A Naïve Islamic City: Medina
The second important city after Mecca for Muslims have always been Medina. Its word meaning is "the city with the divine light". The city, also known as Al-Medina al-Munawwarah, is situated in the north of Mecca. Prophet Muhammad migrated from Mecca to Medina because of the pressure. That's why Medina has a very important position in Islam. Its former name was Yesrib. Medina started to be used after hijra.
It is first during Malık Shah's reign, the sultan of the Seljuq Empire, that the history of Turks intersects with Medina. The city was under the Mamluks hegemony until Yavuz Sultan Selim conquered it during his Hedjaz campaign. The railroad built during the reign of Abdulhamid II remains today.
The climate of the city resembles that of the region. It is very hot during the summer, and around 20 degrees during the winter. The population is approximately 1.5 million and gets even more populous in the time of the Umrah and the Hajj.
Places to Visit in Medina
Medina is a holy city like Mecca. That's why it is a place of religion tourism. Millions of people come to Medina due to their religious duty of Hajj or for a voluntary visit, the Umrah. It might be said that the main source of income in the city is the Hajj and the Umrah tourism.
The first destination of the tourists have always been Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, which was build by Muhammad who personally worked in the construction after the hijra. This is the second virtuous religious centre for Muslims after the Great Mosque of Mecca. It has gone under restoration many times. It hosts the tomb of the prophet and also the structure called Ar-Rawda al-Mutahhara.
Another tomb around Al-Masjid an-Nabawi is Jannat al-Baqi'. Important people like prophet Uthman; Muhammad's wife, Aisha; Muhammad's daughter, Fatima, Saʿd ibn Abi Waqqas. It is certainly visited by Muslims.
Another sanctuary to see in Medina is Masjid al-Qiblatayn, known by containing two praying niches. It is known with this name because the direction that should be faced when a Muslim prays is changed in this mosque. It is 5 km away from Al-Masjid an-Nabawi. Muslims definitely stop by here to pray. Another masjid is the Quba Mosque that was built in the town called Quba where Muslims stayed during Hijra. Quba is also famous for the street markets and authentic food.
Another must-see place in Medina is the Mount Uhud that is 5 km away from Medina. Its height is 100 meters. It is particular for the history of Islam. A battle was named after it. The martyrs of the Uhud Battle were buried in the cemetery on the foothills of the mount. The tombs are definitely visited.
Another battleground is where the Battle of the Trench took place. There are seven masjids around the battleground. People coming for umrah are taken those and have the opportunity to see the battleground as well.
The palace of Urwah is worth seeing place. It gets its name from the jurist Urwah. It is situated in the south of Medina, in Al-Aqeeq Valley. The remnants of the palace are well preserved.
The structures from the Ottoman rule, Al-Muazzam train station and Amberiye mosque are open to visitors. Ameriya Mosque was build during the reign of Sultan Abdulhamid. Its architecture resembles the Ottoman style rather than the architectural style of the region.
Lastly, the hill of Seniyyetu'l Veda should be visited. People used to climb up to that hill and chant farewell songs. The watch tower built by Fahreddin Pasha still stands there.