The Umbrellas of Madinah

For this post, allow me to share with my blogging community glimpses of an unlikely world that you, dear reader, may not normally find yourself in: the Masjid an-Nabawi (or Prophet’s Mosque) of Madinah al-Munawwarah (the Enlightened City) in Saudi Arabia.


the Masjid an-Nabawi surrounded by its wide piazza, its giant umbrellas still folded in the early morning. photography by ssj

It is my sincere hope that with these photos and the linked videos, I could convey to you the peace of this place and its people, a peace that is as graceful and nurturing as these umbrellas in the piazza and courtyards of the Masjid an-Nabawi.


guarding the lines and waiting for the sun. photography by ssj


the umbrellas in full bloom. photography by ssj

photo gallery: The Prophet’s Mosque.  photography by Said Sadain, Jr.

SL Rasch GmbH: Unfurling the umbrellas, and other projects (2:29 mins)

The Making and Installation of the Umbrellas (6:15 mins)


  • An unlikely post for the WP Photo Challenge.
  • YouTube videos are courtesy of SL Rasch GmbH.

With this post, I bid you hail and Godspeed! I shall be taking leave from blogging for a while, especially during the fasting month of Ramadhan (which falls from mid-May to mid-June this year), to retreat to a calmer and more modest life, immersed in the peace of worship and prayers, and a heightened consciousness of the invisible lines connecting us to an Almighty Source that is Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

— SSJ, 4 May 2018 

About sandstarsblog

wild reader. writer in the wild. technologist at work. not necessarily in that order.
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27 Responses to The Umbrellas of Madinah

  1. Thank you so much for sharing these photos. What a privilege it is see these beautiful spaces.

  2. Shagun says:

    I can’t get enough of those pictures, they are absolutely splendid!

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  4. sheenmeem says:

    Thank you for the marvelous videos footage.

  5. What an absolutely gorgeous place, Said, and beautifully captured. It’s like another world, a dream. I wish you tranquillity and peace for the coming period. I would also like to take a break but unfortunately it’s not on the cards, or written in the stars or in my work arrangements. 😃

    • Thank you for the kind words and well-wishes, Steve. It’s not exactly a break from work for me either, just a shortening of office work-hours, and a refocusing of some activities and thoughts, so there would be more time for prayerful nights, the reading of the Qur’an, and contemplation on faith and spirituality. And while I will not be posting on my blog for a while, I’ll probably still continue to read some of the blogs that I enjoy following 🙂

  6. this is the most peaceful city I have been to. there’s no place like Madeena indeed.
    Ramadan Kareem 🙂

    • And Ramadan Mubarak to you too, Stoner (but not really a stoner! 🙂 ). Very true observation about Madina. Personally, I prefer to be spending time in Madina (4-hour drive from where I am in Jeddah) than in Makkah (1-hour drive from Jeddah), both holy places dear to the hearts of Muslims. Kulla am wa antum bi khair.

      • ahaha thanks for mentioning.. I so regret this blog name at times 😆.
        I went for Umrah so I have been to all 3 cities. Makkah Madina Jeddah. I found Madina exceptionally peaceful.

        I remember I would just take my key and leave hotel for Masjid-e-Nabvi all alone in the middle of the night and all I felt was peace. it has its own air. its hard to explain you can only feel it.

      • Thanks for the comments 🙂 Yes, indeed. Some of the night pictures here were in fact taken at the odd hours just before the dawn prayer period. I’m really glad that you feel this way too about Madina. It is a refuge that you can always turn to, even if only in your thoughts and contemplation, during unsettling times.

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  8. NorCal Zen says:

    Wow, that’s a most unlikely, beautiful place. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  9. Yacoob says:

    I’ve only been once, but it’s my favourite place in the world. Maybe it was the context of my visit (before my first and only Hajj), but the tranquility was so incredible. It felt like Heaven on Earth in those first days.

    I hope to go back many, many times… but unfortunately that door hasn’t yet opened for me.

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