Three Reasons Why You Should Visit Madinah
Whether you are a Muslim pilgrim or just a tourist who wants to see the world, visiting Madinah (Medina) should be in your bucket list. This holy city is not only for the faithful, but also for the rest of humanity to witness. It is the city where the Prophet Muhammad established his political-temporal authority after his Hejira from Makkah (Mecca) in the year 622 C.E. Madinah became the first capital of the expanding Islamic empire.
Although the city centre is closed to non-Muslims, tourists are free to roam around and explore other historical parts of the city and nearby cultural sites. You may, for example, visit the Al-Madina museum or shop and eat at the Old Bazaar area.
On the other hand, if you are a pilgrim, you can make arrangements for accommodation where you can savor the privacy of contemplation and spiritual renewal. You will find hotels that are conveniently in close proximity to the major mosques in the city.
So what does this holy city have in store for you? Here are three excellent reasons why a visit to Madinah is in order.
- To experience spiritual renewal
Even if you are a non-Muslim, you may feel some level of spiritual awe when you visit some of the holiest sites in the city.
Unlike Makkah, the city of Madinah is not part of the annual Hajj or pilgrimage of millions of Muslims around the world. However, thousands of pilgrims also visit the city to enter theAl-Masjid an-Nabawi or the Mosque of the Prophet.
The mosque, while it has been renovated throughout the centuries, is among the oldest and most sacred mosques in existence since Islam was founded. The Prophet himself ordered its construction. It is where the tomb of Muhammad is located.
You may also visit and pray at the Quba Mosque. It is historically considered to be the first mosque ever built in the history of Islam. Many of the original structures are already gone, but it is in this place where the Prophet and his companions built the first mosque after they settled in the city.
- To enjoy cultural immersion
One way of experiencing the culture and life of a city is to visit its public markets. These are not only the economic hubs of a city, but they also serve as its dynamic cultural expressions. It is where you will find famed products and meet many of the locals.
If you want to experience the vibrance of the city while connecting to its ancient past, you should visit the Old Bazaar. It is the location of the original market that dates back to the foundation of Islam.
You can find thousands of kiosks, shops and restaurants in this place. Try the various local delicacies and purchase some of the local products, such as praying mats and carpets, as souvenirs.
- To indulge in intellectual stimulation
Traveling to Madinah or any other place is not only about adventure; it is also about intellectual stimulation. You can learn more than the information you can read from books by actually exploring the city.
You may visit the Dar Al Madinah Museum and the Koran Museum to have deeper understanding and appreciation of the history of Islam. You can gain better insight into the impact of this religion on the world while immersing in the historical connections between the past and the present.
You can also gain plenty of valuable discoveries by personally interacting with the people that you will meet in the streets, in the mosques and in the market. You will have a more accurate snapshot of the life of the city this way.
If you want the best possible accommodation in Madinah, you may book a room in one of the location’s distinguished hotels. You can splurge a bit if you want to be pampered and treated to 5 star hotel services, and to experience the royal treatment in one of the top hotels in the city.
You could also get great deals while staying in Madinah if you book your accommodation in advance and availing of online hotel discounts. Just search for the hotels in the city that provide this privilege.
Ali Ozbay is the Director of Marketing for Shaza Hotels. The 5-star Shaza Hotel in Al Madina combines sophistication and location in effortless style, with each suite being, by intention, an emphatic expression of generous warmth and Eastern hospitality.