Essay on City of Medina

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584 words
Middlebury College
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The city of Medina is where the administrative headquarters of Al-Madinah region of Saudi Arabia is located. Just like most cities in Saudi Arabia, most of the people in Medina adheres to the Islam religion. Medina is also transliterated to Madinah. During its first century, Medina served as the Islam power base where the early Muslim community stayed and developed. Before the Islam community occupied the City, it was known as Yathrib. During the Yathrib era, Medina was occupied by the Jewish tribe. At the center of the city is the mosque of the prophet which is the Islamic prophet Muhammad burial place and as well as the second holiest city after Mecca in Islam. The oldest Mosques are found in Medina which is Masjid-al-Qiblatayn, al-Masjid an Nabawi and the Quba Mosque. The Muslim people believe that in Medina is where the chronologically final surahs used in the Quran were revealed to Muhammad. Medina is also an important regional capital of the western Saudi Arabian province of Al Madinah. Medina is a city which is multi-ethnic and is occupied by Saudi Arabs and have a large number of Muslim and a small number of non-Muslim workers (Lapidus, 2014).

The Jewish tribes inhabited Medina during the 7th century AD. Initially, the Jewish tribes had been allied by the Jewish rulers, but later they became independent after they had revolted. The Jewish rulers were after that controlled by the Banu Khazraj and Banu Aus who took over Medina. The two groups later became rivals and engaged themselves in endless wars till the arrival of Muhammad in Medina who acted as the mediator to restore peace.

In the Quran Medina is mentioned several times as being sacred and also the Islamic scriptures do emphasize its sacredness. Medina city does not allow individuals who are non-Muslim including the Ahmadiyya movement members although not the entire Medina is closed to non-Muslim. Much of the Islamic physical heritage in Medina have been altered with because of the Saudi governments concern that historic sites could be used for idolatry and as well because of their religious policy. The importance of Medina as a religious site is derived from the presence of al-Masjid a Nabawi. The Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid expanded the mosque. The Masjid al-Qiblatain mosque is also important to the Muslims since it is at that mosque that Muhammad received the command to change the prayer direction according to Hadith from Jerusalem to Mecca. A large number of Muslims go to Medina to perform pilgrimage Hajj every year (Munt, 2014).

The Jewish population, the local pagan Arab tribes, the local Muslims, and the Muslim Muhajirun from Mecca signed an agreement which was considered to be the constitution of Medina. The constitution that was signed committed all the parties and required them to have a mutual co-operation during the leadership of Muhammad. In the 17th year of the Hijra, another treaty was written between Muhammad and his Jewish subjects that was referred to as Kitab al-nabi. The treaty was supposed to give express liberty to the Jews who were living in Arabia and as well as to grow out their side locks and as well as ensure that they observe the Sabbath. Despite drafting of the treaty, the Jewish were still required to pay the poll-tax annually to ensure that their patrons continue providing them with protection.


Lapidus, I. M. (2014). A history of Islamic societies.

Munt, H. (2014). The holy city of Medina: Sacred space in early Islamic Arabia. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

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