Madinah museum and Ma’raz Al-Iman exhibition display Madinah heritage to visitors

February 23, 2018
Fatima Muhammad


Al-Madinah has a number of specialized museums and exhibitions that shed light on different Islamic heritage and culture. Among these are Al-Madinah Museum in Al-Hijaz railway station and Ma’raz Al-Iman “Refuge of Faith” Exhibition.

Al-Hijaz railway station is allocated in Al-Anbariya district about one kilometer away from the holy mosque in Medina. It has been turned to a museum in 1998 with more developments still under construction. The station has a mosque designed with ottoman architecture and an open area. The railway was constructed to connect Damascus to Medina and was 1320 km long. The construction of stared in 1900 and ended in 1908. It stopped totally in 1921 due to World War I.

In its current states, the two-floor museum has around 16 rooms of Madinah heritage and culture which include: pre-Islamic era, different Islamic eras and a special section for the Saudi era. The museum also has handcraft market, shopping area, public coffee and a public restaurant. The 12 train cabinets have been modified to serve the restaurant clients.

The most valuable piece in the museum is a bow affiliated to Saad Ibn Abi-Waqass, a famous archer in Islam and one of the Prophet’s Companion. The museum also has a section presenting the different uses of Medina stones. Medina has been known for its mountains that surrounded it and the special stones. Madinah residents used the stones in every aspect of their life. Residents created dishes, sculptures and antiques out of the nearby stones later they used the stones to document events and save writings. The museum has a section that presents old currencies from the Sasanian Empire, Byzantium, and different Islamic eras. There museum also has different Islamic manuscripts, various medicine tools, women beauty tools, clay and glass containers and it displays major ancestors of Madinah families.

Abdul Rahman Al-Subaie, a Saudi man, said he brings his kids to show them how their ancestors struggled compared to the current luxury life they enjoy. He added that the valuable and astonishing heritage in the museum should be protected and respected by locals.

Qasim Ahmed, a Sudanese visitor, said that he is visiting the exhibition for the first time and said he got amazed when seeing the Medinah heritage available in the museum. Qasim said he is going to recommend the museum to his family and friends.

Nora Al-Enizi recommended that the the grand screens around Madinah holy mosque should display the visiting hours for Madinah museums and exhibitions to attract visitors and keep them updated.

Another heritage spot is Ma’raz Al-Iman Exhibition near Quba Mosque. Abdellah Soror, a tour guide at the exhibition said the name which is translated as “Refuge of Faith” is one of Madinah names given to it by the Prophet. The exhibition was first opened in 2013. Many visitors come to the exhibition spatially during Hajj and Ramadan seasons, the exhibition is also popular among delegations.

One of the corners at the exhibition presents herbs that were mixed to prepare ink along with the different pens and ink containers. One of the distinguished pieces in this section is a crystal ink container that date back to the Ottoman era.

The exhibition has a variety of manuscripts. The oldest manuscript available in the exhibition is a copy of Sunnan Abu Dawood dating back to 800 years ago. The original copy is at King Abdul Aziz Dara for Manuscripts in Madinah. Some sections of the oldest book describing Madinah heritage is also displayed in the exhibition. The manuscript is for Ibin Zabalah and goes back to the 3rd century of Hijra. The exhibition also presents the Holy Quran written in gold and dates back to 1876.

Soror said the exhibition has around seven sections some of which presents Medina names, virtues of Madinah people and the landmarks of Madinah. The exhibition has tour guides speaking in Arabic, English, Urdu, Persian and Kurdish. A detailed tour takes approximately 45 minutes.

February 23, 2018
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