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Yearning for Al-Madinah
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 10 - 03 - 2017

It may not boast of the majesty of the Swiss Alps or the beauty of the Niagara Falls or the glamour of Paris or the green pastures of the British countryside or the flaky croissants and aromatic cappuccino in small cafés on a cobblestone street in Italy, but your heart yearns for it. You are drawn to it; you miss it with a passion, to be there under its blanket of peace and serenity that you experience so profoundly nowhere else.
It should be the destination of choice for our local travels and the place we plan to go to whenever we get a short break from school and work.
It is Al-Madinah, the city which took Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in, which gave him refuge and respite, welcomed him, and sheltered him. It is upon that blessed city's ground his feet trod, he lived, sweat, toiled, fought, built, worshiped, prayed, where he breathed his last, and where he was buried.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was forced to leave Makkah, to flee the persecution that he and his followers were suffering from.
Before Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) migrated to Al-Madinah, it was called Yathrib, and it had been known for a disease that outsiders coming into the city contracted, accompanied by high fever.
When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the majority of his companions migrated to Madinah, many of them fell ill. Abu Bakr, the Prophet's closest friend, and Bilal fell severely ill. They were physically sick, and they were also homesick.
When the Prophet (peace be upon him) saw how sick some of his friends had become and how much they missed Makkah, he made supplication to Allah.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) asked Allah; he said, "O Allah, make Al-Madinah as beloved to us as you made Makkah beloved or more than that. Make it conducive to health, and bless us in its sa' and mudd' (units of weight and measurement) and transfer its fever to Juhfa." [Sahih Bukhari]
"O Allah! Bestow on Al-Madinah twice the blessings You bestowed on Makkah," Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) prayed. [Sahih Bukhari]
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) asked Allah to grant His blessings and favors upon Madinah and its inhabitants.
He (peace be upon him), said, "O Allah, Ibrahim was Your servant, Your friend, and Your apostle; and I am Your servant and Your apostle. Ibrahim made supplication to you for the showering of blessings upon Makkah, and I am making supplication to You for Madinah just as he made supplication to You for Makkah, and the like of it in addition." [Muslim]
From then on, the love for Al-Madinah grew in the heart of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and in the hearts of the believers, until this day.
How can we not love Al-Madinah and the Prophet (peace be upon him) loved it? How can we not yearn for Al-Madinah and it is the place from which the luminous message of Islam spread? How can we not long to visit Al-Madinah and the Prophet's body is buried in its soil?
When you visit the grave of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), extend your greetings to him and say, "Peace be upon you Messenger of Allah. I bear witness that you have conveyed the Message, fulfilled the trust, and offered sincere advice."
The first mosque in Islam to be built was built in Al-Madinah. First, Qubaa Mosque was built and then the Mosque of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Going to Al-Madinah is more than just a get-away; it is a true spiritual retreat. The reward for praying in the Prophet's masjid is multiplied 1,000 times more than in any other mosque, with the exception of the Grand Mosque in Makkah. A prayer in the Grand Mosque in Makkah is better than 100,000 prayers. Imagine the rewards of staying a couple days in Al-Madinah and praying in the masjid every day.
Be sure to make a stop in Qubaa Mosque to pray there. The reward for praying a single prayer in that mosque is equal to the reward for performing umrah.
Visitors to Al-Madinah know well enough not to leave the city without buying from its dates, which it is famous for. The dates in Al-Madinah have special blessings in them, especially the small blackajwa dates.
Your visit to Al-Madinah cannot be complete until you visit Mount Uhud, which stands north of Al-Madinah. Mount Uhud is the site of the second battle between the Muslims and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) against the disbelievers from Makkah.
Referring to Mount Uhud, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, "This mountain loves us and we love it." [Muslim]
The people living in Al-Madinah were promised safety and security. It is a sacred place, and a severe punishment awaits anyone who terrorizes Al-Madinah and its people. By the will of Allah, He will protect the people of Al-Madinah against those who plot to harm them. Al-Madinah is the home of the believers and the pious.
"Whoever caused the people of Al-Madinah to fear by oppressing them, Allah will cause him to fear and Allah's curse will be upon him," the Prophet (peace be upon him) said. [Majma'uz-Zawa'id]
In fact, even the anti-Christ will be incapable of entering Al-Madinah and bringing his evil to that noble city. In Makkah and Al-Madinah, the Muslims are safe from this tremendous tribulation.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, "There will be no town which Ad-Dajjal (the anti-Christ) will not enter except Makkah and Al-Madinah. There will be no entrance (road) but the angels will be standing in rows guarding it against him, and then Al-Madinah will shake with its inhabitants thrice and Allah will expel all the nonbelievers and the hypocrites from it." [Bukhari]
Truly privileged are those living in Al-Madinah and have settled down there and will live their final days there. To the residents of Al-Madinah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave glad tidings.
He (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever was able to die in Al-Madinah, then let him do so, because whoever died in Al-Madinah, I will be an intercessor for him on the Day of Resurrection." [Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi]
I long to visit Al-Madinah. It is referred to as Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah; meaning the Illuminating City. It is also called the City of the Prophet, the City of Light, and Tayba and Taba, which mean pure and pleasant. I long to walk down its streets at night, eat from its dates, pray at the masjid at the crack of dawn, and sit there reading the Qur'an until sunrise.

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