Madinah holds a great importance for the Muslims. It is the second holiest city where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) found home after migrating from Makkah. When he and his companions faced persecution in Makkah, they were offered refuge by the main tribes of Yathrib (Medina). The city became known as Madinah An-Nabi or Madinah (the city) after the arrival of the Prophet (PBUH). In a short while, it became the centre of Islamic nation where the persecuted Muslim community established their own administration and implemented the elements of religious life under the guidance of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Madinah is also the burial place of the Prophet (PBUH).
History of Madina
The oasis city of Madinah was originally known as Yathrib dating back to 6th century BCE. Many Jews fled to Madinah from Jerusalem in the third century CE during the war between Jews and Romans after which Nero sent a massive army under Petra Lenidas to massacre the Jews in Madinah. A community survived and by the time Prophet (PBUH) migrated to Madinah, a large Jewish presence was there. The Jews were waiting for the arrival of a Prophet who was mentioned in their scriptures according to which he would appear in Madinah. They would mock the local Arabs that if he arrives as suggested by the scriptures, the Jews would destroy the pagans just like the ancient people of Aad and Thamud for the idolatry. But, when they realized that the Prophet was chosen among the Arabs and not from the Jews, they rejected him even when though they recognized him. However, there were some Jews who embraced Islam such as Hussain bin Salam who was one of their most learned Rabbis. The Prophet (PBUH) changed his name to Abdullah bin Salam.
Blessed City of Madina
Madinah is about 280 miles (451 km) north of Makkah. At the time of the Prophet (PBUH), Madinah was approximately the size of the present mosque i.e Masjid-e-Nabwi and the white tiled area adjacent to it. The Prophet (PBUH) was not unfamiliar with Madinah. His father was buried there and he travelled with his mother and their devoted slave girl Barakah later known as Umm Ayman, when he was six years old. However, during their return journey, his mother fell ill and soon died at Abwa, not far from Yathrib where she was buried. Barakah consoled the small boy and took him back to Makkah. Later in life, he recounted how he had learned to swim in a pool that belonged to his kinsmen in Madinah. His love for the city was immense.
It was narrated by Anas (RA): Whenever the Prophet (PBUH) returned from a journey and observed the walls of Madinah, he would make his mount go fast, and if he was on an animal (i.e. a horse), he would make it gallop because of his love for Madinah [Bukhari].
The Prophet (PBUH) said: “For the believer, Madinah is the best place. If only they could understand its virtue fully, they would never leave it, and whoever departs from Madinah, having become disenchanted with it, Allah will send someone better to replace him. And whoever bears patiently the ordeals of Madinah, for him shall I be an intercessor (or witness) on the Day of Qiyamah.” [Muslim]
Hidden Secrets of Madina
Madinah is the second holiest city for Muslims and holds great virtues but it was not always like this. It is narrated by Aisha (RA): When we came to Madinah, it was an unhealthy, uncongenial place. Abu Bakr (RA) fell sick and Bilal (RA) also fell sick; and when Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) saw the illness of his companions he said:
“O Allah, make 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’ (two standards of weight and measurement) and transfer its fever to Juhfa.” [Bukhari]
There are some hidden secrets of Madinah which most people are unaware of. It is the only city that would be immune to Dajjal (Anti- Christ). It is reported in Hadith that;
“There will be no town which Ad-Dajjal (the anti-Christ) will not enter except Makkah and Madinah, and there will be no entrance (road) but the angels will be standing in rows guarding it against him, and then Madinah will shake with its inhabitants thrice and Allah will expel all the nonbelievers and the hypocrites from it.” [Bukhari]
[Read Also: Top 10 Amazing Places To Visit In Madinah]
Lesser known Facts about Madina
Madinah has long been the base of Islamic civilization. There is so much history that people must know about the place. Here are some of the lesser known facts about Madinah that you probably don’t know about:
- The city is situated in the most fertile land in the entire Hejaz territory.
- It is home to the three oldest mosques including Quba Mosque, Masjid-e-Nabwi, and Masjid-e-Qiblatayn.
- Mosque Quba was the first mosque built in Islam which was constructed by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions after migrating to Madinah.
- Madinah witnesses the longest sieges in the history during World War I by the leader of the Hashemite clan Ali bin Hussein from 1916 to 1919, lasting 2 years and 7 months.
- Medina was threatened by lava flow in 1256 from the eruption of Harrat Rahat, the biggest lava field in Saudi Arabia.
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