Medina (المدينة) (literally: the city) is one of the main religious cities of Saudi Arabia. It had been named as Yathrib before the emigration of the Prophet (s). Medina is located in north east of Mecca in Hijaz region. The distance between Medina and Mecca is 450 Km. Medina is the first capital of Islam and has many holy places, including the tomb of the Prophet (s), Masjid al-Nabi (the Prophet's mosque), and al-Baqi' cemetery.
Medina is one of the main religious cities of Saudi Arabia. It had been named as Yathrib before the emigration of the Prophet (s). Medina is located in north east of Mecca in Hijaz region. The distance between Medina and Mecca is 450 Km. Medina is located between a salt marsh and volcanic fields.The most significant geological feature of Medina is that the city is locate between two volcanic fields named Harra. One in the east named al-Harra al-Vaqim and the other in the west named al-Harra al-Wabra. The most significant mountain of Medina is the Mount Uhud.
Medina wasn't like Mecca in economy, although there was some trade, but not like Mecca that had summer and winter trade caravans. Economy of Medina were mostly based upon agriculture and date gardens around Medina. The most important products of Medina were date and grape; date was the root of their economic life which was used as food and its wood was used in buildings. After all, most of people were not in a good economic situation.
The climate of Medina is good compared to other places of the Arabian Peninsula; the water was available in a shallow depth, so by digging, it could be extracted easily.
Emigration of the Prophet (s)
13 years after bi'that in the beginning of the month Rabi' I, the Prophet (s) departed for Yathrib. This emigration (hijra) was after the two allegiances of 'Aqaba (the first and the second) by people of the city with the Prophet od Islam (s). After staying in Quba' for some days, he went to Medina. The last 10 years of the life of the Prophet (s) had mostly passed in Medina and this city was the center of expansion of Islam.
Actions of the Prophet (s) in Medina
Building a mosque
The first action of the Prophet (s) in Medina was building a mosque; a place where, in addition to being a center of worship, became a cultural, political and administrative center; a center which was one of the main bases for Muslims.
Writing a treaty
The second action of the Prophet (s) was writing a public treaty between Muslims of Medina. In this treaty which all of Muslims accepted, ruling is known only for God and the Prophet (s) and some of civil and criminal rules of Islam had been accepted.
Bind of brotherhood
The third action of the Prophet (s) was placing the bind of brotherhood between Muslims. The Prophet (s) made Muslims brothers so they would have a closer relation to each other.
The center of the Islamic government
Medina was the center of the Islamic government in different times, including the rule of the Prophet (s) till the end of the rule of Imam al-Hasan (a) (except 3 years of the rule of Imam 'Ali (a), in which Kufa was the center) for 41 years; also in the time of the rule of Muhammad al-Nafs al-Zakiyya, in 145/762, for a short period of time.
Birthplace and Shrine of Shi'a Imams
Most of Shi'a Imams were born in this city. This city is the birthplace of Imam al-Hasan (a), Imam al-Husayn (a), Imam al-Sajjad, Imam al-Baqir (a), Imam al-Sadiq (a), Imam al-Kazim (a), Imam al-Rida (a), Imam al-Jawad (a), Imam al-Hadi (a), and Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari (a).
Also, the tombs of four Imams: Imam al-Hasan (a), Imam al-Sajjad (a), Imam al-Baqir (a), and Imam al-Sadiq (a) are in Medina.