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Medina

From Academic Kids

Template:Islam This article is about the Saudi city of Medina. For other uses, see Medina (disambiguation).


Medina (Template:Lang-ar; alternatively transliterated into English as Madinah) is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia. It currently has a population of 839,400 (1999).

The long form of the Arabic name means "the enlightened city", while the short form just means "the City". Medina is the second holy city of Islam, after Makkah (Mecca). Its importance as a religious site derives from the presence there the Shrine of the Prophet Mohammad by Masjid al-Nabawi or the Mosque of the Prophet, famously know as Gumbad-e-Khizra, Prophet's Dome or Green Dome, which was built on a site adjacent to Prophet Muhammad's home. His home later became part of the mosque when it was expanded by the Umayyad caliph al-Waleed ibn AbdelMalek. The first mosque of Islam is also located in Medinah and is known as Masjid Quba, the Quba Mosque.

In 622, Medina became the seat of Muhammad's growing movement after the Hijra. In 622 Muhammad was invited to come and live in Yathrib (the old name of Medina) and act as a sort of governor. Medina in those times was a divided city. Different clans and religions were eternally quarrelling and bickering and Muhammad brought unity to the city. All parties agreed to a pact drawn up by Muhammad and his followers. He invited all people in the city to follow the new religion of Islam. However, he had trouble convincing the majority of the Jewish population (which was actually quite large) and the Christian population that Islam was the true version of Judaism or the true religion of Jesus.

In the ten years following the Hijra, Medina formed the base from which Muhammad attacked and was attacked and it was from here that he marched on Makkah, becoming its ruler without battle. Even when Islamic rule was established Medina remained for some years the most important city of Islam and the de facto capital of the Caliphate.

Under the first four Caliphs, known as the Righteous Caliphs, the Islamic empire expanded rapidly and came to include centres of learning such as Jerusalem, Ctesiphon, and Damascus. After the death of Ali, the fourth caliph, Mu'awiyya transferred the capital to Damascus and the importance of Medina dwindled and became of a religious more than a political nature.

In 1924 the city, which had been in Ottoman hands for centuries, fell to Ibn Saud, whose empire later became Saudi Arabia.

See also

The Prophet Mosque in Medina; the mosque has the Shrine of the Prophet Muhammad in the middle, also known as Gumbad-e-Khizra or Dome of the Prophet
Enlarge
The Prophet Mosque in Medina; the mosque has the Shrine of the Prophet Muhammad in the middle, also known as Gumbad-e-Khizra or Dome of the Prophet

da:Medina de:Medina et:Mediina es:Medina eo:Medino fr:Mdine hi:मदीना id:Madinah he:אל-מדינה nl:Medina ja:マディーナ no:Medina pt:Medina (Arbia Saudita) sv:Medina

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