Notes of Umra 2011
Madina : Day 02

There is a lot of sleep left, but not a slight sign of fatigue. We are ever energetic and charged. I’m right now seated a pillar away from the Rawdha. Moments back, I was fortunate to spend an hour or two at the ‘Blessed Garden from the gardens of Paradise’.

At the Blessed Rawdha, each showed their love, respect, admiration and devotion differently. Some wail, others are quiet. Some recite the Holy Book, others simply greet him. Love for some is joy of spring. For others it is a Tsunami of emotional outburst. The diversity of human experiences should be appreciated in its true nature, without measuring it with yardstick of orthodoxy.

The Rawdha literally means a garden. And the Beloved Mim is its Rose. His two dear companions befriend him in his eternal rest. And the cosmos watch them in wonder and love until the Last Day.

Assalathu wassalaamu Alaika Ya Rasoolullah!

The Beloved is now a few steps away from me. In the night of Mi’raj, he had crossed the point where the Mighty Angel Jibreel had stopped. It wasn’t simply a point in the geographical space of the higher domain. His station was higher than angels and all other creations. And he represented humanity at large. Therefore, his march ahead of the Point is also the march of mankind ahead of the angels. This is probably the reason why Allah ordained the angels to prostrate before Adam (and his progeny).

Duas

I have come here with the request for prayers from countless individuals. From health to wealth problems, from marital proposals to child bearing, from education to graduation, for prosperity of life to blessed ending… the list goes on. Siblings, friends, office colleagues, grandparents, aunts and cousins had made requests directly and on phone, sms and social networks. I prayed for all their duas to be fulfilled in ways better than they wished.

Jannathul Baqee

After the Asr prayer, we paid a visit to the Jannathul Baqee, the graveyard adjacent to the Masjid. The Holy Prophet would visit this place frequently in his life (a practice widely ignored by modern Muslims) and pray for them as well as mediate on the life after death.

On the day of my visit, the place was crowded by the devout. The Green Dome above the grave of visit is clearly visible when looking from the Jannathul Baqee. The graveyard has the burials of many prominent companions and family members of the Holy Prophet; including his beloved daughter, Fatima Azzahra (may Allah be pleased with her). It also has the grave of Imam Malik bin Anas, founder of Maliki School of jurisprudence, who is known for his devotion for the city of Prophet. The Imam never wore slippers while in Madina as a mark of respect for the soil on which Prophet walked.

Love alone matters here

There is a lot of walking required in and around the Masjid. My Mother is the most eager and energetic among us. She does not remember having any pain in her body due to age. Love alone matters here. The rest are secondary.

As my thoughts briskly jumped from the branch of one topic to another, I recalled the incident when two of his dearest companions were warned with a verse from the Heavens asking them to lower their voices in the presence of Holy Prophet. And this verse would be recited, researched and rendered by countless generations spread across centuries. Allah the Almighty spared a verse in Holy Book, which is the final edition for all times, only to remind the believers to speak softly and with respect to His Beloved. This is suffice to understand the inevitable position of the PERSONALITY of Prophet in the life of a believer. The Prophet is not simply an idea or a symbol. Rather his very person deserves respect and love of the Muslim.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لاَ تَرْفَعُوا أَصْوَاتَكُمْ فَوْقَ صَوْتِ النَّبِيِّ وَلاَ تَجْهَرُوا لَهُ بِالْقَوْلِ كَجَهْرِ بَعْضِكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ أَنْ تَحْبَطَ أَعْمَالُكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ لاَ تَشْعُرُونَ

[49:3] O ye who believe! raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, and speak not aloud to him, as you speak aloud to one another, lest your works become vain while you perceive not.

The Almighty Lord goes on further to say that respect for Prophet is a sign of a purified heart. And that which leads to ultimate victory of paradise.

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَغُضُّونَ أَصْوَاتَهُمْ عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُوْلَئِكَ الَّذِينَ امْتَحَنَ اللَّهُ قُلُوبَهُمْ لِلتَّقْوَى لَهُمْ مَغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ
[49:4] Verily those who lower their voices in the presence of the Messenger of Allah are the ones whose hearts Allah has purified for righteousness. For them is forgiveness and a great reward

Time in Madina

The ‘barakah’ in time of Madina is incredible: it’s long, deep and thick. As if Time is in no hurry to complete its course. As if time follows another Time here.

Breaking fast in Masjid Al Nabawi

The time for Maghrib prayer is approaching. We are seated near this man of African decent for Iftar. He is begging my benevolence to break my fast with his serving. And I am baffled at his generosity.

Dates, sweets, Zamzam and Qahwa: the finest of Arab hospitality. He is eager to serve the guests and lovers of beloved.

A party with an open invitation. The reward which the host is accumulating will require the whole sky to stock it. There are other hosts too throughout the Masjid. They are going to reap countless rewards today. They are earning millions of ‘miles’ and they will go miles in to the gardens of Paradise.

continued…