From the moment you step into Madinah, you'll notice instantly how different it is to Makkah.  Makkah is super busy with its everyday hustle and bustle whilst Madinah on the other hand is the total opposite.  Madinah is so peaceful and calm.  Everything is a lot more relaxed, even the cars are quiet and it's no wonder as the greatest man to walk this Earth is resting right there in the heart of this beautiful city we all know and love.

Even the word 'beautiful' can't do Madinah justice.  There are no words to describe how amazing and just how breathtaking it is.  And when you step inside the grand Masjid, you just know where you are.  Can you believe that you are just meters away from the Prophet PBUH?  Can you believe that back in the day the size of this Masjid was the size of Madinah?

You're lucky to be there and to be able to send Salaam to our Prophet Muhammad saw so make it count.  When you go inside the Masjid and you're standing there by the Roza Mubarak you'll notice a lot of different behaviour from others.  I'm not going to go into detail but you'll see when you get there.  Try to stay as respectful as possible and quiet too.  I'm sure you wouldn't like to be disturbed if you were sleeping!

Going to the Roza Mubarak is the most amazing experience ever, I can't even find the words to describe it.  It is so, so emotional, you'll have tears in your eyes when you're there.  As you get ready to go to send your salaam you can feel your heart beating, like it's so crazy.  It's like you're actually going to meet the Prophet saw and as you make your way inside that's all you think about and all you want to do is be on your best behaviour.

I can remember each time clearly.  The last time I went, I took my then 3 year old.  She had wanted to go for a long time and so I'd promised her that I would take her with me next time I go.  The day finally arrived and we got ready and made our way to the Masjid.  She was so excited!  That's all she would talk about.  The look on her face and seeing her big smile told me that this meant so much to her.

When we got there we were told to sit in our allocated spaces.  I was initially afraid that we might not be able to do everything properly as I had to take care of my daughter and didn't want her to get squashed by all the pushing and shoving.   We took it easy and didn't rush anything.  And all the while that I was planning in my head how best to go about it, Allah was taking care of it all for us.  Out of the blue, one of the security ladies came over, didn't say anything, took my hand and led us behind the barriers all the way round the back (where there is no access for anyone) and took us to the front of the Roza Mubarak!  Seriously, it's so true, you worry but Allah is the best of planners.  I needn't have worried at all because Allah had sorted it all out for us.  We sent our salaam and prayed on the green carpet with ease.  Before all the other ladies were allowed in, we had already finished Alhumdulillah.  My little K's dream had come true and she was over the moon.

It is so important to make sure you take everything as it comes and don't do the things you shouldn't do.  You'll be rewarded for your patience.  The last thing you want to do, as I said before, is do something wrong when you're trying to do a good deed.

Try not to raise your voice and talk unnecessarily about this and that.  But use the time to pray and send your salutations instead.  And if you do happen to take your phone in with you, then keep it on silent.  The last thing you want is for a musical tune to be playing in the Masjid.  You're only going to be here for a short time so it would be better to use your time wisely.

You can go from inside the Masjid to send your Salaams or from outside by the green dome as some people prefer.  I prefer to go inside as you get to pray on the green carpet too.  I wouldn't want you to miss out on being in Jannah, even if it is for only 5 minutes, so try to go inside the Masjid for this.  Bare in mind there will be a lot of people and a lot of pushing and shoving but don't panic.  Just be patient and take it slowly.  You'll spot a few rebels in the crowd, but make sure you listen to the security as they'll be organising everyone into groups, so pay attention to them.  They'll be more likely to help you too.

Women are given a few specific times in the day to go and send their Salaam.  I'm not so sure of the exact times but I think there's one session in the morning and one after Zuhr.  Your tour guide will let you know of the full details.  It's usually only open for men but during those few hours everything is closed off and only open for the women.  Back when I was 10 we could use the Bab-us-Salaam door and we'd stand in a line outside eagerly waiting for our turn to go inside.  A lot of the parts that are now closed off for the women used to be open for us, like the raised platform.  Alhumdulillah I was lucky enough to have had the chance to pray a couple of rakaats there too.       

Here, men and women are completely segregated which means there are separate doors for you to enter the Masjid.  Also men are not allowed to come too close to the women's side and vice versa, so if you are going to meet your spouse or male relative after Salaah then you should choose a meeting point further away so you don't get told to move by security.

Since you won't be able to see all of Masjid e Nabawi from the inside like in Makkah, it would be worth taking a walk around the outside to see the whole Masjid.  It's absolutely stunning Mashallah.

Madinah is very relaxed and since there are no Tawafs to do here, you may find that you have more time.  Use this time to pray lots of Durood and make plenty of duas too.  You can also take a walk to Masjid e Quba like our Prophet PBUH did.  Although make sure you leave early, preferably after Fajr as it's a long walk.  We decided to go with a few others from our group and it was lovely to see the other parts of Madinah which we wouldn't normally see.  We didn't quite know our way but we made it there in one piece by following signs and asking for directions in Arabic as best we could. We were all too tired to walk back in the heat so got a taxi back to our hotel!

Another thing that's probably on your list of things to do as well as everyone else's is the Date Market.  You'll find a large variety of dates here and you'll most definitely be full on dates by the time you finish.  The people of Madinah are so friendly and hospitable and you'll see that everywhere you go.  They'll want you to sample their dates and you'll be eating them until you can't eat them no more!  As there are plenty of stalls it can be confusing as to where to buy your dates from.  But don't worry, your tour guide will usually recommend a few stalls to you.  And if you're not sure how many to buy, it's worth having a chat with any of your friends or relatives that have been so they can give you an idea of how many to bring back with you.

You may make your journey to Madinah before Hajj or after Hajj, but regardless of when you come here be prepared for the long journey.  What normally takes only 5-6 hours can take anything upto 13 hours during the busy Hajj period.  It's going to be a very long trip, but don't worry as there'll be plenty of stops along the way for you to stretch your legs, take a break, pray Salaah and grab a bite to eat too!

Finally, enjoy your time in Madinah and take it all in.  Not many people are blessed with the opportunity to make this trip so learn as much as you can about this beautiful city, in order to really appreciate everything about it.  Madinah is very modern looking with it's tall buildings and as you enter that's pretty much what you see.  The hotels and maybe a quick glimpse of the Minarets in between the gaps.  It's very different to how it used to be.  When I was younger it was totally different.  It was the old Madinah with its small sandy roads and tiny streets.  You could see the minarets from far away and I miss that.  

Leaving Madinah is the hardest thing to do.  Your heart never wants to leave.  Our bus driver got lost on the way to the airport and kept driving round and round Masjid e Nabawi and I kept praying in my heart that we could stay a little longer.  But sadly, he eventually found his way and we took one final look back and waved goodbye.

Saying goodbye is definitely the hardest thing to do.  I'm not ready to say goodbye, are you?