Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah is the second holy city to Muslims after Makkah Al-Mukkaramah. It has also got many other names such as Taibah, Yathrib, the City of the Messenger, and Dar Al-Hijri (i.e. Home of Immigration). It is the city whose people supported Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) when he immigrated to it from Makkah. It comprises the Mosque of the Prophet, his grave, the Islamic University, King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Quran and many archaeological Islamic features. The first mosque of Islam is also located in Madinah and is known as Masjid Al Quba.
Madinah (Almadina Al-Munawara) the light city is the city of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) and also his burial place. It was the first Islamic City to support the Prophet Muhammad, and it joined him in fighting decisive battles which were instrumental in the victory of Islam and its subsequent spread. This is the city of the "Ansaar" (Supporters) and their brothers the "Muhajireen" (Emigrants), who together formed the first Islamic army which entered Makkah in triumph eight years after the Prophet's "Hijrah" (Migration). It was a city which loved the Prophet, and which he in turn loved. On its soil he built his sacred mosque, and it was here that he was buried.
Madinah was also the city of the "Khulfai Rashiduun" (Orthodox Caliphs of Islam), who shouldered the responsibility of Jihad, or holy struggle, fighting against renegades and propagating Islam in the countries surrounding the Arabian Peninsula. It was the seat of the first Islamic state, and witnessed the Prophet's companions administering the affairs of the Moslem community, compiling the Holy Koran, and dispatching armies to Persia, Syria and Egypt.
To visit Madinah is not a Hajj or Umrah rite, but the unique merits of the Prophet's city, his Mosque and his sacred tomb attract every pilgrim to visit it. There is neither Ihram nor talbiyah for the visit to Madinah or the Prophet's Mosque.
The Prophet had great love for this city. He once said that "There is a cure for every disease in the dust of Madinah" (Al-Targhib).
The Prophet himself participated in the construction of this mosque, called it "My Mosque" and led prayers in it for years. He has also said that a prayer performed in the Prophet's Mosque is better than a thousand prayers in any other place except Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah. It was also reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) has also said: "The person who offers 40 prayers consecutively in my Mosque, without missing a prayer in between, will secure immunity from the fire of Hell and other torments and also from hypocrisy."
Madinah has 95 names, including Taibah, Tabah, Qubbat Al-Islam, Al-Mu'mina, Al-Mubarakah, Al-Mukhtarah, Dar Al-Abrar, Dar Al-Sunnah, Dar Al-Akhyar, Dar Al-Fateh, Dhat Al-Hirar, Dhat Al-Nakhl, Al-Barrah and Al-Jaberah.