Saturday, July 23, 2011

In Wonderful Madinah...Can it be?

Bism Illah wa as salaamu alaykum.

Many get the impression that Madinah is a small heaven on earth. They imagine that it is a beautiful city filled with Muslims brimming with emaan, taqwa, and exemplary ibadah. They believe that, with so much opportunity for learning and Islamic growth, that those living here are well grounded in their Islam and all are pursuing learning. They think that there is little or no crime.

None of these things are true, Qadr Allah. Madinah is polluted, with public places strewn with rubbish. Not Masjid an Nabawi with it's extensive staff to clean and maintain, but the streets and parks are always heavily littered. A large proportion of the Muslims here have very poor manners -  a bleary reflection of weak taqwa - and many have even less Islamic knowledge than those of us from the West. Many are simply living and working here, without attending any Quran or Islamic classes. There is crime: theft, attempts to bring in drugs, and vandalism.

Our family vehicle, a Chrysler Town and Country, had a mechanical problem that rendered it immovable and sitting parked in front of our apartment building. Literally, on the day  my husband intended to go down and see about getting it fixed, he went to find the windshield and two of the rear passenger windows smashed in by big rocks. We were shocked.

We learned that it was some local teenage boys, but nobody will identify them. The police came to take a report of the incident, but offered no words of hope regarding them looking for the vandals. There is no insurance coverage for such things. Insurance here is to pay for you damaging someone else's car, not for repairs to your own car. Basically, when something like this happens, you say Qadr Allah, mashaa fa'al, and you have to find the money to fix the damage yourself. In our case, as it will cost thousands to fix the vandalism and have the van up and running again, we have had to rent a car for the past three months.

These truths are not told to devalue Madinah in any way. They are told to remind you and ourselves that there is no heaven on earth and that even the most blessed of places will have great fitan and injustices. Why? Because we are not meant to love this dunya and we need reminders and tests to make us yearn for Jennah. Such things are blessings from Allah, reminders that nowhere on this earth can compare an iota with our ultimate goal.

May we all strive for Jennah al Firdaus and keep it as our primary goal when we face the trials of this dunya - ameen.


  1. Assalamu Aleykum,

    SubhanALLAH indeed it is surprising that this kind of things happen in Madinah as well.MashALLAH, JazaKALLAH Khair for the soooo useful reminder about the Dunya.Indeed you are so right, trials happen to remind us we're not supposed to love this Dunya but struggle to get something much more valuable InshALLAH.
    I really needed such a reminder.
    May ALLAH SWT make it easy for you and your family to get your van fixed, or any other vehicle which would be even better than this one.Ameen.

  2. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Um Zakarya.

    Wa iyaaki and jazaaki Allahu khayr for your beautiful dua'. Ameen, thumma Ameen!

    We must always remember that this life is the worst of what we will have if we strive for Allah's pleasure...and the best of what we will have if we don't.

    Take care my dear sister, and don't worry. Allah's Plan is Perfect for every one of us.

  3. Asmaa Umm MuhammadJuly 23, 2011 at 7:37 PM

    Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem. As salatu was salamu 'ala rasulullahi wa 'ala ahlihi wa as-habihi ajma'een.

    As salamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu,

    The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wassallam) hated to spread evil news.

    In tafsir ibn Kathir, surah falaq p.645 & 646-

    In the book of medicine in his sahih, Bukhari reported that A'isha said that the Prophet(salAllahu alaihi wasallam) was bewitched until he thought he had relations with his wives but he had not. Sufyan said this is the worst form of magic when it reaches this stage. So the Prophet (salAllahu alaihi wasallam) said Oh Aisha oh Aisha (radiAllahu anha)do you know that Allah has answered me concerning that which I asked Him. Two men came to me and one sat by my head while the other sat by my feet. The one by my head said to the other one, what is wrong with this man. The other replied he is bewitched. Who bewitched him? The other replied Abaid bin Asam, he is a man from the tribe of bani burzayq who is an ally of the jews and hypocrites. The first one asked with what? (meaning did he bewitch him) The other replied a comb and hair from the comb. The other asked where is the comb? In the dry bark of a male date palm under a rock in a well called dharwan. Aisha (radiAllahu anha) said, so we went to the well to remove the comb with hair and he (salAllahu alaihi wassallam) said this is the well that i saw. It was as if its' water had henna soaked in it and
    its palm trees were like the heads of devils. So he removed it from the well. Then I (Aisha radiAllahu anha) said, will you not make this public? He (salAllahu alaihi wassallam) replied, Allah has cured me and I hate to spread the news of wickedness to any
    of the people.

    There was wickedness at the time of the Prophet (salAllahu alaihi wassallam) and he did not see the benefit in spreading it, and in the Prophet (sallAllahu alaihi wassallam) is the best example. Alhamdulillah a great reminder for you and I.

    Alhamdulillahi Rabbil Alameen. Astighfirullaha wa atoobo ilayhi.

  4. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh my beloved sister Asmaa.

    Jazaaki Allahu khayr for this reminder, for always the reminder benefits the believer.

    In the case of the hadith, the Prophet, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam, stated his reasons for not telling the people. One was that the situation was resolved, he was cured, and the second that he hated to spread news of wickedness. In this is a great lesson and one that has played an integral role in my life. I focus on the positive and that there are blessings in everything.

    However, there is a difference between spreading evil news and lying. Many people who come to this blog and write to us at are taking what I post as a key source of information. Many have extremely aggrandized ideas of what life in Madinah is like and that it is a paradise on this earth. Not all, but many.

    To never mention the general truth and only present everything that is good, is to lie. Some people are taking it as their ultimate goal in life to come to Madinah and die here. To think of it as a blissful cure-all can lead to serious disillusionment and worse.

    It took much thought and consideration before posting this. It is because I CAN see the blessings and importance in this place not being the ideal in this world, and knew I could present it with, inshaa'Allah, the right outlook, that I decided to go ahead. I could clearly see benefit. If I am wrong, may Allah forgive me.

    One way or another I must go to my grave with this, but to go to my grave a liar to many people, saying there is nothing but sunshine and emaan here, is a heavy burden. This is dunya and my statements are general.

    As for the car, it happened and there is no identification of the vandals, even though we have more information on that than I disclosed. It can be a lesson to us all. It is not magic, but simply human failing on an anonymous level. People should not stay in Madinah if they hate it, so to allow many to come and be shocked by all these realities without a perspective that will prevent their hearts from turning from it, is a real danger.

    To write details about specific negative experiences is where I don't see benefit in spreading it. However, I saw benefit in giving more balance to the believer's impressions of this blessed place. I saw an opportunity to remind of what is important and why these things exist.

    I will think and pray more about whether the incident about the car should be removed. May Allah guide me to what pleases Him - ameen.

    Barak Allahu feeki wa fee hayatiki daa'iman - ameen.

  5. wswrwb -

    I don't understand why someone would do this, did they think it was an abandoned car?
    I appreciate being told all sides of life in Madina al-munawarrah...

    There is no reason to worry because all injustice will be requited on Yawm-al-Qiyama, and inshaAllah you will get their good deeds if they have any...

  6. As salaamu alaykum Amonymous,

    The car was parked with the other cars in front of our building. Although it could clearly be seen that it was not running, it was inflated, a tarp covering it, it was periodically didn't look like the abandoned cars that are scattered around the city. Ironically, there is an abandoned car parked at the end of the car park for the building, and that wasn't touched. It was our Qadr, we earned it and must learn and benefit from it.

    I think we ask that same question about why someone would do such a thing all over the world when we see vandalism. The type of people who do such things exist everywhere. That is my most pertinent point.

    I will not air stories about individual wrongdoings or backbite, but inshaa'Allah, I will give some balance so we always remember that the place and the people are two completely separate things. There is a hadith that states that Madinah is like a furnace, it will expel all that is bad. Ultimately the place will remain pure, and the impurities will be cast out.

  7. jazakALLAH khair for your kind support my dear sister.I really love you FisabilILLAH!

  8. salaams -

    did you know about these types of things happening before it happened to you, or did you find out only after it happened to you then realized that all of this is going on there?

  9. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Anonymous.

    Yes, we did know that these things happened before it happened to us. We see abandoned cars that have been vandalized, we see many vehicles that have been purposely scratched. There is a great deal of graffiti on the walls of buildings, new and old. Although we do see some nice graffiti sometimes, it is mostly just names and things spray painted in black on otherwise clean walls. In fact, the perimeter walls of the house we are living in were covered in graffiti when we rented it. We still haven't finished painting them to cover it.

    I think that, to a certain extent, youth behave the same way everywhere.

  10. i was thinking you should go to their house and do the same to their vehicles, but maybe this is not Islamic way to act...

  11. Anonymous, there is never improvement when we lower ourselves to commit sinful acts, even in retaliation.

    "The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one which is better, then lo!, he between whom and you there was enmity shall become as though he were a bosom friend. But none is granted it save those who are steadfast, and none is granted it save a person of great good fortune."
    Qur'an 41.34-35

    I'll say al hamdu l'Illah for the test and take the high road every time, when given a choice, inshaa'Allah.

  12. longing to make hijra (also anonymous above)July 31, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    it is summertime in the dar-ul-kufr, and you cannot even go outside alone or with your families without seeing people dressed half-naked, it is almost impossible not to commit zina of the eyes on a daily basis -

    i appreciate the information but i would rather have ten cars broken than live in this condition permanently...

    longing to make hijra

  13. As salaamu alaykum Longing to Make Hijrah.

    Yes, that is exactly our sentiment... there is no comparison between living here and in the west. I pray that Allah opens and smooths the way for you to make hijra and wish you a most blessed and fruitful Ramadan - ameen!

  14. As Salaamu Alaikum,

    I have been on the internet searching for a blog on Living in Saudi from a Muslim Sister's perspective for a couple of Months me and DH have been talking about making Hijrah and i was just about to give up when Al-Hamdulillah I came across your Blog I want to say Barakallah feekum for this because it helped me so much. Insha'Allah we will be able to make Hijrah in a couple of years


When commenting, fitnah is to be avoided at all costs, as the angels abandon those who argue and dispute."Who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him speak good or remain silent." Barak Allahu feekum!

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