Monday, 2 January 2012

4th Dhul Hijjah 1432 (Monday 31st October 2011)

Brother Adeel who I met at my new job a month ago was also staying at my hotel and we met up for Tahajjud prayer around 3.30am. It was great to see him, how Allah swt brought us together in no other than in Medinah. Allah is the best of planners. We stayed right up to the end of Fajr where we embarked on going to the Ar-Rawdah, however this was closed, as people from Fajr where still in there. So we aborted this mission and ended up going back to our hotel for breakfast.

Al Muntada has their first group session at 11am. We were briefed by Shaykh Abu Hanifah on the rights of Umrah. We were also provided a Qur’an by Saheeh International as a gift from Al Muntada. Alhamdulillah. As dhuhr was approaching I went to the Masjid on my own.

Medinah as I recall when I first encountered this city 16 years ago, has not lost much of its appeal, it’s tranquilly is there for all to see and feel. It truly is a welcoming city like no other, and this has been the case right from the days of the Prophets (PBUH) Hijra (migration) to this wonderful city where the Ansar (the people of Medinah) who were so welcoming of the Prophet (PBUH).
After Dhuhr, we were looking for the date market, so we could buy some blessed Ajwa dates (Prophet PBUH favourite dates).

Ajwa (عجوة) is a soft dry variety of date fruit from Saudi Arabia. It is cultivated at Medinah Monawara. A delightfully soft and fruity date with fine texture. The Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, “Whoever has seven Ajwa dates every morning he will not be harmed on that day by poison or magic.” [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (5445) (5768) (5769) (5779)].

The Messenger (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, “Ajwa dates are from paradise.” [Tirmidhee (2068) he said hasan Saheeh and it was authenticated by Shaikh al-Albaani].

I went near the entrance of the Ar Rawdan in time for Asr Salaat, and to my astonishment, I could see the barriers to the Ar Rawdah being opened up by the security guards. This meant one thing; I needed to put myself in a place so I could be fortunate to enter this blessed area. And Alhamdulillah 15 minutes later, a 100 meter sprint and the crowd put their breaks on, and looked down at the carpet beneath them; it was the green carpet that the Ar –Rawdan is so re-known for. I was so blessed to have done Nafl salaat and prayed by Sunnat and Fard Asr prayers at this blessed area between the minbar and the Prophets house. I could have stayed for Maghrib but thought it best to give another brother an opportunity to pray here too.

Brother Adeel had advised the date market would be close to Gate 6A. (Tip#2: This would be further to the left of Gate 6A after two crossings; around 10 minutes walk from the gate and should cost around 50-60 Riyals/kilo). See for further information on Ajwa dates.
After Asr I went to the Baqi Cemetary which is located south east of the Prophets Mosque.

Baqi Cemetary
Literally "al-Baqi" means a tree garden. It is also known as "Jannat al-Baqi" due to its sanctity, since in it are buried many of our Prophet's relatives and companions.
The first companion buried in al-Baqi was Uthman b. Madhoon who died on the 3rd of Sha'ban in the 3rd year of Hijrah. The Prophet (s) ordered certain trees to be felled, and in its midst, he buried his dear companion, placing two stones over the grave.

On the following years, the Prophet's son Ibrahim, who died in infancy and over whom the Prophet (s) wept bitterly, was also buried there. The people of Medinah then began to use that site for the burial of their own dead, because the Prophet (s) used to greet those who were buried in al-Baqi by saying, "Peace be upon you, O abode of the faithful! God willing, we should soon join you. O' Allah, forgive the fellows of al-Baqi".

The site of the burial ground at al-Baqi was gradually extended. Nearly seven thousand companions of the Holy Prophet (s) were buried there, not to mention those of the Ahlul Bayt (a).

Among other relatives of the Prophet (s) who were buried at al-Baqi are:
- All of the wives of Muhammad (also known as Mothers of the Believers), including Hafsa, Zainab etc., except for Khadijah bint Khuwaylid and Maymuna bint al-Harith,
- His daughters: Roqayyah and Fatima Zahra (in an unknown grave as she didn't want the people who hurt her to know where she was buried)
- Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, uncle of Muhammad
- Fatima bint Hizam, known as Umm ul-Banin, who married Ali after the death of Fatimah; mother of four children who died defending Hussain ibn Ali in Al-Taff Battle in Karbala
- Hasan ibn Ali, grandson of Muhammad, son of Fatimah and Ali. The Prophet said that Hasan and Husayn bin Ali are the Masters of Youth of Paradise,
- ‘Alī ibn Ḥusayn, known as Zayn al-Abidin, grandson of Fatima Zahra who is the only adult male that survived Al-Taff Battle because he was sick and couldn't fight.
- Muhammad al-Baqir, son of ‘Alī ibn Ḥusayn, the fifth Imam according to Shia,
- Ja’far as-Sadiq, son of Muhammad al-Baqir, the sixth Imam according to Shia
- His aunts Safiya and Aatika, and his aunt Fatima bint al-Asad, the mother of Imam Ali (a).
- The third caliph Uthman was buried outside al-Baqi, but with later extensions, his grave was included in the area.
- In later years, great Muslim scholars like Malik bin Anas and many others, were buried there too.

Thus, did al-Baqi become a well-known place of great historic significance to all Muslims.

After Esha, Akluma and I met up for dinner. She spent some quality time with the Swansea crew and I met up with Adeel and his chums from Al Hiddayya. We managed to sort out some misunderstanding between the two of us as all couples do, InshaAllah this would prove to bring us closer during the rest of the Hajj journey.

In the evening I paid for the Qurbani for my wife and on behalf of my maternal grandmother, my “nani”, Shaban Bibi, who I was performing the Hajj Tamattu for. We provided Al Muntada with the money who would use a 3rd party agent to slaughter on behalf of us. It cost 410 Riyals/sheep (around 70GBP).

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