The Sahaaba and the Taabi’een have practically illustrated that it is permissible to undertake a journey to visit the sacred tomb of Rasulullah Sal’am in Madina.
1. Hazrat Allama Subki Rah writes: ‘Reliable sources have related how Hazrat Bilaal R.A. used to travel from Syria to visit the grave of Rasulullah Sal’am. Once after the conquest of Damascus, he begged of Hazrat Khalifa Umar R.A. to allow him to reside there, which Hazrat Umar R.A. granted. He then remained there and married there until he once saw Rasulullah Sal’am in his dream saying to him: “O Bilaal, how unfaithful; does the time not dawn for you to visit me occasionally?”
Immediately after seeing this dream Hazrat Bilaal R.A. woke up greatly distressed ad frightened. In quick time he traveled by camel to Madina. Hazrat Hasan R.A. and Hazrat Husain R.A. came to know of his presence and begged of him to recite the Azaan. Seeing them made Hazrat R.A. very happy and he recited the Azaan. When the people of Madina heard him, men, women and children came out of their houses crying and sobbing, for Hazrat Bilaal R.A. had brought back to memory the days of Rasulullah Sal’am among them. In this we see Hazrat Bilaal R.A. traveling from Syria to Madina for the sole purpose of visiting Nabi Sal’am’s grave.
2. In ‘Shifa-ul-Asqaam’ we read that from numerous sources it is reported that Hazrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz R.A. used to dispatch a man on camel to Madina on various occasions just to greet Nabi Sal’am on his behalf.
3. When Hazrat Umar R.A. visited Baitul Maqdis he was very pleased at the conversation to Islam to a Jewish scholar, Kaab Ahbaar. He thereupon invited him to accompany him to Madina to visit the grave of Rasulullah Sal’am which he did.
4. Once a Taabi’ee, Muhammad bin Ubaidullah bin amr Al Atabi visited the grave of Rasulullah Sal’am in Madina. After the greeting at the grave he sat down in one part of the mosque and saw a person, appearing to be a desert Arab saying: “O you most honored of all Messengers; Allah had revealed to you the verse:
‘And if when they had wronged themselves, they had come to you asked forgiveness of sins from Allah; and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them; they would have found Allah Forgiving, Merciful. (Nissa-65)
then this person cried bitterly and read a poem
O Thou whom that very earth became honored;
May my life be a sacrifice for that grave?
Wherein thou dwellest,
For therein lies virtue and therein lies generosity and goodness.
After this he begged for forgiveness and departed.
Muhammad al Atabi says further: thereafter, I fell asleep on that spot and in a vision I saw the Messenger of Allah. He said to me: ‘Go and find that person and tell him, that through my intercession Allah has forgiven him.’ (shifa-al-Asqam, Mawaahib).
The poem above is mentioned by several writers. Hazrat Imaam Nawawi in his book ‘Manaasik’ added another couplet:
Thou art the intercessor, whose intercession is desired,
On that bridge when feet are sure to slip;
As for your two companions, them shall I never forget,
Salaam to you dear Rasulullah for as long as pens can write.