The name is derived from the HebrewMedina meaning our city/country and was later 'Islamised' by Muhammad and his followers to mean the "town of the prophet" being a comparatively late one.
The oasis of Yathrib was first settled by three agriculturist/ trader 'Jewish'and/or Judaized Arabain tribes:
the Banu Qaynuqa, the Banu Qurayza, and Banu Nadir. Ibn Khordadbeh later reported that during the Persian domination in Hijaz, the Banu Qurayza served as tax collectors for the shah. (Peters, 193).
The Jews who originally settled in Arabia may have come as traders and agriculturists from the time of King Solomon as well as many who escaped the slaughter and persecution of the Babylonian,Greek and Roman Empires.
Studying Ibn Ishaq's reports, there is absolutely no doubt, that by the time of Muhammad, the 'Jews' and the Pagan and or Converted Arab tribes - to the religion of the Jews - were almost totally assimilated in the culture and traditions of the
Pagan Arabians EXCEPT for their religious beliefs.
The pagan Arabs who also lived there were the Aus and Khazraj who arrived from the Yemen after the collapse of the Ma'arib Dam. The Ahadith show that there was constant intermingling, intermarriages as well as rivalries and confrontations among all of them. Some 'Jewish' tribes were allied with one or the other of the pagan ones against the other.
(Ya'qubi, vol. ii, p 49, designates the Arabian tribes from which they were descended).
Muhammad and his persecuted followers emigrated to it in the year 620CE. If the 'Jews'of the Madina had not offered him hospitality, the Meccans would have easily had followed him and his entourage and destroyed them especially since at that time he did not have the military strength to defend himself.
Because the Madinese pagans were so intimately mixed with the 'Jews' and had learned from them about monotheism and their expectations of a prophet/redeemer(Messiah) to arise, they were much more easily disposed to accept Muhammad's monotheistic message than those of his own Quraiysh tribe in Mecca.
Muhammadan historians claim that in the Arab'tradition' the original name of the 'city' was Yathrub. This is of course their usual fallacious claims for originalities since Yathrub (Sabaean name) was only a small 'suburb' of the town.
In 627 theconfederates (al Ahzab) of Meccan and Abyssinian mercenaries, besieged Madina for a month. During that whole time, only 20 men died from both sides.
After falsely accusing - as was Muhammad's methodology - the'Jews' of alMadina with the trumped up charge of collaborating with the enemy, Muhammad had the excuse to slaughter over 600-900 able bodied men and young boys without a single loss among the Muslims.
All but three 'Jews' accepted death by the sword instead of adopting Muhammad's version of 'Islam'. The'Jews' were not armed but, as usual with Muhammad, tricked to their death.
It should not be difficult to understand why the'Jews' would not and could not convert to Muhammad's version of Islam. The Quran after all, had absolutely nothing new, equal or superior to offer them in terms of theology, morality, justice or compassion.
The Quran after all, only PLAGIARISED,PIRATED, PLUNDERED and/or PERVERTED, CONCEPTS,PRECEPTS, THOUGHTS,IDEAS and STORIES - which were rendered different from theBiblical original anyway - from both the Torah, Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament.
Why would they after all defer to a belief system that is not even equal to theirs? Thus the new Cult Belief System - Muhammad's version of Islam - began the process of eradicating and destroying the mother religion by character assassination, by physical extermination or both.
After having 'Islamized' the town, it became called Al Munawrra/ The City of Light. This was in emulation of God's instruction to His Chosen People,theIsraelites to be:
Isaiah 42: 6 " I the Lord have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand, and will keep you, and give you for a covenant of the people, fora light to the nations "
This city became the second holiest in the pantheon of the followers of Muhammad because of its association with the Hijrah and later with the most important Suras of the Quran.
In the Quran, the name for 'cities' is 'Qura' as in 'Mother of Cities' - the most important one in 'Islam' is Mecca - Suras 6:92 & 42:7 & Qarya as in 16:112; 36:13 indicating very clearly that the later and more general usage in Arabic to describe a 'city' as 'madinah' is evidently from the Hebrew.
Among the bloodbaths that transpired between the claimants to Muhammad's mantle, the one conducted by Yazid bin Muawiyah against Abdullah bin al Zubayr in the Madina was among the worst.
The battle was won (26th of August ,683) by Yazid's general, the one eyed Muslim bin Uqbah. This was followed by three days of wanton destruction, rape and sacking of the 'city of the prophet' when some 10,000 of the Ansar including no less than 80 of Muhammad's companions are said to have been put to death.
Thus, does PEACEFUL ISLAM conducts itself even towards its own followers.
Those who profess 'Islam' are not - after all - any better or holier in their 'human' weaknesses than any other group of people. The followers of 'Islam' exhibiteven greater tendencies for hate, war, desecration, destruction etc than any one else among the human population. Their own history shows - without fail - that they are not at all morally or ethically superior than the people they themselves condemn for similar failures in humanity and decency.
Fortunately, some of the followers of Muhammad none the less gave unbiased records of the contributions, deeds and other details of the 'Jews' of Arabia such as:
Al Jumahi (c 845) who devotes a section of his biographies Tabaqat al Shu'ara' to the'Jewish' poets of Madina and its environ.
Also in Abu al Faraj al Isbahani's Al Aghani;
Diwan al Samaw'al;
Madina's importance as a religious site derives from the presence there of the
'Tomb of Prophet Muhammad' inside 'Masjid-e-Nabawi' or 'The Mosque of The Prophet'. The Mosque was built on a site adjacent to Muhammad's home. Muhammad was buried in his house.
The tomb later became part of the mosque when it was expanded by the Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I. The first mosque of Islam located in Madina is known as
Masjid Quba, (the Quba Mosque).
True to theRACISTand DISCRIMINATORYtenets of theQuran and Hadiths, the city ofMadinalikeMecca, permits only Muhammadan Muslimsto enter.