Some observations and thoughts while I was there. pictures from the Binx collection.
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “There is a garden from the gardens of Paradise between my house and my pulpit, and my pulpit is on my Lake Fount (Al-Kauthar).”
Narrated Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet said, “Do not undertake journey but to three mosques: this mosque of mine, the Mosque of al-Haram and the Mosque of Aqsa (Bait al-Maqdis).”
On the third day I was in Madinah, I woke up to the sound of azan, and rushed straight to the bathroom. I thought I was going to miss the dawn prayer, but then found out that it was a wake-up call for those who wants to perform late night prayers (tahajjud). First time I heard azan used for that purpose and not just calling for the five main prayers.
The majority of visitors while I was there were Malaysians, Indonesians and Turks. The rest were either foreign workers or locals. That’s just a guess though, because most wore the black covering (chador?). What’s interesting was to see the men waiting at the gate in front of the ladies entrance for their wives, sisters, mothers, etc and can easily recognise the black clad ladies, despite them not showing their faces! Amazing.
The Uthman bin Affan entrance
Although camera phones are banned, it does not stop the ladies from bringing them in. You will hear some annoying ringtone at least once a day (in between or after each prayer), followed by some loud voice talking rapidly in Arabic or other similar language.
The mosque, and its surrounding area is very clean! Not to mention wheelchair-friendly. And there are many people using wheelchairs to get around, as it is acknowledged that most pilgrims are elderlies, and even the younger ones will fall ill being in a hot and dry place.
from the gates. the tiles used to be just sand two years ago