History and Excellence of The Two Holy Cities

Allaah says:

"And proclaim to mankind the Hajj (pilgrimage). They will come to you on foot and every lean camel, they will come from every deep and distant (wide)mountain highway (to perform Hajj)." (Q22[Hajj]:27). 

Abdullaah bn Abbass (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahualayhi wasallam)  said:

"Verily, AIlaah sanctified this city on the Day when He created the heavens and earth. it is sacred by the sanctification of AIlaah until the Day of Resurrection."(Muslim).

Thus, sanctified by, and written to be visited by people from places far and  near,from different races and tribes, every Muslim of true faith feels himself invited at all times· by an overwhelming desire to visit the noble City of Makkah.Same for the beloved City of Madeenah regarding which the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahualayhi wasallam) said:

"All of Madeenah that lies between 'Ayr andThawr (mountains) is sacred."(Bukhaariand Muslim).

He also said:

"0 AIlaah! Make Madeenah beloved tous, as we love Makkah - or more."(Bukhaari and Muslim).

There is no Muslim, true to his faith ,whose love for the noble City of Madeenah does not fill his heart, infuse his blood, flesh and bones in response to this fine call.

In this edition, we explore the great virtues of these two cities otherwise known as al-Haramain as is contained in the sayings of  and His Messenger (sallallaahualayhi wasallam), based on the understanding of the Companions and their students, together with the history of their establishment, their first inhabitants and above all their religious significance to the Muslim

HISTORY & EXCELLENCE MAKKAH

The Establishment of Makkah

The history and building of Makkah is directly connected to Prophet Ibraaheem (alayhis-Salaam) as hem was the first person to settle his family in it when he left his wife Haajar and his son lsrnaa'eel there incompliance with the command of - the Mighty and Sublime – for him to do so. Abdullah bin Abbass(RA) reported that Prophet(sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)informed us that: Ibraaheem(alayhis-Salaam) once came with his wife Haajar and his son Ismaa'eel was still a suckling infant, from ancient Syria to Makkah.

At that time, Makkah had no water and nobody residing in it. Ibraheem(alayhis-Salaam) took them both under the shade of a tree and left with them a bag of dates and a small water-skin containing some water ,then headed back to ancient Syria. As he was leaving, his wife Haajar called to him, saying: "Where are you going? How can you leave us in this deserted valley that has neither humans nor anything else (in terms of life)?" She repeated this a few times but he did not reply, so she asked: "Did  command you to, do this?" Ibraaheem (alayhis-Salaam)replied: "Yes" Thereupon she said: "Then He shall never forsake us"

Ibraaheem (alayhis-Salaam) walked for a while and then stood upon a small hill, raised his hands in supplication, and said, as  -the most High - informs us saying:

"Our Lord! I have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley near Your sacred House, our Lord, that they may establish prayer. So make hearts among the people incline toward them and provide for them from the fruits that they might be grateful."(Q 14[lbrahim]:37).

Allah - the Mighty and Sublime -blessed Haajar and her son with the well of Zamzam, and then people came from all directions and resided in Makkah. The first tribe to reside there on the permission of the mother of Ismaa'eel and with the condition that they will have no right to possess the water, was the tribe of Jurhum (a people living on the central west coast recorded In other sources as Gorrhamites)among whom lsrnaa'eel (alayhis-Salaam) grew up, learnt Arabic and his virtues caused them to love and admire him as he grew up. When here ached the age of puberty they made him marry a woman from  amongst them.

Ibraaheem (alayhis Salaam) came many times to Makkah to check upon their condition, and later commanded him to build the Ka'bah; Allaah - the most High says:

"And [mention] when Ibraaheem was raising the foundations of the House and[with him] Ismaa'eel, [saying]:'Our Lord! Accept [this] from us. Indeed, You are the Hearing, the Knowing.'"(Q2[Baqarah]:127).

Allah, the most High, also says:

"And [0 Muhammad], when We designated for Ibraaheem(Abraham) the site of the House,[saying] "Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for those who perform Tawaaf (circumambulation of the Ka'bah) and those who stand [in prayer] and those who bow and prostrate." (Q22 [Hajj]:26).

Imaam Ibn Katheer (RAH) said commenting upon this verse in his famous book of history - al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah: "There isno authentic report from the infallible (i.e. Prophet Muhammad(sal/al/aahu alayhi wasal/am» informing us that the House (the kabbah )as built before Ibraaheem (alayhis-Salaam) and whoever states that, relying upon this verse (for evidence of that), has no basis for such a claim because what is meant by the verse is that he was simply being informed of where the House was to be built." He (RAH) said: "The verses of the Qur'aan clearly indicate that Ibraaheem was the first person to build it."Abu Dharr (RA) narrated: "I asked the Messenger of : '0 Messenger of Allaah (sallal/aahualayhi wasallam)! Which mosque was the first built on earth?' He replied: "The Sacred Mosque (inMakkah)" "I then asked: 'Which mosque was built next?' He said: "The Aqsaa mosque (in Jerusalem)."

"Thereupon, I asked: 'What was the period between the building of the two mosques?"He replied: "Forty years. ""(Bukhaari).

These reports clearly highlight the virtue of Prophet Ibraaheem (alayhis-Salaam) and confirm that he was the one who built the two mosques, and that the period between the two was forty years. Therefore, it becomes evident -that the first thing to be established in Makkah was the Sacred Mosque(i.e. the Ka'bah),and that the first water to gush forth  from it was Zamzam .Subsequent Generations.Thereafter, the offspring of Ismaa'eel multiplied in the area of Hijaaz (the province in which Makkah lies) and its surroundings with their uncles and relatives from the Jurhum and they succeeded each other in caring for the Sacred House and maintaining it for a long period of time.

The people of Qatoor from Yemen also settled in Makkah at the time after Jurhum at a place called Ajyaad. (Taareekh Makkah at-Musharrafah wa al-Masjid al-Haraam). Thereafter, the tribe of Khuzaa'ah took over the maintenance of the House over along period of time."The first time people worshipped stones among the descendants of Ismaa'eel was when no one left. Makkah (to seek residence else where) amongst them except that he took along with him some of the stones of the sacred city in reverence and ardent love for the city of Makkah and the Ka'bah.

They kept it and made circumambulation around it like they would around the Ka'bah until that led them to worshipping what they liked from the stones of the sacred city specifically. Generations succeeded generations and the people forgot what they were upon, making evidence with the religion of Ibraaheem and Ismaa'eel (alayhima as-Salaam) for other than it (using the religion of Ibraaheem and Ismaa'eel to establish what the religion completely negates).

So they worshipped idols and eventually came to what other nations before them were upon of misguidance... " (Taareekh Makkahal-Musharrafah wa al-Masjid al-Haraam by Ibn Diyaa al-Makkee andal-Asnaam by Ibn al-Kalbee). This is even when they were still upon some remnants of what Ibraaheem (alayhis-Salaam) taught of Hajj, 'Umrah, staying at 'Arafah and Muzdalifah, making the circumambulation of the Ka'bah and honoring it, sacrificing the animals among other things.

The first person who changed the religion of Ibraahem and Ismaa'eel (alayhima as-Salaam) and made the idols, instituted Baheerah (a she-camel whose milk was spared for the sake of the idols and nobody was allowed to milk it), Saaibah (a she-camel let loose for free pasture for idols and nothing was allowed to be carried on it), Waseelah (a she-camel set free for idols because it has given birth to a she-camel at its first and second delivery) and Haam (a stallion-camel freed from work for the sake of idols after it had finished a  number of copulations  assigned for it) was 'Arnr bin Luhayyal-Kazzaa'yy. 

Regarding him, the Messenger of(sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)said: "I saw 'Amr bin Luhayy dragging his intestines in the fire; he was the first to institute the Saaibah."(Bukhaari and Muslim).The number of idols then increased in the Ka'bah and this phenomena spread all around the Arabian Peninsula to the extent that the number of idols in the Ka'bah reached three hundred and sixty, as stated by Ibn al-Kalbee in his book "al-Asnaarn".

Qusay bin Kilaab, a great grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad (sal/al/aahu alayhiwasallam) took over the custody of caring for the Sacred House and maintaining it from the tribe of Khuzaa'ah, as it had abused its authority. Qusay gathered the scattered families of the Quraysh tribe, relocated them in Makkah, and restored the sanctity of Makkah, which had been lost due basically to Khuzaa'ah's misuse of authority. This marked the  beginning of an authority. That glorified Makkah and which freely offered all types of services to its visitors, such as food, water and them cleaning and maintaining of the Ka'bah.

The Army of Abraha

In the very year of the birth of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasal/am)but shortly before it, an Abyssinian,  conqueror-Abraha, and his men (in an army of sixty thousand men),whom the Qur'aan refers to as the 'Companions of the Elephant' – and the year, 'The Year of the Elephant' -advanced with the intention on destroying the Ka'bah to divert the Arab pilgrims to his church in Yemen. Abraha reached the valley of Muhassir between Muzdalifah and Mina ready to invade Makkah.

As he advanced with his elephant, the beast that had terrified all of Makkah suddenly refused to move. As for the sixty thousand men,  in defense of His Sacred House sent flocks of bird to pelt the invaders with stones. They lay felled by the stones, their bodies resembling 'mashed corn'.

The Return of Tawheed

The call of the Prophet Muhammad(sallal/aahu alayhi wasal/am) to the servitude of none besides  was a call of return of mankind to his basisin proper reverence of his Lord – the Mighty and Sublime. After ten years of sowing the seed of Tawheed in Makkah, he migrated to Madeenah where its people embraced Islam, supported it and defended the Messenger (sal/al/aahu alayhiwasal/am) with their lives and sons until  - the most High – made him victorious. In the month of Ramadaan, eight years after his migration, the moment ordained by Allaah arrived- the Messenger (sal/al/aahu alayhiwasallam) was granted victory over Makah.

The Muslims are now to worship publicly in the Holy City of Makkah· without impediment. Humble in victory, flanked by the companions (RA), the Prophet(sal/al/aahu alayhi wasal/am) entered the sacred mosque, kissed the black stone and circumambulated the Ka'bah prodding each of the 360idols that the pagans had placed over the years with a stick in his hand reciting the following two verses:

"Truth has come and falsehood has vanished. Truly, falsehood is ever bound to vanish" (Q 17[lsraai: 81)(Bukhaari and Muslim)

The Prophet (sal/al/aahu alayhiwasallam) ordered the Ka'bah to be opened and the idols inside it were removed and destroyed and all the pictures rubbed out. Quraysh had drawn the pictures of Ibraaheem and Ismaa'eel (alayhima as-salaam)making divination with arrows!! The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam)said:

"May AIlaah curse them! Ibraaheem never used to make divination with arrows!" (Bukhaari).

It was also reported that the pictures of Maryam was also made inside the Ka'bah!!(Bukhaari).

The Prophet (sal/al/aahu alayhiwasallam) never entered the Ka'bah until all the images were removed. Then he entered the structure with Bilaal and Usaamah bin Zayd (RA)and offered two units of prayer. He then went around the mosque praising and glorifying Allaah – the Mighty and Sublime. Soorah an-Nasr(Chapter of Victory) was revealed to the Prophet (sallal aahu alayhiwasallam) on this day; Allaah – the most High - said:

"When there comes the Help of Allaah and the conquest (of Makkah). And you see that the people enter Allaah's religion (Islaam) in crowds. So, glorify the praises of your Lord and ask His forgiveness. Verily, He is the one who accepts repentance and who forgives."

RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE OF MAKKAH

It is a sacred city Allaah says referring to the sanctity of Makkah:

"...whosoever enters it, he attains security. " (Q3[Aal-ImraanJ:97)

When the one who's afraid enters it, he will be safe from all things. Infact there is a scholarly consensus that the one who commits an offense within the boundary of Haram is not to be given protection because he has violated the sanctity of the holy place. However, if he commits an offense outside the sanctuary then he flees to the Haram for refuge, he is to be subjected to pressure until he leaves the sanctuary, and then the hadd'(prescribed punishment) is to be carried out on him beyond the confines of the sanctuary. Abdullaah bn Abbaas (RA) said:

"Whoever commits an offense then flees to the 'House (the Ka'bah) will be safe; and the Muslims do not have the right to punish him in any way until he leaves. Then when he leaves, they should carry out the Hadd punishment on him." (Muthir AI-Gharam As-Sakin by Ibn al-Jawzee)

Reward is Multiplied in Makkah

To underline the religious, significance of Makkah, it is sufficient to note that the reward for prayer in al-Masjid AI-Haram is multiplied many times. Allaah' Messenger(salal/ahu alayhi wa sal/am) said: 'prayer in this mosque of mine is better than one thousand prayers any where else, except for AI-Masjid AI Haram. A prayer in AI-Masjid AI-Haram is better than one hundred thousand prayers (anywhere else)." (Ahmad)

if we take Jate the-superiority of one prayer, [n AI-Masjid' AI-Ha'ram according to the hadeeth, then one prayer in AI-Masjid Hat am is equivalent to the five daily prayers offered over a period of .fifty years six months and twenty days and the five daily prayers offered over a  single twenty-four hour period are equivalent to the five daily prayers offered over a period of two hundred and seventy-seven years nine months and ten days AI-Muhibb at-Tabarai (RAH) said:

"The hadeeth quoted above which says that the reward for prayer and fasting is multiplied also applies by analogy to the multiplication of the reward ,for all good deeds."(Mana'ihul-Karam]

AI-Hasan AI-Basri (RAH) also said:

"Fasting for one day in Makkah is equivalent to fasting one hundred thousand days, and giving one dirham in charity is like giving one hundred thousand; every good deed is equivalent to one hundred thousand." (Fadaail Makkah by AI Hasan AI-Basri]

Punishment is Multiplied Too The Muslim must avoid committing sin in Makkah, for just as the reward for good deeds is multiplied, so too the burden of bad deeds is also multiplied. Mujahid (RAH) said:

"The burden of bad deeds is multiplied, in Makkah just as the reward for good deeds is multiplied." (Muthir AI-Gharam)

Imam  Ahmad bn Hanbal was asked is more than one Sayi'ah recorded for a bad deed?'" He said: "No, except in Makkah, because of the sanctity of the land." Ibn Mas'ud(RA) also said:

"If a man resolves at the Ka'bah to kill a believer who is away in 'Aden, Allaah will cause him to taste a painful torment in this world." (Ahmad)

The Black Stone

The religious significance of Makkah is also indicated by the presence of Hajar al-Aswad (the Black Stone).

There are many ahadeeth affirming the virtues of the black stone and urging us to touch it or kiss;' 'Then doing tawaf. To know its virtue, it is sufficient for us to know that it was touched by the hand of the Prophet and kissed by his noble mouth. Abdullaah bn Amr bn AI-As said:''As Allaah is my witness" three times placing  hisfingers in hears- then he narrated that he heard Allaah's Messenger (salu alayhi wasallam) saying:

"The Black Stone and the Maqam are two of the precious stones of Paradise. AIlaah extinguished their light, and if He had not extinguished their light, they would have illuminated everything between the east and the west."(Ahmad)

Ibn Abbaas (RA) narrated that Allaah's Messenger (salalla alayhiwasallam) said:

"The black stone came down from Paradise and it waswhiter than milk, but the sins of the sons of Adam turned it black. (Bukhari)

The Prophet (salualayhi wa sallam) also said:

"By Allaah, Allaah will resurrect it on the  Day of Resurrection with two eyes with which it will see and a tongue with which it will speak, and it will bear witness concerning those whotouched it recognising its virtues."(Tirmidhi)

Zamzam Well’s

Messenger (sala alayhiwa sallam) said:

"The best water on the face of the earth is the water of Zamzam. In it is complete nourishment and healing from sickness." (Tabarani)

Drinking one'sfill of this water is assign of being free of hypocrisy as mentioned by the Prophet (salu alayhi wasallam)

The sign that distinguishes us from the hypocrites is that they do not have their fill of Zamzam water."(Daraqutni)

He also said:

"The water of Zamzam is for the purpose for which it is drunk."(lbn Majah)

Multazam

AI-Mutazam IS the space between the rukn (the corner where Hajar al-Aswad is located) and the door of Ka'bah. It was reported that Mujahid (RAH) said:

"The area between the Rukn and the door is AI-Multazam. Whoever calls upon Allaah in AI-Multazam, Allaah will answer his prayer." (Hasan, TarikhMakkah)

Maqam Ibrahim

This is the station of Ibrahim situated close to Ka'bah. It is one of the sites that contributes to the spiritual significance of Makkah. After the tawaf of the House of, a pilgrim is required to offer two rak'ahs of prayer behind the station of Ibrahim. This is based on the command of and the practice of Allaah's Messenger(salu alayhi wa sallam). Allaah says:

'and take you (people) the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim(Abraham) [or the stone on which Ibrahim (Abraham) stood while he was building the Ka'bah] as a placeof prayer (for some of your prayers, e.g. two Rak'at after the Tawaf ofthe Ka'bah atMakkah)"(Q2 [Baqarah]: 125)

Safa and Marwa

These are the two hillocks between which a pilgrim is required to walk for seven circuits.

Mina

Religious importance of Makah is also indicated by Mina which is located therein. Mina is the place in which the pilgrims are commanded to stay until the sun rises  on the day of Arafah, the Day of Sacrifice and the days of Tashreeq which follow it. In Mina. the pilgrim stone the jamarat (stone pillars).Among the virtues of Mina is that this is where MasJld AI-Khalf is located and, and It IS where sent the ram to Ibrahim to slaughter As a ransom for his son.

Masjid al-Khaif

this is one of the mosques who virtues are established. A marfu' hadeeth is reported by Ibn Abbaas(RA) that: "Seventy Prophets prayed in Masjid AI-Khaif"(Majma'uz-Zawaa'id) It is also recommended to pray therein. Abu Hurayrah (RA) said:

"If I were one of the people of Makah, no Friday would come without me praying there."(AIManasik)

Arafah

This is a location at the outskirt of Makkah. Standing on it is an essential part of the Hajj for Allaah's Messenger (salu alayhi wasallam) said:"Hajj is Arafah. "The day on which the pilgrims converge in that spot has many virtues: The Prophet (salu alayhi wasallam)said:

"There is no day on which AI/aah frees more slaves from the Fire than the day of Arafah. He comes close, then He praises them to the angels saying: 'what do these (people) want?"(Muslim)

He also said:

"The Shaytan is never seen on a day when he is smaller, more insignificant, more defeated and more annoyed than on the day of Arafah and that is only because of what he sees of mercy coming down and Allaah forgiving great sins. "(Malik)

Muzdalifah

This is a place where the pilgrims are commanded to stay overnight after  leaving Arafah at night. This location IS also referred to as AI-Mash'ar AIHaram which Allaah mentioned in HIs Book, when He said:

"Then when you leave 'Arafat, remember Allaah (by glorifying His Praises, I.e.prayers and invocations) at the Mash'ar AI-Haram."(Q2 [Baqarah]: 198)

History& Excellence of Medina

AI-Medina has the city is now most popularly known is one of the names with which the famous city came to be known after the migration the Prophet Muhammad (sal/al/aahualayhi wasallam). Yaqoot al-Humawee inMujam al-Buldaan (The Encyclopedia of Cities) said: This city has twenty nine names among which are: Taibah, Tabah (both derived from Tayyib,'meaning- that which is good and pure), al-Mahabbah (Affection), AI-Muhabbabah(Beloved), AI-Muharramah (Sacred),AI-Mubaarakah (Blessed).It has been mentioned that the Messenger of(sallallaahu alayhi wasal/am)probably changed its original name Yathrib because the word Tathreeb in Arabic language means blame or to corrupt and to adulterate.

The First Inhabitants of Yathrib

Although Madeenah came to prominence with the introduction of Islam, its roots date back hundreds of years into the pre-Islamic era when it was known as Yathrib. The city had abundant water supplies that fed vast date palms and vegetable gardens. The availability of food and water made Medina an important replenishing point for caravans that plied the commercial routes from the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula along the Red Sea To Syria and Egypt. Its inhabitants sold food to these passing caravans and, over time, became involved in trade.  It is narrated that some of the descendants of Nabiyy Nooh(alayhis-salaam) after the flood had resided in an area which became difficult for them and so a group of them took off towards the west, in search of a new place to live in here they would find good sustenance.

The tribe that came to Yathrib was one known as 'Ubayl who are from the descendants of Amleeq bin Laud bin Shem bin Nooh who are distinguished by their great heights. The 'Amalekites are considered to be Arabs; and infact Imaam at-Tabaree (RAH)considered 'Amleeq their ancestor, nto be the first person to speak Arabic. The water, trees and rocky area of Yathrib appealed to them as  these formed a natural protection for it, so they took residence there.

The Jews in Yathrib

When the Muslims migrated to Yathrib, they found there a number of Jewish tribes; and there is agreement that most of the Jews of Yathrib were the descendants of emigrants who came from Palestine. Some of them took solace there after Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the Kingdom of Judea and killed many of the Jews and enslaved many of them in 586 CEo Other migrations took place when the Romans made an example of them in the year 70 CE, and a gaining the year 132CEoAnd some of these migrants made their home in the area of Yathrib; the first of the Jewish tribes which reached the area of Yathrib were Banu Qurayzah and Banu an-Nadeer, two Jewish tribes from a single ancestor - al-Khazraj bin Suraykh, and then other tribes followed them. Here in Yathrib, they built houses, cultivated the lands and also established marketplaces where they traded their produce.

They also built fortresses mentioned to be about fifty-nine at the time. However, Imaam Ibn Diyaa al-Makkee (RAH) mentioned that some Arab tribes also took residence near at Yathrib and also built fortresses at the time.

Al-Aws and A1-Khazraj

AI-Aws and Al-Khazra] are both tribes from the people of the Kingdom of Saba' in Southern Arabia (ancient Yemen).This Kingdom was put down and its people dispersed on the land after the destruction of their tremendous dam whose like was unknown in history before it. Some of them left for Jordan, others forShaam(great Syria) but AI Aws and AI-Khazraj took solace in Yathrib. They interacted with the Jews over a longtime also increase in wealth and number. Later, the Jewson one hand - Banu Nadeer and Banu Qurayzah and AI-Aws and AIKhazraj on

the other hand agreed to a treaty or accord that would guide their socio-economic interactions. They also had agreements on the matters of mutual security. This relationship continued for generations until the Jews started to feel uncomfortable at the number and wealth of the Arabs. Gripped with fear of the more powerful and richer Jewish tribes reneging on the agreements, AI-Aws and AI-Khazraj stayed more in their homes waiting to be attacked by the Jews. One of the Arabs soon emerged as their leader and they sent messages to some of their relatives else where within the Arabian Peninsula informing them of their condition. A large army pretending not being ready for a battle came to Yathrib to support AI-Aws and AI-Khazraj against their Jewish foes. The Jews became completely subdued from the resultant confrontations and the Arabs gained the upper hand in Yathrib taking over the residences and farms of the Jews and their fortresses. They were a united people before trouble broke out between them and were engaged in a battle that lasted for hundreds of years before the advent of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahualayhi wasallam)!!

The Prophet's Coming to Medina

Twice before the final migration of the Messenger of  (sallallaahualayhi wasallam) to Yathrib, he met with the leaders of AI-Aws and AIKhazraj and in one of the meetings after the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhiwasallam) spoke to them they said to themselves: "You know for sure, by , that he is the Prophet with whom the Jews threaten you. Sodonot let them precede you in coming to him." This was because the Jews would always say to the Arabs in Medina whenever any disagreement occurred between them:

"A Prophet is going to be sent now, his time is near; we will follow him and we will kill you with him as. the people of 'Ad and Iram were killed."AI-Aws and al-Khazra]took the oath of allegiance to protect the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhiwasallam) and his message and at the appointed time, the Messenger(sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ordered his companions to migrate to Medina to meet up with their brothers from among the Ansaar. He (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said

:"Verily, Allaah has made for you brothers and a home in which you will be safe."

On the instructions of His Lord - the most High, the Prophet(sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) also migrated. The people of Medina celebrated greatly, his arrival among them. AIBaraa (RA) said:

"I had not seen the people of al-Madeenah celebrate anything as they celebrated the arrival of Allaah's Messenger."(Bukhari).

Anas bin Maalik (RA)said:

"I never saw a brighter day  than the day on which Allaah's Messenger(sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and AbuBakr (RA) entered Madeenah."(Ahmad).

Therein, he established strong ties of brotherhood among the Muslims, built the Mosque and revelations regarding several other legislation of the religion came in Madeenah and the nation of Islaam took roots.

Religious Significance of Medina

Even neither the rites of hajj nor that of Umrah is performed in Madeenah, still the position the city of Madeenah occupies in the religious devotion of Muslims is still immense. In underlining this importance, Imam Malik bn Anas (RAH) said: "It is the home of migration (Daar al-Hijrah) and the sunnah and" it encompasses the martyrs and Allaah the Almighty, the All-Powerful chose it for His Prophet."

First Political Capital

While the Holy Mosque in Makkah was the spiritual center of lslaam, Madeenah became the administrative hub of the lslaamic state during the Prophet Muhammad's lifetime. It was fromhere that the successful campaign to convince the tribes to abandon idolatry was waged.

First Compilation of the Qur'an

It was also in Medina that the Prophet's Companions compiled the verses of the Holy Qur'an and collected the Hadeeth (teachings and sayings of the Prophet) that would serve as the basis of Shari'ah (Islamic law).

Eemaan Returns to Medina

From Medina, several delegations of Companions went all over the world bearing the flag of eemaan calling men to the worship of One true Lord. Eemaan spread "until it reached from Spain and Morocco in the west through the  Middle East, to the Indian Subcontinent and beyond in the east. Among the great importance of this city is that just as a snake goes forth from its hole in search of food, and then if anything frightens it, it returns to its hole likewise faith went forth from al-Medina and as the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

"Verily, eemaan (Belief)returns and goes back to Madeenah as a snake returns and goes back to its hole (when in danger)." (Bukhari)

DAJJAl Cannot Enter Medina

Dajjal is a creature of  and the trials it will cause the world represents one of the signs of the end of time but Medina will be spared this terror. Allaah's Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

"The terror caused by AI Masih and Dajjal will not enter Madeenah and at that time Madeenah will have seven gates and there will be two angels at each gate guarding them. " (Bukhari)

It is a Sacred Place

The inviolability of Medina is one of its greatest religious significance due to Islamic rulings connected to it. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasal/am) said:

 "Madeenah is a sanctuary from that place to that. It strees should not be cut and no heresy should be innovated nor any sin should be committed in it, and whoever innovates in it an heresy or commits sins (bad deeds), then he will incur the curse of , the angels, and all the people. "(Bukhari)

In yet another hadeeth in the saheehahyn, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

"If I saw gazelles in Medina grazing, I would not startle them "This is a proof that hunting therein and cutting its trees are forbidden. The rule for the sacred places(haram) in Islam is as mentioned by the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) himself: "Its plants may not be cut down, nor may its game be chased, nor may its lost property bepicked up except by one who searches for its owner and it is not right that its trees be cut down, except so that aman may provide fodder for his camel. "(Abu Dawud)

Virtues of the haramain

The Haramain (the two sacred cities) standout as the best cities on the surface of the earth both in its religious significance and the divine blessings that are associated with both holy places. The following are some of the virtues that stand the Haramain out and above all other cities of the world: Virtues of Makkah Abu Hurayrah (RA) had reported that: The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhiwasallam) stood at al-Hazwarah (in Makah) and said:

"I know that you are the best place on Allaah's earth and the most beloved of it to Allaah if not that your natives expelled me from you I would not have left."(Tirmidhee).

If the Secured City is not the best of His land (which he created), he - the Mighty and Exalted would not swear by it in two portions in His noble Book

"And by this city of security(Makkah)" (Q95[Tin]: 3)

and "I swear by this city (Makkah)".

Also, there is no where on earth whose visit and circumambulating a house in it is obligatory upon theone who is able but Makkah. And there is not anywhere on the earth's surface where any object is to be kissed or pointed to such that by it sins are forgiven except the Hajaral-Aswad (the black stone in Makkah at the Ka'bah) and the Rukn al-Yamaanee (the Yemeni corner).And from its uniqueness is its being the Qiblah (direction faced during acts of worship like Salaah)for all ofthe people of the earth, there is no other Qiblah on the surface of the earth other than it.

And from its uniqueness also is that it is prohibited to turn the face or back towards it while emptying the bowels asides other places on earth. From what points to its uniqueness again is that Allaah- the most High mentions it to be the 'Mother of the Cities' all the cities came owing to it, are offshoots of it and as such it  should not have an equal in any of the cities. For it is as the Messenger(sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)informed regarding Soorah at-Faatihah (the Opening) that it is themother of the Qur'an and as such it does not have an equal in any of the divine books... "

Virtues of Medina

The city of Madeenah is one that is beloving to Allaah and His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). The love of Allaah's Messenger (sallallaahu alayhiwasallam) for this city can be seen in all his sayings regarding it and in his supplications for it. He said:

"Allaah! Make al-Madeenah beloved to us, as we love Makkah or more. 0Allaah! Make it conducive to health and bless us in its Sa' and in its Mudd and transfer its fever to Juhfah."(Bukhaari and Muslim) In another narration from Anas bn Maalik (RA),the Prophet (sal/al/aahu alayhiwasallam) said:

"0 Allaah! Bestow upon al-Madeenah twice the blessings which you bestowed upon Makkah."(Bukhaari and Muslim).

The Messenger (sallallaahu alayhiwasallam) dispraised those who cause fear to its inhabitants saying:

"Whoever plots against the people of al-Madeenah, will dissolve as salt dissolves in water." (Bukhaari).

He also said:"Whoever caused the people of al-Madeenah to fear by oppressing them, Allah will cause him to fear and’s curse will be upon him."(Majmau' az-Zawaid).

From its excellence also is that it expels the evil people from it. As for the good person, he stands out and remains therein for it is reported on the authority of Jabir (RA) that a Bedouin came to the Prophet(sallallaahu alayhi wasallom) and swore allegiance to him. The next day he came suffering from a severe fever and said: "cancel my oath of allegiance," but Allaah's Messenger(sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) refused three times and said:

"AI-Madeenah is like the bellows which expels its impurities and p'urifies what is good therein." (Bukhaari and Muslim)

Also, no one from among the sinners is expelled except that Allaah replaces him with a better person as contained in another authentic narration from Abu Hurayrah (RA) said that:

"time will come for the people(of Medina) when a man will invite his cousin and any other near relation: 'Come (and settle) at (a place) where living is easy,' but Madeenah will be better for them, did they know it! By Him in Whose Hand is my life, none Masjid an-Nabawee The mosque of the Prophet situated in Medina contributes in no small measure to the spiritual significance of the city of Medina. The mosque is the second most sacred mosques in Islam and prayer therein is better than six months of prayer in any other mosque (except the sacred Mosque in Makkah).

It is reported on the authority of Arqam (RA) that he prepared himself to travel to Baitul-Maqdis and after he had prepared, he went to the Prophet (salualayhi wa sallam) in order to bid farewell to him and he said to him:"where are intending to go?" He said: "I wish to travel to Baitul-Maqdis." The Prophet (salualayhi wa sallam) asked him: 'And why?" He said: "in order to pray there." He said:

"(Prayer) here is a thousand times better than there."(Tabaranee)

The Mimbar of the Prophet What has been said regarding the mimbar (pulpit) of the Prophet contributes to the religious significance of the city of Madeenah. The Prophet (salu alayhi wasal/am) said:

"what lies between my house and my pulpit is a Garden from the Gardens of Paradise and my pulpit is over my pool. "(Bukhari)

In explaining the meaning of a Garden from the Gardens of Paradise' some scholars said it is like a Garden from among the Garden of Paradise due to the sending down of mercy and the attainment of happiness which comes from remembrance of Allaah there. Some others say it means that worship there leads to Paradise. Others follow the apparent meaning which is that the place will be transferred to Paradise on the Day of Resurrection.(Fat'hul Bari) 

Another evidence of the great status of the mimbar is that anyone who swore to a lie close to it, is punished with a more severe chastisement. This is based on the hadeeth reported in Sunan Abu Oawud in the hadeeth of Jabir in a marfu' form:

"None will swear next to this my pulpit to a sinful oath, even upon a greensiwak, except that he prepares his place in the Fire, (or he said) he must enter Fire." (Abu Dawud). 

The hadeeth is reported with another chain of reliable narrators on the authority of Abu Umamah bn Tha'iabah (RA) in a marfu' form that:"Whoever swore a false oath next to this my pulpit, in order to acquire the property of a Muslim man, the curse of Allah and that of the angels and al/ of mankind will be upon him and Allah will accept neither obligatory acts nor supererogatory acts from him (on the Day of Resurrection). "(Nasai) 

Masjid Quba' When Allaah's Messenger (salallahualayhi wa sallam) migrated to al- Medina, he stopped in Quba (a village near Madeenah, now one of its districts) at the house of Kulthumbn AI-Hadm and he built a mosque and he took part in the building of it with the Muslims. Owing to the religious significance of this mosque, Ibn Umar (RA) used to visit it every Saturday following the sunnah of the Prophet. He narrated: "The Prophet used to come to Quba' Mosque every Saturday, either walking or riding." (alMustadrak) The Messenger of Allaah said:

"Who ever went out until he came to this mosque, Quba' Mosque and prayed therein, it would be equivalent to perform Umrah (I.e. in reward)." (AIMustadrak)

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited