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Medina, also known as al-Madinah al-Munawwarah (المدينة المنورة, lit. "the enlightened city") is a city in the Hijaz region of the Arabian peninsula, today ruled by Saudi Arabia. It is considered the second most holy city in Islam, is host to the second most holy mosque in Islam (Masjid al-Nabawi, lit. " the prophetic mosque") and is the burial place of Muhammad. While not a mandatory part of the Hajj pilgrimage that all able Muslims are required to make at least once in their lifetimes, most Muslims who visit Mecca also end up visiting Medina as well.

As with Mecca (the holiest city in Islam), entrance to Medina is restricted to Muslims only; non-Muslims are neither permitted to enter nor travel through the city.

The name Medina simply means "city" and was the name the city took when Muhammad came to rule it, as a shortened version of Madinah al-Nabi (lit. "the prophet's city"). Prior to Muhammad's rule, the city was known as Yathrib, and this is the name by which the city is referred to in the Qur'an.

According to Islamic sources

From Yathrib to Medina

Islamic sources describe the city of Medina as having been host to two competing Arab tribes (the 'Aws and the Khazraj) as well as three Jewish tribes (the Banu Qaynuqa, the Banu Qurayza, and the Banu Nadir). It is further said that at the when Muhammad fled Mecca for Medinah, in what became known as the Hijra, in 622, he had in fact been invited by the ever-at-arms Aws and Khazraj tribes to serve as a neutral third party and ruler over them. The Muslims who would follow Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in making this Hijra would come to be known as the Muhajirun, or "migrants". This migrants would be distinguished from the 'Aws and Khazraj who, having converted to Islam, would be subsumed under the title and role of the Ansar, or "helpers", who would serve as hosts to the Muhajirun.

Whereas the portion of the Qur'an produced during Muhammad's years in Mecca (so-called Makki verses) focused almost entirely on personal matters of faith and worship, the verses of the Qur'an produced during Muhammad's years in Medina would center on legalistic and military doctrine, transforming Islam, in large part, into the religion that it is today.


During his years in Medina, the hadith record that Muhammad and his followers would engage in several assaults on Qurayshi Meccan caravans and trigger battles between the two cities, which the Muslims would win with varying levels of success (the Battle of Badr in 624, the Battle of Uhud in 625, and the Battle of the Trenches, or al-khandaq, in 627).

Fate of the Medinan Jews

By the time Muhammad is said to have built up sufficient military forces to conquer Mecca, all the Jewish tribes in Medina were removed, being compelled to leave or eliminated entirely through battle, siege, or massacre.

Relevant Quotations


12. And when the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, were saying: Allah and His messenger promised us naught but delusion.

13. And when a party of them said: O folk of Yathrib! There is no stand (possible) for you, therefor turn back. And certain of them (even) sought permission of the Prophet, saying: Our homes lie open (to the enemy). And they lay not open. They but wished to flee.

These verses refer to the dichotomy of the Ansar (helpers) and the Muhajirun (Migrants)

And the first to lead the way, of the Muhajirin and the Ansar, and those who followed them in goodness - Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Him, and He hath made ready for them Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide for ever. That is the supreme triumph.
Allah hath turned in mercy to the Prophet, and to the Muhajirin and the Ansar who followed him in the hour of hardship. After the hearts of a party of them had almost swerved aside, then turned He unto them in mercy. Lo! He is Full of Pity, Merciful for them.


Narrated Anas: The Prophet (ﷺ) came to Medina and ordered a mosque to be built and said, "O Bani Najjar! Suggest to me the price (of your land)." They said, "We do not want its price except from Allah" (i.e. they wished for a reward from Allah for giving up their land freely). So, the Prophet (ﷺ) ordered the graves of the pagans to be dug out and the land to be leveled, and the date-palm trees to be cut down. The cut datepalms were fixed in the direction of the Qibla of the mosque.
Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "Neither Messiah (Ad-Dajjal) nor plague will enter Medina."
Narrated Sufyan b. Abu Zuhair: I heard Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) saying, "Yemen will be conquered and some people will migrate (from Medina) and will urge their families, and those who will obey them to migrate (to Yemen) although Medina will be better for them; if they but knew. Sham will also be conquered and some people will migrate (from Medina) and will urge their families and those who will obey them, to migrate (to Sham) although Medina will be better for them; if they but knew. 'Iraq will be conquered and some people will migrate (from Medina) and will urge their families and those who will obey them to migrate (to 'Iraq) although Medina will be better for them; if they but knew."
Narrated Sa`d: I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, "None plots against the people of Medina but that he will be dissolved (destroyed) like the salt is dissolved in water."
Narrated `Aisha: When Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) reached Medina, Abu Bakr and Bilal became ill. When Abu Bakr's fever got worse, he would recite (this poetic verse): "Everybody is staying alive with his People, yet Death is nearer to him than His shoe laces." And Bilal, when his fever deserted him, would recite: "Would that I could stay overnight in A valley wherein I would be Surrounded by Idhkhir and Jalil (kinds of goodsmelling grass). Would that one day I could Drink the water of the Majanna, and Would that (The two mountains) Shama and Tafil would appear to me!" The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "O Allah! Curse Shaiba bin Rabi`a and `Utba bin Rabi`a and Umaiya bin Khalaf as they turned us out of our land to the land of epidemics." Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) then said, "O Allah! Make us love Medina as we love Mecca or even more than that. O Allah! Give blessings in our Sa and our Mudd (measures symbolizing food) and make the climate of Medina suitable for us, and divert its fever towards Aljuhfa." Aisha added: When we reached Medina, it was the most unhealthy of Allah's lands, and the valley of Bathan (the valley of Medina) used to flow with impure colored water.
The people will leave Medina in spite of the best state it will have, and none except the wild birds and the beasts of prey will live in it, and the last persons who will die will be two shepherds from the tribe of Muzaina, who will be driving their sheep towards Medina, but will find nobody in it, and when they reach the valley of Thaniyat-al-Wada'h, they will fall down on their faces dead.
Narrated Jabir: that a Bedouin gave the pledge to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) for Islam, then he was afflicted by the sickness in Al-Madinah. So the Bedouin went to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and said: "Take back my pledge." But the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) refused. Then the Bedouin left and came back and said: "Take back my pledge," and he refused. Then the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: "Al-Madinah is but like bellows, it expels its filth and purifies its good."
Grade: Sahih (Darussalam)
Narrated Sa'eed bin Al-Musayyab: that Abu Hurairah used to say: "If I saw hyenas roaming in Al-Madinah, I would not advance upon them. Indeed the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: 'Whatever is between its two lava tracts is sacred.'"

See also