Finally I have managed to write up some brief info about my trip to Saudi. Forgive me for the lack of order and sequence in my writing, I only had a mobile to note down a few lines on. For barakah and to increase the zeal of readers to visit these places, I have added relevant ahadith in and also give some general nasiha where appropriate.
Whatever good is in it is from Allah swt alone, and any wrong is only from my own shortcomings.
Following the excitement to be visiting the Prophets Masjid, when I present myself in front of the blessed grave of Muhammad (pbuh) the mind races through the fact that ‘I am now in the company of the best of all creation, mercy to mankind and jinn, beloved of Allah, seal of all Prophets.’ The memory of the experience of Ta’if quickly surfaces and I realise what injustice this sinful one (me) has done to himself and islam, but how fortunate I am to have been invited by Allah to visit these holy places again. I was also overcome with similar feelings when standing in front of the resting place of Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) and Umar (R.A).
The Prophet pbuh said:
“Whoever visits me after my death is like he who has visited me in my life.” (Tabrãni, Dãra Qutni)
“Whoever visits my grave, my intercession becomes obligatory for him.” (Dãra Qutni)
“Whoever visits me and has no other motive, has a right over me that I intercede on his behalf.” (Tabrãni)
“One Salãh in my masjid is more superior than a thousand Salãh in any other masjid except for Al-Masjidul Harãm.” (Bukhãri, Muslim)
“He who performs forty Salãh in my masjid, in such a way that he does not miss a single Salãh, Allah prescribes for him freedom from the fire, freedom from punishment and freedom from hypocrisy.” (Ahmad)
With the above ahadith in mind fresh impetus and motivation is given to try and present myself to recite Salams to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and spend as much time in the Prophet’s Masjid as much as possible. The effect this has on the heart and mind is beautiful and so amazing...in the space of just 48 hours after leaving UK working life, one can completely forget about back home, work, etc. The timetable of ones daily life obviously changes here and this can be used advantageously if one is keen to maximise the rewards available to them from this journey. For example, Tahajjud adhan can be heard in most hotels around the haram shareef, one can as a result reduce the amount of sleep they have daily as well becoming punctual and frequent in performing this additional optional salah. Immediately afterwards one can take benefit of this time of night to make sincere dua to Allah for all ones needs. Extra time during the day may be used to spend quality time with the family.
Even when one walking through the blessed streets and alley ways of Madinah, I remember the words of a Shaykh saying that Durood should be constantly recited and think to myself that I am now placing my foot on the very ground where the companions would reside and walk, subhanallah!
Both for the visit to Madinah and arrival Makkah it is very beneficial to know at least some history about them. Not only does this increase our love and respect for them, but also increases our devotion and sincerity in our ibadaat and actions. Knowledge of these two virtuous and historic cities should be attained in our lives as Muslims anyway and not just merely for the sake of those visiting them. I found taking along a simple book on the life of the last Prophet a good way of jogging the memory of more detailed information previously covered in duroos.
At this point I’ll mention 2 amazing books which cover the above mentioned knowledge in good depth, and have some beautiful pictures to complement the text.
History of Makkah and History of Madinah both by Dr Muhammad Ilyas Abdul Ghani.
I also found the duroos given by Maulana Sindhi (available to listen at http://www.edars.com/#SheikhSindh) on the Prophet’s Masjid and Makkah to be extremely beneficial, in general and more particularly for this trip to Saudi.
Inshallah, to be continued...