Wednesday 24 February 2016

Makkah Part Three: Masjid Aisha + The Road to Madinah: 8 February 2016.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Welcome to part three of my Umrah posts. You can see parts one and two here and here. In today's post, we sadly leave Makkah and head out onto the long road to Madinah. But not before visiting one of my new favourite mosques - Masjid Aisha.

Monday 8 February: Last breakfast in Makkah --> keema with green beans + steamed rice + bread + spicy scrambled eggs + pizza + samosa + roasted potatoes + salad.
A prayer sticker stuck in one of the lifts:
I ask forgiveness from Allah, the One whom there is no deity worthy of worship except He, the Ever-Living and Sustainer and I repent to Him.
Back up to our floor!
And, a final look out at the beautiful view before leaving.
Narrated Ali bin Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him):
I was with the Prophet (peace be upon him) in Makkah. We departed to one of its suburbs, and no mountain or tree was before him, except that it said:
'Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah'.
When they had gone a little way beyond the precincts of Makkah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) halted his camel and looking back, he said:
Of all Allah's earth, you are the dearest place to me and the dearest to Allah, and had not my people driven me out from you, I would not have left you.
{Muhammad by Martin Lings}
We were slightly delayed leaving Makkah - the road outside the hotel ended up being closed due to the Zuhr salaah taking place at the same time.
Alhamdulillah after a little wait, we were off!
And, heading towards Madinah!
Keeping a look out for the clock tower though!
As we drove further and further away, it grew smaller and smaller in the distance.
Passing more Madinah signs, plenty of palm trees and flowers ...
... we reached Masjid Aisha (also known as Masjid Taneem).
Walking through a children's play-area and more palm trees, we reached the beautiful mosque.
The mosque is the miqat for people living in Makkah who want to perform Umrah. They must come here, get into the state of Ihram and then go and do Umrah.
It also marks the end of the Haram boundary (sacred boundary) of Makkah.
It is named after one of the Prophet's (peace be upon him) wives: Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her).
She came to this place to put on her Ihram for Umrah as mentioned in this Hadith.
After praying our Zuhr prayer, we came out for a wander.
Just as it marks the end of the boundary, the mosque also marks the beginning.
Even though it was around one in the afternoon, the weather was absolutely perfect. There was a light breeze and so we went into the gardens surrounding the mosque.
I had heard so much about this mosque and so was really glad to have been able to visit it - and on one of the best days, weather-wise!
Of course, the obligatory cats were stalking the place too!
I ask forgiveness from Allah, the One whom there is no deity worthy of worship except He, the Ever-Living and Sustainer and I repent to Him.

After sitting for a while on the cool marble benches, we headed back through the play-area.

And, back on the road! With a final Makkah ice cream - it would have been rude not to!

Sadly leaving Makkah behind, we properly got onto the road to Madinah!

The distance between Makkah and Madinah is about 200 miles. For us, usually a five to six hour trip in the car with a few breaks in between.

We passed plenty of camels.
Bedouin tents.
Old ruins.
We passed the place where this incident took place:
When the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) emigrated from Makkah to Madinah, he passed by the tent of Umm Ma'bad. She witnessed some of his miracles, then swore fealty to him in Islam before he departed. When her husband came back, he was surprised to find with her a quantity of milk. He asked her, "Where have you got this from, O Umm Ma'bad, while our sheep is alone and untouched and we have no milk cow at home?" She said, "Nay, but by Allah, a blessed man passed by our way and did so and so". He said, "Describe him to me, O Umm Ma'bad".
She said,
“I saw a man who is handsome, of glowing countenance, and of good proportions, with neither a large stomach nor a small head. He is smart of appearance, with balanced features, deep black eyes, and long eyelashes. His voice is not coarse. He has a long neck, a full rounded beard, and thick eyebrows that meet each other. When he is silent, he is stately and composed, and when he speaks, his appearance is impressive.
“He is the most beautiful and striking man from a distance and the best and most beautiful from close up. He is well spoken, clear in what he says, saying neither too much nor too little, his words flowing forth like a perfect string of pearls.
“He is neither too tall nor overly short, a stately man in the company of two other stately men (one of them was Abu Bakr RA), and he is the most prominent among them and the most well-respected.
“He has companions who surround him. If he speaks, they listen to him, and if he commands, they hasten to fulfill his command. He is well served and attended, though he is neither stern nor argumentative.”
On we drove, passing by mountains.
Tiny mosques.
And, thinking about the Hijrah of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

We stopped at a service station to pray the Asr prayer.

At a tiny mosque!
Guys, it was so peaceful here. The sky was the most perfect blue, the sun wasn't too hot and apart from the occasional lorry/coach rumble, the air was filled with the sound of tweeting birds.

A beautiful reminder pinned in the mosque about Ayatul Kursi:
Abu Umamah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
Whoever reads Ayatul Kursi after every obligatory prayer, nothing prevents him from entering Paradise except death (i.e. that he is still alive).

Surrounded by mountains and the never-ending blue sky, this mosque was perfect.
As the afternoon wore on, we got back onto the road.
On towards Madinah we go!
Soon, the sun began to set.
We stopped at another tiny mosque.
This time, it was surrounded by a huge palm tree garden.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
There is a tree among the trees which is similar to a Muslim (in goodness), and that is the date palm tree.
{Sahih Al-Bukhari // Book of Food}
The sun finally set.
And, the call to prayer rang out from the mosque.
We prayed Maghrib.
And, set off back on the road. We reached the blessed city of Madinah just as the Isha prayer began. It was so lovely to step out of the car and hear the beautiful recitation ringing out on the streets of Madinah. The best welcome! The Imam recited verses from Surah Al-A'raf:
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Indeed, your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne. He covers the night with the day, (another night) chasing it rapidly; and (He created) the sun, the moon, and the stars, subjected by His command. Unquestionably, His is the creation and the command, blessed is Allah, Lord of the worlds.
Call upon your Lord in humility and privately; indeed, He does not like transgressors.
And cause not corruption upon the earth after its reformation. And invoke Him in fear and hope. Indeed, the mercy of Allah is near to the doers of good.
And it is He who sends the winds as good tidings before His mercy until, when they have carried heavy rain clouds, We drive them to a dead land and We send down rain therein and bring forth thereby (some) of all the fruits. Thus will We bring forth the dead; perhaps you may be reminded.
And the good land - its vegetation emerges by permission of its Lord; but that which is bad - nothing emerges except sparsely, with difficulty. Thus do We diversify the signs for a people who are grateful.
{Surah Al-A'raf // The Heights, Verses 54-58}

I hope you enjoyed this post. Join me next time when we are in Madinah - the city of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). I can promise plenty more ice cream, alhamdulillah.

Keep me in your duas please,


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