|Outside of the Prophet's Mosque in 'The Enlightened City', Madinah|
Al-Madinah is the second-holiest city in Islam after Makkah, site of the Kaaba, which is located about a four-hour drive away. Millions of Muslims from around the world visit Makkah each year to perform the hajj pilgrimage that takes place once every year, or umrah, a smaller pilgrimage that can be conducted throughout the year. During their visits, Muslims typically spend time at the Prophet's Mosque in Al-Madinah as well, to pay their respects and pray in congregation at a mosque that can easily accommodate a million worshippers at a time.
|Exquisite interior view of the Prophet's Mosque in Al-Madinah|
|Worshippers gather outside the mosque ahead of early-morning prayer, Fajr|
The following morning I went even earlier and it was a similar experience; watching the streams of people walking from nearby hotels was truly uplifting and inspiring. As you walk through the mosques massive courtyard and within its magnificent walls, you hear an array of languages being spoken. I sat with, prayed with and befriended people from all over the world – Turkey, Morocco, Malaysia, Pakistan, Indonesia, South Africa, Europe, Iran, Egypt – and so many others. The days in Madinah revolve around prayers and dua’a (supplications for loved ones), reflection, contemplation and giving thanks.
I also visited Al-Rawdah, the small area situated between the location of the Prophet’s last house and the pulpit where he would lead prayers prior to his death, an area which the Prophet described as “one of the gardens of Paradise”. It was a humbling, meditative, calming weekend – excellent way to rejuvenate my faith. I hope you enjoy my photos!
|Exquisite interior design of Prophet's mosque|
|Slightly pointed arches atop white marble columns throughout the mosque|
|The massive mosque can accommodate a million worshippers|
|Women walking toward Al Rawdah, a garden from Paradise|
|Rows upon rows of beautiful arches|
|Exterior of Prophet's Mosque after the evening Isha prayer|
|Three of the mosque's 10 minarets|
|After the evening prayer, Isha|
|At prayer times, tens of thousands gather inside and outside for worship|
|People gather in the courtyard between prayers|
|Elderly man sells siwak, a teeth-cleaning twig, in courtyard|