more of madinah

I just tried posting photos but the connection at the hotel is pretty slow so it didn’t work. I’ll try posting them at the hotel in Mecca, otherwise I’ll do it as soon as I’m back in Cairo.
Last evening I decided to do Rawda after the Isha prayer. I’m not sure why exactly, but it is only open to women three times a day for a short period of time: 7:00 am, 1:30 pm, and 9:30 pm. Now since there are literally thousands of women who want to see the Prophet’s tomb, this seems ridiculous. I’m not sure why it is organized like this, or why the men seem to have easier/longer access to it. My dad just went into the mosque around 2 pm and came out 10 minutes later having seen it. If you want to segregate the sexes, fine, but at least allow equal time for each. I ended up waiting from 9:00 till 10:45 before I could get anywhere near the tomb. What they do is separate the women into groups according to nationality. Egypt/Arab was the last group to go in, which is why I ended up waiting for 1.45 hours. By that time everyone was tired, angry, and frustrated, so the minute our groups was allowed to enter, people began pushing and shoving and yelling. I couldn’t get near the tomb because of the hysteria and commotion, so I prayed 2 raqaats near by and left. I really wish I’d had the chance to get close and pray right there, or at least not get pushed constantly. Like I said before, I’m not sure why it is organized like this, or why it was easier for my dad to see the tomb. I would love to find out.
It was a really emotional moment for me when it hit me that the Prophet (pbuh) was right there, and that he had prayed in that mosque, and that this was his beloved city. I think a lot of people felt close to the Prophet (pbuh) at that moment, and many were crying. I cried too, just because it really is such an amazing and overwhelming experience. We think and talk about the Prophet (pbuh) so much, so being this close to all these places is indescribable. Mashallah.
We woke up at 3 again to pray Fajr, which is such an amazing experience at Masjid al-Nabawi. I then went back to the hotel and slept a bit, before going to see the Uhud mountain, the site of the famous battle. We then went to Masjid al-Qiblatayn (Mosque with the 2 minarets) which is a really nice mosque and a beautiful green area of Madinah. Mashallah Madinah is an amazing city. I’m seriously considering moving here at some point. Imagine being able to pray at Masjid al-Nabawi anytime you wanted!
I can’t wait for tomorrow, when we leave to Mecca. I keep imagining the feeling of first seeing the Kaaba. It must be amazing. Inshallah we’ll be able to pray salaat al-Jumaah in Masjid al Haram.

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