By Molly Morris
As the city where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) lived and taught before his triumphant return to Makkah, Madinah is central in Islamic history. Millions of pilgrims visit Madinah each year, but many fail to experience it fully.
So for first-timers to the Holy City, we have created a 1-day itinerary for you that will allow you to experience Madinah in all its glory.
07:30 – 11:30 Take The Journey: Head From Jeddah to Madinah
The road to Madinah from Jeddah takes about 4 hours and there are a few rest stops along the way. On this road trip prepare to witness jagged mountains protruding from the sand, extinct volcanoes surrounded by expanses of black rocks, and the occasional oasis of green palms. At times, you will even come across herds of camels as they graze near the camps of their Bedouin owners and baboons basking under the sun near the highway.
11:30 – 12:15 Stopover At Quba Mosque
Quba was the first mosque in Islam, and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself laid its foundation.The Prophet (PBUH) also said, “Whoever purifies himself in his house then comes to the mosque of Quba’ and prays there, he will have a reward like that for ‘Umrah.” (Narrated by Ahmad, al-Nasaa’i, Ibn Maajah and al-Haakim).
Don’t forget to mingle with the residents of Madinah, as they are known for being hospitable and friendly.
12:30 Get In Touch With Your Spiritual Side At The Prophet’s Mosque
The 2nd largest mosque in the world, Masjid Al Nabawi’s domes cover skylights that flood the mosque with sunlight during the day. This is the place where you can just sit back, pray and meditate.
Nearby, is a huge cemetery (Baqeea’ al Garqad), where many companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) were laid to rest.
15:00 Lunchtime: A Blessed Abundance
Enjoy a traditional Madini meal, including boukhary (chicken and rice) and savory mantu (dumplings) from a local restaurant. But if you are not in the mood for something local, then worry not as Madinah has many foreign fast food brands as well.
16:00 Witness History At Ohud
You can even hike up the rocky terrain to the cave where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) prayed and recovered from battle wounds. Within walking distance from that small cavern is another rocky crevice where it is believed that the Prophet (PBUH) once rested his head on a boulder.
At the battle site of Shohada Ohud, there are graves of 70 martyred Muslim soldiers. You can also climb the hill where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) instructed his soldiers to wait throughout the battle.
17: 00 Traipse Through The Ruins Of The Saad Palace
We pulled off the highway to explore Dar al Sa’ad ibn Al Wakka, a former palace that belonged to one of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) companions. The building’s architectural beauty is still evident after 1,400 years, and the view from the roof at sunset is not to be missed.
18:00 Traverse The Palm Groves
Visit the Ka’ab ibn al Ashraf palm grove which is one of the city’s oldest palm groves. Madinah is renowned for more than 150 varieties of dates. Although Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) prayed blessings upon all food in the city, dates are particularly famous. Some believe that by keeping a Madinah date pit in your wallet you will never run out of cash.
18:45 Visit Enigmatic Hejaz Railway’s Madinah Station
Built during the Ottoman Empire, Madinah’s beautiful train station was a point on the old Hejaz Railway that transported Muslims all along the west coast of the Kingdom and continued to Damascus. The railroad has not operated since World War I, but visitors to the station can admire the beautiful architecture, learn about the site’s history, and enjoy a short ride in an original train car pulled by a steam engine. The station is now part of a recreational park.
20:00 Buy Souveneirs
No trip to Madinah is complete without sampling the city’s famous food. In addition to the famous dates, loaves of sesame seed bread called shruraik from the famous Kaki Bakery or bags of mint and green tea make tasty souvenir gifts.