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Monday, May 3, 2010

In the Peace of Madinah

As-salaam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

  I just returned back from the most amazing trip of my life Mashallah Alhamdulillah. We visited Madinah and then went for Umrah in Makkah. I will start with Madinah inshallah.

There is so much to tell but I will do my best to keep it short.

After arriving to our hotel, we whipped to our rooms in time to freshen up and make wudu for Magreb prayer. Then we headed down to pray in Masjid Al-Nabawi (Mosque of the Prophet) 

We stayed in Dar Al-Taqwa, which is right at the entrance to the masjid grounds, closest to the main women's entrance (near the men's entrance as well)

It was crowded and since my SIL and I had to take our MIL in a wheelchair, we ended up praying in the outdoor grounds, on the tiled floor. As prayer started I started feeling emotional and started tearing up. Then we went into sujood and the prayer rug was slipping and I had to use all my strength to keep the prayer rug from slipping away so I lost the emotions I was feeling LOL

All in all Madinah is peaceful and relaxing to be in Mashallah :)

One thing that would maybe surprise some is that I decided to not wear niqab over there – I started wearing niqab when I moved to UAE because of all of the staring I got. While in Madinah and Makkah, some men would stare but all in all the men behaved pretty well MashaAllah :)

The whole masjid, inside and out is beautiful Mashallah! I didn't know about this till I got there, but there is a place in the masjid named “Rawdah” which is from Prophet Muhammad's (salallahu aleyhi wa salaam) tomb to his pulpit and while the rugs in the masjid are red, the Rawdah area has green rugs--and it is a part of Jannah.

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported:
Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: That which exists between my house and my pulpit is a garden from the gardens of Paradise, and my pulpit is upon my cistern.
Sahih Muslim, Book #7, Hadith #3206

To visit this place, there are certain specified times of the day that is for women only. The family thought it was only once a day (at least it was when they went before) but now it is open several times a day for women (though it could be because it was busy), Alhamdulillah. My SIL went first on her own and came back talking about how aggressive the Arab women are. She was pushed and shoved and while trying to pray she was elbowed by a woman and was in tears from the pain!

I am going to make my story short because it will get too long to tell everything—but I went on my own the next morning when I coulnd't get a hold of my MIL and SIL at the time we said we would go. They were separating the women in groups of Pakistanis, Arabs, and Indonesians and I got sent to the Arab group since I “spoke Arabic” which was only me telling the sister working there “ana Amreekiya” (I'm American) LOL

It was just crazy how aggressive and impatient some of the Arab sisters were being.They were complaining about the Indonesian group being ahead of us and when they saw a couple Arab sisters slip into the Indonesian group, they tried to force their way past the sisters working hard to keep the groups separated. But they were held back.

Then as we moved forward all these Arab sisters around me started crying and making dua'a and saying things like “Ya Rabb” I still didn't know where I was so I didn't get emotional, plus I was concentrating on not getting pushed to the ground by all of the pushing and shoving going on around me--then one sister started hitting my back and told me to move forward –like she couldn't see I had no room to move!!-- so I got mad and turned to hear and said, “Sabri enti! Fee hareem jidam-nee! Sabri!” (patience! There are women in front of me! Patience!) 

Then as we were let in, the crown just starting fighting to get a prayer spot and I heard my SIL calling for me—she and my MIL had come shortly after me, but since my MIL was in a wheelchair, they came through a separate place and got through quicker than I did. She told me to pray quickly where she was—it was the area reserved for those in wheelchairs.

Then my SIL pointed where the tombs of Prophet Muhammad (salallahu aleyhi wa salaam), Abu Bakr(radiallahu anhu) and Umar (radiallahu anhu), were, and I quickly said “salaam aleikum” in my heart toward the tombs.

But all in all, as the whole thing happened so quickly, I didn't feel like I got to take it all in. So the next morning I went again but as they were calling out the different groups I told them “Indonesia” and they let me go with the Indonesian group LOL

One sister working there in the Rawdah area stopped me and asked:
“enti Indonesia?” (Indonesian?)
I said “La, Amreekiya” (no, American)
She said “La, Indonesia”
I replied “La Amreekiya”
and again she said, “Indonesia”

so then I explained that I am American but my mother is Japanese and another sister working who was listening came up and said “Enti abooch Amreeki?” (your father is American?) and I said “yes”

then guess what the next question was?? guess!!!!

she asked “enti Muslim?” (are you Muslim?)

I was shocked she would ask that standing where I was but I just told her “Yes” and she said “MashaAllah :)

So this time I took my time and took it all in, prayed, made dua'a and got emotional and tearing up. But one sister working there saw me and I was embarrassed (I don't like to cry in front of people LOL) I got up and went to another area of the masjid outside Rawdah and prayed and made dua'a. Then I sat and read Qur'an and just looked around to see all the beauty inside the masjid MashaAllah :)

 On a last note, I need to find out who the Imam was while we were there because I just absolutely LOVED his recitation of Qur'an MashaAllah.  A new favorite of mine  :)

here are some photos—inshallah you enjoy them :)

Here is the view from my SIL, BIL, and MIL's suite--all the windows of the hotels around have this fince thingy on the windows (I suppose so people don't try to reach out of their windows to take photos) so I couldn't get the best shots...
 In the last few images you can see part of the green dome which is where the tomb of Prophet Muhammad (salallahu aleyhi wa salaam) is.

This photo above is one of the men's entrances

 Here is a photo of Rawdah (this is not my photo--it is a photo from Wikipedia, used under this Creative Commons License)


  1. Assalam alaikum.

    The pics are beautiful mashalalh!

    I'm so happy for you! And a bit jealous- I've never been to Madinah, everybody says it's amazing and a totally different experience than Makkah.

    Thanks for sharing your experience! Why would they separate sisters in groups according to nationality? Why would women be so pushy? I'm not sure I want to go there- they'd walk all over me! Alhamdulillah you survived :)

    Your emotional describing made me emotional! I remember doing umrah in Makkah- I could not pray ("those" days), so I had to be outside waiting for my husband and seeing all those many rows of men and women outside the Mosque praying together was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen and experienced.

    Your conversation:
    She said “La, Indonesia”
    I replied “La Amreekiya” Is funny! lol

    I look forward to your post about Makkah! :)

  2. As salaamu alaikum Sister Twizzle!!!!!!

    I 'missed' you!!! :)

    You know, I had no idea where you had gone, but when Sr. Texan had mentioned that you were off somewhere, I thought that just maybe you had gone for Ummrah, but it took me awhile! hehe

    I AM SO ENVIOUS!! The good kind - hope that it is allowed in this case!

    The Rawdah! I 'discovered' this about Masjid An-Nabawi after coming across a beautiful video series covering the history behind the masjid and the changes it has gone through. There is a beautiful story at the end that is just so beautiful, it will make you cry more. Here is the brief post I did on it (video included):

    The pictures are amazing ma'sha'allah. I was tearing up as I saw them - yes, we see pictures of Hajj/Ummrah all over - but these were so personal and from an intimate viewpoint, so . . just made it even more special. I just hope Allah (swt) Calls my mother and I there soon. I've had a beloved aunt of my mine go for Hajj the year before last and another uncle a few years before that. They didn't get to spend as much time in Madinah, but that is one thing I want to do for sure if our time comes.

    Of course, I am so very happy for you dear sister - May Allah (swt) Bless you and your family, Protect all of you and accept your Ummrah from you. Ameen!!!

    Can't wait to hear more!

    Your adoring lil bro in Islam :)

  3. Oh, also - the pushing and shoving - that's really too bad, but yeah I hear a lot about that when I meet people on their return . . .insha'allah, people should be considerate when on Hajj/Ummrah.

    LOOOOL @ the conversation with the Indonesian sister.

    As for being asked whether you are Muslim - sadly, that happens to converts. The example that always pops into my head when I hear such an account is that of Br. Malcolm X. You would think, given the rules that only Muslims are aloud into the environs of Makkah (I'm assuming the same for Madinah, but somebody please correct me if this is not true), that regardless of what they might think about someone there, by default, they are Muslim. Sorry you had to experience that sis.

    Again, beautiful post!

  4. Wa'alaikumusalam, Mashallah beautiful pictures, May Allah accept your umrah. Ameen Jazakillah khair for sharing. I know how you feel about the pushiness I got sat on while I was there(Rawdah) joke it hurt so bad. lol but your conversation was amusing but a little sad I mean obviously your Muslim as you are in the Masjid no?!

  5. Alhamdulilah you're back. I missed you like crazy. Alhamdulilah you called me asap when arriving. I got all the nice beautiful details by phone. May Allah accept your ummrah. ya RUBB. Next time it would be nice if we can all go together. It would be very emotional. I cried just seeing your gorgeous pictures. (((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))))) i miss you. So happy for you. :X :X :X

  6. wa alikom salam

    Waaaaaaaaahhh, I wrote a big post and the server went on time out!!! stupid uae net.. Anyways, alhamdulilah I am happy I got to hear it first hand. Very emotional. May Allah accept your ummrah ameen

    Next time (insha'a'Allah) we should go together with Om A and Saimah and kasey. It would be a emotional experience. I think we can work something out like that. don't you?

    The pictures made me tear up. :X

  7. Asalam Alaykum, mashAllah tabarakAllah I am so happy you got to go and I can not wait to go. Great post and nice pictures mashAllah..InshAllah you are well..

  8. Asalamu aliakum Twizzle,
    Isn't it amazing, though? Going to Madinah <3 I went this year too and it was just amazing. In fact, I'm trying to convince my daddyo to take us this weekend (I'm in KSA, but we live close to Mecca). Anyways, I so know what you mean about the pushing and whatnot. I wrote a whole 'thing' about that and submitted to Muslimas Oasis but I'm not sure if UmmHend is going to put it up or's just so disrespectful and shocking that we'd be pushing each other/fighting in front of the Prophet's grave (Sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam).

    OMG I had to "WHAT" at the 'are you Muslim"? LOL. Like seriously?

    Hey, when did you do Umrah, btw? I was there not this weekend but the weekend before ;) May Allah accept all of your worship.

    Beautiful pictures. How I want to go back <3

  9. as-salaam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

    thank you for the comments everyone!! inshallah tomorrow when I get a chance I will properly reply to each of y'all! :D

    sorry I have been busy and just approving comments to be published from my cell phone!! :D

  10. Oh Mashallah! This is why you were absent from the blog.

    Inshallah your umrah is accepted and you have a new sense of faith.

  11. as-salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah,

    Alice, yes, it is a totally different experience in Madinah than it is in Makkah! :D

    you said:
    "Why would they separate sisters in groups according to nationality? Why would women be so pushy?"

    the Indonesian sisters would get crushed by the Arab sisters, thats why!! LOL ;;)

    MuslimFirst-oh, Jazakallah khair! I will inshallah go check that link out tomorrow :)

    and inshallah you and your mother will get to go soon. it is an amazing experience Mashallah :) and yes, I know the kind of "envy" you are talking about--its the "oh, I want to go too!!" kind :D

    That was funny when the sister asked if I was Muslim... just I had heard of sisters wearing hijab inside masjids being asked that question and thought it was ridiculous... then there I was in Masjid an-Nabawi, in Rawdah and to be asked LOL

    Amira--Jazakallah khair! oh no you got sat on in Rawdah??? you poor thing!! I wouldn't have imagined something like that happening in such a holy place, but I saw it with my own eyes how crazy people get--and there are signs before entering to not push and shove!! It gets craaaazy there Subhanallah!

    Texan in UAE--that would be a dream come true if we could ALLLLLLL be there at the same time!! inshallah it happens one day!!

    Noor--inshallah you get to go soon!! at least you are already in Saudi and won't need to get a visa!! I applied first for an Ummrah visa and the guy at the Saudi consulate said it will take too long and to just get a visit visa--which they gave me quickly and its funny how it says I will be travelling with my husband so-and-so :D

    Sarira- oh, sister, what a blessing to be able to live so close to Makkah!! the weekend was BUSY over there because a lot of Saudis came down since they were off of work :D

    inshallah UmmHend publishes your article... it would be nice for sisters to have a heads up of how the pushing and shoving happens.

    I was in Makkah from April 27th to May 1st :D

    wouldn't that be funny if our eyes met (even if we don't know each other) while we were there???? :D

    ultra[blue]- jazakallah khair! yeah, I tried to get online while I was over there to do a blog post but we were busy the whole time :)

    I will post about my Ummrah in the next couple of days inshallah but yes, I do have a new sense of faith, Alhamdulillah!

  12. as salaam alaikum, mashaAllah I loved reading this post. I was getting emotional too at your emotional points, LOL. I was saddened though to read about the action of the Arab sisters. You would think that they would have patience knowing that they are in a holy place. SubhanAllah.

    Alhamdulilah you got back safely.

    May Allah accept the Umrah of you and the ones who went with you! ♥

  13. salaam! thanks for sharing this experience - i'm totally mystified by the photos. You and Old School Hejabi with her recent post on umrah (, are both inspiring me to get down to business in a more serious way...

  14. Wa Alaykum Salam,

    Ahhh MashaAllah you came to Madinah (My home) I just actually did the same thing as you (I think the call it sayara or something like that) and was also pushed and shoved. :) I think they let the Indonesian groups go first because they're here with Umrah groups and are on a schedule to visit other Islamic points here in Madinah. MashaAllah what a lovely view you all had, we always stay at the Oberoi (next door to where you stayed) but never had such a nice view. :)


  15. Loved this post!!! You, and all those who have been to visit our beloved Prophet(saws) are sooo fortunate!!! It is one of my biggest dreams to go visit... Yah Alah!!! Thank you so much for sharing your experience here... and now that I know how the Arab ladies are, I'll make sure to get into whichever group is NOT the Arab one.. ;)) I wonder what the ladie was expecting you to say.. "No, I'm not Muslim"... 8-} BTW... I love these 'widggets'.. may I copy the menu-bar?! Wa Salaams :)

  16. salaam aleikum,

    dust n roses-sorry to have published and replies so late... I have been out of it for months when it comes to the blog world... inshallah you get to go to umrah soon :)

    ananymous/Zelia, again, I am sorry for the lateness.. I don't even remember the hotels anymore and their names that were around us... we chose the place we did because my MIL is disabled and the entrance/exit of our hotel was right in front of the entrance to the grounds of the masjid leading to the womens' side :)

    UmmUmarNY--inshallah you get to visit soon :) yes, yes, you may copy the menu bar sis :)