans for further extensions that would ultimately result in a five-fold increase in the size of the mosque. The mosque today is one hundred times the size it was when the Prophet first established it, and can accommodate at any one time, more than half a million worshipers. Indicative of the facilities now available is an underground parking garage designed to hold nearly 5,000 cars.

Here are some pictures of the Prophets Mosque (not in any particular order)

Taken from Flickr: [mustafanafees, chinx786, kandaharihalak], hicaz2000.com, dawateislami.net and various other sources.

Unique Merit of the Prophet's Mosque
(Taken from geocities.com/al_hajj/Madinah)

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself participated in the construction of this mosque, called it "My Mosque" and led prayers in it for years. It is a great privilege for the pilgrims to visit our beloved Prophet's tomb. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is reported to have said:

"A salaat performed in the Prophet's Mosque is better than a thousand salaats in any other place except Masjid al-Haram in Makkah" - Bukhari and Muslim.

"The person who offers 40 prayers consecutively in my Mosque, without missing a prayer in between, will secure immunity from the fire of Hell and other torments and also from hypocrisy." - reported by Hazrat Anas (ra)

"The person who comes solely for the purpose of paying a visit to my grave, has a right on me that I should intercede for him." - from Ilm al-Fiqh, Vol. V

And he also said: "The person who performs Hajj and then visits my tomb will be regarded as though he had seen me in my worldly life." (Al-Bayhaqi)

Places To Visit in and around Madinah Al-Munawara

It is Musthabb to visit the dwellers of Baqi in Madinah, and to visit other sacred places and the mosques and wells of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

Jannat-ul-Baqi is the graveyard lying in the east of Madinah. Innumerable companions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and saints are buried there. It is mustahabb to visit the dwellers of Baqi specially on Fridays.

The plain of Badar is 20 miles south west of Madinah where the first battle between 313 Muslims and 1000 Qureish of Makkah took place in 624 A.D. The Muslims had seventy camels and two horses whereas the Qureish had a cavalry of 200 Horses and 700 camels. They were superior in weapons too, but Muslims were victorious because they were strong in morale and strategy due to the leadership of the Holy Prophet (pbuh).

Martyrs of Uhad
Three miles to the north of Madinah is the mountain about which the Mesenger of Allah (pbuh) said "Uhad is a mountain that loves us and we love it." The "Ghazwah Uhud" (war) took place here in the year 3 A.H. it is mustahabb to visit martyrs of Uhud, the mountain itself and its mosques on Thursday after the Fajr prayers. The grave of Hazrat Hamzah lies here, where one should offer salam.

Mosques in and around Madinah Al-Munawara
There are many other mosques in and around Madinah apart from Masjid Nabawi. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his Companions prayed in these mosques. It is mustahabb to visit these mosques, some of which still exist.

Masjid Quba
It is about two miles south-west from Masjid-an Nabawi. This is the very first mosque of the muslims. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his companions built it with their own hands. This is the first mosque in the history of Islam whose foundation stone was laid down by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself on his migration to Madinah. To offer 2 rakaats of nafl in it is equal to one Umrah.

Masjid Juma
It is near Bustan al Jaza in the valley Zanuna to the east on the new road to Quba. The Messenger of Allah prayed the first Friday there.

Masjid Qiblatain
It is situated to the north-west near the valley Aqiq. In this mosque, Allah SWT directed Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who was in the middle of a salaat along with "sahaba karam", to turn his face from Islam's first qibla, "Bait-ul-Muqqadis", (Masjid Alaqs in Jerusalem) to "Ka'ba" in "Masjid al-Haram" in Makka. Consequently, this mosque is known as a mosque with two qiblas.

Masjid Musallah / Masjid Ghumana
It is to the south west of Manakho. The Messenger of Allah offered Eid prayers here.

Masjid Suqya
There is a dome inside a railway station near Bab 'Anbariyah. It is known as Qubbah Ra'us. On his way to Ghazwah Badr, the Messenger of Allah offered his prayers there.

Masjid Ahzab / Masjid Fath
It is on the western corner of Jabl Sala'. When the unbelievers had united together in the Ghazwah Ahzab and attacked Madinah and the trench was dug, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) made a supplication for three days. Allah granted the prayer and the muslims emerged victorious.

Masjid Zubab
As one gets down Thaniah al-Wada' on the road to Jabl Uhad the Jabal Zubab is on the left side. That's where the mosque is located. The Prophet prayed there too.

Masjid Al Fadih
It is situated on the east of Awali. The Messenger of Allah had offered his prayers here at the time of siege of Bani Nadir. Fadih is the wine from dates. The mosque takes its name from an incident involving Sayyidina Ayyub Ansari and his companions while they were drinking wine. It was here that the verse disallowing intoxicants was revealed.

Masjid Bani Qurayzah
It is a little distance from Masjid Fadih to the east. The Messenger of Allah had camped here during during the siege of the Bani Qurayzah.

Masjid Bani Bami Zafar / Masjid Baghalah
It is on the boundary of Harrah Waqim to the east of Baqi. The Banu Zafar used to live there. A stone near the mosque bears the mark of the hoof of the mare of the Prophet.

Masjid Ijabah
It is to the north of Baqi near Bustan Saman. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) prayed there.

Masjid Sajadah / Masjid Al-Buhayr
It is between Bustan Buhayri and Bastin Sadaqah. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had offered two rakaat here and observed a long prostration.

Masjid Ubayy
It is next to Baqi. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) visited the mosque frequently.

Masjid Bani Haram
It is on the way to Masjid Fath in the valley of Jabl Sala' on the right side. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) offered prayers here too. There is a cave nearby where he had received a revelation.

Masjid Abu Bakr
Near the Masjid Musalla towards the north.

Masjid Ali
Also near Masjid Musalla.

Masjid Umm Ibrahim bin Muhammad
It is situated in Awali to the north of Masjid Bani Qurayz. Sayyidina Ibrahim was born there. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) prayed here as well.

Mounts in and around Madinah Al-Munawara
There are several Mountains. Pilgrims must visit some of the more famous ones.

About four miles on the north of Madinah, famous battle of Uhad was fought at 3 A.H. Hazrat Hamza, the Holy Prophet's uncle and other companions are buried here.

This is the site for the battle of Ditch which was fought in 5 A.H. Now there are six mosques at this place.

Wells in and around Madinah Al-Munawara

There are several wells from which the Prophet drank or performed ablution. Pilgrims must visit some of the more famous ones.

Bi' Urays
To the west of Masjid Quba.

Bi' Ghars
Situated in the village Qurban about four furlongs from Masjid Quba to the north east.

Bi' Buda'ah
In Jamal al-layl next to the Syrian door.

Bi' Bussah
Next to Baqi on the road to Quba.

Bi' Ha'
It is opposite Bab Majidi outside the north wall of the city.

Bi' Ahan
It is in Awali to the east of Masjid Quba near Masjid Shams.

Bi' Rumah
About three miles away from Madinah in a desert at the edge of the valley Aqiq to the north-west of Madinah.

Useful readings:
Historical Sites of Madinah Munawwarah - By Imtiaz Ahmad

imedia.ae - 360 degree photographs of The Prophet's Mosque (Masjid Al-Nabawi) [Green Dome side, Bab Al-Salam side & Bab Al-Baqie side], as well as Mountain Uhad [West Side, East Side & Bowmen Hill] and various Masjids like Masjid Quba, Masjid Qiblatain & Masjid Fath / Masjid Ahzab.

Map of inside the Prophets mosque (of original mosque) - Musjid-Nabawi.pdf

Monday, 29 October 2007

A Visit Hard To Forget - A Young Muslim Woman Visits the Prophet's Mosque

A Visit Hard To Forget - A Young Muslim Woman Visits the Prophet's Mosque

Taken from readingislam.com
By Neveen Shedid

"I'm here, I'm finally here, All praise to God who brought me here again."

These are usually the first words I utter as soon as my eyes fall on the minarets of Prophet Muhammad's mosque on my way from the airport to the hotel in Madinah.

Throughout my ride, I keep staring out of the window of the bus trying to just catch a glimpse from a distance of Prophet Muhammad's mosque.

I've been visiting Madinah every Ramadan for the last fifteen years. I believe this is a great blessing from God because once your feet step on the ground there, you feel what thousands of pictures cannot tell or transfer: the spirit of Madinah, Prophet Muhammad's city.

Although I visited Madinah so many times, I still feel the very same happiness I felt the first time I went there. The feeling of serenity overfills me every time.

Although Madinah has witnessed its fair share of modernization, it still hasn't lost its spirit of peace and tranquility. And no wonder, as it is the city to which Prophet Muhammad migrated 1400 years ago, lived in, and is buried in.

As I sit in Prophet Muhammad's mosque or wander in the streets of Madinah, a thought always strikes me: could I be stepping on the ground that the Prophet's feet once touched? Could I be sitting in a place that Prophet Muhammad once sat in?

And I pray: "Oh God, let my feet touch a spot Prophet Muhammad's feet once touched."

A Garden From Paradise

There are two timings for visiting Prophet's Muhammad grave for women, as the grave lies in the men's section of the mosque. As soon as the doors open for women to enter, hundreds and thousands of women rush towards the grave to try to pray in the area called Al-Rawdah Al-Sharifah (the area now between Prophet Muhammad's grave and his pulpit).

Prophet Muhammad once said, "There is a garden from the gardens of Paradise between my house and my pulpit." (Al-Bukhari)

Inside the Rawdah, you can see women from different ethnicities, speaking different languages, all gathered in this place for one reason: the love of Prophet Muhammad.

They look with love to each other with tears filling their eyes, praising God and thanking Him for enabling them to stand in this blessed place.

They raise their hands praying to God to forgive their sins and asking Him to grant them their wishes in this life and the Hereafter, for they stand next to the grave of Prophet Muhammad, the most beloved person to God.

A Pure Love

As I look at the faces of these women, I ponder at the amount of love they carry in their hearts for Prophet Muhammad, a man they never met, spoke with, or even saw, but still they love him as if he's living among them, and he is even dearer to them than their closest ones.

This enormous love to Prophet Muhammad stems from their appreciation to what he has been through in conveying the message of Islam, and the hope for his intercession to them on Judgment Day.

They carry for him a pure kind of love, incomparable to any other kind of love, a love that God placed in the believers' hearts for Prophet Muhammad, the mercy He sent to mankind.

When I sit in Prophet Muhammad's mosque and reflect upon all the incidents that happened to me throughout the year, I feel that my problems are very shallow and trivial.

Days and days we worry about tomorrow, forgetting the fact that it's all in God's hands and that we should truly rely on God as Prophet Muhammad did when he left Makkah, the most beloved place to him, and migrated to Madinah. That is one great lesson in reliance on God.

I look forward every year to visiting Prophet Muhammad's mosque to recharge my batteries of patience, and perseverance, and increase my faith that God always does what's best for me, but I'm the one who sometimes fails to read His signs.

The Bliss of Solitude

I always leave with the hope of coming back the next year, but as big as my hopes are, I also realize the fact that this visit might be my last one, a fact that I can't deny.

So I leave with tears in my eyes asking myself the inevitable question: Will my eyes ever fall again on the green dome where Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is buried under?

My faith in God answers this question, and I find my solace in His words for God says in the Qur'an what means,

{And whoever obeys God and the Messenger, these are with those upon whom God has bestowed favors from among the prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the pious, and a goodly company are they.} (An-Nisaa' 4:69)

I recall a poem I memorized at school when I was a child. It spoke about daffodils and how a beautiful memory can flashback and comfort you.

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon the inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude (William Wordsworth)

To me, the memory of the visit to Prophet Muhammad's mosque is my bliss of solitude.