A palace from Paradise, home to the best of creation
Photo: Worshippers stroll to the Prophet's (saw) mosque for Asr prayer. © Fareena Alam. Please do not re-use without permission and proper credit.
The plane lands. The wait is over. I am finally in Madina. The exhaustion and impatience evaporates; I put all my effort into concentrating on the fact that I am in the City of the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم). During the drive to the hotel, with my head bowed low, I increase my invocations upon the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم). I think to myself, “Alhamdulilah, I’ve made it.” My heart is at peace.
After reaching the hotel, I prepare myself to visit the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم). I hear the call for tahajjud being made, “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar!” In haste, not wanting to miss a moment with the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم), I put on clean clothing and a nice scent and hurry to the Masjid An-Nabawi. As I anxiously walk towards the Mosque of the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) (heart beating at dangerous speeds), I realize why Madina is called “The Illuminated.” The light emanating from the pillars of the Masjid An-Nabawi seems to reach all corners of the blessed city. I am awe-struck by the sheer magnificence of the Masjid. It is like a palace from
Overwhelmed, I walk into the Masjid repeating, “Allahuma Sali wa sallim ‘ala Sayyidina Muhammad.” I can swear I am dreaming. It doesn’t feel real. Every step I take takes me closer to the Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه و سلم). I clear my mind of everything. “Allahuma Sali wa sallim ‘ala Sayyidina Muhammad.” I reach the Ottoman section of the Masjid An-Nabawi. I take a step into that section and I feel an alteration in my surroundings. My senses are heightened. My hearing, my sight, it’s all very different. I feel goose bumps and electricity all over my body. I look around the Holy Sanctuary: the carpet; the walls with their intricate designs; the ceiling; the colors – the deep reds, greens, and gold; then I look upon the Rawda; the beautiful Arabic calligraphy everywhere states, “Muhammad Rasool Allah.”
That one step from the new section of the Masjid into the old one is a gateway into a different realm. I don’t know what it is, but this section of the Masjid transports me somewhere. Like a faded memory that belongs to a different person, I suddenly remember the life I live – my neighborhood, my school, my friends, my hopes, my fears, my attachments – they all mean nothing at this one moment. I am no longer in the world. I keep walking deeper into the Mosque until I can walk no further. I make a left turn.And there is the Prophet of Allah.
As I look upon the golden gate to the resting place of the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) my pulse quickens. I look at the sign above his blessed resting place, “Here is the Messenger of Allah.” It is like being struck with a hammer. I am overwhelmed with a plethora of emotions. Bliss. Love. Longing. Safety. Shame. Hope. Lots of hope. Here I stand and send greetings and salutations upon the Beloved of Allah (صلي الله عليه و سلم). Every moment before the golden gates seems like an eternity. I speak intimately to the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم). My feelings begin to release themselves from my chest in the same manner that a flood destroys a dam. I beg for his love, for his (صلي الله عليه و سلم) intercession, and for nearness to him (صلي الله عليه و سلم) on the Day of Reckoning.
After what seems like hours, I realize that the time for the Fajr prayer approaches. I want to be there forever, but I painfully realise that I must leave. I gently excuse myself from my Beloved’s side (صلي الله عليه و سلم) and prepare to pray. I leave the Beloved’s (صلي الله عليه و سلم) side transformed. I smile as I look forward to the days ahead spent at his side (صلي الله عليه و سلم), may Allah’s peace and blessing everlastingly shower upon him (صلي الله عليه و سلم).
- Amjad Tarsin