Masjid Nabawi: Prophet’s Mosque Etiquette and Spiritual Insights
Visiting the Prophet’s Mosque (PBUH) in Madinah is a deeply spiritual and meaningful experience for Muslims around the world, which many visit after Umrah or Hajj. While it’s not a part of the pilgrimage, it is a highly recommended action. Since it’s a place of utmost reverence, it is important to understand the etiquette and insights when visiting this place.
This post aims to guide readers on the importance of correct conduct and spiritual, mindful practices when visiting the Prophet’s Mosque (PBUH), allowing them to embrace the full significance of this holy sanctuary.
ABOUT AL MASJID AL NABAWI
Al Masjid Al Nabawi is the most revered site in the entire city. Known as the “Prophet’s Mosque”, this magnificent mosque—with its ten minarets—holds great significance as it was constructed under the command of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) after he migrated from Makkah. It served not only as a place of worship but also as a hub for teachings and operations essential to Islam.
With a capacity to accommodate one million visitors, this sacred place can be visited at any time of day or night. In addition to being a prayer space, it encompasses several other holy sites including the tomb of the Prophet located beneath its iconic green dome (which is called Rawdah ash Sharifah or Noble Garden) and the Minbar where sermons were delivered by Prophet Muhammad.
Exploring Masjid Al Nabawi allows you to appreciate its intricate architecture displayed on walls, gates, and ceilings. Don’t miss witnessing the mesmerizing sight of convertible umbrellas opening and closing during dusk and dawn in the courtyard for an enriching experience.
PREPARING FOR THE VISIT
Modest attire – Prepare oneself physically by donning modest and clean attire, such as traditional clothing like thobes for men and abayas for women. It is advisable to apply a mild perfume sparingly for men.
Seek knowledge – Reading up on the life of our beloved Prophet (PBUH), understanding the significance of Madinah in Islam, learning about Masjid Al Nabawi, and making sincere intentions for the visit could enhance the experience.
VISITING THE PROPHET’S MOSQUE
Step 1: Setting the right intention
When pilgrims prepare to visit the Prophet’s Mosque, it’s fundamental to have the correct niyyah or intention. Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said,
“If the pilgrim wants to visit the Prophet’s Mosque before or after Hajj, he should have the intention of visiting the mosque, not the grave, because traveling to a place for the purpose of worship does not include visiting graves, rather it includes only the three mosques: al-Masjid al-Haraam (the Sacred Mosque in Makkah), al-Masjid al-Nabawi (the Prophet’s Mosque in Madeenah) and al-Masjid al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem), as it says in the hadeeth which was narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) who said: “No journey should be undertaken to any mosque except three: al-Masjid al-Haraam, this mosque of mine and al-Masjid al-Aqsa.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1189: Muslim, 1397.
From this, we understand that it is only permissible to make the intention to visit Masjid Al-Nabawi, but it is not permitted to have the intention of visiting the grave of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Step 2: Dua when entering
After the intention has been established, it’s time to enter the masjid. When you arrive at the door of the masjid, enter with your right foot and recite the dua:
Bismillah; Was’salaatu was’salamu ala rasoolil’lah;
Allahummaf tah’lee ab-waa’ba rahmatik.
In the name of Allah, send blessings upon Muhammad (PBUH).
O Allah, open for me the doors of Your Bounty.
Step 3: Pray 2 rakats
As you enter the masjid, make your way to Al-Rawdah, a section located between the Prophet’s house, the honorable room, and his pulpit. Pray 2 Rakats of Tahiyyatul Masjid, reciting Sūrah al-Kāfirūn in the first rakat and in the second, Sūrah al-Ikhlās. This space, Al-Rawdah, is regarded as one of the gardens of Paradise.
The prophet, (blessings and peace be upon him), said, “Between my house and my pulpit is a garden of Paradise.”
If you find the place crowded, pray wherever you can, as close as possible to the Rawdah. Women can access the honorable Rawdah from gates 25 and 29 in the Eastern Women’s Prayer Hall.
SECURING YOUR RAWDAH PERMIT
You require a pre-arrival permit to pray at Rawda. Follow the steps below to acquire your permit from the Nusuk app before you visit the Prophet’s Mosque. This is applicable to both men and women:
- Download Nusuk from your device’s app store.
- Choose your desired language: English or Arabic.
- Create a new account by clicking on “New User”
- Define your status (e.g., Citizen/Resident, Gulf, or Visitor).
- If you’re a Saudi citizen or residing in the country, select Citizen or Resident
- If you’re a citizen of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, or UAE, select the Gulf
- If you don’t belong to any of the above, select Visitor
- Add your personal details and set a password.
- Validate your account using the mobile activation code sent to you.
- This way, your account has been created in the Nusuk app.
- To get the Rawdah permit, follow these steps:
- Open the app or log in.
- Find “Prophet’s Mosque Services”.
- Choose “Praying in the Noble Rawdah”.
- Select your name and click on the “Continue” button.
- Confirm your details and move forward by pressing “Continue”.
- Pick a prayer time from the calendar. Green indicates available slots.
- Tap on “Issue permit” and your permit should be granted in a few minutes.
- For cancellation, click on “Cancel” at the bottom of your permit.
Step 4: Sending salutations
Upon completing the Tahiyyatul Masjid, join the queue for the Ziyarah to send salam to our beloved Prophet (PBUH) and his companions. Remember, it is important to maintain a high level of respect and reverence. Refrain from behaving inappropriately or raising your voice. It is advisable to limit conversations with others during this time.
- Greeting our beloved Prophet (PBUH)
When you are in front of his tomb, recite the following:
As-salāmu ‘alayka yā rasūlAllāh.
Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah.
As-salāmu ‘alayka ayyuha n-nabiyyu wa raḥmatu llāhi wa barakātuhu.
Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the mercy of Allah and His blessings.
Note: There are numerous ways to say your salutations. You can add other shorter or longer greetings when sending your salutations.
- Greeting Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (R.A)
After greeting the Prophet (PBUH), continue moving forward until you’re in front of Abu Bakr (R.A)’s tomb and recite the following:
As-salaamu alayka ya Aba Bakr;
As-salaamu alayka ya khaleefat Rasool-illaah; Fi ummatihi, radiya Allaahu anka wa jazaa-ka ‘an ummati Muhammadin khayran.
Peace be upon you, O Abu Bakr, peace be upon you, O successor of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) in his Ummah, May Allah be pleased with you and reward you with good on behalf of Muhammad (PBUH).
- Greeting Umar ibn al-Khattab (R.A)
After greeting Abu Bakr (R.A), move forward so that you’re in front of Umar’s tomb and send the following salutations:
As-salaamu alayka ya Umar;
As-salaamu alayka ya ameer al-mu’mineen, radiya Allaahu anka wa jazaaka an ummati Muhammadin khayran.
Peace be upon you, O Umar, peace be upon you, O leader of the believers, may Allah be pleased with you and reward you with good on behalf of Muhammad (PBUH).
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:
“Do not make your houses like graves, and do not make my grave a place for celebration and invoke blessings (of Allah) on me for they will reach me wherever you may be.”
After you move out, stay back and busy yourself with additional prayers, supplications, and recitation of the Qur’an. Ensure you offer the Friday prayers in the mosque before departing from Madinah.
14 IMPORTANT ETIQUETTES FOR VISITING PROPHET’S MOSQUE
- Before visiting the Prophet’s Mosque, make sure that you take a bath and wear your best clothes. Men can wear perfume.
- Set the right intention. It should be solely about visiting the Prophet’s Mosque (PBUH) and praying there, and not visiting his grave.
- Enter the masjid with your right foot through As-Salam gate.
- Behave in a dignified manner and avoid pushing or jostling others near you.
- Do not raise your voice such as displaying overt grief or wailing at the Prophet’s grave. It is highly disliked and goes against the Prophet (PBUH)’s teachings.
- Do not push or fight when you do not have a place to pray in Rawdah. You will be able to find a place to pray a little further away.
- When in front of the Prophet (PBUH)’s tomb, stand in a dignified and respectful manner. Do not raise your hand and make dua directly in front of the tombs. You can turn towards the Ka’aba and then make dua.
- It is considered SHIRK when making dua facing the grave of the Prophet (PBUH) or requesting intercession from him. You can ONLY make dua and ask for the Prophet’s intercession from Allah ALONE.
- Beware of committing other Un-Islamic acts.
- When moving out, walk out with dignity and make space for others.
- Do not leave behind litter or damage the masjid’s property. Treat it with respect.
- Do not use the mosque’s premises to do business or trade.
- Respect other’s privacy when shooting pictures or videos.
- Follow the rules and regulations levied by the mosque’s management.
- Connection to history: The Prophet’s Mosque was established and originally built by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself during his time. Visiting the mosque lets you feel a deep connection to the origins and early years of Islam.
- Deeper faith: Spending time in the mosque, engaging in prayer and remembrance (dhikr), can lead to immense spiritual enrichment and personal growth.
- Prophet’s legacy: Reflect on the sacrifices and unwavering faith of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the very city that sheltered him.
- Inner peace: Experience the unique tranquility and spiritual calmness that Madinah offers.
As we walk through Masjid Al Nabawi, the very same grounds graced by our beloved Prophet (PBUH) and his companions, it is our responsibility to tread with dignity and respect.
With the right intention, an understanding of the etiquettes, and a heart filled with reverence, the experience becomes a cherished memory and a source of immense blessings.
Let this visit serve as a reminder of the beauty of Islam, the Prophet’s enduring love for his Ummah, and our collective duty to uphold the sanctity of such sacred spaces.
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