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A visit to Madinah al-Munawwarah, the City of Light

From losing shoes to trying to find space on the roof of the masjid to pray Jumua, A Visit to Madinah by Obayd Fox gives us a personal experience of visiting Madinah which is also informative. The sights and sounds and the way the camera moves naturally through the spaces gives the viewer an idea of the atmosphere and what actually being there is like.

Approaching the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah al-Munawwarah, the City of Light, architectural umbrellas shade the square of the mosque precinct, with its great expanse of white marble underfoot. The green dome of the Prophet’s Mosque is distinctive among the domes and minarets that have marked the masjid’s expansion over the centuries. If you have ever visited Madinah you won’t forget its distinctive ambiance, infused with mercy, baraka and a wonderful and distinct sense of wellbeing like nowhere else.

Obayd Fox in Madinah

Arriving in Madinah al-Munawwarah

In this vlog style film, Obayd Fox gives us a first-hand account of his visit to Madinah, adding in historical details to give context to the places he visits. Starting from Masjid Quba on the outskirts of the city, he explains that when the Prophet ﷺ migrated to Madinah, the first place he stopped was in a place called Quba. It was a little village where he stayed for around two weeks, placing the first stones of the mosque, Masjid Quba, which was completed by his Companions, and is said to be the oldest mosque in the world.

Quba Mosque

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ left Quba and arrived in Madinah by camel. People tried to take the reins of the camel, but he told them not to, saying it had been ordered where to go. It settled at the house of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, where the Prophet ﷺ lived temporarily. Nearby was a piece of land owned by two brothers called Sahl and Suhayl. He bought this land from them and that is where the Prophet’s Mosque was built.

Palm trees in Madinah

Inside the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah

In the old part of the Prophet’s Mosque, Obayd points out the Hujurat, where the Prophet ﷺ used to live. He shows viewers the pillars marking the extent of the original mosque, and gives a visual demonstration inside the mosque of how it expanded over the centuries, pointing out the different phases of its construction. It was expanded in the time of Umar and Uthman, but then the Ottomans expanded it considerably further. Obayd points out domes built by the Mamluks, and painting around the mosque carried out by the Ottomans. Today the masjid is many times bigger than it was in Ottoman times, covering over 35 acres –  and can now hold half a million people praying.

Inside the Prophet's mosque in Madinah

We are shown where the Prophet ﷺ used to give the Friday sermon, and Obayd explains that the reason this area is so busy is because the Prophet ﷺ said that the area between his house and his minbar is a garden from the gardens of paradise. Also located by this area of the mosque is the Prophet’s grave.

Worshippers at the Prophet's mosque in Madinah

After Maghrib, we see the atmosphere in the mosque, where groups of people gather to listen to talks and to learn Quran. Obayd explains that Madinah has always been a hub for learning, and remains so to this day. We see groups of sometimes hundreds of people, young and old, attending lectures and gathering in circles to memorise Quran. The following day Obayd takes us on a hike to Mount Uhud, giving an overview of the battle of Uhud, and finishing the day and the video with a beautiful view of the city at sunset.

Hiking to Mount Uhud in Madinah

Whether you are longing to visit Madinah, are planning a trip, or would like a reminder of what it is like there having visited before, this documentary gives the viewer a nourishing glimpse and reminder of the sweet atmosphere and baraka of the City of Light of the Prophet ﷺ.

The Prophet's mosque at night

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