Some people go to Medina after hajj to perform 40 prayers in the Prophet’s mosque. Why do they do this?
Although praying 40 prayers in Medina is not one of the hajj requirements, visiting the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) grave is sunnah muakkadah. According to the hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Whoever visits me after my death, it is as if he visited me in my life” (Kanzul-Ummal 15/651).
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also said: “Those who visit my grave will be honoured to have my intercession on the Judgment Day” (Kanzul-Ummal, 15/256).
The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) advised people to pray 40 prayers in his mosque. It is narrated in one of the hadiths that “the prayer in the Prophet’s mosque is better than a thousand of prayers in any other mosque with the exception of Masjid al-Haram mosque” (Bukhari, Fadlus-Sala).
There is another hadith where the following is stated: “Whoever prays 40 prayers in my mosque, will be safe from the Fire and far from hypocrisy” (Musnad, 3/155).
Anyone who feels like it, can go to Medina after hajj and visit the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) grave. Those who are short of time, do not have to stay there for a long time. Those who have some free time are recommended to pray 40 prayers in the Prophet’s mosque.
This sunna will be considered as being fulfilled if the pilgrim prays at least one prayer at the Prophet’s mosque. While one should try to pray most of his prayers at Masjid al-Nabawi, it is highly recommended to visit other mosques too. Visiting other mosques is a blessing. It is narrated in the hadith that “a prayer in the Quba mosque is equal to performing one Umrah.”