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بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْن،وَالصَّلاۃ وَالسَّلامُ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ الْکَرِيم وَعَلیٰ آله وَاَصْحَابه اَجْمَعِيْن۔

Historical Places in Madinah

The Masjid of the Prophet: Soon after the Prophet (PBUH) migrated to Madinah, he along with his Companions took up the construction of Masjid of the Prophet having already completed the construction of Masjid Quba.

On completion, the Prophet’s Masjid stood 105 feet long and 95 feet wide. However, after the conquest of Khaiber in the 7th year of the Hijri calendar, the Prophet (PBUH) further extended it. That extension increased the size of the Masjid to 150 feet both in length and width. The Masjid was extended again in the 17th AH (17 years after Hijra) as the number of Muslims had incredibly grown and the the Masjid could not accommodate sufficient number of the Muslims. In the 29th year of Hijri, Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) further extended the Masjid. After that, a caliph from the Umayyah dynasty, Walid ibn Abdul Malik, made another sizable extension. When this extension was carried out, Umar ibn Abdul Aziz was serving his tenure as the governor of Madinah.

Later on, the Turks reconstructed the entire Masjid and they used red stone to add solidity and beauty to the architecture. (The remnants of this beauty and solidity still exist to this day).

With the passage of time, the inflow of pilgrims dramatically increased and the space in the Masjid became insufficient in accommodating all the pilgrims. Eventually, the government of Saudi Arabia initiated another project to further extend the boundaries of the Masjid. The government purchased all the buildings and settlements in the neighbourhood, demolished them and added them to the vicinity of the Masjid, making this the greatest expansion to date.

The Prophet (PBUH) said, "Do not set out on a journey except for three mosques: Al-Masjid al-Haram, my Mosque, and al-Masjid al-Aqsa.” In another Hadith, the Prophet is reported to have said, “One prayer in my mosque is better than one thousand prayers in any other mosque except al-Masjid-al-Haram.” Another narration mentions the reward equal to 50,000 (fifty thousand) prayers. The rewards should depend on the sincerity and composure of the prayer.

The chamber of the Prophet (PBUH): The Prophet (PBUH) lived a decade of his life in Madinah. Even after the conquest of Makkah in the 8th year of Hijri, he continued to reside in Madinah. After he passed away, he was laid to rest in a grave as instructed by him in the chamber of Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her). He had breathed his last in the same chamber. Abu Bakr al-Siddiue and Umer al-Farooq (may Allah be pleased with them) were put buried there. While visiting the Prophet’s Masjid, pilgrims offer Salat and Salam standing outside this chamber. The side of the chamber that faces the direction of the Ka’bah has three windows with screens. There are three holes in the second window. The first hole, which is the largest, overlooks the heavenly abode of the Prophet (PBUH). The second overlooks the final abode of Abu Bakr al-Siddique (may Allah be pleased with him) and the final hole shows the grave of Umer al-Farooq (may Allah be pleased with him).

Riyadh al-Jannah (Flowerbed from Paradise): In the old part of the Prophet’s Masjid, the place between the pulpit and the tomb is called Riyadh al-Jannah (the flowerbed from Paradise). There are marble pillars erected to mark Riyadh al-Jannah. All the pillars are named. Performing prayers in Riyadh al-Jannah entails extra reward and the place is known for the quick acceptance of prayers made in there.

The Shed of Ashab al-Suffah:Behind the chamber of the Prophet is a small shed. This portion was designated for the residence and education of the homeless Companions who would engage themselves in acquiring knowledge from the Prophet (PBUH) and remained busy in recitation and prayers. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) is one of the bright alumni of this school. The number of learners and residents of Suffah constantly kept changing. Sometimes, as many as 80 persons would live there. Verse 28 in Surat Al-Kahf has been revealed to praise the learners of Suffah which recommends the Prophet to sit with them.

Jannat al-Baqia (Baqi-al-Gharqad):  The cemetery of Madinah, Jannat al-Baqia, is located just beside the Prophet’s Masjid. This cemetery is a heavenly abode to a significant number of the Companions and great spiritual personalities i.e. about 10,000. This cemetery holds great personalities including, third caliph Uthman Ghani, all four daughters of the Prophet, the wives of the Prophet, his uncle Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them) and many others.

Mount Uhud:  This mountain is located about 4-5 kilometres form Prophet’s Masjid to the north of Madinah, and is the mountain that the Prophet (PBUH) expressed his love for, saying, “This mountain loves us and we love it too.” (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim)  The battle of Uhud took place in the 3rd year of Hijri right in front of this mountain where Rasulullah (PBUH) suffered a wound and 70 of his Companions were martyred. All the martyrs were buried there. Fences are now set up around these graves. Within these fences, there rests the Prophet’s Uncle Hamza, with Abdullah ibn Jahash and Mus’ab ibn Umair (may Allah be pleased with them). The Prophet used to visit this to pray for the martyrs.

Masjid Quba: It is located about four kilometres from the Prophet’s Masjid. This is the first Masjid to be built in Islamic history. When the Prophet migrated from Makkah to Madinah, he stayed with the tribe of Banu Auf. During this time, the Prophet laid the foundation of Masjid Quba. Allah (SWT) described this Masjid as ‘a Masjid built out of piety’. It is ranked fourth highest in merit after Masjid Haram, the Masjid of the Prophet and Masjid Al-Aqsa. Rasulullah (PBUH) used to walk or ride to Masjid Quba. Rasulullah (PBUH) gave the news that, “If someone comes out of his house into this Masjid to offer prayer, he will have a reward equal to the reward of an Umrah.”

Masjid Al-Jumaa:This Masjid holds the honour of being the first Masjid in Islamic history where the Prophet (PBUH) conducted the Jumaa prayer. It is located near Masjid Quba.

Masjid Al-Fath (Masjid al-Ahzab): This was originally built on a steep hillock on the west end of Jabal al-Sila’. In the Battle of Trench, when disbelievers collectively attacked Madinah, the Prophet (PBUH) prayed to Allah in this masjid, and the Muslims emerged victorious finally. There were also many small mosques in Masjid al-Fathi’s neighbourhood. Historically, these were the places where the Companions camped during the Battle of Trench. Umar ibn Abdul Aziz probably ordered to build the mosques there to preserve the history associated to the place and commemorate the bravery and courage of the Companions. This place also came to be known as Masajid Khamsa (the five masjids). Presently, there stands a magnificent Masjid known as Masjid al-Khandaq, and was built by the order of the Saudi Arabian government.

Masjid Al-Qiblatayn:The command to change the direction of prayer came in the middle of Asr Salah. A Companion who had performed prayer with the Prophet (PBUH), thereafter, passed by a group of Ansar performing their Asr prayer facing Bait al-Maqdis. He informed them, while they were in prayer, that Allah reverted Ka’bah as the centre of the prayer. Hearing this, they turned to face Ka’bah while in the middle of their prayer. That is why it is named Masjid Al-Qiblatayn (The masjid with two centres). According to a few other sources, the command to change the direction of the prayer was revealed in this Masjid during Asr-prayer.

Masjid Ubayy ibn Ka’b: This Masjid stands next to Jannat al-Baqi. In this Masjid, Ubayy ibn Ka’b, who was famous for his melodious and soulful recitation of the Holy Qur’an, led the prayers there. Rasulullah (PBUH) used to come for prayers, as well as, to recite to Ubayy ibn Ka’b and to listen to his recitation of the Holy Quran.

Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi (www.najeebqasmi.com)