No matter your purpose for visiting Medina – whether its to visit its birthplace of Islam or simply cultural pilgrimage – its hard not to admire some of the city’s spectacular Islamic art and architecture, making Medina so remarkable. Below are some great places to take an organized tour or see it on your own!
The Assalam Museum is one of Medina’s must-do activities and will give visitors a truly remarkable experience. Situated at King Abdul Aziz Street in Knowledge Economic City, it showcases Medina’s civilization, construction and cultural heritage through historical displays as well as distinct aspects of ancient Islamic life.
The museum is divided into 10 halls, each detailing different parts of Prophet Mohammed’s biography or Madinah history.
Saudi artists’ artwork in this exhibition explores themes related to environmentalism, ornamentation and calligraphy, community engagement and architecture of piety. Moath and Bricklab’s “Air Pilgrims Accommodation 1958” captures some of the complexity of Islamic pilgrimage.
Al-Masjid Al-Nabawi in Medina (the “Mosque of the Prophet”) is widely considered one of the world’s most revered mosques, housing both Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam and Abu Bakr and Umar, among other first two Muslim caliphs. Over its long history it has undergone multiple renovations and expansions according to Islamic studies expert Ayman Bayoumi.
The mosque is an exquisite, historic structure. It incorporates classic architectural styles from Umayyad, Ottoman and Mameluke eras as well as featuring a Green Dome over Prophet’s tomb and ten minarets.
Al-Masjid Al-Kubra (The Prophet’s Mosque), located in what used to be Medina’s center, is one of the two most significant mosques worldwide. Many Muslims visit it annually – pilgrims completing Hajj.
As soon as Muhammad arrived in Madinah, he was assigned the task of building its primary mosque. Though its form was basic and straightforward, this Mosque quickly became a focal point of Islamic society and spiritual growth.
The golden Dome of the Rock has long been revered by Muslims as an epitome of their religion and one of its most holy sites worldwide.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) led his followers in salat facing Al-Aqsa Mosque as its Qibla. This became one of Islam’s primary prayer locations.
Today, Al-Aqsa remains a holy site for both Muslims and Jews; yet tensions continue between the communities.
Al-Masjid Al-Baqi, located east of Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, is one of the most significant Islamic cemeteries. Here you can find graves belonging to thousands of companions of Muhammad.
It also serves as the final resting place of several caliphs and scholars, including Imam al-Husayn ibn Ali and Ja’far al-Sadiq.
At al-Baqi, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) revealed numerous hadiths and Islamic texts. Furthermore, he would visit al-Baqi at night to pray for all those buried there who had passed on.
Al-Masjid Al-Rahma in Medina is home to the Floating Mosque, built over water for pilgrimage purposes by Muslim leaders from across the globe and visited by millions each year from around the globe to pray and pay their respects. Thousands visit it annually from all corners of the globe in order to pray at this iconic structure and show their respects.
This majestic mosque stands out with a unique combination of domed aquamarine roof and pearly white minaret that exude elegance and grandeur. Inside this majestic structure are intricate mosaics representing Quranic verses as well as arabesque styling that add visual splendor.
Medina Azahara was once known as a “shining city”, serving as an important center of Islamic civilization and comprising more than 112 hectares with baths, markets and mosques all housed within one complex.