#ThroughYourEyes: Ramadan In Madinah Munawwara

Snapshots of the sacred journey of Umrah in Ramadan

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Ibn `Abbâs relates that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) asked a woman from Madinah: “What prevented you from embarking on the Hajj pilgrimage with us?” 
She replied: “We had two camels. My husband and child took one and left the other for the rest of us to ride on.” 
The Prophet (peace be upon him) then told her: “When the month or Ramadan arrives, go for umrah, because umrah in Ramadan is like accompanying me on Hajj.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1764)]

In the blessed month of Ramadan, the reward of performing Umrah is equal to that of performing Hajj. Sanif Olek gives us a sneak peek of this beautiful experience in Madinah via his instagram account @sanifolek. Sanif is the director of feature film, ‘Sayang Disayang’ that was selected to represent Singapore in the Best Foreign Picture category of Hollywood’s Academy Awards.

@sanifolek: A peek #umrah2015 #umrah1436 #ramadan2015 #ramadan1436 #exploreMadina #exploremedina #madinah #saudiarabia #alhamdulillah

@sanifolekMy prayer mat for the final 10 days of #Ramadan, In Syaa Allah.

@sanifolekNondescript but indispensable nevertheless.

@sanifolekLaborious. (I’m always amazed at the organisation that these workers operate to maintain the HUGE complex in tip top condition)

@sanifolekManaged to find a spot very close to the Raudhah (about 30m to left corner) for my first solat (Zohor). Alhamdulillah. (…spot the little balcony to the left? Guess what that is)

@sanifolekA little family noon rendezvous under the covers while its up to mid-summer 50 degrees Celsius.

@sanifolekA gentle reminder and #notetoself

@sanifolekThis is my favorite spot. (Oh after Asr, they are prepping for #Iftar – thus the white plastic sheets)


@sanifolekWhen it’s prayer time, many simply…close shop

@sanifolekThis beats Banksy

@sanifolekThis is Jeesha from India. He’s one of the workers who keeps the complex clean. 

@sanifolekJemaah entering the Prophet Muhammad SAW tomb, after Zohor (See next pic for jemaah behind us)

@sanifolekThe jemaah behind us awaiting to enter the Prophet Muhammad SAW tomb. (See previous pic for Jemaah at tomb entrance)

@sanifolekOnly patience shall lead you to Al-Raudhah (about 30 meters ahead on left)

@sanifolekOne of the things that struck me with many of the shopowners in downtown Madinah is Trust – they allow you to take your clothes and try them at the hotel and pay later, or take your purchased items with you first and pay the remaining notes later if you don’t have enough change. Yes folks, such is the trust on fellow humanity. This dude, a shopowner, is one of those. MasyaAllah, such grace and humanity.

@sanifolekThis is Ebrahim. He is one of the hundreds of “herders” who (by some instinct) looks out for musafirs, or simply individuals walking around the mosque compound nearing #Iftar and invites one to a special zone. These are zones in and at the mosque compound that provide food during Iftar (break fast). Most of these zones are “booked” by wealthy Madinah-ans. Ebrahim is from Madinah and today he led me and my roomies as we walked at the mosque compound to look for a seat during Iftar. Alhamdulillah.

@sanifolekAlways available. Always.

@sanifolekIn the Grand Mosque awaiting for break fast, or #Iftar in Arabic.

@sanifolekPigeon holes for footwear. I hope there will be no lost soles

@sanifolekThe big birds are a constant sight. I just realized that the hotel (and surrounding complexes) I used to stay a couple of years ago for similar trip have been demolished. In their place are HUGE cranes and piling stations. Development is a double-edge sword.

@sanifolekThese men sell precious stones and other curious (and aphrodisiacs) to tourists. They are originally from Malaysia and Indonesia. Life is hard working as one of the thousands of migrant workers, but for these guys sitting under their tents in 50 degrees Celcius mid summer heat, it’s just another day for that hard-earned cash for their daily meals.

@sanifolekIt’s quite disheartening to discover that many of the historical and heritage venues in Madinah are turning into tourists traps. Opposite where I stand downslope are a cacophony of makeshift stalls selling tourist paraphernalia (too much an eyesore that I would rather leave it to your imagination). But I’d rather think of my visit to Uhud to pay homage to the great Islamic warriors who fell fighting for Islam about 1500 years ago alongside the Prophet Muhammad SAW. 

@sanifolekDate trees. Other than the date fruits, the trees have great foliage provide awesome shade. If you google, you’ll find out that there are hundred varieties of the date fruit. 

@sanifolekThe covered Annexe of the prayer hall. The main prayer hall is at the far end of the picture. Kindly Google the great significance of this mosque in Madinah’s Islamic history.

@sanifolekAn interesting sight at the back of the mosque – in fact at every mosque. The extreme summer heat can get overwhelming. But this should make one more appreciative of modern technology ie airconditioning. Alhamdulillah.

@sanifolekImportant note about Masjid #Quba

@sanifolek: Outside, at the mosque compound awaiting #iftar 

@sanifolekThis is Hassan, from Pakistan. He has been working in Madinah as a mechanic for 3 years. We sat together for #iftar today.

Follow Sanif’s instagram account, @sanifolek to discover more of his beautiful photos .

Compiled by Nina Alyssa, Editor of Zilzar Life

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