In most other books, the manner of Ziyaarat, its proper etiquette, the words to recite have already been noted. In the following lines we intend mentioning only some of the points to bear in mind. This should actually not be necessary, as:
‘The love that is borne for him;
Itself should teach respectful honor for him.”
1.The ulama disagrees as to whether Ziyaarat should precede Haj or vice versa. (See chapter eight, hadith three)
2. When intending to travel to Madina, what niyyat should be made? Because of Hadith No.12, in chapter eight, some are of the opinion that one should have the niyyat of visiting the tomb of the Prophet Sal’am as well as the masjid in Madina. However, Hazrat Shaikh Ibn Humaam Rah, wrote in Fat’hul Qadeer: “In my humble opinion the intention should be only to visit the Rasul Sal’am’s grave, because that indicates honor to Rasulullah Sal’am, and in doing so that Hadith is also acted upon wherein the Holy Prophet Sal’am said: “Whoever comes as a visitor to me with nothing else prompting him except to visit me; for him shall I surely be an intercessor.”
If however, Allah grants a second visit, then at that time the niyyat should be to visit the grave as well as the Masjid.
Hazrat Maulana Gangohi Rah, also favored this view. In his book ‘Zabdatul Manaasik’ he wrote: “On intending a visit to Madina, the niyyat should be solely to visit the Holy Sculpture of the Prophet Sal’am so that obedience will have been shown to the Hadith which includes: with nothing else prompting him except to visit me.”
3.No matter which niyyat is made for Madina, let it be so that this journey should be exclusively for Allah’s pleasure. There should not be any glimpse of Riya, no show, no exhibition, no pride, neither should there be any aim of traveling for the sake of touring or sight seeing, and nor should their be any aim of attaining any material benefit. Otherwise there exists the danger of deeds being nullified. One should not go to Madina merely because of the fear of the taunts of friends and people who may accuse one that he neglected to perform Ziyaarat out of stinginess.
4.Hazrat Mullah Ali Quari Rah wrote in his book Shar’hul Lubaab: “A sign that a person’s niyyat is sincere, is the fact that, neither does he discard any of his obligatory duties, nor any of the sunnats. Otherwise on this journey, apart from having spent of his resources and undergone hardships, he gains nothing; and repentance to Allah becomes binding.”
In my humble opinion, one should take special precautions on this journey not to neglect any Sunnat action, even though sunnats are normally considered of lesser importance while on a journey. Though being on a journey allows certain sunnat acts to be taken more lightly; one should on this journey to Madina endeavor to diligently follow the footsteps of Rasulullah Sal’am, whereby this journey is elevated in spirit.
5. A special effort must be made to recite Salawaat (Durood) abundantly, and with complete sincerity and faith. All the learned ulama had greatly emphasized this point. The more Salawaat (Durood) is recited, the better. Besides the compulsory duties and necessities of life most time should be spent in reciting Salawaat (Durood). Hazrat Mullah Ali Quari Rah even goes so far as to say that all time that remains after having seen to necessities of life and obligatory duties, should be utilized for the recitation of Salawaat (Durood), because the more one applies ones-self to any righteous act, the greater is the reward.
Hazrat Hafiz Ibn Hajar Rah writes in his commentary on the Manaasik-ul-Haj of Imaam Nawawi, that on this journey the abundant recitation of Salawaat (Durood) is the most virtuous act. Is it even more virtuous than recitation of the Qur’aan, or is it equal in virtue? The answer lies in the fact that at all those times where Salawaat (Durood) is specially called for, it is more in reward as on the night of Jamu’ah- the eve preceding the day of Friday. Here it is more rewardful. Now similarly on this journey Salawaat (Durood) is special sunnat of the time and thus more virtuous than even tilaawaat of the Qur’aan.
According to the ulama, wherever Zikr in general is mentioned, Tilaawat is better, but wherever any special form of Zikr is called for that special form is more virtuous. In Hisn-e-Haseen, Hazrat Allama Jazari Rah states: “The best form of Zikr is recitation of the Qur’aan except where any other form is stipulated.” Commenting on this Hazrat Maulana Abdul Hayy states: “For example; a prescribed Tasbeeh is supposed to be recited in Ruku and Sajdah. If in those two places the Qur’aan is being recited it is considered Makrooh.”
6. Travel with great enthusiasm and excitement and increase the yearning, as Madina becomes nearer. “As the hour of meeting dawns true to a promise; the fire of longing increases its intensity.” In order to intensify that enthusiasm, one should recite poems in praise of the Prophet Sal’am. If a biography of the Prophet Sal’am, is available; read it or have it read for others to listen to, so that in the circles of travelers, the life of Rasulullah Sal’am is discussed and all thoughts are focussed on him, so much so that when the day of entering Madina is near, then longing should be at its greatest.
7. When along the way you pass any places or mosques about which it is known that Rasulullah Sal’am or his companions had rested or prayed then stop there to pray, offering nafl (voluntary) prayers or keep busy with Salawaat (Durood) or Tilaawat. Similarly when passing any wells, do drink of the waters for the sake of gaining blessings. Some of these wells are mentioned in chapter ten.
In Mu’allimul Hajjaaj and Ziyaaratul Haramain some of these places are mentioned. Do find out where these places are situated. (Read these two books well. They are very beneficial.)
Among these places there is one special one called Muar’ras, which is situated near Zhul-Hulaifa on the outskirts of Madina. Here one should definitely perform Salaah. According to the Shafis it is Sunnat-ul-Mu’akkdah, i.e. a greatly emphasized sunnat to do so. Some ulama even mention it to be Waajib. (See Manaasikul Haj of Nawawi)
8. When nearing Madina enthusiasm and excitement should be at its climax. Salawaat (Durood) should be repeatedly recited. If one is on the back of some riding horse or camel, an effort should be made to ride it faster. It is reported that whenever the Rasul Allah Sal’am returned from some journey and approached Madina he drove his camel faster. (Over the last stretch).
“How great the yearning on that day; as nearer comes the lover, to the beloved’s tent.”
9. Finally the eyes will fall on the walls of Madina. Then when the orchard of Madina comes into sight as happens when passing Bi’r Ali, it is best to descend from your vehicle and to proceed barefoot towards the city while tears flow in unrestrained manner from the eyes, and Salawaat (Durood) comes from the lips.
“And when into sight there appeared;
The precincts, of the town of him,
Who left not with us; the heart,
Nor the mind to realize the same,
From our mounts we descended;
Proceeding respectfully afoot,
For far indeed it be that;
From his honor on horse back we approach him”
It used to be the custom of the former kings and rulers that they always used to proceed on foot from Zhul-Hulaifa, which lies at a distance of ten kilometers (six miles), from Madina. And why not? If from that spot one should proceed with our heads on the ground then too it would not be sufficient in honor of him.
“And though I come to you walking with my eyes,
Then too I have not done my duty in proper.
And which duty, Sire;
Have I indeed performed with diligence?”
“And when the resting place of our beloved, we beheld at Tiebah;
Our love for him flared beyond bounds;
And when the dust of Tiebah to our eyes we applied;
Gone was our sickness ne’er again to return.” (Allahumma Salli wa Sallam Alaihi)
10. When final entrance to Madina is imminent together with Salawaat (Durood) this duaa should be recited:
“O Allah, verily this is the bounty of Thy Nabi Sal’am. Let it be for me a means of refuge from the fire of hell, a refuge from punishment and a refuge against the trials of the reckoning.”
Pray then for the attainment of the blessings of the Holy City, and for the guidance to uphold the sanctity of Madina, while also praying for help to avoid any undesirable acts.