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HomeHeadlineThe complementary element of Hajj is the visit to Medina.

The complementary element of Hajj is the visit to Medina.

We have fulfilled our obligation of Hajj. It is improper to return to our homeland without visiting the Prophet (peace be upon him) at his house. Is it just a matter of etiquette? Certainly not. Not seeing the original homeland that shaped the Islamic religion, culture, and civilization for 14 centuries is a great deficiency. Let’s see what we will encounter.

To have a sense of history, it is as important to have knowledge of the biography of the Prophet and his expeditions as it is to know the rituals of Hajj and Umrah, if I may make a comparison.

We are in Medina. The statement “Medina is only about prayer and eating” attributed to the Turks is both very wrong and very disrespectful. Depending on the knowledge of the biography you possess, even the stones and soil of Medina take you back 14 centuries, allowing you to pray behind the Prophet with companions like Abu Bakr and Umar, climb Uhud, and stand guard at the Trench.

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Are you Vahshi, who looked sneakily at the face of the Messenger of Allah behind the columns, or are you Abu Bakr, who took his place at the head of the gathering? Are you Zaid ibn Haritha, who went willingly to martyrdom, or are you Ibn Abbas, who became a regular in the same gathering when he was just 10 years old? We are not Vahshi, we did not kill Hamza, but we have killed many Islamic values that have a place like Hamza. I wonder how we will stand here with what face?

The first thing I observed in Medina is that the climate’s influence on one’s character and personality is an undeniable reality. Forbearance and gentleness seem to be the common attire of millions of people in Medina.

Those who compare the natural beauties they have seen in the world to paradise should first see the Prophet’s Mosque and its spiritual atmosphere. In my opinion, they will realize that they were mistaken as soon as they enter its spiritual atmosphere, which absorbs and gives so much to the human being.

Beyond occasional human conversations, you will hear prayers in hundreds of different languages like a buzzing sound, or Quranic verses rising to the heavens from thousands of different mouths. That is the Prophet’s Mosque.

Prayer in the Prophet’s Mosque means standing, bowing, and almost forgetting prostration during the recitation of prayers.

The blessings of Medina have also manifested in time. You are not chasing time; time is chasing you.

One of the scenes I will miss the most in both the Kaaba and the Prophet’s Mosque is when the call to prayer is made and people stand up, raising their hands as high as they can and fervently supplicating. It’s as if they never want the call to prayer to end. The lip movements and tears in the rush and urgency are heartwarming. I witnessed the same scene during the call to prayer for the Fajr prayer. Those who have completed the Sunnah prayers stand up and earnestly implore, tears streaming down their faces, “O Lord, the Most Merciful!” These kinds of scenes are unforgettable.

One of my prayers for those who ask for my prayers by name: “O Allah! Make their desires Your desires, and Your desires their desires.”

I have seen not only worshippers whom I love, but also those who establish prayers (kaimun and mukimun bi’s-salat) in the same row in the mosque, which is exciting.

Today, we are at Uhud. Uhud is mournful, and the martyrs of Uhud are even more mournful.

Medina is the place where the relationships among the guests of the Prophet (peace be upon him) are more humane, more ethical, and more Islamic. How much do the environmental conditions play a role in this? I think they play a significant role.

Medina is where religion took on the form of Prophetic guidance and became a civilization. I have been searching for it everywhere, every nook and cranny, for days. Yes, I am undoubtedly looking for civilization in Medina, and I believe I have used the right method. But the result, no, I couldn’t find it.

This place, where the flood of love for the sake of Allah and love for the meeting with the Messenger of Allah drags people along, is exactly where the truth of prayer will be heard.

You witness the level of love for the Prophet, and I say to those so-called scholars who dare to call him a mere messenger and exclude the Sunnah and tradition: “Greetings from Medina!” It is important to turn this love into action for a better understanding and practice of the religion. Religious guides have a significant responsibility, especially at the forefront.

I am filled with mixed emotions. Is it better to pray in violation of people’s rights in the garden of paradise or to choose an external area without violating their rights?

My observation of Friday prayer from the Prophet’s Mosque: Dignity and tranquility can be seen in everyone, the imam, the muezzin, the door attendant, the cleaning worker, and even the walls and pillars of the mosque. Listen to the columns, listen to the walls, open your spiritual eyes, and you will feel the warmth in your heart.

I became even more impressed by the Indonesian pilgrims. Their calm characters, fragrant garments, worship in accordance with rituals and practices, and respect for people’s rights fascinated me. The outer appearance is a reflection of the inner. The outward represents the inward. The form signifies the norm.

In my opinion, four fulfilling days are enough for those who will fall into the claws of affection and intimacy after Hajj and visit Medina. I have seen more than enough. You will say 40 prayers in Medina. Yes, 40 prayers, but only for those who are physically and spiritually, mentally, intellectually, and emotionally prepared.

I don’t like farewells, but every reunion has its separation. Today, we are bidding farewell to Medina. Well, does every separation have a reunion? When it comes to Mecca and Medina, from the window I look through, it is not about possibility but about merit. May my Lord deem us worthy. Amen…

May your Eid al-Adha be blessed. May it bring goodness and blessings to all of humanity.

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Dr. Ahmet Kurucan is a an author and scholar focusing on Islamic Studies and Law.

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