The second holiest place considered by the Islamic pilgrims is also located in Saudi Arabia. This is a city is in the Hejaz region which also happens to be the capital of the Al-Madinah Province. This district is known as Madinah or Al-Madinah al-Munawarah. Madinah is also called by other names such as Dar Al-Higra, Yathrib and the City of Messenger.
Al-Munawarah is a beautiful walled city shaped like an oval. The walls surrounding its borders are strong and around 30 to 40 ft tall. The city is surrounded by four exquisite gates; the most beautiful of these four, however, is the Egyptian gate, or the Bab-al-Salam. This district also rests on the most fertile part of the Hejaz region; hence, any tourists will enjoy the picturesque view of hills and mountains. Beyond Al-Munawarah’s walls, you could also see the beautiful suburbs lined with beautiful gardens on both its western and southern parts.
The city is indeed considered as the second holiest city next to Mecca or Makkah as it served as a home to the Prophet Muhammad when he emigrated from Mecca. Another factor that makes it sacred is the fact that the prophet’s resting ground lies on this city. Just like Mecca, this city is also visited by millions of Muslims each year who pray before the Tomb or the Mosque of the Prophet, also known in Islam as Al-Masjid al-Nabawi. For the Islam followers, they believe that one prayer offered before the sacred tomb is equals to almost a thousand prayers uttered in regular mosques.
Al-Masjid al-Nabawi is like a smaller version of the mosque at Mecca. The courtyard is wide and the dome is so high with embellishments of breathtaking minarets. Aside from this sacred tomb, there lay three other tombs in the city— the tombs of his daughter, Fatima; the first caliph and father of his wife, Abu Bakr; and the second caliph, Omar, which had been burned and reconstructed twice.
If you plan to go on a spiritual journey, Al-Munawarah seems to be a perfect spot. Lodging is not a problem as well in this city since more and more hotels, even high-end ones like Hilton Madinah, are made available for tourists.