Tour Madinah al Munawara


Madinah ThumbnailBrother Hood has created a virtual tour of Madinah, the city of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam using Google Earth.

If you’re like me, a young (under 40) convert with no Muslim mahram this is the closest you will get to Madinah because it is more than likely that you will have your hajj or umrah visa application denied by the Saudi authorities even though the Malikis and Shafi’ees say it is permissible to travel for an obligatory hajj provided there is safe passage or company.

Alhamdulillah, I’ve had my visa application denied twice without explanation. Although, I hear that single sisters that go with Imam Safi Khan or the Rihla group do not encounter any visa issues.

Masjid Nabawi thumbnailIn the meantime, I’ll content myself with this tour, pictures, and with reading the virtues of visiting Madinah and in sha Allah next time I’ll apply to go with one of those two groups.

By the way, I have an intense dislike of Saudi bashing. Unfortunately, due to intense media and government pressure the Saudis are closing the Mahad in Virignia, which I had wanted to attend to improve my Arabic and their embassy’s Islamic Affairs Department, which has sponsored eminent scholars like Shaykh Jaafar Idris and provided free Qurans and books has been reduced to a single staff person.

Sundry DatesThe Islamic Affairs Department of the Saudi Embassy in Washington DC sent me a free Quran, the big one that you usually only see in masajid (most of which were provided by the Saudis) and a simple Arabic tafsir for free. And you can always pick up fresh (well vacuum-packed) dates from some prince’s farm each Ramadan that are distributed by them for free. Those dates are mashaAllah very sweet and delicious.

First seen on Austrolabe.


  1. Asalamu aleykum

    unfortunatly there is a lot of saudi bashing, especially from ‘them’people who have their own reasons to hate them, of course am not syaing their angels, but the country has done a lot for muslimeen alhamdullelah, yet sometimes the bashing becomes not just bashing but mocking and insulting.

    I checked out Sheikh idris’s website, i wasnt so comfy with it till i saw his essay on names and artiributes of Allah, alhamdullelah.

    hey you said that shafies and maliks say its okkay to travel without mahrams to haj with specific conditions,
    do you have an classical sources on that?
    if not I ll just look it up inshaAllah later

    salamu aleykum

  2. Asalamu alaykum,

    Shaykh Jaafar rocks! He used to live in our community but the government revoked his visa a few years ago.

    There is a well-known opinion in the Shafi’ee madhab that a woman may travel without a mahram for her obligatory hajj and umrah.

    In the Maliki madhab the opinion is that a woman may do so if she is in safe company.

    And Allah knows best.

    Some online resources:

    IslamQA:Not Permissible without a Mahram

    Yusuf Qaradawi on Hajj without a Mahram

    Hajj without a Mahram (a bit lengthy but gives the views of Abu Hanifa, Malik, and Shafiee)

    SunniPath: Shafiee Dispensation

  3. as-salaamu alaikum,

    sis, it says in your blog that the mahad has closed, and for the longest time their website had not been working. i just clicked the link and the website states that they offer degrees in islamic studies…has it been reopened?

    any information you have would be great.

    jazaakiallahu khairan,

  4. Asalamu alaykum wa Rahmatullah,

    I have heard the Mahad is undergoing some major restructuring and may again open to new students in both Arabic and Islamic Studies. In sha Allah, I may go there later this week to confirm the news and post whatever I find out.

    If you are from the Ansar, then we’ve probably met before, no?

  5. wa alaikumas salaam thabt ansari,

    yes, we have met, a couple of times alhamdulilah 🙂 most recently when you came down for the first weekend of RISQ(you drove down with sister A***). remember? i’m bint_abubakr on the forums 🙂

    awesome blog, by the way. i nearly jumped out of my seat when i read your intro page.

    jazaakiallahu khairan for the info. i have family in VA, and if the school re-opens i’d would really consider coming down there for the degree program, but Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala knows best.

    it’s always a pleasure to see you, you should come down (or up) to visit again soon.

  6. Ahh, so you’re bint_abubakr. I saw your name from the email addy you filled out on the comments form here and of course I remember you. I’m always missing the Ansari girls.

    ThabtAnsari and the name you knew me by that begins with a ‘z’ is no more. It’s Muslim Apple as you may have noticed on the forums and my original Ibo name, which in sha Allah I’ll tell you about in person when next I’m in town.

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