Its been a really long time since I’ve written anything on here. I don’t quite miss it as writing isn’t my strong suit lol however, this recent trip I went on deserves its own blog post rather than some quick instagram posts. I only ask of you to keep me and my kids in your Duas in exchange for this blog that took me four hours to complete! lol plz plz keep me in your prayers when u perform umrah! Thank you
I want to start first by saying anything I write on here is from my own research, from my sheikh, and from various links that I will include. I do advise u to do your own research and contact your sheikh when performing Umrah….just incase… for now I am going to be including the basic rituals that I did and that are most common with about 90% of muslims. you may wish to take out or add anything u want. I will also provide a packing list and helpful facts about Medina as well as important sites you dont want to miss out on….Here we go….Bismillah
We started out by flying from Dubai to Medina. we wanted to book with a tour agency but unfortunately the group we wanted to go with from our local masjid cancelled. so we were on our own. That really stressed me out. I was depending on going with our sheikh because I dont know much about the rituals of performing a successful umrah. SO I had to meet with my sheikh and do a lot of reading. One night, few days before our flight I stayed up til 4am reading about umrah. yea, that’s extreme but I really wanted to be prepared.
Anyway, when you fly to Medina dont be surprised about how the locals, even the female airport employees dress. they are literally covered from head to toe in black. It was a bit intimidating at first but you get used it. We took a cab to our hotel, Movenpick, and settled in. The next morning I woke up before Fajir to perform Tahhajud. These are very precious prayers done before Fajir athan, it can be anything from 2 rakaat, to 8. I would pray my tahajjud then do diker, remembrance of Allah, and then pray two rakaat sunnah after the athan before fajir prayer, then two sunnah after fajir prayer. I highly advice you to pray all of your sunnah prayers here in Medina and in Mecca. Medina was absolutely peaceful. The people came from near and far. I have never seen so many different nationalities under one roof. it was beautiful. Everyone was kind. Even the guards whom are stationed at the doorway of the Masjid Al Nabawi, were very helpful anytime I had a question. They will search your bags when you enter, professional cameras and selfie sticks are not allowed fyi.
Rawdah (sacred Chamber)
After fajir prayer I headed out to gate 25 as that is the women’s entrance for the blessed Rawda. The rawda is where Prophet Muhammad, Omar, and Abu baker are all buried. The rawdah is said to be a piece of heaven. It is the area from the Prophets Pulpit, to his grave. His grave is also where he used to live. When he passed away Abu baker decided that thats where He shall be buried. “Then Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) came and said, “I heard the Prophet of Allah (ﷺ) saying: ‘A Prophet was never buried except at the place where he died’.” Thus, a grave was dug under the bed in the room” SO you’re literally in the footsteps of the Prophet! Peace be Upon Him.
Between my grave and my pulpit is one of the gardens of paradise.[Narrated by Ahmad, Bayhaqi and Ibn Abi Shayba]
There are certain hours in which women are allowed into the blessed Rawdah. its 730-11am and after Isha prayer til midnight. I would get there early as you never know when they will decide its full and thus won’t allow anymore women inside.
Once inside you send your blessings to the Prophet, look these up online.You will know you’re inside by the color change in the carpet which will turn green instead of red. also, the pillars will have gold lines on them. Ask the guards they will answer any of your questions. Then pray two rakaat sunnah. After that, sit down and make tons of dua. I waited an hour and a half to get into the rawda. it was absolute chaos waiting in “line” to get in. Women were excited, as we should all be, but some where yelling and screaming some were even clapping. This is disrespectful as you are within few feet from the Prophet who by the way is Conscious in His grave. all prophets are. Act with respect and dont higher your voice when inside. Here are some reviews of ppl who have visited the blessed rawda it helped reading through them, I even found out that u can purchase a ticket to get in! But I dont have any info on that. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298551-d319516-Reviews-Al_Masjid_an_Nabawi-Medina_Al_Madinah_Province.html#REVIEWS
After visiting the rawda, I was very shaken up. So much so that I had forgotten all the Duas I wanted to make for myself. It had shook me up to a point where I was just calm and in awe but I drew very quiet. All I wanted to do was just sit there with the Prophet, pbuh, and just talk to him or stay quiet. It was all very weird. I was watching the women touch His grave, or the outskirts of it, kiss it and cry and just act nuts lol I thought to myself should I be acting that way too??? But quickly I knew not to and moved further back. I made my way out, not knowing if ill ever visit Him again and it made me incredibly sad. The next day I wasn’t able to get in. Guards closed it at 9am after I had waited for an hour. I almost cried but remembered how blessed I was to get in the day prior.
Food options are very limited in Medina. You eat what your hotel has and thats about it. I didn’t venture outside the premise much except to shop. Shops are lined up outside the walls of the masjid so do some your gift shopping here or in Mecca!! Its super hard to get a spot inside the Masjid al Nabawi for your 5 daily prayers. You must go at least half hour before athan otherwise you’ll be outside which is still considered the masjid but with no carpet in some areas. So you’ll need your portable prayer mat with you. This is all Tahir, or pure, and clean to pray on the white marble floor. The fajir time at Medina was cold so bring a sweater with you. I absolutely loved the voice of the athan at Medina moreso then at Mecca. It was breathtaking.
IMPORTANT HISTORICAL Sites to Visit in Medina:
Jannatul Baqi (Garden of Heaven) is the main cemetery of Madinah. There is agrave yard nearby in which most of The wives of the Prophet (ﷺ), also known as the Mothers of the Believers, His Daughters, His uncles and aunts, Halima ( his wet nurse) and so many others we’ve learned bout in history of Islam were buried along with 10,000 companions. The Prophet (ﷺ) chose the spot to be a cemetery. Unfortunately I didn’t get the honor to visit as I was told that women weren’t allowed in. But I wish I went to just try. I did however get to see Abu Bakers (Prophets closed companion, Caliph, and father of Aisha) masjid so that was neat. ITs super small and humble made of stone right on the grounds of the Masjid al Nabawi on the south side of masjid.
- The virtue of Masjid Qubas is mentioned in the following Quranic verse in Surah Taubah: “…certainly a masjid founded on piety from the very first day is more deserving that you should stand in it…”[9:108]
- The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “He who purifies himself at his home and comes to Masjid Quba and offers two rakats therein, will be rewarded the reward of an Umrah (lesser pilgrimage).” [Sunan ibn Majah]
This mosque is important due to the fact that it was the first masjid to be built after the Prophet and Abu Baker migrated From Mecca to Medina to start his new life. The Prophet himself partook in the construction of this masjid. Two rakaat prayed here is equal to one Umrah. I prayed as much as I can who knows when you’ll be able to visit again. At that time Muslims were praying in the direction of Masjid Al Aqsa, in Palestine. Its interesting place read more about it here.
I love the story behind this Masjid! Qiblatain literally means two Qiblas. Or direction in which Muslims pray. This masjid has two directions. one facing Al Aqsa and one facing Mecca. This masjid is where the Prophet used to lead his prayers in the direction of Masjid Al Aqsa. But one day during his congregational prayer, it received divine instructions from Allah telling him to face Mecca. Quran in Surah al-Baqarah: “Verily, We have seen the turning of your (Muhammed’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.” [2:144 ]
unfortunately you won’t be able to see the area of the Mehrab, or the direction of the prayer because its in the mens section downstairs. But here is a picture of it.
we left for Mount Uhud via cab from out hotel that costed us 50 riyals, little did we know that you can catch a public Green bus to from the Medina clock tower to any of the sites of ziyarat for as little as 5 riyals! from mount Uhud we visited Quba then from there to Qiblatain. But beware, it was difficult getting a bus from Qiblatain back to Masjid al Nabawi, the drop off place and thus had to order an uber. Otherwise, take the public busses. Its quite enjoyable as you’ll see more and get to ride with some of the locals.
Mount Uhud is where the second battle in Islam was fought against the Mekkans. Prophets army only had 700 soldiers whereas the opposing army had 3, 000. Some archers disobeyed the Prophet and abandoned their stations. Hamza, may Allah be pleased with him, was killed and the Prophet was hurt. its super interesting to read in detail. You can walk up a small part of it, where you’ll find many locals selling some merchandise here for a very cheap cost. I bought some stuff here as I wanted to support them rather then the fancy shops by the Masjid al Nabawi. Apparently you can hike a very long hike up Uhud. this we didn’t do as it was very sunny and hot (this is in December). 70 Muslim martyrs and Hamza, are buried in a small graveyard which is steps away from the area you’ll be dropped off at. its worth a visit.
We opted to ride from Medina to Mecca instead of fly there. The ride is 4 hours long with only one organized pit stop to shower if u want and put on your Ihram (for men long pieces of towels are worn). This is the area in which you will make your Niyah, or sincere intention to make Umrah or Hajj. The masjid is where you will pray two rakaat. after which you will say the following;
Recite Talbiyah thrice.
we then got back into our car and rode for an hour and a half to get to the first and only pitstop. They had a Burger King, a famous chicken take out place, coffee shop, subway and a small masjid with restroom. This area is very dirty. So are a lot of areas around Meccaa like mount Hira or Jabal Noor. I was appalled to see it for myself and saddened by how dirty these areas were given this is where the house of Allah is or masjid Al-Haram. But unfortunately given how many visitors there are annually, (1-5 million for umrah and 3 million during hajj season) I guess its hard to keep up with. The masjid and Kaaba itself are clean, however.
After we finally got to our hotel at the famous clock tower that faces the Kaaba, we took another shower with water only. It is imperative that you do not use nonscented soap of any kind as that can break your Ihram. Got dressed and went downstairs for our first Umrah.
We did Tawaf, or 7 rounds ,anticlock wise, around the Kaaba. You start at the black stone. Where the green light is where Tawaf starts. This is where the men will expose their right shoulder to show strength in which what the sahaba used to do. The ankles for the men must be exposed. Faxe the Kaaba and say “Bismillah Allahu Akbar” Its sunnah to do more Diker then duaa for Umrah. As you Reach the Yemani Corner say;
It is a Sunnah to recite the following Dua between the Rukn al-Yamani and the Hajar al-Aswad:
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
Rabbanā ātinā fi d-dunyā ḥasanatan wafi l-ākhirati ḥasanatan wa qinā ‘adhāba n-nār.
O our Lord, grant us the good of this world, the good of the Hereafter, and save us from the punishment of the fire. [Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:201]
Do this 7x. The brothers can now cover their shoulder.
The feelings and emotions I was experiencing at this point is un fathomable. I was shaking, got goosebumps, couldn’t focus on my Duas, and couldn’t take my eyes off of the Kaaba. It is important to note that u say a duaa when entering the Masjid al haram and when u first lay eyes on the Kaaba. also any duaa u utter here is answered.
I made my Tawaf and got fortunate enough to touch the Holy Kaaba three times This was around midnight and less crowded in December. but please be careful doing so as it gets very chaotic and ppl push and shove each other to try to get close to the Kaaba especially to try to touch and kiss the black stone, which I didn’t.
After Tawaf, you’ll have to pray Two rakaat behind Maqam Ibrahim. Or anywhere behind it. The stone in which Ibrahim used to stand on that has his blessed foot prints in. The first rakaat recite Surat Kafiroun, then on second rakaat recite sura Ikhlas.
“Take the Maqam of Ebrahim as a place of salah (a place behind which you perform two rakahs of salah after Tawaf)” [2:125]
Head over to Where the Sai3e starts to begin your safaa and Marwaa. This is where sayidaa Hajir laid baby Ismail on the floor and walked or hurried in some areas, 7 x back and forth from safaa to marwa. you will see the mount Safaa behind the glass. Baby Ismail, may Allah be pleased with him started crying and thrashing is legs back and forth while his mom was away looking for water. Then a sprout opened up from the floor in between Ismail’s legs. This water exists til today. its Ma2 Zamzam. or water of Zamzam. its the purest water that exists. the actual area is now covered, but you will see water barrels filled with this blessed water. Drink it after Tawaf, face the Kaaba, and say a duaa. take three small sips as this is what the Prophet used to do. Rub it on your skin and make tons of duaa especially if one is ill or sick.
Head over to the gate for sai3e to perform the second step in Umrah. Safaa and Marwaa.
Before you start at Safa recite following verse:
ِإِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ
Inna ṣ-ṣafā wa l-marwata min sha’ā’iri llāh(i).
Indeed, Safa and Marwa are from the Signs of Allah.
[Surah al-Baqarah, 2:158]
أَبْدَأُ بِمَا بَدَأَ اللهُ بِهِ
Abda’u bimā bad’allahu bihi.
I begin with that which Allah has begun with.
These should only be recited once before Sa’i and not at the start of each lap.
When you climb hill Safa, face Kaabah and recite following: each time you reach Marwaa
It is Sunnah to recite the following Dua:
اَللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ، اَللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ، اَللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ، وَلِلّٰهِ الْحَمْدُ
Allāhu akbar, Allāhu akbar, Allāhu akbar, wa lillāhi l-ḥamd.
Allah is the greatest; Allah is the greatest; Allah is the greatest, and to Allah belongs all praise.
لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ، وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
Lā ilāha illallāh waḥdahu lā sharīka lah(u), lahu l-mulku wa lahu l-ḥamdu yuḥyī wa yumīt(u), wa huwa ‘alā kulli shay’in qadīr.
There is no deity except Allah, alone without a partner. To Him belongs the Dominion, and to Him belongs all praise. He gives life and death and He has power over everything.
لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اَللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ، اَنْجَزَ وَعْدَهُ وَنَصَرَ عَبْدَهُ وَهَزَمَ اَلْأَحْزَابَ وَحْدَهُ
Lā ilāha illallāhu waḥdah(u), anjaza wa’dahu wa naṣara ‘abdahu wa hazama l-aḥzāba waḥdah.
There is no deity except Allah alone. He fulfilled His promise, supported His slave and defeated the confederates alone.
After reciting this Dua, you may recite your own supplications.
You may wear your shoes as its hilly a bit with some elevation. on white hard marble. Maybe reserve new shoes as this is not part of the kaabaa so its permissible. After this stage women take small scissors and cut off small strand of hair. Men will get their hair professionally cut. This marks the end of your Umrah and its sunnah. If you wish to perform another Umrah for yourself, or for someone else, you must go outside of Masjid or Kaaba and renew your intention. We took a cab to Aishas masjid which is 20 mins away. Its where Prophet took Aisha to renew her umrah and its outside the Masjid al haram. then you go back to the Kaaba and re do the above.
This was a beautiful experience. Ill never forget it. If you can, and you’re fit enough, definitely climb up Jabal, or mount Noor, to the cave in which the Prophet first received his revelations from Allah. The first ayah to be revealed to the Prophet was in a tiny cave that He would often visit to meditate. It was during the “night of power” during Ramadan that the Angel Gibreel visited the Prophet and the ayah was sent down to to the Prophet that he recited.
- Read in the name of your Lord, the Creator. He Who created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Bounteous. Who taught by the Pen, taught man what he knew not.” [96:1-5]
- “The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was revealed.” [2:185] “We have indeed revealed this message during the Night of Power.” [97:1]
It took us one hour to climb up the steep mountain. This is a very strenuous and taxing climb up my kids ages 10, 11 and 14 did it, but my youngest kept complaining. Please wear proper shoes and have sunglasses or hat to shield you from the sun. There are locals here, and beggars who sell water and juice. The mountain was littered. We saw red bottom monkeys here that are quite aggressive so be careful. They approached a guy who was carrying a juice bottle and stole it from him. That was quite a show! You reach the top then you see the cave with a little below u on the other side. you’ll have to climb down to reach it. my kids didn’t go that far. only I did but wasn’t able to get Inside the actual cave due to crowding. the men unfortunately wouldn’t let the women in and there were only 3 women out of ten men so I couldn’t fight them haha. The verse that twas revealed to the Prophet is painted on the opening of the cave. Subhanallah, the sky was remarkable as it was lit over Mecca. the clouds made a circle over Mecca and the sun was shinning over the Kaaba it was breathtaking! we climbed down took us about 45 mins found a taxi and went back to our hotel.
References I used on my Umrah and here to write this blog:
un scented soap
empty water bottle to fill up with Zamzam water
a small sack to put your shoes in while in medina and meccaa
small portable prayer rug to pray on in Medina and mecca
hat for sun
wear shoes that can get wet and ones that u can easily slip on and off
dua list here’s one I liked http://www.islam101.com/quran/Duas25Quran.htm
tights and sports bra and tank top to wear under abaya
-Cemetary of Al Baqi holds 10,000 of Prophets companions
-holds 8 of His wives “mother of the believers” and 3 of his Daughters, Ruqayyah,
Zaynab, umm Kulthum, and Fatima
-those buried here will be the first to be resurrected after the Prophet on Day of Judgement
-Dajjal will try to enter Medina will establish his camp outside of Medina but the Angels will prevent him from coming in
-the western entrance of Masjid al Nabawi is “bab el Rahma” in which He prayed for rain during a drought
-1 million ppl can fit in the Prophets Mosque which he let his camel pick the spot where to build masjid al Nabawi upon arrival to Medina.
-prophets are all conscious in their graves (Quran 73; 2-4)
-Prayer in masjid al nabawi is equal to 1,000 prayers observed elsewhere except mecca
-Allah and his angles send blessings to the Prophet at the tomb (Quran 73:56)
-Prophet lies on his right side facing mecca
-When you convey your Salam to him he says it back
-theres a story about a tree trunk. its in the Rawdah. The prophet used to lean on it when giving his sermons. When the companions built him his pulpit and left the tree trunk, it started to moan in sadness. Then the Prophet would hug it to calm it down.