Madinah - General Information
Narrated Anas (may Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said:
"Al-Madinah is a sanctuary from that place to that. Its trees should not be cut and no heresy should be innovated nor any sin should be committed in it, and whoever innovates in it heresy or commits sins (bad deeds), then he will incur the curse of Allah, the angels, and all the people." (Bukhari & Muslim)
The importance of Madinah
Abdullah b. Zaid b. Asim (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: Allah's Messenger (Peace Be Upon Him) as saying:
"Verily Ibraheem declared Makkah sacred and supplicated (for blessings to be showered) upon its inhabitants, and I declare Madinah to be sacred as Ibraheem declared Makkah to be sacred. I have supplicated (Allah for His blessings to be showered) in its sa' and its mudd (two standards of weight and measurement) twice as did Ibraheem for the inhabitants of Makkah." (Muslim)
The rewards of praying in the Haram in Madinah
Abu Hurrairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: Allah's Messenger (Peace Be Upon Him) said:
"A prayer in my mosque is a thousand times more excellent than a prayer in any other mosque, except Masjid-al-Haram (Makkah)." (Muslim)
About the people of Madinah
Narrated Sa'd (may Allah be pleased with him): "I heard the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) saying, ‘None plots against the people of Al-Madinah but that he will be dissolved (destroyed) like the salt is dissolved in water’." (Bukhari & Muslim)
Other names of Madinah
As narrated in various ahadith in Bukhari, Madinah was also referred to as Yathrib and Taba by the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).
You are in Madinah. The city of our beloved Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). Let the two opening ahadith in this section chapter guide your behaviour.
Once again, apply patience. If you are pushed or poked in the back in the crowds, gently remove the offender's hand and try to maintain that smile of yours.
Staying 8 days in Madinah
There is no authentic evidence from the Qur'an or the sunnah about any additional benefit in staying 8 days (40 prayers) in Madinah. The reason many people insist on this is based on a da'eef (weak) hadith about performing 40 prayers in the Prophet's (Peace Be Upon Him) mosque. This hadith is weak or a distortion of the sahih hadith which says, 40 days in any mosque with Takbir-tahrima (first takbir), and not 40 prayers in Madinah.
If time and finances permit, it is good to stay as long as possible. However, do not let your stay in Madinah “affect” the time you should spend in Makkah. Many people insist on spending 8 days in Madinah and only arrive in Makkah about one or two days before Hajj. Your time for Hajj is better spent in Makkah.
Arriving a few days just before the actual Hajj also means that Makkah will be very crowded and you will not be able to enjoy the Haram as much as you would when it is less crowded. Even nafl tawaaf becomes extremely difficult to perform, due to the crowds. Pilgrims are performing their prayers in the streets as they are unable to enter the Haram and lines for salah stretches for kilometres in all directions outside the mosque.
There are specialist hospitals in and around Madinah. There used to be a large clinic in Madinah very near to the Haram, but it has since been removed. The best place to ask about new medical facilities is at any pharmacy (chemist).
If you have a 'simple' complaint such as a common cold, or muscle cramps, the pharmacists are normally pretty good at prescribing the required medicine (without a prescription).
There are lots and lots of toilets and wudhu facilities around the Haram area, both for men and women. The women's toilet locations are:
- Near doors 12, 13, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29.
- These doors are also the entrances to the masjid for the women.
The men's toilet locations are:
- Near doors 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 32, 38.
Madinah has one of the best fresh date markets. As with Makkah there are plenty of shopping opportunities. Once again, try not to spend too much time shopping as it can be better spent in Ibadah.
Many pilgrims wonder whether it is better (or cheaper) to buy in Makkah or Madinah. A simple rule: If you like the item and the price, buy it! You may not find it again, let alone the shop.
The water contained in the grey containers inside the Haram is zamzam water. As in Makkah, some of the containers contain room temperature zamzam. It has blue writing on it: "Zamzam water, not cold".
If you did not get a chance to get zamzam to take home in Makkah, there is a zamzam filling 'station' outside the mosque near door number eight (8).
The trip to and from Madinah airport by taxi takes about 30 to 45 minutes, and could cost up to 50 Saudi riyals.