Visiting Madinah, the city of the Prophet (S), has no relation or connection with Hajj rituals as some people may believe. It is a separate thing that a person can do at any time during the year. Visiting the Prophet's Masjid is a recommended Sunnah. The Prophet (S) said,
"There are only three mosques that travelling specifically to them is recommended: The Holy Masjid -in Makkah - and the Masjid of Rassulul-Allah (S) and the Farthest Masjid -in Jerusalem." [Agreed upon]
The prayer in the Prophet's Masjid is better than one thousand prayers somewhere else except in the Holy Masjid of Makkah.
"The prayer in this Masjid of mine is better than one thousand prayers elsewhere except in the Holy Masjid - of Makkah." [Agreed upon]
The Prophet's Masjid is distinguished by the Rawda as-Shareefah, which is the area between the house of Rasulul-Allah (S) - al-Hujrah as-Shareefah - and the Minbar. The Prophet (S) said,
"Between my house and my minbar - pulpit - a Rawdah -garden- of Jannah." [Agreed upon]
And about the virtues of praying in this beautiful Masjid, the Prophet (S) said,
"Whoever prays in this Masjid of mine forty prayers consecutively without missing one of them, it will be written for him an innocence from Hellfire, and a salvation from the Torment, and will be free from hypocrisy." [Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi, al-Mundhiri, and at-Tabaraani]
I should emphasize here that this is not obligatory and the visiting person should not worry if he, or she, could not make it for some reason.
Things to do:
- Pray two Rak'aas at the Rawdah as-Sharifah if possible once you enter the mosque. Otherwise in any place close to it.
- Follow all the etiquette of entering and behaving in the mosques.
- Go near the Prophet's grave and say,
"As-Salaamu alayka yaa Rassul-Allah! As-Salaamu alayka yaa Nabiya-Allah! As-Salamu alayka Yaa kheerata khalqil-Allah! Ash-Hadu an-laa ilaaha ill-Allah wa-ash-hadu annaka 'abduhu wa-Rassuluh! Qad ballaghta ar-Rissaala, wa-addaytal-Amaana, wanasahtal-Ummata, wa-Jaahadta fil-Lahi haqqa jihaadihi! Sall-Allahu 'alayaka wa 'alaa Aalika wa-Azwaajika wa-Sallama tasliman kathiran!"
"Peace be upon you O Messenger of Allah! Peace be upon you O Prophet of Allah! Peace be upon you O the best creation of Allah! May Peace, Mercy, and Blessings of Allah be upon you O prophet of Allah! I bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah and that you are the servant and Messenger of Allah. And I bear witness that you did transmit the Message -to us- and you did deliver what you were entrusted with, and you did advice the Ummah, and you did strife for the sake of Allah at your utmost. May Allah shower His blessings on you as well as your family and your wives!"
Then after this, the visitor should move a little bit forward to say Salaam to Abu Bakr then to 'Umar may Allah be pleased with them.
Things to avoid doing:
- To disobey the Prophet (S) by making du'aa to him instead of Allah.
- Asking the Prophet (S) favors and raising the hands towards his grave or to wipe oneself with al-Hujrah as-Shareefah - where the grave is.
- To make Tawaaf around the Hujrah as-Shareefah.
- To push others to reach places in the Masjid.
- To occupy a spot at the Rawdah for a long time making it difficult for other visitors to have a chance to pray there.
Visiting Qibaa'- or Qubaa'- Masjid:
Qibaa'a Masjid is the first masjid in Islam. It is Sunnah to visit it because the Messenger of Allah used to visit it and pray in it. The Prophet (S) said,
"Whoever cleans himself in his house and goes to Qibaa'a Masjid and prays in it a prayer, he will be given the reward of a 'Umrah" [Ahmad, an-Nassaa'i, ibn Maajah, and al-Haakim]
Visiting al-Baqee' and Uhud:
It is good to visit the graves of the companions of the Messenger of Allah as long as there are no bad innovations and Shirk practices such as wailing at
al-Baqee' or asking favors from the dead.
The Prophet (S) taught his companions to say this du'aa,
"As-Salaamu alaikum ahala-diyaari mil-Mu'mineena wal-Muslimeena. Antum as-Saabiqoona wa-innaa insha Allahu bikum lalaahiqoona wayar-hamu Allahu al-Mustaqdimeena minnaa wa-minkum wal-Musta'khireena. Nass'alu-Allah lanaa walakum al-'Aafiya fid-Dunia wal-'Aakhira. Allahumma ighfir lanaa wa-lahum wa-irhamnaa wa-iyyaahum. Allahumma laa tahrimnaa ajrahum walaa taftinnaa ba'dahum!"
Going to Uhud is a good thing because many companions were buried there after the battle of
Uhud. The Prophet (S) said about Uhud mountain,
"This is Uhud a mountain which loves us and we love it" [Agreed upon]