Visiting Al-Masjid Al-Nabawy

Q: After performing the enjoined duty of Hajj, many women travel to Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah to visit Al-Masjid Al-Nabawy (the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah) and the grave of the Messenger (peace be upon him). Is it obligatory for women to visit both Al-Masjid Al-Nabawy and the grave of the Messenger (peace be upon him), or to visit just one of them? Or it is not obligatory for them to visit either of them? Please advise us on this matter.

(Part No. 1; Page No. 429)  A: It is not obligatory for men or women to visit Al-Masjid Al-Nabawy. It is only Sunnah (a commendable act) to perform Salah there and it is permissible to undertake a special journey to do so. Visiting the grave of the Messenger (peace be upon him) is not obligatory either; it is Sunnah for those who have not traveled especially to visit the grave, as is the case with visiting any grave of any other Muslim. The visit should only be made to receive admonition, warning, and reminders of the Hereafter. The Prophet (peace be upon him) visited graves and urged people to do so for these purposes only, but not to seek blessings from them or to ask the dead to answer needs or relieve distress, as is done by many of the male and female adherents to Bid‘ah (innovation in religion). However, if visiting the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him), or that of any other person, hinges on traveling, then it not permissible to travel specifically for this purpose, based on what is authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) who said, No journey should be made except to three Masjids (mosques): This Masjid of mine (Al-Masjid Al-Nabawy in Madinah), Al-Masjid Al-Haram (the Sacred Mosque in Makkah), and Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa (the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem). Moreover, it should be borne in mind that women are not permitted to visit graves, as it is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him), cursed women who visit graves. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.