Al Madina al Tayyiba: its virtue and splendor

Al Madina al Tayyiba: its virtue and splendor

First of all, the center of the admiration of al-Madina al-Munawwarah is the blessed and august presence of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Allah’s peace be upon him). The merits of Madina Munawwarah, of prayer in Madina Munawwarah, of visiting the Masjid al-Nabawi Sharif (the Prophet’s -pbuh- Mosque), of living and residing in Madina Munawwarah, of not cutting its trees, etc. are all based on the fact that the Prophet (Allah’s peace be upon him) is there. The fact that it is a sanctuary (haram) and a preserve (hima) is well documented in numerous ahadith. It is even strongly recommended not to enter Madina Munawwarah except on foot, and many Companions, Tabi`in (students of the Companions), and Tabi` al-Tabi`in (students of the students of the Companions ) never entered it except on foot, out of respect for the Holy Presence of the Prophet.

Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala says in the Holy Quran:
1. و لو انهم إذ ظلموا أنفسهم جاءوك فاستغفروا الله واستغفر لهم الرسول لوجدوا الله توابا الرحيما
“If; when they wronged themselves, they had come to thee, and prayed forgiveness of God, and the Messenger had prayed forgiveness for them, they would have found God turns, All-compassionate.” [An-Nisa:64]
2. Dawud ibn Salih says: ” Marwan [ibn al-Hakam] one day saw a man placing his face on top of the grave of the Prophet. He said: “Do you know what you are doing?” When he came near him, he realized it was Abu Ayyub al-Ansari. The latter said: “Yes; I came to the Prophet, not to a stone.”
3. Ibn Hibban in his Sahih, Ahmad (5:422), Tabarani in his Mu`jam al-kabir (4:189) and his Awsat according to Haythami in al-Zawa’id (5:245), al-Hakim in his Mustadrak (4:515); both the latter and al-Dhahabi said it was sahih. It is also cited by al-Subki in Shifa’ al-siqam (p. 126), Ibn Taymiyya in al-Muntaqa (2:261f.), and Haythami in al-Zawa’id (4:2).
4. Narrated Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him), The Prophet (Allah’s peace be upon him) said, “I have made Madinah a sanctuary between its two (Harrat) mountains.” The Prophet (Allah’s peace be upon him) went to the tribe of Bani Haritha and said (to them), “I see that you have gone out of the sanctuary,” but looking around, he added, “No, you are inside the sanctuary.”
5. Narrated Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him): Allah’s Apostle said, “I was ordered to migrate to a town which will swallow (conquer) other towns and is called Yathrib and that is Madinah, and it turns out (bad) persons as a furnace removes the impurities of iron.”
6. Jaabir bin Samurah (Allah be pleased with him) says; “I heard Rasulullah (Allah’s peace be upon him) say: ‘Verily Allah named Madinah, Taabah (meaning the good one) or Tayyibah (the pure).”
7. Sa’ad (Allah be pleased with him) reports that Rasulullullah (Allah’s peace be upon him) said: “I declare haraam that area between the rocky lands on both sides of Madinah, that it’s vegetation be not cut down nor that animals be hunted within its area.” Rasullullah (Allah’s peace be upon him) also said: ” For the believer, Madinah is the best place. If only they could understand it’s virtue fully, they would never leave it, and whoever departs from Madinah, having become disenchanted with it, Allah will send someone better to replace him. And whoever bears patiently the ordeals of Madinah, for him shall I be an intercessor (or witness) on the Day of Qiyaamah (Day of Judgment).”
8. Narrated Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him): Allah’s Apostle (Allah’s peace be upon him) said, “Verily, Belief returns and goes back to Madinah as a snake returns and goes back to its hole (when in danger).”
9. Narrated Sa’ad (Allah be pleased with him): I heard the Prophet (Allah’s peace be upon him) saying, “None plots against the people of Madinah but that he will be dissolved (destroyed) like the salt is dissolved in water.”
10. Narrated Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet (Allah’s peace be upon him) said, “The terror caused by Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal will not enter Madinah and at that time Madinah will have seven gates and there will be two angels at each gate guarding them.”
11. Narrated Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him): Allah’s Apostle (Allah’s peace be upon him) said, “There are angels guarding the entrances (or roads) of Madinah, neither plague nor Ad-Dajjal will be able to enter it.”
12. Narrated Anas (Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet (Allah’s peace be upon him) said, “O Allah! Bestow on Madinah twice the blessings You bestowed on Makkah.”
13. Narrated Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet (Allah’s peace be upon him) said, “There is a garden from the gardens of Paradise between my house and my pulpit is on my Pool of water (Al-Kauthar).”
14. Narrated Zaid bin Aslam from his father: Umar (Allah be pleased with him) said, O Allah! Grant me martyrdom in Your cause, and let my death be in the city of Your Apostle.”
15. Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) reports that Rasullullah (Allah’s peace be upon him) said: “Whoever has the means to die in Madinah, let him die there for I shall intercede on behalf of everyone who dies there.” [Musnad Ahmad, Sunan al-Tirmidhi]
16. Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Allah’s peace be upon him) said: “One who visits my grave, my Shafa’at (Intersession) will be necessary (wajib) upon him.” [Daar Qutni, Bazaz, Baheeqi, Ibn-e-Khuzaima]
17. The Prophet (Allah’s peace be upon him) once said: “The person who comes solely for the purpose of paying a visit to my grave, has a right on me that I should intercede for him.”[‘Ilm al-Fiqh, Vol 5]
18. Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Allah’s peace be upon him) said: “One who performs Hajj after me and then visits my grave, that means he visits me in my life.” [Daar Qutni, Bayhaqi, Mishkaat, Tibrani Fil Saghir al-Awsat, Majma’ al-Zawaid]
19. Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Allah’s peace be upon him) said: “Piece of earth where I would like to have my grave is Madinatul Munawarah.” [Mishkat al-Masabih, Page 426]
20. Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Allah’s peace be upon him) said: “One who traveled to visit me he will be my neighbour in paradise and one who bears the difficulties in the stay of Madina Munawwarah; I will be His Intercessor on the day of judgment.”[Sunan al-Bayhaqi, Mishkat Sharif]
21. Sayyiduna Ka’ab narrated, “70000 angles use to visit the Holy Court every morning and 7000 in evening and they recite Durud Shareef on Nabi (Allah’s peace be upon him). One who visited will never visit again and this process will continue till Qayamat.”[Mishkat al-Masabih, Bab al-Karamat]
22. Narrated Ali ibn Abu Talib (Allah be pleased with him), The Prophet said: “Madina’s fresh grass is not to be cut, its game is not to be driven away, and things dropped in it are to be picked up only by one who publicly announces it, and it is not permissible for any man to carry weapons in it for fighting, and it is not advisable that its trees are cut except what a man cuts for the fodder of his camel. [Abu Dawud, Vol. 10, Hadith 2030]
23. Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar, The Prophet (Allah’s peace be upon him) said: (The standard) weight is the weight of the people of Mecca, and the (standard) measure is the measure of the people of Medina. [Sunan Abi Dawood, Book 22, Hadith 3334]
24. Imam Maalik (Allah be pleased with him) says, “Its not lawful to say that I visited the grave of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Allah’s peace be upon him). One must say I visited the august presence of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Allah’s peace be upon him)”
25. Allama Alauddin says, “Consensus says that the part of earth contacted with body of the Prophet (Allah’s peace be upon him) is better than the whole universe, Ka’ba Shareef, the Arsh and the Kursi” [Durr-e-Mukhtar Ala Hamish ur Radaj, Vol2, Page 352]
26. Sayyiduna Shaykh Ziauddin Ahmed Madani said, “A person whose letter is read in Madina Munawwarah or his name is mentioned; he is surely blessed.”

Unique Merit of the Prophet’s Mosque:
The Prophet (Allah’s peace be upon him) himself participated in the construction of this mosque, called it “My Mosque” and led prayers in it for years. He has also said that a salah performed in the Prophet’s Mosque is better than a thousand salats in any other place except Masjid al-Haram in Makkah.
27. According to Sayyiduna Anas, the Prophet (Allah’s peace be upon him) has said: “The person who offers 40 prayers consecutively in my Mosque, without missing a prayer in between, will secure immunity from the fire of Hell and other torments and also from hypocrisy.”

Quba Mosque
28. Sayyiduna Usaid bin Huzair (Allah be pleased with him) reports that Rasullullah (Allah’s peace be upon him) said that the merit of salaah in the Masjid of Quba is equal to performing one Umrah. [Sunan al-Tirmidhi]
29. Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Umar (Allah be pleased with them) reports that every Saturday Rasullullah (Allah’s peace be upon him) would go to Masjid-e-Quba, sometimes walking and sometimes by conveyance, and he would perform two raka’ats of salaah there. [Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim]

Mount Uhud:
30. Sayyiduna Anas bin Malik (Allah be pleased with him) reports that Rasullullah (Allah’s peace be upon him) has said that the mountain of Uhud loved him and he loved it. (Muslim). In Tibraani, it is also described by Sayyiduna Sahal bin Sa’ad (Allah be pleased with him) that Uhud is one of the pillars of Jannah.

Referring to Madina Sharif as Yathrib
31. Madinah Munawwarah was called Yathrib before Hijrah and came to be known as Taybah or Madinah. The Prophet (Allah’s peace be upon him) had great love for this city. He once said that “There is a cure for every disease in the dust of Madinah.” [Al-Targhib]
32. It is impermissible and forbidden to refer to Madina Tayyiba as Yathrib. It is a sin and the one who says it a sinner. RasulAllah (Allah’s peace be upon him) said: “Whoever calls Madina Yathrib, it is necessary for him to repent. Madina is Taabah, Madina is Taabah.” [Narrated by Bara’ bin ‘Azin, Musnad Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, 4:285]
33. ‘Allama Manawi writes: “From this hadith, we learn that it is Haram to name Madina Tayyiba as Yathrib. We are told to repent after calling it so and repentance is only after a sin.” [al-Taysir Sharh al-Jami’ al-Saghir, 2:424]
34. Mulla ‘Ali Qari (Allah’s mercy be upon him) writes: “It is reported from some of the predecessors that calling Madina as Yathrib is Haram. This is supported by the hadith which is recorded by Imam Ahmad. ‘Allama Tayyibi (Allah’s mercy be upon him) said that it is evident from this that whoever disrespects anything that Allah has honored and has given the name Iman and this person talks about it in a way that is unbefitting, then he is worthy of being names ‘Aasi.” [al-Mirqat Sharh Mishkat, 5:622]
35. When the Qur’an mentions the word Yathrib, it is to inform us what the hypocrites would say:
“And when a party of them said: O folk of Yathrib! There is no stand (possible) for you, therefore turn back.” [33:13]
The word Yathrib means fighting and censure. This is why these filthy people referred to it as such. Allah refuted them by naming it Taabah. RasulAllah (Allah’s peace be upon him) said: “They call it Yathrib but it is Madina.” [Sahih Bukhari, 1:252]
36. He (Allah’s peace be upon him) also said: Indeed, Allah has named Madina as Taabah. [Narrated by Jabir bin Sumrah, Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, 5:89, Muslim, 1:445]
37. Mulla ‘Ali Qari writes: “It means that Allah had names Madina Munawwara as Taabah on the preserved tablet or He ordered his beloved Prophet (Allah’s peace be upon him) to name it such. Allah has castigated the hypocrites for reverting to the disreputable name Yathrib.” [al-Mirqat Sharh Mishkat, 5:622]
38. He also writes: “Imam Nawawi (Allah’s mercy be upon him) states that it is reported regarding ‘Isa bin Dinar that whoever calls Madina as Yathrib, he is a sinner. When the Qur’an refers to Yathrib, it is only to let us know of the illness present in the hearts of the hypocrites.” [al-Mirqat Sharh Mishkat, 5:622]
Some verses of poetry from the scholars contain this word. Our excuse for them is that they did not know of this hadith and ruling. He who knows the ruling and persists has no excuse, whether it is poetry or otherwise. The Shari’ah governs the poetry, not vice versa. Mawlana Shaykh Muhaqqiq ‘Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dihlawi (Allah sanctify him him) writes:
“The Prophet (Allah’s peace be upon him) names it Madina. This is because people lived and gathered there and loved the city. He warned against calling it Yathrib because this is the name from the days of ignorance or because it is derived from either Tharb which means destruction and fighting or Tathrib which means reprimand and censure or because Yathrib was the name of an idol or an oppressive and rebellious person. Imam Bukhari narrates a hadith in his Tarikh that whoever says Yathrib once, he should say Madina ten times so that he compensates for it. When the Qur’an says, “Ya ahla yathrib”, it is from the tongues of the hypocrites and by saying Yathrib, they wanted to disrespect Madina. Another narration mentions that whoever says Yathrib should repent towards Allah and seek forgiveness. And some have said that he be punished. Amazing is the fact that some leading people have used Yathrib in their poems. And Allah knows well, the knowledge of the glorious is complete and strong.” [Ashi’atul Lum’aat Sharh Mishkat, 2:393-394]

Is Makkah Mukarrama is more excellent or Madina Munawwara?
The consensus of the Ulama of the Hanafi School agrees that Makkah Mukarrama is more excellent than Madina Munawwara. But according to Imam Maalik, Madina Munawwara is more excellent and this is also the view of Ameer al-Mo’mineen Sayyiduna Umar al-Farooq. Once a companion said to the Noble Ameer, “Makkah Mu’azzama is more excellent.” Sayyiduna Omar replied, “Do you say that Makkah Mukarrama is more excellent then Madina Munawwara?” The Sahabi replied, “By Allah! The House and Haram of Allah.” Ameeril Moh’mineen then said, “I am not commenting and asking you about the Haram of Allah, but inquiring whether you say Makkah Mukarrama is more excellent than Madina Munawwara.” He replied, “By Allah! The Haram of Allah.” The illustrious Khalifa of Islam said, “I am not commenting on the Haram of Allah.” The Sahabi and Ameeril Moh’mineen kept to their words.
Ala’ Sayyiduna Imam Ahmad Rida states that his view on this matter is the same as Ameeril Mo’mineen Sayyiduna Omar Farooq. In a Sahih Hadith, it is mentioned:
39. المدينة خير لهم لو كانوا يعلمون
Madina is better for him who understands.
In another, Hadith Shareef it explicitly states,
40. المدينة افضل من مكة
Madina is more excellent than Makkah.
So far as the quantity of Thawaab and excellence are concerned, Sheikh-e-Muhaqqiq Abd al-Haqq Muhaddith Dehlawi gave a most beautiful explanation. He said, “There is quantityand number in Makkah, but spiritual elevation in Madina.” This means that, in Makkah the Thawaab is greater, but in Madina, the spirituality is great. The following example will assist in understanding the above reality. Which is greater in value, 100,000 bank notes or 50,000 gold sovereigns? In quantity, the former is double but in value, the latter is 10 times greater in value. In Makkah Mukarrama, as you receive 100,000 Thawaab for a single good deed, similarly, there are 100,000 sins recorded for every sin committed. As one is blessed with virtues for the thought of good, likewise penalized for every thought of sin.
On the contrary, in Madina Munawwara there is Thawaab for the thought of good and no penalty for the thought of sin. For every wrong committed, a single sin is recorded while 50000 Thawaab is blessed for every good deed done. It is not surprising that the words of the Hadith خير لهم “Better for you” points out to the fact that, “For you Madinah is better.”
Allah knows best.


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