Visit to Saudi Arabia deepens religious knowledge

Historical context can create new perspectives


Isra Mohamed

Recently, I went on a trip to Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, which was an amazing experience. The reason I visited Saudi Arabia was because in my religion it is the holy place and where the religion was created.

I got to see some of the most significant historical sites in my religion, such as Mount Uhud where a huge battle took place, and Mount Arafat, where Prophet Muhammed delievered his last sermon to the followers of Islam. 

I also got to visit the Kaaba, which is a large marker signifying Islamic worship, where billions of people surround the structure and pray. I’ve seen pictures of it online, but it was jaw-dropping to see in real life. It was surreal to be there, because it made me feel closer to God.

While there, I also visited Medina and I got to pray at Masjid Al-Nabawi which is the masjid, or mosque, that the Prophet Muhammed built. Architects added on to it over time, and now it is one of the biggest mosques in the world. It was breathtaking to see the colorful sky-high pillars that are abundant throughout the whole mosque, and the beautiful patterns that adorned the walls and ceiling. Considering the thousands of people that were there, it was extremely calming and quiet as everyone was deep in prayer. 

I  was surprised by how immensely populated both Mecca and Medina were, which is   something I was not used to, coming from my community in Minnesota. The streets would be crowded with people and you could easily get lost if you didn’t know your way around. 

While in Saudi Arabia, I noticed that there were many diverse groups all in one place. It was a very beautiful thing to see so many different type of people all coming together to practice Islam. Coming from a somali community , this was eye-opening because I realized just how many different groups of people there were in the world .

Overall, my trip went really well. I saw many different things i’ve dreamed of seeing and I learned so much about my religion and myself. I was surrounded by such an empowering environment and I’m very happy I ended the year in my favorite place on earth.