Today, within his visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov visited the city of Medina.
As was already informed, the day before, the head of the state performed all the rituals provided for religious Muslims of the world– pilgrims, who perform the Umrah Hajj in the native land of the Prophet Muhammad –city of Mecca.
Another important and symbolic fact that should be noted is that on the night of June 1-2, during the pilgrimage of the head of state to the holy land, the veil of the holy Kaaba, the house of Allah, was moved and its doors were opened, thereby affording a special opportunity to perform prayer inside the shrine. President Serdar Berdimuhamedov was also was given a teperrik, which is considered a scared relic.
It should be mentioned that for the first in history of Turkmen, such unique opportunity was given to Hajji Arkadag during his pilgrimage to the holy Kaaba in May of 2016. The present event is a regular evidence of deep respect and honour made to the Turkmen people, our independent neutral state, President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov and Chairman of the Khalk Maslakhaty of the Milli Gengesh Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In the morning, the President of Turkmenistan headed from Mecca to Jeddah. From King Abdulaziz International Airport, the airplane of the head of the state left to Medina, the second sacred city for Muslims.
In this city, the Prophet Muhammad lived and advocated his religion after resettlement (hijrah) from Mecca in 622 AD. The date has a special significance in connection with the fact that the Islamic calendar takes its beginning from it. There the prophet made his numerous companions, with whom after 8 years he returned to Mecca in triumph. Medina became a capital and the first of its kind cradle of the Muslim state in the history of humanity, from where Islam spread all over the world.
…in less than an hour the airline landed in Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport. At the boarding ramp, governor of the province of Medina Faisal bin Salman Al Saud and other officials welcomed head of the state Serdar Berdimuhamedov.
Within the framework of a short conversation that took place there, the President of Turkmenistan and Faisal bin Salman Al Saud, the governor of the province of Medina and fifth son of the king highly appreciated the level and progressive character of development of the interstate dialogue traditionally based on equity and mutual respect.
The interlocutors with satisfaction stated fruitfulness of interaction between Turkmenistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia not only on the bilateral but also on the multilateral basis –via largest authoritative organizations and expressed confidence in the further strengthening and expansion of relations based on remote ties of friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation.
From the airport, the presidential motorcade headed towards the famous Prophet's Mosque.
It is not without reason that two famous cities of the Muslim East have been given special epithets: Mecca – “al-Mukarramah”, “Umm-al Qura” (“Mecca the Noble”, “Mother of towns”), and Medina – “Al Munawwarah”, which means “Enlightened city” in translation. Annually, the same number of people from all over the world visits this megalopolis with a population of over 1 million people today.
Medina on a line with Mecca is a sacred place for Muslims from all over the world for the reason that it is here, in the blessed land, the Prophet Muhammad was buried. Many pilgrims consider it their duty to visit the small Al-Baqi Cemetery (Garden of Heaven) located in the city where the beloved wife of the prophet Aisha and his daughter Fatima as well as righteous caliphs were buried.
The main sightseeing of the city was and remains to be the Prophet’s Mosque (Al Masjid al Nabawi). It is the second largest spiritual Muslim shrine, the prophet himself took part in its construction, and there he found his final shelter. Succeeding Islamic rulers expanded and decorated the shrine.
The complex built of baked bricks today differs not only with its imposing scale but also with its wonderful design in which rare types of marble and precious stones were used. It has really obtained the fame of unmatched sample of Muslim architecture. The modern size of the shrine exceeds its initial construction by about hundred times. At present, the Al Masjid al Nabawi takes even larger area than the entire old city of Medina.
At the central entrance to the mosque, the imam of the mosque with full honours welcomed President Serdar Berdimuhamedov. They familiarized the head of Turkmenistan with the history of the spiritual shrine and legends connected with it.
The exact date of construction of the shrine is unknown and one can find first mentions of it in old manuscripts, which belong to the early 12th century. The Prophet’s Mosque always played an important role in the life of the Muslim community. As it is accepted in Islam, here religious rites were performed regularly. In the first years after its construction, it performed various functions– it hosted the most important pubic and cultural events, housed courts and schools.
It is considered that it is the territory of this old Muslim spiritual shrine, which houses a wonderful nook, a little part of paradise on the earth, which by an old belief, will remain intact and untouched even on the Judgment Day.
The marble floor of the mosque is covered with the finest carpets. The interior walls and doors of the Al Masjid al Nabawi are laid with decorative tiles of rainbow colours. Everyone, who comes here should say the words: “As-salam was-salat...” (“Peace and prayer be to you, O Prophet, favorite of Allah, O great seer…”).
The final resting place of Muhammad is located to the southeast part of the complex under the only green dome. On the tomb of the prophet there is an inscription “Nuretdin Mahmud masjid” – name of the old ruler from Turcoman Atabegs made in the 11th century. Next to the burial vault of Muhammad is burials of his close men – Abu Bakr and Omar.
In the Muslim world, there is no difference between Mecca and Medina as by their significance, these two shrines of Islam are equal. Everyone, who has performed a hajj here, is considered a chosen spiritual mentor, who has discovered the secrets of life for other true believers. There are rather seldom cases when pilgrims get an opportunity to visit both sacred places simultaneously and the present Umrah Hajj of the head of the state can be seen as a special honour and token of respect to Arkadagly Serdar and in his person, to independent Turkmenistan.
Even in the hadith of the prophet, it is said: “After the Kaaba, the prayer made in the Prophet’s Mosque, gain the forth, which by thousand times exceeds other prayers”. Muslims consider that the prayer made here should be accepted.
Today, the large mosque serves as a true masterpiece of engineering solution. The building has 89 entrances and domes of 80 tons each and they automatically open and close. Here are also 10 minarets with a height of over 100 meters and at that, two of them have stood since the time of the prophet. They are incredibly beautiful and evoke a great interest, in many respects, including from the viewpoint of architecture as well.
The complex includes 27 prayer halls–courts. The Al Masjid al Nabawi simultaneously can hold as many as 600 thousand believers. However, during the hajj, here are rather many visitors, every year over million people come here. The mosque is well equipped, its large stone “umbrellas” protect believers not only from rain but also from burning sun. Besides it, the prayer house is fully provided with the largest water and electric power and air-conditioning systems in the world, which are located far from it, almost 7 kilometers from the mosque.
At nights, the Al Masjid al Nabawi is illuminated beautifully. Four historical minarets, which stand at the corners of this wonderful complex, are illuminated brighter.
As a token of respect for the Muslim shrine, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov performed the namaz together with members of the accompanying delegation.
At the resting place of the Prophet Muhammad they prayed the Almighty for eternal wellbeing of our fatherland, peace and prosperity to the Turkmen people.
It should be noted that Hajji Arkadag during his visit to this spiritual shrine in 2016 read the namaz and made prayers here so that the Almighty would accept prayers, good wishes made in this holy land. It has become the next confirmation of the fact that traditions of Turkmen people connected with the deep respect for shrines of the Islamic world, take their origin from the depth of centuries and today, age-old principles are developed with realities of the time.
And today Arkadagly Hajji Serdar, following precepts of ancestors, together with respected elders and grey-haired mothers visited the holy land and made a hajj, one of the five main pillars of Islam. It has become another bright evidence of succession of noble national traditions.
Fulfilment of one of the sacred obligations for all Muslims by the President of Turkmenistan together with honoured representatives of the elderly generation speaks of triumph of unity in the Turkmen land and development of initiatives of Hajji Arkadag at the modern level with deep respect for national values.
After visiting holy shrines for every true Muslim, the motorcade of the President of Turkmenistan headed towards Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Medina.
Having expressed his deep gratitude to representatives of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for welcome accorded to the Turkmen delegation in the holy land, the homeland of Islam, Arkadagly Serdar left for our fatherland.
In several hours, the presidential airplane landed in the capital international airport.
Here officials, who warmly and sincerely congratulated President Serdar Berdimuhamedov with his successful visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Umrah Hajj, welcomed the head of the state.