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My Recent Ziyarat (Spiritual Visitation) to Madina Munawwara! 

After the completion of the Manasik-e-Haj (rituals of the Haj), it is highly recommended by the Sufi saints to perform Ziyarat of Rauza e Rasool (visitation of the Prophet's holy shrine), which is one of the most magnificent Islamic heritage in Madina......

Word For Peace

By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi

Founding Editor, Word For Peace

Recently, this writer got blessed by a non-obligatory spiritual pilgrimage to Makkah called ‘Umrah’, a shorter version of the annual obligatory Hajj. On this sacred occasion, Hajj and Umrah pilgrims pay a special visit to the holy city of Masjid an-Nabawi in Madina Munawwara–which is the holiest city after Makka al-Mukarram in Islam. For, it is the abode of the holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and he is reported to have said in a hadith reported in Sunan al-Daraqutni:

“من زار قبري وجبت له شفاعتي”

(Whoever visits my grave, she/he will be surely granted my greatest intercession, Shafa’at)

This hadith has been authenticated and strengthened by Hafidh Taqi al-Din al-Subki highly venerated among the Sufi Orders as a great Qur’an exegete, Asha’ri scholar and Shafi’i jurist. Although the followers of Ibn Taymiyah and Ibn Abdul Wahhab i.e. the Salafis and Hanbalis particularly in Saudi Arabia dismiss this Prophetic Tradition, Indian Muslims at large adhere to it with great love and devotion to the holy Prophet (pbuh). Thus, highly venerated by Indian Muslims, Madina Munawwara earns greater attention, especially during the sacred days of Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages.

In general, the holy city of Madina Munawwara is revered by all Muslims across the world because one of the two holiest sites of Islam, the Prophet’s mosque or Masjid-e-Nabawi is located in it. After the Ka’abah which is the first place of worship in the Abrahamic faith traditions built by Hazrat Ibrahim A.S and located in Masjid al-Haram, Masjid al-Nabawi is the second holiest site in Islam. This is the main significance of Madina among Muslims which is further sanctified by another sacred site situated in the same holy city–Masjid-e-Quba–the first mosque of Islam in Madina Munawwara.

Significantly for Sufi Muslims around the world and especially in India, the first Sufi seminary of Islam known as “Dar us-Suffa”, is also located within Masjid al-Nabawi.

There was a special group of mystically inclined companions (Sahaba) of the holy Prophet (PBUH) called Ashab us-Suffa. They used to engage in mystical brainstorming systematically and regularly attended the formal spiritual learning in Dar us-Suffa provided by the Prophet (pbuh).

Most significantly, the story of the construction of Masjid-e-Nabawi should move the Muslims of today. As the Prophet (Pbuh) and his companions were migrants from Makkah, they were called “al-muhajir in”. And the local inhabitants of Madinah who welcomed the muhajir and greatly helped them were known as Al-Ansar (the helpers). The Ansar belonged to the two main tribes of Madinah, the Banu Khazraj and the Banu Aus, who had an age-old rivalry. But the Holy Prophet (PBUH) established brotherhood (muwakhat) and mutual sympathy (muwasat) between the two adversary tribes. These were the prophetic ideals that ushered in an era of spiritual bond between the two different tribes in Madinah- both helping each other, in every way possible.

The Ansar of Madina assisted the Muhajirin by hosting them in their homes and providing for their financial and material necessities. Remarkably, both the Ansar and Muhajirin took an active part in the construction of Al-Masjid an-Nabawi in particular and the entire city of Madina. This bond of brotherhood among the two different tribes was inspired by the Holy Prophet’s spiritual training and instructions. He exhorted them both: “Act together in your daily efforts and then share the fruits of your labour among yourselves.”

While the Ansar and Muhajirin were labouring and toiling hard in the construction of Masjid-e-Nabawi, the holy Prophet (pbuh) invoked Allah: “O Allah! Help the Ansar and the Muhajirin in strengthening a strong relationship between them.”

The Prophet built the brotherly ties not only between the Ansar and Muhajirin but also among the different religious tribes of Madina who were earlier at the loggerheads. Consequently, the Ansar and Muhajirin were strengthened by a third group – the Jews of Madinah. The holy Prophet (pbuh) thus built a cohesive society in Madina where Muslims and Jews peacefully coexisted and shared their joys and grief. They professed and practised two different faiths and yet there was such an amicable relationship between Muslims and Jews that if anyone harmed a Jew, the first aid came from the Muslims of Madina – both Ansar and Muhajirin. This is how a harmonious, affectionate and cohesive society was built in the city of the holy Prophet – Madinah.

Today, Muslims from across the world, especially from our country, India visit and venerate the sacred shrine of the holy Prophet (pbuh) to seek his blessings and find spiritual solace.

The Holy Prophet was born in Makka but he chose to migrate to Madina after he faced religious persecution at the hands of the Makkan pagans. While he was persecuted in Makka, the people of Madina welcomed the Prophet (pbuh) with open arms and great warmth. Therefore, Madina Munawwara has great significance and sanctity in the spiritual Islamic traditions, especially in Sufism. After the completion of the Manasik-e-Haj (rituals of the Haj), it is highly recommended by the Sufi saints to perform Ziyarat of Rauza e Rasool (visitation of the Prophet’s holy shrine), which is one of the most magnificent Islamic heritage in Madina.

Besides the sacred shrine of the holy Prophet and the mosque of the Prophet (Masjid-e-Nabawi), Jannat ul-Baqee – the graveyard of the Prophet’s noble family, Ahl-e-Bayt and many companions and early spiritual masters of Islam — has also a great place in Sufism.

This article was originally posted at the progressive Islamic website New Age Islam.

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  1. obviously enjoy your site, but a few of your postings use some editing for spelling and grammar. On the one hand, I will definitely return; on the other, I am really annoyed by how many of them have spelling mistakes.

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