Visiting Madinah, the city of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallhu Alayhi Wa Sallam) has no relation or connection with Hajj rituals as some people may believe. It is a separate thing that a person can do at any time during the year.
Visiting the Masjidun Nabawee (The Prophet’s Mosque) is a recommended Sunnah. Rasoolullah (Sallallhu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said, ”There are only three mosques that travelling specifically to them is recommended: The Holy Masjid in Makkah (Ka’bah Shareef / Haram), the Masjid of Rasoolullah (Sallallhu Alayhi Wa Sallam) and the Farthest Masjid (Masjid al Aqsaa) in Jerusalem.” [Bukhari and Muslim] The prayer in the Prophet’s Masjid (Masjid un Nabawee) is better than one thousand prayers somewhere else except in the Holy Masjid of Makkah (Ka’bah / Haram). ”The prayer in this Masjid of mine is better than one thousand prayers elsewhere except in the Holy Masjid of Makkah.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
The Prophet’s Masjid is distinguished by the Rawda as-Shareefah (or as some would call it ‘Roza Mubaarak’), which is the area between the house of Rasoolullah’s (Sallallhu Alayhi Wa Sallam) al-Hujrah as-Shareefah and the Minbar. Rasoolullah (Sallallhu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said, ”Between my house and my minbar (pulpit) is a Rawdah (garden- of Jannah).” [Bukhari and Muslim]
And about the virtues of praying in this beautiful Masjid, Rasoolullah (Sallallhu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said, ”Whoever prays in this Masjid of mine forty prayers consecutively without missing one of them, it will be written for him an innocence from Hellfire, and a salvation from the Torment, and will be free from hypocrisy.” [Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi, al-Mundhiri, and at-Tabaraani]. I should emphasize here that this is not obligatory and the visiting person should not worry if he, or she, could not make it for some reason.
Things to do:
- Pray two Rak’aahs at the Rawdah as-Shareefah if possible once you enter the mosque. Otherwise in any place close to it.
- Follow all the etiquette of entering and behaving in the mosques.
- Go near the Rasoolullah’s (Sallallhu Alayhi Wa Sallam) qabr (grave) and say, ”As-Salaamu alayka yaa Rasool-Allah! As-Salaamu alayka yaa Nabiyyallah! As-Salamu alayka Yaa kheerata khalqil-Allah! Ash-Hadu allaa ilaaha ill-Allah wa-ash-hadu annaka ‘abduhu wa-Rasooluh! Qad ballaght ar-Risaala, wa-addaytal-Amaana, wanasah-tal-Ummata, wa-Jaahadta fil-Laahi haqqa jihaadihi! Sall-Allahu ‘alayaka wa ‘alaa Aalika wa-Azwaajika wa-Sallama tasleemann katheerann!” (Peace be upon you O Messenger of Allah! Peace be upon you O Prophet of Allah! Peace be upon you O the best creation of Allah! May Peace, Mercy, and Blessings of Allah be upon you O prophet of Allah! I bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah and that you are the servant and Messenger of Allah. And I bear witness that you did transmit the Message -to us- and you did deliver what you were entrusted with, and you did advice the Ummah, and you did strife for the sake of Allah at your utmost. May Allah shower His blessings on you as well as your family and your wives!).
- Then after this, the visitor should move a little bit forward to say Salaam to Sayyidinaa Abu Bakr (radiyallahu anhu) then to Sayyidinaa ‘Umar (radiyallahu anhu).
Things to avoid doing:
- To disobey the Nabi of Allah (Sallallhu Alayhi Wa Sallam) by making du’aa to him instead of Allah. Asking Rasoolullah (Sallallhu Alayhi Wa Sallam) favours and raising the hands towards his grave or to wipe oneself with al-Hujrah as-Shareefah (i.e. where the grave is).
- To make Tawaaf around the Hujrah as-Shareefah.
- To push others to reach places in the Masjid.
- To occupy a spot at the Rawdah for a long time making it difficult for other visitors to have a chance to pray there.
Visiting Qibaa’ or Qubaa’ Masjid:
Qubaa’ Masjid is the first masjid in Islam. It is Sunnah to visit it because the Messenger of Allah, Rasoolullah (Sallallhu Alayhi Wa Sallam) used to visit it and pray in it. Rasoolullah (Sallallhu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said, ”Whoever cleans himself in his house and goes to Qubaa’ / Qibaa’ Masjid and prays in it a prayer, he will be given the reward of an ‘Umrah” [Ahmad, an-Nassaa’i, ibn Maajah, and al-Haakim]
Visiting al-Baqee’ and Uhud:
It is good to visit the graves of the companions of the Messenger of Allah (Sahaabah radiyallahu anhum) as long as there are no bad innovations (bid’ah) and Shirk practices such as wailing at al-Baqee’ or asking favors from the dead. Rasoolullah (Sallallhu Alayhi Wa Sallam) taught his Sahaabah to say this du’a, ”As-Salaamu alaikum ahladiyaaril Mu’mineena wal Muslimeena. Antum as-Saabiqoona wa-innaa insha Allahu bikum laahiqoona wayar-hamullahul Mustaqdimeena minnaa wa-minkum wal Musta’khireena. Nas’alullah lanaa walakum ul-‘Aafiya fid-Dunyaa wal-‘Aakhirah. Allahummagh fir lanaa wa lahum warhamnaa wa-iyyaahum. Allahumma laa tahrimnaa ajrahum walaa taftinnaa ba’dahum!”
Going to Uhud is a good thing because many Sahaabah (radiyallahu anhum) were buried there after the battle of Uhud. Rasoolullah (Sallallhu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said about Uhud mountain, ”This is Uhud, a mountain which loves us and we love it” [Bukhari and Muslim]