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Medina

(mĭdē`nə), Arabic Medinat an-Nabi [city of the Prophet] or Madinat Rasul Allah [city of the apostle of Allah], city (1993 pop. 608,226), Hejaz, W Saudi Arabia. It is situated c.110 mi (180 km) inland from the Red Sea in a well-watered oasis where fruit, dates, vegetables, and grain are raised. Before the flight (Hegira) of MuhammadMuhammad
[Arab.,=praised], 570?–632, the name of the Prophet of Islam, one of the great figures of history, b. Mecca. Early Life

Muhammad was the son of Abdallah ibn Abd al-Muttalib and his wife Amina, both of the Hashim clan of the dominant Kuraish (Quraysh)
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 from MeccaMecca
or Makkah
, city (1993 pop. 966,381), capital of the Hejaz, W Saudi Arabia. The birthplace c.A.D. 570 of Muhammad the Prophet, it is the holiest city of Islam, and the goal of the annual Muslim hajj. It is c.
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 to the city in 622, Medina was called Yathrib. Muhammad quickly gained control of Medina, successfully defended it against attacks from Mecca, and used it as the base for converting and conquering Arabia. Medina grew rapidly until 661, when the UmayyadUmayyad
, the first Islamic dynasty (661–750). Their reign witnessed the return to leadership roles of the pre-Islamic Arab elite, and the rejuvenation of tribal loyalties. The Banu Ummaya constituted the higher stratum of the pre-Islamic Meccan elite.
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 dynasty transferred the capital of the caliphate to Damascus. Thereafter Medina was reduced to the rank of a provincial town, ruled by governors appointed by the distant caliphs. Local warfare drained the city's prosperity. It came under the sway of the Ottoman Turks in 1517. The WahhabisWahhabi
or Wahabi
, reform movement in Islam, originating in Arabia; adherents of the movement usually refer to themselves as Muwahhidun [unitarians]. It was founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahab (c.
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 captured it in 1804, but it was retaken for the Turks by Muhammad Ali in 1812. In World War I the forces of Husayn ibn Ali, who revolted against Turkey, captured Medina. In 1924 it fell to Ibn Saud, Husayn's rival, after a 15-month siege. The city is surrounded by double walls flanked by bastions and pierced by nine gates. The chief building is the Prophet's Mosque, which contains the tombs of Muhammad, his daughter Fatima, and the caliphs Umar and Abu Bakr. The pilgrimage to Mecca (see hajjhajj
, the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, one of the five basic requirements (arkan or "pillars") of Islam. Its annual observance corresponds to the major holy day id al-adha, itself a commemoration of Abraham's readiness to sacrifice his son on Divine orders.
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) usually includes a side trip to Medina. Medina is the seat of Islamic Univ. (1962).

Bibliography

See E. Esin, Mecca, the Blessed; Madinah, the Radiant (1963); M. S. Makki, Medina, Saudi Arabia: A Geographic Analysis of the City and Region (1982).


Medina

(mədī`nə), city (1990 pop. 19,231), seat of Medina co., N Ohio; laid out 1818, inc. as a city 1950. It is a processing point in a farm area. Paints, roofing, and industrial products are manufactured and aluminum and lumber are processed.

Medina

 

(full Arabic name, Medinat-Rasul-Allah), a city in northwestern Saudi Arabia. Situated in an oasis, it is linked by highway with the Red Sea ports of Yanbu and Jidda and with Mecca. Population, about 72,000.

The date of the city’s founding is unknown. It was called Yathrib in ancient times and Medina (from the Arabic madina, “city”) from the early Middle Ages. In 622, Muhammad, the founder of Islam, fled from Mecca to Medina, where he established a Muslim community (umma). Together with Mecca it has been a holy city of Islam since the seventh century. Medina was the capital of the Arabian Caliphate from 632 to 656, and in the tenth century it became a vassal of the dynasties ruling in Egypt. From the time of Egypt’s conquest by the Turks in 1517 until January 1919, it belonged to the Ottoman empire. It was part of the Kingdom of the Hejaz from 1919 to 1924, when it was incorporated into Saudi Arabia (known as the Kingdom of the Hejaz and Nejd until 1932).

Originally, the city had a polygonal, almost round, layout and was enclosed by a stone wall with four gates; two intersecting main streets led to the gates. It was later enlarged and the number of gates increased to eight. In the center is the Great Mosque, built in 656 on the site of Muhammad’s house and subsequently rebuilt many times. The present mosque dates from 1853-54. The houses, built in the 19th and 20th centuries, are traditional buildings of one to three stories.

The principal sources of income are commerce, services for pilgrims, the production of prayer beads and rugs, and the making of special clothing for pilgrims. Fruit, vegetables, and dates are grown. An important industry is the processing of dates, exported through Yanbu.

REFERENCE

Emel, Esin. La Mecque, ville bénie, Médine, ville radieuse. Paris, 1963.

Medina

holy city to which Muhammad fled from Mecca. [Islamic Religion: Brewer Dictionary, 596]

Medina

a city in W Saudi Arabia: the second most holy city of Islam (after Mecca), with the tomb of Mohammed; university (1960). Pop.: 1 044 000 (2005 est.)
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