CAIRO – A visitor to Dubai will have the chance to travel back some 1435 years to see how the holy city of Makkah looked during the era of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) after the gulf emirate opened a new exhibition that displays the Prophet’s life.
“You rediscover every step of Prophet Muhammad’s life and learn more about Islam and its many sides,” Dr Ahmed Al Ghamdi, a Saudi scholar and researcher who works at the museum, told the Emirati newspaper The National on Sunday, January 12.
Recreating in miniature the city of Makkah exactly as it was 1,435 years ago, a new exhibit in Dubai opened doors under the name, Alssalamu Alaika Ayyuha Annabi (Peace be upon you, oh Prophet) inside the new Dubai International Holy Quran Award building.
The exhibit was a branch of the Prophet’s Museum founded in Makkah by Dr Nasir Al Zahrani, a Saudi religious scholar, writer and poet, who has brought his vision to Dubai as part of what he calls a “universal humanistic project”.
The model, made in about two and a half meters square, transfers visitors back to Makkah small alleyways, traditional houses of mud, stone and wood, wells, palm trees and shrubs, all clustered across a mountainous terrain.
In the middle of these houses, a tiny house is located near the holy Kaaba, where Prophet Muhammad lived.
Another miniature presents a model for Madinah and an explanation of the Prophet’s hijarah (migration) from Makkah to Madinah.
The exhibit also tells the life of Prophet Muhammad from his birth to his death, including everything known about his life, from the kind of combs and pots he would have used, to the clothing he wore in battle and the food and medicines he would have taken.
The new Qur’an award building in Mamzar, across from the Cultural and Scientific Association, is an impressive structure designed to look like an old palace with Islamic calligraphy on the ceilings and walls.
Costing Dh60 million, the money was donated by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.
The exhibit has a 3-D interactive film that takes visitors inside the Prophet’s home, showing how he lived.
“All the rights, of women, of children, of non-Muslims, of animals and even plants, are all written up here along the walls for everyone, Muslim and non-Muslim, to learn more about and understand Islam better,” Dr Al Ghamdi said.
“No matter how knowledgeable you are, I am sure you will learn something new here.
“You just click here, and you can find out everything you want to know. If you want to see the whole family tree of the Prophet Muhammad, and then move on to the other prophets like Moses and Jesus and find out everything about them through our electronic library. You can spend months here researching,” he added.
It also includes copies of the items used by Prophet Muhammad such as his ring, with “Mohammed Prophet of Allah’ carved on the red orange stone known as “Aqeeq Yemeni”, and personal seal.
“We don’t have anything that Prophet Mohammed actually owned, but we used extensive research, from what was mentioned in the Quran, the Ahadeeth [sayings by the Prophet], and whatever was passed down via oral history, to bring the objects back to life,” says Yasser Abdul Mohsen, the other researcher working at the museum.
“There are plans to start a special kitchen where the kind of food he ate will be cooked and served, and we are also planning to start a pharmacy that makes the herbal and traditional medicine as used and advised by Prophet Mohammed available to the public.
“When you come here, you will be taken back to his time and gain so much wisdom and knowledge as you go through his sayings and deeds.”
The Prophet’s birth falls on the 12th day of Rabi-ul-Awwal (the third month in the Islamic calendar). This year, it falls on Monday, January 13.
Many Muslims see the prophet’s birthday as an important time to learn about and reflect on Muhammad’s life.
Lectures and speeches are often recorded and published as podcasts.
Around the world, celebrations of the prophet’s birthday include stalls selling Islamic books, leaflets, clothing, prayer mats and other materials.
Related Links:Prophet Muhammad Inspires Man Utd Striker
US Muslims Urge Prophet-like Behavior
UK Muslims Want Prophet Manners
Prophet Film Spurs Egyptian Anger at US
Prophet Article Sparks Mauritanians Ire