Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Medina - the holy city of Islam

Medina - the city in Saudi Arabia, one of the three (along with Mecca and Jerusalem) holy cities of Islam.

Its present name (shortly for Madinat Al-Nabi in "city of the Prophet") Medina got in Islamic times. This name was given to the Muslim city-oasis Yathryb, where in 622 AD. the Prophet Muhammad migrated from Mecca in order to escape persecution of opponents of the new religion. In Medina, Muhammad spent the rest of his life, leaving the city only to direct military operations and the pilgrimage to Mecca.

In Medina, the Prophet established the first mosque (Masjid Al-Nabi), and proclaimed a significant part of the Qur'an, concerning above all the rules of life of the Muslim community. In Medina, Islam acquired the character of an independent religion. It also laid the foundations of an Islamic state, the first capital of which was the Medina.

In Medina, Muhammad was buried in the mosque Masjid an-Nabi, which was adjacent to his house. Pilgrims always visit the grave of the Prophet, even though the worship is not one of the rites of the hajj.

Like Mecca, Medina is a city closed to non-Muslims.

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