To visit Madinah is not a rite of Hajj or `Umrah, but the unique merits of the Prophet’s city, his mosque, and his sacred tomb attract every pilgrim to visit it. One may choose whether or not to visit Madiniah, and whether to do so before or after the Hajj or `Umrah. There is no ihram or talbiyah for the visit to Madinah or the Prophet’s Mosque.
Unique Merits of the Prophet’s Mosque: The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) himself participated in the construction of this mosque, called it “My Mosque” and led Prayers in it for years. He also said that a Prayer performed in the Prophet’s Mosque is better than a thousand Prayers in any other place except the Sacred Mosque in Makkah.
According to Anas, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) 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.” (Ahmad)
The prominent scholar El-Bahay El- Kholi states: The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) highly recommended the visit to three mosques, namely the Sacred House (the Ka`bah) in Makkah, his own in Madinah, and the Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem. On completing the rites of the Hajj, the pilgrim would do well to set out towards the Mosque of the Prophet at Madinah with its five minarets and the green dome of the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
The moment he steps into this Mosque, he has to call to mind all that he knows of the glorious deeds of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and of his spiritual guidance. He is to remember that in it the Prophet taught Muslims about the tenets of their faith and inculcated in them the principles of brotherhood, justice and equality. On entering the mosque, the pilgrim must pray two rak`ahs, then proceed to the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) at which he says these words in greeting: “Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah. I testify that there is no god but Allah, and that you are his Messenger”. It is desirable that the visitor turn eastwards a little to salute the tomb of the Caliph Abu Bakr, and then the tomb of the Caliph `UmarIbn al-Khattab.
With the visit the pilgrim’s sense of devotion is enhanced by recalling the memories of the glory of Islam. In this sense, this mosque serves as another fount of inspiration to Muslims throughout the world.