A Visit to the Prophet’s Mosque and Jannat al-Baqi
Knowing I was so close to such amazing people who hold such a dear spot in so many Muslims’ hearts but could not sit at the foot of their grave was extremely hard to swallow.
Despite being my second time visiting the Mosque of the Prophet, it was a breathtaking experience.
I always wondered why so many people said that being in Madina is so much more peaceful than even being at the Ka’ba. After observing both places, I found it to be true. Although Mecca is certainly an awesome place to be, everyone is busy in tawaaf, or moving out of the way for the cleaners to clean the tiles, or just busy praying. At the Prophet’s Masjid, there is a sense of serenity – families sitting in the courtyard relaxing, kids playing with the fun toys being sold around the corner. Inside the Masjid is a different feeling, with everyone connected to each other, at the same place for one purpose – to pass on their greetings to their Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny).
As nice as it sounds, there were some unfortunate hurdles to pass just to get a glance at the grave of our Prophet, being a woman anyway. It’s hard to deal with the constant checking every time you step foot in one of the many doors. Then there was the constant changing of barricades that are placed inside the Masjid, which change the direction, areas, and all dynamics of visiting the Prophet’s grave. It almost felt as if we were on a mission. Also, the timings that are set for women to go visit, usually kept from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM, were changed, of course with no warning. That made the rush even worse, and the Ziyarat experience even more difficult.
Another hurdle is the language barrier. All of the woman guards only speak Arabic, and the only other words they may know are phrases like Chalo, which in Urdu means “Go!”, so not much communication going on there. The etiquette is quite different as well – or maybe living in America and being used to the fake happy customer service has spoiled me. There is no such thing as customer service in this story!
The worst feeling had to be standing in the courtyard of the Masjid, right in front of Jannat al-Baqi – well, the big huge wall anyway. Knowing I was so close to such amazing people who hold such a dear spot in so many Muslims’ hearts but could not sit at the foot of their grave was extremely hard to swallow. It was hard to concentrate on reading the prescribed Ziyarats when only thoughts of “How dare they do this?” run through your head. Currently, a “Health Center” is being built right in front of Baqi. If they only knew the medicine to take care of their problems is already there.
Regardless of the difficulties, the end is sweet. The feeling of being in the same place where the Ummah’s Holy Prophet stepped foot, prayed, and gave sermons, is an indescribable feeling. One feels unworthy of being there, and also a rush of confusion as to what I am supposed to do. What do I ask? Then the thoughts of, what if Prophet was still here? How could I face him? What would he think of me?
I only wish that I had the time to sit there for hours to reflect, like those who live there but unfortunately are blind to see the true beauty of Muhammad and Aal-e-Muhammad.