Madinah is the second most religious place that is regarded very highly in Islam. Millions of people pave their way to this beautiful holy city for religious purposes and/or to visit the most astounding tourist attractions in Madinah that add to its flamboyance. Though most of the people flood this pious place during their Hajj or Umrah pilgrimage, many also contribute to enhance its tourism by viewing some of the most exotic tourist spots and famous mosques in the district. Al-Masjid An Nabawi is the foremost place that most people visit on their trip to Madinah. There are many more amazing places that must be added to your list:
It is the first mosque established by the Prophet (PBUH) after his arrival in Madinah. It is the second most sacred place for Muslims after Masjid-ul-Haram. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is also buried at this spot under the green dome that has become the landmark of Masjid-e-Nabawi.
Hazrat Anas (RA) reports that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Whoever performs forty salah in my masjid, not missing one salah in the masjid, for him is granted exemption from the fire of Hell, and exemption from punishment and he shall remain free of hypocrisy.”
Hazrat Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “One salah offered in my masjid is superior to one thousand salahs offered in other masjids except Masjid al-Haram (Makkah al-Mukarramah).” [Bukhari]
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2. Quba Mosque
Quba Mosque is one of the few must-visit places in Madinah in religious reference. It is the second largest and prestigious mosque in Madinah after the Prophet’s (PBUH) Mosque. One of the oldest mosques in Madinah, the sanctity of Masjid Quba lies in the fact that it was founded by the Prophet (PBUH) himself after migrating from Makkah. It is the first mosque built in Islam.
About this mosque, Ibn ‘Umar (RA) narrated: The Prophet (PBUH) used to go to the Mosque of Quba (sometimes) walking and sometimes riding. Added Nafi (in another narration), “He then would offer two Rakat (in the Mosque of Quba).”
—Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 2, Book 21, Number 285
Besides this mosque, there are numerous other historical and religious places to explore in this venerated city.
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3. Mount Uhud
About this mountain, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) once said,
“Uhud is a mountain that loves us and we love it”
It is located five kilometres north of Madinah and it is the same place where the Battle of Uhud took place between Muslims and Quraysh of Makkhan in 3rd Hijri. After the humiliating defeat in the Battle of Badr to a much smaller Muslim army, Quraysh assembled a huge army to take revenge. This place is also the burial ground of Hamza (RA), Prophet’s (PBUH) uncle and other travel companions of the Prophet (PBUH). Presently, you will find a tiny market on this mountain.
4. Masjid Al-Ahzaab (Masjid Al-Fath)
Masjid Al-Ahzaab, situated at the western corner of Jabal Sala. The place where this mosque is located is same where the enemies attacked Madinah. Prophet (PBUH) made Du’a here during the battle of Ahzaab and Allah sent him glad tidings of victory. During the battle, a tunnel or a trench was formed to save the Muslims. There are six mosques at the same location at present but this is the largest and indeed one of the best places to visit in Madinah. The mosque has been built and rebuilt several times in the past.
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5. Al-Madina Museum
Located on King Abdul Aziz Road in Madinah Knowledge Economic City, this is the first and the oldest museum in Madinah dedicated to the history of Islam. The outstanding museum depicts the rich Islamic heritage as well as the varied culture that will take you back in the historic era with its striking images and paintings. The museum also recounts the details about the life of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) publishing periodicals and holding seminars on the history and culture of the city. Al-Madina museum is open from Saturday to Thursday. The entry fee is SR25 ($6.70).
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6. Old Market Madinah
On your visit to Madinah, a place that holds high religious significance, you must be wishing to take back souvenirs for family and friends as this place holds. You can visit the Old Market in Madinah to purchase gifts for family and friends to take back home. Visiting Old Bazaar is an out-of-the-world experience as you look for the souvenirs, Islamic designs and unique Arabian products. Located on one of the major streets of Madinah, it is crowded at all times. It is a great place to explore during the weekends. Check out various interesting themes, vibrant designs, and Arabian merchandise here.
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7. Wadi e Jinn – Al Baida
Wadi Al-Baida is located about 41 kilometres from northwest of Madinah. The valley is believed to have a mysterious effect as the cars move here without drivers driving them. Because of this bewitching phenomenon, this valley draws a million people every year from all parts of the world. Locals believe that this is because of the power of the Jinn present in the valley and even claim that they have heard voices saying, “You don’t belong here. This is our place”. However, geologists have called this phenomenon the effect of reverse gravity, also evident in other regions of the Kingdom including Asir and Najran.
Yanbu is a mesmerizing beach near Madinah which is very beautiful as the city itself. Located around 120 miles away from Madinah, you will come across the port city of Yanbu-al-Bahr. Renowned for its pretty beaches, water sports and aquatic landscape, it is a popular tourist spot and the perfect beach escape from the city. The city was once an important port and visitors can still see traces of its past in its traditional fisherman houses. Enjoy a thrilling day at the Yanbu beach while indulging in water sports like scuba diving, sailing, fishing and jet-skiing.
9.The Desert at Mada’ in Saleh
If you have never gone to a desert then exploring this exotic and beautiful desert at Madinah Saleh would be a great idea. One of the most exotic sightseeing of the entire Kingdom of Saudi Arabia could be done only if you leave early in the morning. Once a thriving city along ancient spice route, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, consisting of about hundred monumental tombs and thousands of graves with inscriptions and cave drawings. These monumental tombs are some of the best-preserved remains of the lost Nabataean Kingdom.
10. Masjid Al-Qiblatain
The structural design and art of this lovely mosque has a conventional pattern and is also famous for its twin Mihrabs and a huge prayer hall. A visit to this holy mosque will indeed give you a rich memorable experience. In this mosque, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) received the command from Allah (SWT) to change the Qibla from Masjid e Aqsa (Jerusalem) to Kaaba (Makkah), after which Muslims began to pray in the direction of the Kaaba. These verses of Surah al-Baqarah were revealed when the Prophet (PBUH) was leading his companions during prayers:
“Verily, We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad’s) face towards the heaven. Surely, We shall turn you to a Qiblah (prayer direction) that shall please you, so turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah). And wheresoever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction.” [Quran 2:144]
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11. Madina Media Museum
The Medina Museum will truly astonish you if you are interested in knowing the Islamic history. One should definitely pay a visit to this museum while on a trip to Madinah. In the museum, there are many artefacts that will give you a deeper insight into the rise of Islam and various events that followed. First specialized museum in Madinah, it showcases the rich history and culture of the city while also recounting the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The museum also displays a huge collection of rare paintings and images of Madinah. There is a theatre too for enjoyment.
Jannat-ul-Baqi is the graveyard of Madinah where several companions, wives and daughters of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) are buried. These include Hazrat Usman, Hazrat Abbas and Imam Hassan-(RA). The first person to be buried in Al-Baqi was As’ad Bin Zararah (RA), an Ansari companion who died soon after the Prophet‘s (PBUH) migration to Madinah. The Prophet (PBUH) chose this spot to be a cemetery. Uthman bin Mazoun (RA) was the first among Muhajirun (Emigrants) buried here who died shortly after the Prophet (PBUH) returned from the Battle of Badr.
13. Garden of Hazrat Salman Farsi (RA)
It is the place where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) planted three hundred date palms to free Salman Farsi (RA) from slavery. He was a Persian slave who belonged to a rich family but was sold in the slave market and taken to Yathrib (Madinah). One of the best travel places in Madinah, this garden is located near Masjid Quba. The garden still has those date palms and grows tons of dates. Do visit the garden on your trip to Madinah.
14. Islamic University
The Islamic University was founded in 1961 by the government of Saudi Arabia and specializes in Islamic subjects. It follows the Salafi ideology and received accreditation from NCAAA (National Commission for Academic Accreditation and Assessment) in April 2017. The main aim is to convey the message of Islam to the world through Dawah and education. Students from all over the world get enrolled in various Islamic specialization programs. It is one of the most popular places to visit in Madinah.
15. Madinah Malls
Shopping is the last thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Madinah, but the city is home to some of the finest malls popular with both the locals and tourists. It offers an ideal combination of shopping, dining and entertainment. You will find some of the world’s most famous brands here, both luxury and budget, thereby offering a global shopping experience. Spend your time while exploring Al Hasan Mall, Al Noor Mall and Al Rashid Mega Mall and creating cherished memories.
Besides the various holy places, there are numerous attractions in Madinah that could be explored and enjoyed on your trip. Many people inundate this wonderful religious place every year and enjoy an experience of the lifetime along with religious enrichment.