Posted by: adeepershadeofsoul | April 15, 2010

Reflections from Mecca and Medina

I was sitting on my couch and staring at the wall the other day, and a feeling of great sadness overcame me; I realized that I was back in the dunya (worldly life).  You see, I had spent the past eleven days in Mecca and Madina and for those of you who have been to these blessed places, you know that it’s as if you’ve temporary left the dunya and entered into a spiritual haven of serenity.  What an amazing journey!

The following are simply some of my reflections/takeaways from my trip.  For those of you who have been there before, these words will inshallah bring forth some memories to the forefront of your consciousness; those who have not, inshallah these words will serve as motivation for you to plan your first trip ASAP!  One thing’s for sure…this trip is unlike any other that you’ll ever take in your life.   So without further ado…

Why am I so attached to the dunya (the worldly life)?

Probably the most beautiful thing about the trip was the re-emphasis it gave me to focus my life on the akhira (the next life). As I was sitting there in the haram (name for the holy mosques in Mecca and Madina), staring at the Ka’ba I felt like I was getting a little piece of heaven.  My mind, body and soul were completely at peace and I started to think why I sweat the dunya so much?  Why was I allowing the little day to day affairs of my life consume my thoughts?  Why had my goals become all dunya-based goals?  Why was my ibaadah (worship) slacking?  Why hadn’t I prayed Tahajjud (the prayer in the latter parts of the night) lately?

Basically, why was my heart attached to the dunya, when it neither gave me the peace or satisfaction that I desired?  Sitting in Mecca staring at the Ka’bah reminded me of what my focus should be.

This is how life is supposed to be lived

Mecca as those of you who have been there know quite well, is a very busy place!  Whether it’s pacing between the hills of Safa and Marwa, walking around the Ka’ba during tawaf, changing into your oh-so comfortable ihram (can you sense the sarcasm J), getting your haircut, playing human frogger through the Meccan traffic (only the old school Atari readers will get that one), or just standing up for long prayers; Mecca kept me busy!

But then I took that lovely bus ride through the desert to Madina and then ahhhhhhh; relief!!!  In Madinah, life is the complete opposite of Mecca; it is slow and laid back.  My schedule in Madinah was completely centered on the five daily prayers and any other acts of worship that I wanted to perform.  And as I sat there in the Prophet’s mosque, I thought to myself ‘now this is how life is supposed to be lived.’  Life is supposed to be focused first on worship and then matters of the world, but unfortunately most of the time it is the exact opposite.

In the footsteps of the Greatest

I was blessed to be able to spend a lot of time in the prophet’s mosque in Madina.  In particular, I was especially blessed to spend a lot of time in the Rawdah (the area of the original mosque built by the prophet peace be upon him and his companions).  As you all know, praying in this area is equivalent to praying in heaven.  Sitting in this blessed area, I was looking up and imagining how it must have looked at the time of the Prophet peace be upon him.  I imagined him standing on the minbar (pulpit) and giving his weekly sermon; and I imagined the sahabah (his companions) sitting there and listening.  These thoughts brought so many tears of joy; knowing that I’m literally sitting where the greatest generation of human beings once sat.

Of course, right next to the Rawdah is where the prophet peace be upon him’s original house once was and where he is now buried.  An overwhelming sense of awe overcame me while walking by the grave of the prophet peace be upon him and the graves of Abu Bakr and Omar.  I was standing about fifteen feet away from the greatest man to ever walk the face of this earth and his beloved companions may God be pleased with them.  I said salam to them as I walked by and just prayed that God allow me to be in their company in the hereafter.

The Legacy of the Ansaar lives on

I was blessed to be able to experience this trip with one of my oldest and dearest friends.  My friend knew a family that lived in Madinah and that family was kind enough to invite us to dinner one night.  They lived in part of town that was not a wealthy area at all; and they lived in a house that many of us from the west would never consider living in.  But as soon as I met Uncle Syed, I knew that he and his family were blessed in ways that transcend the material world.

The house was full of family, friends and love.  They brought out the delicious home cooked food for us and placed it on the floor; and all of us sat on the floor and ate together.  They did this on a nightly basis; the whole family gathered and ate on the floor together.

After our wonderful meal, Uncle Syed was not satisfied with our one visit.  He asked us to come every single day for breakfast and dinner.  He said that he would come and pick us up since we did not have a car, and take us to his house for the two meals everyday until we left Madinah.  I thanked Uncle Syed for his generosity and he told me not to be thankful, because I was in the Prophet’s city and it was his duty to take care of me until I left; however long that would be.  Subhanallah!  I’m sure the ansaar (may God grant them peace) would be happy to know that their legacy lives on in Uncle Syed and others like him.

Countless Blessings

The rewards and the blessings that one receives while in these blessed cities are compounded immensely.  Here are some of the rewards that can only be had in these two cities:

  • The reward of one prayer in either the Haram in Mecca or the Prophet’s mosque is Madinah is equivalent to 1,000 prayers elsewhere.
  • The reward for making Umrah (the minor pilgrimage) is to have all of your previous sins forgiven
  • The reward for praying to rakah in Masjid al Quba in Madinah is equal to the reward of making Umrah
  • The reward of praying in the rawdah in the prophet’s mosque is like praying in Junnah (heaven)
  • The reward of tawaaf can only be had in Mecca
  • Any good that you do in the haramain (the two mosques) are multiplied i.e. reading quran, praying extra prayers etc.
  • The dua that you make while hanging on the multazim (the door of the Ka’ba) are accepted inshallah
  • The dua that you make the first time you see the Ka’ba is accepted by Allah inshallah
  • The reward of doing sayyee (walking between the hills of Safaa and Marwaa) is something that you can only get in Mecca
  • The dua that one makes before drinking Zam Zam will be accepted inshallah

And the list goes on and on…

A special Tour for a special place

My friend and I are very blessed to know several brothers that graduated from Madinah University.  While we were in Madinah, these brothers told us about an individual that also graduated from the University who nowadays gives tours to people who come and visit Madinah.

Alhamdulillah, we were blessed to meet this brother and take his tour of Madinah.  I’ve traveled quite a bit in my life and have been on several tours, but I can honestly say that none were quite like this one.  The brother not only took us to the well known sites (like Uhud) but also many areas that most were not aware of.  But these sites were not the highlight of the tour; the real highlight of the tour was the immense knowledge that the brother shared with us about our deen.

Mashallah, this brother explained not only the significance of Madinah to us, but he opened our eyes to insights on life that neither of us have ever heard from anyone else in the world.  And we’ve both been exposed to the lectures and classes of all of the famous Shuyookh that we all know and love in the west.  But the insights to life that this brother gave us were absolutely profound.

So, on your next trip to Madinah you must go on this tour.  You can reserve your seats at:  www.medinatouringservice.com

All in all, this was without a doubt the trip of a lifetime and I look forward to the day that Allah invites me again to His House and his beloved cities of Mecca and Madinah.

I ask that Allah accepts from us all the good that we do in this life.

I ask that Al Kareem blesses us all to visit his House and Madinah frequently.

I ask that Al Ghafaar forgives us of all our sins; and that Ar Raheem has mercy upon us on the day that we most need His Mercy.

Ameen.

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Responses

  1. JazakAllah for sharing. I, too, long to go back. I guess those places are really like a different universe, and for us – unless we live there – we can only but try to go back regularly to refresh our souls and renew the connection with Allah in ways that we could never anywhere else in the world.


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