Medina, Madina, Al-Madinah, Medinat-en-Nabi, Medinat Ųasul AllahGeneral Information
Medina (Arabic: Al-Madinah), the second holiest city in Islam (after Mecca) and site of the tomb of Muhammad, is located in Hejaz region, western Saudi Arabia. It is about 485 km (300 mi) north of Mecca by coastal highway, 1,320 km (820 mi) south of Damascus by railroad, and 193 km (120 mi) northeast of the Red Sea. The population is 198,196 (1986 est.). All residents are Arabic-speaking Muslims. The city lies 625 m (2,050 ft) above sea level, on the western edge of a large lava field along the eastern slope of the Hejaz mountain range.
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The first settlers of Medina were Jews expelled from Palestine by the Romans in AD 135. Muhammad arrived from Mecca in 622, and, although he first treated the Jews with indulgence, he soon drove them out of Hejaz and made Medina the administrative capital of his Islamic state, a position it maintained until 661. After 661 the Umayyads, Egyptians, and Turks controlled the city at various times until 1916, when the independent Arab kingdom of Hejaz was formed. In 1932, Hejaz became part of Saudi Arabia.
Medina, also Medinat-en-Nabi (Arabic for "City of the Prophet") and Medinat Ųasul Allah ("City of the Apostle of God"), city in western Saudi Arabia, located in the Al Hijāz (Hejaz) Province. The city houses the remains of the Prophet Muhammad, who fled to Medina from Mecca in 622, an event that marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar. Medina is consequently one of the most sacred shrines of Islam. It is second only to Mecca among the holy places of Muslim pilgrimage. Muhammad's tomb is in the Mosque of the Prophet, located in the eastern section of the city. The mosque also contains the tombs of Muhammad's daughter Fatima and of Umar I, the second Orthodox caliph of the Muslim Empire.
In ancient times, Medina was known as Yathrib. The Alexandrian geographer Ptolemy referred to it as Lathrippa in the 2nd century AD. Medina was the capital of the Muslim world until 661, when the caliphate was transferred to Damascus. Later, Medina was successively controlled by the Egyptians and the Ottoman Turks. The latter were expelled in 1919 by the troops of Husein ibn Ali, first king of Al Hijāz. Husein's forces were defeated (1924) by Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, sultan of Najd. The city of Medina was incorporated into the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932. Population (1990 estimate) 500,050.
Unfortunately, we are not aware of any scholarly texts on this subject which have yet been translated into English. We know that a number of Arabic scholars have written wonderful texts in Arabic, and look for the day when we will be able to add higher quality texts to this presentation.
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