The cities of Makkah and Madinah hold great significance in Islam, and Muslims from all over the world travel to these cities for ziyarat. Ziyarat is a form of pilgrimage to sites connected with Prophet Muhammad, his family, companions, descendants and other respected figures in Islam. This blog is a complete Ziyarat guide for Makkah and Madinah that will help pilgrims pick from top ziyarat sites including mosques, mountains, maqams, battlefields, and caves. Before we go any further, let’s understand a little more about ziyarat.
What is Ziyarat? How to perform Ziyarat?
Ziyarat is an Arabic word, meaning “visit” and is used in reference to a form of pilgrimage associated with the Holy Prophet Muhammad, his family, companions and descendants, along with respected figures of Islam like Sufi saints, prophets and scholars. Ziyarat is all about visiting and speaking to Allah, through his messenger, for travellers to connect with him and ask for his blessings. You should consider this act to be a virtue and honour, and when you are in the city of the Prophet, practice the following dos and don’ts.
- Do not engage yourself in any other matter except worship.
- Have patience and do not be arrogant or seek popularity.
- Read Salawat (a special Arabic phrase containing salutation upon the Prophet) as many times as you can. The more you read, the more rewarding it will be.
- Foster the spirit and passion. Until the time you reach Madinah, read books or poetry of the Prophet.
- After reaching, it is recommended to shower and wear new clothes before going to the Prophet’s Mosque.
- Give something in charity (no matter how little) before entering the mosque as Allah sees your intentions and not the amount you’re donating.
- Before entering the mosque, if the obligatory prayers have not begun, then go to the Rawdha (Garden of Paradise) and offer 2 rakahs in greeting (somewhere between the pulpit and the Prophet’s tomb).
- Approach the tomb and stand at the head side with your back to the Qiblah. Stand in front of it and bow your head with humility and respect for the Prophet.
- Pay your greetings at the Prophet Muhammad’s tomb by saying, “Assallamu Alaikum Ayyuhan Nabiyyu Rahmatullohi WA Barakatuh” and greet him on the behalf of your absent loved ones. Then, move forward towards the tomb of Abu Bakar and Umar Bin Khattab.
- While leaving the city of Madinah, it is advised to offer Sunnah prayer for parting and wish to visit the holy city again in the future.
Ziyarat Guide for Makkah and Madinah
Ziyarat Guide Makkah
Makkah has been called by five names in the Quran: Bakkah, Makkah, Ummul-Qura, Al-Balad and Al-Qaryah. It is not only the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad but also it is the place where he was blessed with his first revelation by Allah and commenced his Prophethood. Every year, pilgrims visit Makkah and Madinah to perform Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages. They also tour around the cities to get a deeper knowledge about Islam and the life of the Prophet and his companions. Some important ziyarat places in Makkah are as follows:
1. The Holy Kaaba
Also known as The House of God, Kabba is the first house built for worshipping Allah. This small and cubed building has a big impact on the history of Islam and Muslims. Every year, millions of pilgrims come to Kaaba to perform the rites of Umrah and Hajj and seek spiritual guidance from Allah. It is the most important site to feature in any ziyarat guide for Makkah and Madinah.
2. Cave of Hira
Located about 2 miles from Makkah, cave of Hira stands on top of Jabal al-Nour Mountain. This site is famous for being the place where the Prophet Mohammad was blessed with his first revelation from Allah and where the Quran was first revealed to him. The Prophet used to visit this cave whenever he was in search of solitude and spent quite a time in meditation and deep thinking.
3. Jannatul Mualla
This site has a significant place in the history of Islam as it is the graveyard where Hazrat Khadija, the first wife of Prophet Muhammad, along with some other family members is buried. Pilgrims visit this site during their Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage to pay their respects to the Prophet’s family. It is a 10-minute drive from the Grand Mosque in Makkah.
4. Cave of Thawr
This is the cave where Prophet Muhammad, along with his companions, took refuge after being targeted and chased by the tribe of Quraysh. This site holds a special place in the hearts of Muslims all around the world.
This site is hard to overlook when you’re organising your ziyarat trip to the city. It is also known as Mount Arafat or the Mount of Mercy and is the place where the Prophet delivered his last sermon after completing Hajj. An annual Hajj gathering takes place just below this rocky height. Standing here is an essential part of the Hajj pilgrimage, and it is considered invalid if a pilgrim fails to reach here.
6. Jamarat and Mina Jamarat
This site is where a lot of hajj pilgrims spend the nights in the month of Dhul Hijjah. It is located 4.3 miles east of Masjid-al-Haram. The three Jamarat pillars are situated in the area of Mina in the Jamarat Valley. The pilgrims sacrifice animals and throw pebbles at the three walls during Eid ul-Adah.
7. Masjid Aisha
Masjid e Taneem or Aisha Mosque is a known destination among pilgrims. This is the site where the beloved wife of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Aisha prepared to enter into the state of Ihram. This mosque is a miqat for preparing oneself for Ihram and is well equipped with facilities like bathing areas and washrooms.
8. Masjid Jinn
Masjid Haras or Masjid Jinn is built on the spot where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) made a line for Abdullah bin Mas’ood who kept him company after being commanded to recite the Quran to the Jinn. This masjid is also called the Mosque of Guards and Mosque of Allegiance as the guards of the city patrol up to this point. It is situated near Jannat al-Mu’alla.
9. Masjid al-Khaif
Situated at the bottom of a mountain in the south of Mina, this masjid is built at the spot where not only Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) but many other Prophets have performed Salah.
Ziyarat Guide Madinah
‘The Enlightened City’, Madinah (originally known as Yathrib) is the second holiest place after Makkah in Islam. The city gave the Prophet Muhammad and his companion’s refuge while migrating from Makkah. It is also the burial place of the Prophet, and pilgrims travel to the city during/after their Umrah and Hajj pilgrimage to pay their respect and tour around the city. Some popular ziyarat places in Madinah are as follows:
10. Al-Masjid an-Nabawi
This is the second most respected and largest masjid in the world, after Masjid al-Haram in Makkah. It is also the second holiest site in the world and in any ziyarat guide for Makkah and Madinah. It was built by the Prophet when he migrated to the city from Makkah. It is said that offering prayers in this masjid is much more rewarding than any other mosque in the world (except for the Grand Mosque in Makkah). Also, it is the resting place of Prophet Muhammad, with his tomb situated on the southwestern side of the mosque.
11. Quba Mosque
This mosque was founded by the Prophet himself. He came across this site while he was migrating from Makkah to Medina. It is not only a place of worship but also serves as a town hall, a cabinet and a madrassa. This site holds a prominent position in the ziyarat of Madinah and exhibits a marvel of Islamic architecture. It is a 15-minute drive from the Masjid Nabawi.
12. Jabal Uhud
This site served as a battleground for the Battle of Uhud. Off this mountain, the Prophet declared, “This mountain loves us and we love it.” It is advised that while hiking up this mountain, travellers should pace themselves and stay hydrated.
13. Masjid Ahzab – The Seven Mosques
This site is amongst the groups of masjids, known as Masjid Sab’ah (The Seven Mosques). The others are Masjid Salman Farsi, Masjid Ali, Masjid Umar, Masjid Sa’ad, Masjid Abu Bakr and Masjid Qiblatain. This site is where the Prophet made dua (supplication) during the battle of Ahzab. It is also believed that Allah sent him the glad tidings of victory here.
14. Masjid e Ghamama
Situated about 300m southwest of Masjid Nabawi, this site is also known as Masjid Ghamama, with Ghamama meaning clouds. It is built where the Prophet performed the Eid salah during the last years of his life.
15. Jannatul Baqi
Also known as the Garden of Heaven, this was the first cemetery in Madinah. This is the resting place of several of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) family members, companions and well-known personalities. It is said that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself chose this spot to be a cemetery. This site is also called Baqi al-Gharqad. As’as Bin Zararah (an Ansari companion of the Prophet) was the first man to be buried here. Jannatul Baqi is considered righteous to visit this site (ideally on Friday’s) and pray to Allah for forgiveness.
16. Masjid Jummah
Situated on the outskirts of Madinah, this masjid is the place where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) commanded the first Jummah salah after his migration from Makkah to Madinah. This site is situated about 2.5 km away from the Masjid-e-Nabwi and is also known as Masjid al wadi.
17. Masjid Qiblatain
Also called the Mosque of the Two Qiblas, this is an important historical site for every Muslim as this is the destination where the declaration of Quran came to alter the direction of Qibla to Kaaba in Makkah. This Masjid used to contain two mehrabs (wall directing the direction of Kaaba), with one in the Bait-al-Maqdis direction and the other towards Makkah, but now the old wall has been covered.
18. Saqifah Garden
This garden belonged to Banu Sa’edah and Muslims used to come here for a consultation on who to appoint as the Caliphate after the death of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). This site is located 200 m away from the Masjid-e-Nabawi in the west direction.
If you are planning a tour in Makkah and Madinah, this handy ziyarat guide for Makkah and Madinah is going to be a great help. In the meanwhile, we will keep adding to our list!
FAQs for Ziyarat Guide for Makkah and Madinah
What is Ziyarat?
Ziyarat comes from the Arabic language. It literally means to visit, but commonly it refers to a pilgrimage to the places associated with the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.
What are the top places of Ziyarat in and near Makkah?
Makkah is the holiest city in Islam and is home to many ziyarats. Most important ziyarats in and near Makkah Jabal Nour, Jannatul Mualla, and cave Thawr.
What are the top places of Ziyarat in and near Madinah?
Madinah is the second holiest city in Islam. Important ziyarat sites in Madinah are Jannatul Baqi, mosque Quba, and Masjid Qiblatain.
What should one say/pray while performing ziyarat?
While performing ziyarat, one should read salawat as much as possible. Also, one should say, “Assallamu Alaikum Ayyuhan Nabiyyu Rahmatullohi WA Barakatuh” to greet the Prophet and his dear ones.
What not to do during ziyarat?
While performing ziyarat, a Muslim should maintain peace and harmony. They must not engage in any fights or arguments and must focus on Allah alone.