Raudhah and Ziarah

R AUDHAH - The Garden of Paradise As salam.. I shall not talk too much on what Raudhah is and what it meant to us Muslim because I believe...

RAUDHAH - The Garden of Paradise

As salam..

I shall not talk too much on what Raudhah is and what it meant to us Muslim because I believed you either probably had knew it by now, have heard of it at least once or have been there yourself. To cut it short, Raudhah is one spot in the Nabawi Mosque that is most sought after. Muslims believe that prayers offered in this tiny spot will most probably be granted, that Raudhah is among the a few places that is mustajab. They believe, in the future, this garden will be taken up to heaven at the end of time. People worship here in droves, barging each other, sharing the same space at Raudhah. Don’t get angry if you get shoved, stepped on, or even accidentally kicked by other pilgrims. You just have to be patience and being very understanding that Raudhah is a very small spot, not bigger than a tennis court and everyone wanted to be in it, solat in it, say their prayer in it and stay as long as they can in it. Patience is a virtue and always remember, if you treat other people fairly, you'll get treated fairly by Allah s.w.t. later. Apart from that,do pray a lot to Allah to make it easy for you.

How to know you're in Raudhah?

Well, firstly, it's located underneath the green dome. Secondly, the rest of the mosque had red carpet but Raudhah area was carpeted with green coloured one. Plus the pillars in Raudhah has gold trimming and decorations on it as below picture. If you're a lady, then you shouldn't face any problem identifying Raudhah because you'll be guided by the lady guards.


:: Pic from google ::

Anyway, when I was there, I didn't get to visit the Raudhah on my first night because I didn't know when I can visit and how to go there.

For your info, there's 3 time slots allocated for ladies to visit Raudhah everyday. I did went on my second night. I opted to go after Isya' due to it's longer visiting time. My husband would get our dinner on his way back from Isya ' prayer, stayed in the room with the kids, fed them and put them to bed while I was at Raudhah. Normally I'd came back from Raudhah around 1230 after midnight, after the ladies visiting hours ended and he will then go to Raudhah and stayed there till 2 - 3 am. That's practically our Raudhah routine everyday while we were at Madinah.

Anyway, below are some info I'd like to share here with my fellow reader ..

Raudhah visiting hours for ladies :-

  • After Fajr prayer until 11 am
  • After Zuhur prayer until before Asar time
  • After Isya' prayer until 12 midnight
The men on another hand, can visit Raudhah anytime outside above mentioned time frame. I'm green with envy because they had longer visiting hours which means the area will be less congested and they can spend longer time in there.

Every after designated prayer time above, the mosque guards will set up a blind to cover the Raudhah area and to make path for the ladies since Raudhah located at men's section of the mosque. All the men congregation will be ushered out from men section during this ladies visiting period.

The congregations will be divided by nationalities, or by language we spoke. There will be ladies guard waving the signboards written BAHASA MALAYU, HINDI, TURKEY, IRAN and few more countries, distributing and dividing the overflowing traffic of jemaah into correct group where we were asked to be seated and listened to a briefing provided by a multilingual mosque personnel. Don't get shocked when you encountered Arabs's guard speaking Indonesian to you. Duduk Ibukkk.. Dudukkkk is most common said line. In fact, almost everyone speaks Indonesian Malay in Mecca and Madinah, specially the goods seller. Don't worry much if you knows no Arabic. Most of the people (Arabs) there spoke fluent Malay, better than Malays themselves.. Case in point, eventhough almost all local spoke Malay, knowing Arabic, at least the very basic of it became handy. We were looking for laundry on our first night but no one we asked knows what laundry is. We asked one security guard there if he knows any laundry nearby. Unfortunately he didn't speak either neglish or malay, only arabic. So my husband mentioned word ak'sil = washing... He still didn't get it, so I remembered the word malabis which means clothes and mentioned it, then only he understand that we looking for a laundry and introduced us to one guy who apparently work at laundry shop nearby that offered pickup and delivery service.

Based on my experiences, Malay spoken group is among the last group to enter Raudhah, together with Turkey group. They let Arabs group like Iranian, Omans and Saudi to enter Raudhah first. I like to believed this is because of their big size frame compared to Asian so to avoid Asian from being squeezed and smashed, we were put into few last groups. Mostly, our group were allowed to enter Raudhah starting from 11.00 -11.30 pm after been waiting since after Isya'. Due to the longer waiting time, most of congregations from the group will leave the mosque first, maybe for rest and dinner and came back around 11.00 pm. Me on another hand, preferred to just waited in the mosque and reading Al-Quran until our turn came.

Back to Raudhah, once everyone got seated comfortably, the briefing begun. Mostly, the officer would talk about rules and adab when you're in Raudhah. What you suppose to do, and what's to avoid. Among useful tips and knowledges I gained (and remembered :( ) during the briefing are :

  • You don't need an inch thick of manual when you are in Raudhah. According to her, there's a congregation that brought guide book as thick as an inch just on how to say salam to Rasullulah s.a.w . She said, Islam is beautiful and Islam is easy if you fully understands it. You actually said salam to Rasullulah s.a.w everyday in your prayer when you recite Surah Tashahhud or Tahiyat. When you're in Raudhah, and facing makam Rasullulah s.a.w, all you need to say is


As-salamu 'alaika ayyuh-an-Nabiyyu wa rahmat-ullahi wa barakatuhu As-salamu 'alaina wa 'alaa 'Ibaadillah-is-salihin

and you may also recite the last paragraph in Surah Tahiyat..


اللهم صلى على محمد وعلى آل محمد كما صليت على إبراهيم وعلى آل إبراهيم و بارك على محمد وعلى آل محمد كما باركت على إبراهيم وعلى آل إبراهيم فى العلمين إنك انت الحميد المجيد

Allahuma sali ala Muhammad wa ala Aali Muhammad kama saliet ala Ibrahim wa ala Aali Ibrahim, wa barik ala Muhammad wa ala Aali Muhammad kama barakta ala Ibrahim wa ala Aali Ibrahim, fil a'la miina ennak hameedul majeed


That's it.. It's more than enough.

  • There's no specific solat that you need to perform in Raudhah. It is advisable to perform 2 rakaat solat sunat and say your prayer or wish when you're done. Again, most of congregation prone to rely on too much on the guide book. Our most closest time/moment with Allah s.w.t as a servant was when we're in our sujud. That is when we supposed to say our prayer and wish, not after Salam like what we used to do and became norm community practiced when it's actually not in sunnah and never be done by Rasullulah and para sahabat. So it'll be tad too difficult, and impossible for you to do your sujud and read your guide book while at it.

  • I've learned also that there's no such thing as Solat Hajat or specific way of how to do it. According to her, there is absolutely nothing in the established and authentic Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah s.a.w called the ‘salaat-ul-haajah’; and when the Messenger of Allah s.a.w has not given or assigned a particular name for a prayer, it does not behove and befit one who sincerely believes in Allah and the Last Day to give or assign a name to it from himself!

So should one has a ‘hajat’ or need, one may take wudhu', perform 2 rakaat solat sunat and say your hajat in your heart or during your sujud. One should not give or assign a name to that prayer or deed when no name is assigned to it by the Messenger of Allah s.w.t!


  • There's no such thing as " Sampaikan salam to Rasullulah s.a.w ". I was kinda looked forward to this part because I had this questions lingering in my mind and of course, just like other congregations, me too had friends and relatives requesting me to convey their salam to Rasullulah s.a.w when I'm at Madinah. When she told us, you don't have to convey all the salams to Rasullulah s.a.w, just say your own salam only, I was puzzled. To me, I take it as all those messages from friends and relatives as amanah and I had promised them I would convey their salams to Rasullullah. If I ignored it, wouldn't it make me not trustworthy?

She understood our confusions and explained that, when Salutations and Salawaat are sent to the noble and beloved Rasulullah s.a.w from a distance then it is carried by specially appointed Angels or Malaikats and presented in his noble and auspicious presence. .


"Sayyidina Abdullah Ibn Masood (RA) narrated that the Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) said: Indeed there are many Angels of Allah (SWT) who sojourn the Earth and bring the Salam of my Ummati to me"


"Sayyidina Anas (RA) narrated that the Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) said:Whoever invokes blessings on me at my grave, I hear him, and whoever invokes blessings on me from afar, I am informed about it.[Baihaqi]"


We are humans and certainly not an angel and our sole task in this world is to worship Allah s.a.w. We certainly have neither right, nor capability to convey another person's salam to Rasullulah s.a.w but our own. The lady officer also soothed us by telling us to tell the truth when asked by family or friend whether we had conveyed their salams. She said : Just tell them that you didn't convey their salam because only malaikats were able to do so. They can convey their own salam to Rasullulah s.a.w from any part of the world and Insya Allah, Rasullulah s.a.w will receive it.


Wallahualam..


  • She also touched about certain deeds practiced by us with good intention but not necessarily following sunnah. One of it was the amalan membaca surah Yassin in our community! It's indeed a good intention and gesture to host an event where reciting Surah Yassin became the main agenda but the method of doing it was not following sunnah and Al-Quran.


So when the Quran is being recited, listen to it attentively and keep quiet so that perhaps mercy may be shown to you

~ Suratul A'raf [7], Verso 204


Imam Ja'afar ibni Muhammad as-Sadiq (peace be upon Him) has said : "Surely the Qu'ran is not to be read in a rush or very quickly. Rather it should be recited in slow, measured portions. Whenever you reach a verse which talks about Heaven, then stop ( at that verse) and ask from Allah (the bounties of) Heaven. And whenever you reach a verse which speaks about the Hell, then stop (at that verse) and seek protection from Allah from the Hell fire (and the punishment)."

~Usulul Kafi, Volume 3, Page 301


So, normally as we know it, the norm practiced was to have the leader ( usually the eldest person or Imam or Ustaz ) to start and initiate the majlis and everyone then will recite Surah Yassin together till the end. When everyone recite, who listens ?

And as embarrassingly, we ( read :me) will recite Yassin in fast rhythm without taking the time to understands the meaning of it simply for the sake of keeping up with the crowd's phase and rhythm, and normally the makan makan event starts after Yassin's recitation done so i am rushing it.


* bangs head on wall *


She recommended to make little adjustment to our current method by having few groups. When 1 group recite certain portions of the Surah, other groups listens (and make correction if any mistakes detected). Do this alternately until the surah finish. Not only you gain rewards for reciting Quran, you'll also gain equal rewards for listening and teaching others. Masya Allah..


The Messenger of Allah ( blessings of Allah be upon Him and His family) has said : "The one who recites the Qur'an and the one who listens to it have an equal share in the reward".

~Mustadrakul Wasa'il, Volume 1, Page 293


  • She also asked us why we chose Surah Yassin out of many many Surahs in Al-Quran. Why Surah Yassin and not Surah Baqarah ?

A question that I certainly didn't know the answer. If I were forced to answer then my answer would be because I was brought up with that culture. Culture of "baca Yassin" for everything. Majlis kesyukuran, Khamis malam jumaat, Masuk rumah baru and whatnot. I am blaming no one but myself for being this ignorance. Allah s.w.t had given me 33 years of life so far to be a good servant and I am clearly in so much kerugian. Well, she said, there's nothing wrong with Surah Yassin as it is also a part of Qur'an. Maybe beside Surah Yassin, we can recite Surah Al-Baqarah for a change because Surah Al-Baqarah has bigger fadhilat and so many benefits.

  • Al-Baqarah will be one of the lights on the hari kiamat and it will shade their people on the Day of Resurrection..

In short, Al-Baqarah will be your cloud that provide you shade on Hari Kiamat. Owh I want that cloud!

  • Syaitan will not enter the house where Al-Baqarah is recited
  • Syaitan will not come near him and his family, or he will not be touched by anything he dislikes.
  • The angels will come close to hear you reciting Surah Al-Baqarah
  • Your parents will be given a garment even a billionaire can't never afford during Hari Kiamat for your good deeds.
  • You'll be rewarded a crown of grace on your head, and Kingship be given to those who recite Al-Baqarah

and many many more benefits... Just by reading some of the benefits, I'll make an appoint to read Al-Baqarah as much as I can afford weekly, if not daily. May Allah blessed me with istiqamah and strong wills.





Masya Allah, I had so many things to share here of what I gained from my Umrah trip I just dunno where to begin and when to stop.

Anyway, I like to share my experience visiting Raudhah for first time. You see, Raudhah is a place that never empty. It's always full and congested. During the briefing, we were reminded to always berdzikir, recite as many quran as you can since we surely have abundance of waiting time before allowed to enter Raudhah, keep our intention pure, be good to others and watch our action and mouth.

Most of the people came in group so they have their mutawwif accompany them. The benefit of coming in a group is, you can protect one another. Normally, inside Raudhah, this groups, lead by their leader will built a circle and they would perform prayer in the middle of the circle made by their friends by rotation. 2 persons at one time. While others pray, the other acted like a wall or fort to avoid those who are praying from being stepped on or pushed. During my time, I think I was among few congregation that came alone, by ourselves. During the waiting time, I kept praying to Allah s.w.t to be given the opportunity to pray in Raudhah because I've heard of stories about people that couldn't managed to perform solat even when they already in Raudhah because of the overwhelming crowd.

Finally we were ushered into Raudhah and the pushing and bulldozing other people started. Subhanallah at times, I felt like I'm going to break into 2. Do not underestimate all the Arabs's granny, ever! They may looked fragile and weak but masya allah their strength! They can push me like I was some twig. When I am sure I already in Raudhah, I said my salam to Rasullulah and the 2 sahabats and utter my niyah to pray. When I was about to recite Al-Fatihah, a group of people from behind pushed me so hard I nearly fall and kissed the mosque floor. So I gathered my strength and set another position I find suitable and started my niyah again. And I got pushed again, this time harder. They urged me and others to keep walking forward. I felt like crying, oh no, I actually did crying out of frustration. Then I composed myself, istighfar repeatedly and seek forgiveness from Allah and pray to Him to make it easy for me and to show me the way. In those mere second, suddenly I decided to pray while walking. I don't know whether my situation at that time permit me to do so, I just tawakkal to Allah s.w.t. When I was contemplating, suddenly I saw some "empty" space infront of me so I took a step forward and immediately started my prayer. Still there's pushing and urging from all angle of me but I just focus on my prayer. Anyway, I did noticed before I starts my solat sunat that there's a group of 5-6 Turkish granny beside my spot who had already performed a circle among themselves which I decided to ignore and try focusing on myown prayer and recitation. Suddenly, the pushing stops. I don't feel anyone pushing me or infact I don't feel anyone touching me at all. So I just kept praying and say my prayer. The moment I'm done, I got up lifted my face up only to realized that I was actually in the middle of circle made by those Turkish grannies. They still circling me even after I'm done, smiling to me and saying something like " Tafadhal, du'a du'a ( go ahead, say your prayer)" and make a gesture and body sign that they'll protect me so I can take my time. It appeared to me like all of them had done their prayer and decided to make a circle around me when I'm praying even though they didn't know me at all.

Allah hu akbar, Allah hu akbar, Allah hu akbar..

He listened to me!

Thank you Allah. You're indeed The Greatest.

I was burst into tears. I kept hugging all the grannies and said syukran syukran between sobbing and they just smiled and patted me at back, as if they were comforting me. Nothing can ever replaced that feeling, no words could describe of how I felt. When I felt I'm alone and helpless, He sent me a group of kindhearted ladies to help me. When I felt sympathy deep in my heart looking at all those elders who can barely walk at the mosque and sort of riak in my heart knowing that I'm young, healthy and energetic, Allah showed me that those whom I thought weak was the one who protected me when I didn't do anything to help them.

This is indeed a life changing experience.


ZIARAH

When we was in Madinah, we had the opportunity to visit all the recommended site and mosques that have history to each their own. I must say that, I now can understand why we are encouraged to do ziarah together with our Umrah. By visiting all those historical site, you'll understand more about Rasullullah s.a.w and his sacrifices in fighting for Islam. We did learned about all of the history since primary school but only after coming here and visit and saw the site with my own pair of eyes did I finally understood it.

I'll let the pictures do the "talking" :-


:: Arafat ::


:: The under-construction-near-completion train station. It will get more convenience for all the pilgrims once it's done, Insya Allah ::




:: Funny signboard that could leads to serious misunderstanding :) ::


:: The arrow : Said to be the location where sacrificial slaughter of Nabi Ismail by Nabi Ibrahim took place ::


:: Mina camp site ::


:: Local lady selling pigeon feed for a living ::


:: Seven Mosque ::

:: History behind it ::




:: Other mosque among the seven ::


:: We started pretty early because we do not want to miss our Zuhur prayer at Masjidil Nabawi, explained Erin's yawning ::



:: Believed to be location of Rasullulah s.a.w's archery team in Uhud war ::





:: Reminder at Perkuburan Syuhada and Uhud Battle site, in Malay ::

:: Multilingual signboards. All conveying the same message which is to avoid doing bida'ah activity and the grave area ::


:: Outside Quba' mosque ::

:: The first masjid in Islam history, built by Rasullulah s.a.w himself. Masjid Quba. Perform 2 rakaat of solat sunat here, you'll be rewarded a pahala equivalent to an umrah, Masya Allah.. Who wanna miss that kind of reward u tell me? ::




:: Qiblatain Mosque or Two praying direction mosque ::






:: I knew the history of this mosque but I just couldn't imagine how Rasullulah turned his direction from facing the old qiblah to new qiblah facing toward Mecca after received wahyu from Allah s.w.t. Only after I visited this mosque then I managed to put it into picture. Now only I know that the original qiblah was almost 180 degree from our current qiblah ::

Then our driver drove in between rocky mountain gap, into the rural area with a lot old rustic Arabs houses.




:: He actually headed to this cave. Rumor has it, Rasullulah s.a.w was brought to this cave when he was injured in Uhud Battle ::

:: There's a lot of people climbing the steep hill to take a closer look at the cave but we decided to passed. It's been quite sometimes when I decided that mountain climbing wasn't my forte :) ::


:: The signboard says it all ::


:: Day market at Uhud battle site ::


:: This definitely brings back good old memories ::

:: Brassware and silverware ::


:: Tasbih kayu koka ::


:: I am not sure this is kembang semangkuk or Kacip Fatimah. I had 2 different opinions so you're welcome to decide which is which ::

:: Assorted of nuts ::


:: Bazar ::


:: Capal shop ::


SOUQ TAMAR


Your trip to Madinah won't be complete if you skipped this place. Souq Tamar. My advise to you, don't buy dates in Mecca. It's doubled the price from Madinah. In fact, don't buy anything in Mecca if possible except Air Zam zam ha ha ha. Everything is over priced from my personal view. You can get pretty much the same thing for a much much lower price in Madinah. If you're going to Madinah first, then buy all the souvenirs you need at Madinah. You won't get the same price at Mecca, trust me. Basically what they have in Mecca will be in Madinah except for Zam Zam water. I couldn't find any shop selling zam zam water in Madinah. Maybe there is, but I just didn't see any. They did sell the tong though and you had to collect zamzam water from Masjidil Nabawi and fill up the tong yourself.

Back to tamar, we went to the souq a day before we left Madinah. It's located quite near to Masjidil Nabawi but prepare to get short of breath if you opted to walk. It's near but not THAT near. Another thing is, prepared to bargain with taxi driver because they certainly will choke you with their unreasonable price. The first taxi we asked demanded for 75 riyals for a mere 3 minutes distance. Oh come on,fuel is dirt cheap in Saudi. Cheaper than Kuwait!


:: Souq Tamar. This is the place to get tamar as souvenir for friends and families. Not only their tamar is fresh and high in quality, it's cheaper compared to anywhere else in Madinah ::


:: Besides just being ripped off almost 65 riyals by the van driver, I still managed to smile wide. Firstly, it's not me who's paying hee hee hee and secondly, senyum itu adelah sadaqahhhh :) ::


:: We chose this shop. The seller is one young Indonesian guy who speaks I don't know, maybe 4-5 languages. He speaks malay to us, he speaks arabic to Arabs and he speaks Hindi to Indian customer ::


I'm more than glad to give you crash course on Tamar. Free of charge !


:: This is called Sukari or Kurma Jantan! It is said to be good for men reproduction system and to those who planning for a son, this is tamar that you need to buy. My husband bought 2 kilos kah kah kah ::



:: If above tamar meant for men, then this kurma is godsent for ladies or specifically mothers. This is called Kurma Susu. It helps to boost breast milk production. I was forced to taste it and I swear it does taste like milk! Like I've just eaten a white chocolate cadbury bar. The texture was fiber-ish, unlike normal tamar ::


:: L-R :: Mr Yuzly, Me, Mrs Yuzly aka Kak Anis, Aza aka Mrs Mohi and Mohi ::



:: The most expensive tamar and highest in quality. This is Ambar Madinah or Kurma Nabi. Errr was it ajwa kurma nabi ke ambar eh? Confuse sudah... ::


:: This is Kurma Ajwa ::




Lastly...





















:: I'm not sure if they realized this but I think they bought defective Frinting machine. Looks like their machine missing letter P, don't you think? Or maybe the guy who proof read this signage was playing F game at that time. SafaYafa RaFaSafa PafaPanfan TanfanDafa IfiNifi SafaNgatFat LufuCufu, No ? ::

















































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