Maulana Abdul Habib Attari
Since hearing that the airports of the blessed Haramayn have reopened and that people who hold a visit visa are now permitted entry, the intense yearning and burning desire to visit Madinah once again took a firm hold of me. So, on 3 October, 2020, at approximately 7.00am, I set out via Dubai, with the grace of Allah Almighty, heading towards the Beloved’s city.
After suspending entry for nearly 7 months, Umrah restarted in the beginning of October, 2020, admitting approximately six thousands pilgrims daily.
With the global Covid-19 pandemic still present, many of the regulations for visiting the blessed Haramayn have been changed. In October, a negative, mandatory Covid-19 test had to be taken by all travellers within 48 hours of their flights. Therefore, on the morning of 2 October, I had the Covid-19 test. I was waiting restless for the results to arrive but I also had some lectures to deliver that evening, so I would check for the results after each speech.
After the second speech, at around 11 p.m., I received the results that اَلْـحَمْـدُ لـِلّٰـه everything was fine. Then I set off to the airport at around 4:30 a.m. just a few hours later. At the airport, there was a lot more paperwork than usual to complete. Anyone travelling abroad during the pandemic is strongly advised to arrive at the airport approximately 4 hours before the flight because the paperwork is time-consuming.
Onwards to Madinah
Arriving in Dubai, we took the opportunity to rest for a few hours before the connecting flight. We then offered Zuhr Salah before boarding the flight to Jeddah. As ‘Asr time entered, we prayed on the plane but managed to offer Maghrib Salah upon arriving at Jeddah airport. After spending much time in checks and other airport norms, we eventually had our evening meal before departing towards Madinah Munawwarah. What a journey that was; each moment imbued with the Zikr of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ, wrapped in the fragrance of Salat upon the Nabi and poetry in praise of the Beloved صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. The hearts of the Prophet’s lovers swayed and their eyes showered ceaselessly until finally, there it was, the City of Madinah. We entered Madinah Munawwarah at around 1:30 a.m. Overcome with fatigue, we first offered our Isha Salah and then rested. In the morning, we rested again after offering Fajr Salah.
Attending the Prophetic Court
In his book ‘Rafeeq-ul-Haramayn,’ Ameer-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat, Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Attar Qadiri دَامَـتْ بَـرَكَـاتُـهُـمُ الْـعَـالِـيَـهْ has advised pilgrims to rest upon arriving in Madinah, so that they are mentally and physically prepared to visit the Prophetic Chamber. After offering Zuhr Salah, performing Ghusl, and donning new clothes, I made my way to the court of the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.
All of the entrances to the Prophetic Chamber (Raudah) of the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم were locked due to Covid-19 restrictions. Unable to enter, I had the honour of presenting myself and offering my greetings while standing in the courtyard; the radiant Green Dome before me. We recited Salat and Salam, presented the greetings of Ameer-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat دَامَـتْ بَـرَكَـاتُـهُـمُ الْـعَـالِـيَـهْ and other brothers, and pleaded in the Prophetic Court before proceeding to the area of the courtyard where the umbrellas are situated and from where the Green Dome is clearly visible.
Kya sabz sabz gunbad ka Khoob hay nazarah
Hay kis qadr suhana kaysa hay piyara piyara
(Wasail-e-Bakhshish, p. 317)
Staying at Al-Masjid Nabawi until Isha Salah, we spent those blessed hours praying, reciting the Quran, making Zikr, and meeting Islamic brothers.
Visiting the martyrs of Uhud
After a glorious day followed by a sublime evening at Al-Masjid Nabawi, basking in the Prophetic Presence, we returned to our accommodation to rest. We then hastened to Uhud, eager to present ourselves before the Leader of the Martyrs, Sayyiduna Ameer Hamzah رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ and other martyrs of Uhud. Our sojourn there lasted till late night.
Fasting on Monday in Madinah Munawwarah
The following morning, our Islamic brothers of the Madani Qafilah partook in the pre-dawn meal (Suhoor) in preparation for their fast. During the day, we once again reaped the honour of visiting the illuminated Al-Masjid Nabawi. Many people fast on Monday in the blessed city of Madinah and although arrangements for Iftar are usually made in the Masjid, due to Covid-19, these arrangements have been suspended. Nevertheless, keen not to let the opportunity slip away, we prepared our own Iftar to have in the blessed Masjid. It should be noted that eating, drinking, sleeping, and consuming Suhoor and Iftar in any Masjid is prohibited, unless one has the intention of I’tikaf, in which case these acts become implicitly permissible.
Currently, it is mandatory to wear a facemask when entering Al-Masjid Nabawi. To impede the spread of Covid-19, the Zamzam water coolers have also been removed. Therefore, visitors are advised to take a facemask and a water bottle with them. The night coincided with the death anniversary (‘Urs) of the honourable mother of Ameer-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat, Muhammad Ilyas Attar Qadiri دَامَـتْ بَـرَكَـاتُـهُـمُ الْـعَـالِـيَـهْ. In the spirit of honouring her, our Madani Qafilah distributed food at Uhud, conveying the reward to the blessed soul of Ameer-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat’s mother.
Attending Madani Mashwarahs from Madinah Shareef
Location should never be a barrier to continuing our efforts for Islam. Thus, no matter where we are, we should continue with the religious activities of Dawat-e-Islami. By the grace of Allah Almighty, during my stay at Madinah Shareef, I participated in Madani Mashwarahs of various departments, committees, and responsible brothers of Dawat-e-Islami. I also had the privilege of delivering two speeches in two Madani Halqahs on Thursday.
During this journey, I was invited to a gathering at the home of a respected Arab scholar, in which I recited the Qasidah Burdah. With great love, we were served with a meal and our host went to great lengths to accommodate us. We also visited the site of the Expedition of Khandaq and other historical sites. Furthermore, we also recorded content for Madani Channel in various locations.
We had the opportunity to visit the house of the deceased brother, Sa’eed Attari, who passed away due to Covid-19, to offer our condolences to his family. مَاشَــآءَالـلّٰـه what can be said about the good fortune of brother Sa’eed Attari! He was buried in Madinah Munawwarah. May Allah Almighty also grant us a good end in Madinah and burial in Jannat-ul-Baqi’.
Mayn hoon Sunni rahoon Sunni maron Sunni Madinay mayn
Baqi’-e-Pak mayn ban jaye turbat ya Rasool Allah
(Wasail-e-Bakhshish, p. 331)
The Beloved Mustafa صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم stated: ‘اَلصَّلَاةُ فِی مَسْجِدِ قُبَا كَعُمْرَةٍ’ ‘Offering Salah in Masjid Quba is akin to performing Umrah.’ (Tirmizi, vol. 1, p. 348, Hadees 324)
In the current pandemic, Masjid Quba only opens its doors at Salah times. Attendees to the Masjid need to bring their own prayer mat and ensure they wear a facemask. When we arrived at Masjid Quba, a person was distributing prayer mats to the visitors.
May Allah Almighty grant us the good fortune of visiting Mecca Mukarramah and Madinah Munawwarah, again and again, with utmost respect. May He grace us with the honour of performing Hajj and Umrah.
اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْاَمِیْن صَلَّی اللہ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلہٖ وَسَلَّم