Sunday, 4 September 2011

In the footsteps of Muhammad [pbuh]...

16th  Aug 2011 - - - 7.04 am

It was very early in the morning, I think I barely slept the night before due to sheer excitement, yet  I was really worried I was delaying the group. We were heading out together on our first 'ziyarat' [visit] of the blessed city of the Prophet pbuh. Alhamdlillah, I wasn't the last one to get to the coach! My dad introduced me to his old friend who would remain our tour guide throughout the trip. He was a learned sheikh who taught at Medina University. He reminded us of the sacred land we were in and the sunnah we were going to follow today to please our Lord and the importance of sending peace and blessings on the Prophet pbuh as we tread in his footsteps. As the coach set off, the clock read 7.04am and the temperature was 32 degrees Celsius. 

Jannat ul Baqi - Largest Graveyard in Medina with graves
of upto 10'000 companions of the Prophet pbuh.
The first place we came across was a masjid called Masjid al ijaaba. This was were Muhammad pbuh made 3 specific duas for his ummah [people] and 2 of the 3 were answered. He prayed we wouldn't be destroyed by disasters and that there would be no extreme floods for the ummah. The 3rd dua' was that his ummah wouldn't fight amongst themselves - this dua' was not accepted...and Allah swt is the best of planners. Very close to this masjid we drove passed a wall of jannat ul baqi - this was the biggest graveyard in Medina in which 10'000 sahabah [companions] of the Prophet pbuh were buried. There are no gravestones. But some stones to mark out where the graves are. The wives of the Prophet pbuh including Aisha bint Abu Bakr, Hafsa bint Umar and the daughters Ummu Qulthoom, Rukaiyya, Zainab are buried there [May Allah be pleased with them]. The 3rd Caliph Uthmaan ibn 'Affan is also buried there along with many other companions. It was breath-taking listening to the names of the many companions I had heard of and not heard of that were buried there. We stopped briefly to make a prayer. We sent our salams/greetings to the people of the grave. It's a reflective reminder for one to visit the graveyard. As someone mentioned today on facebook: 'No matter how big our houses, how expensive our cars and clothes are --> Our graves will still be the same same size ...'

Masjid al Ghamama
Next we passed Masjid al Ghamama. The word `ghamam` in Arabic means clouds. This is where the Prophet pbuh prayed Eid salah and clouds shaded him during his prayer. The sheikh also mentioned that this was the place Khudeja [first wife of Prophet pbuh] made dua for marraige as she saw the clouds and 2 angles shading the Prophet pbuh. It was amazing how much more I was learning through this experience. These short, yet detailed snippets into the life of the Prophet pbuh and the significance they have today are immensly deep when one ponders for a while. One of the profound, eloquently written biography or seerah into the life of the Prophet pbuh I have read has to be by the late Martin Lings. Not only is it a fantastic piece of literature but brilliant in content as well. He earned his PhD in SOAS, not surprised at all mashAllah!

It's just a normal road now, but this was once where the trench
was dug duringthe Battle of the Trench which took place in 627AD
As our coach stopped at the lights, the sheikh showed us the sight of the 7 mosques, pointing out the masjid of Abu Bakr as-Sideeq, Masjid Ali, Masjid Umar Ibn al Khattab, Masjid Uthman ibn 'Affan, Masjid Fatima az-Zahra, Masjid Fateh and Masjid Salman Farsi. These mosques are situated within a stones throw from each other. As I scrambled with my camera to take a shot of the different mosques as they were being mentioned, the coach began to move at the green light signal! Sheikh indicated that the road we were travelling on was the very same place that the Prophet pbuh and his companions had dug a trench on the suggestion of Salman al Farsi before the battle of the Trench. We were now headed towards Salman al Farsi's date gardens... 

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