Last weekend, our family took a road trip to the Holy city of Madina. One of the biggest benefits of living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is the closeness to the Holy cities of Makkah and Madina. And that we being residents can easily visit these places anytime, considering the fact that for Muslims, it is a long, hard struggle to experience this blessing even once in their lives. Add to the financial constraints that many muslims face, the new Saudi Visa laws and expenses, and the dream has just become out of reach for millions of people around the world. Sad, really.
I had always heard stories of the serenity and feelings of pure content and joy while in Madina, from my parents. And my own experience was no different. I have been there twice, and both times I didn’t want to leave. Its the feeling of utter belongingness, the feeling of pure joy and humbleness, the feeling of utmost respect and love for our Prophet and Religion, the peace and sense of satisfaction and gratefulness on being there, that makes leaving this city really hard and not without tears.
From Riyadh, the journey to Madina is quite long. It took us a whole day to reach (10+ hours with a couple of stopovers), and the same way on the back. We could stay for only day and a couple of nights due to school/office, but it was totally worth it! It wasn’t easy to tackle such a long drive with just one day to spend, specially with kids. But surprisingly, they both did really well on the drives (with one difficult episode from Azaan) and they just loved their time there too and Hamza didn’t want to come back. It was just the best thing to leave behind all our worldly worries and life things and just give in completely to the serenity and peace there. We came back refreshed and wanting to go back again. Looking forward to our trip to Makkah soon now.
When I first went to Madina a couple of years ago, I was expecting Azaan at that time. I remember praying endlessly for his health and safe arrival to this world. And now, seeing him there, happily running in Masjid Nabvi’s courtyards, I felt like my prayers have been answered. Alhamdullilah, God has been really kind.
We lucked out on the hotel and got one just a few steps away from Masjid Nabvi. I do not have the words to describe the beauty and splendor of that place, rest assured that you do not want to be anywhere else but there! During the day, we each tagged one kid with us and went to pray (i always took Hamza cause well, he is much easier to manage :P). And at night and early morning when the kids were asleep, we took turns to spend some time in the mosque, visit Riaz-ul-Jannah, and pay our salaam at Roza-e-Rasool.
We also visited a couple of other mosques in the city and took a short drive to the Wadi-e-Jinn (how cool is that!). I have some videos in my phone of the stunts our car pulled in Wadi-e-Jinn, accelerating on its own on an uphill road with shift gear in neutral, that I might share soon!
Living in the Kingdom definitely comes with its fair share of challenges, but its a blessed life for sure! i was told by many people living here, that there is barkat(blessing) here, and now after experiencing it first hand in many aspects of life, i can’t help but totally agree! Seeing how everyone here is so close to religion and put their complete faith in Allah for even the most mundane life things, has definitely given me strength in my low times too.