Tuesday, October 30, 2012

House of Abu Bakr (r.a.)

This is the approximate location where one of the houses of Abu Bakr (r.a.) in Madinah existed. The house was adjacent to the western wall of Masjid-e-Nabwi at the time of the Prophet (s.a.w.).

- The main door of the house was in the west wall. Abu Bakr (r.a.) also installed a small door in the eastern wall of the house that opened into Masjid-e-Nabwi for easy access into the masjid. As mentioned in Bukhari, the Prophet (saw) said, “Close all those doors which open into the mosque except the door of the house of Abu Bakr (r.a.).”

- When Caliph Umar (r.a.) expanded Masjid-e-Nabwi, he included Abu Bakr’s (r.a.) house in the extension. He, however, installed a door in the new western wall of the masjid that was in line with the original door of Abu Bakr’s (r.a.) house.

- As a result of this whenever Masjid-e-Nabwi was extended in a western direction, this door was moved westward in line with the original door. This was in obedience to the instruction of the Prophet (s.a.w.).

- During the first Saudi extension, this door was extended out again. It now consists of three doors and the southern most one (the one closest to the Qiblah wall) is in line with the original door of Abu Bakr’s (r.a.) house.

House of Abdullah bin Umar (r.a.)

This window, in the qiblah wall opposite the Roza Mubarak is where the door of the house of Abdullah bin Umar (r.a.) was situated. Abdullah bin Umar (r.a.) was the son of the Caliph Umar bin Khattab (r.a.).

- Abdullah bin Umar (r.a.) accepted Islam in his childhood with his father. He was very particular in following the sunnah of the Prophet (s.a.w.), for example offering salat at every spot where he happened to see the Prophet (s.a.w.) praying. He was eighty-four years old when he died in 73 A.H. He happened to be the last of the Sahabah who died in Makkah.

- His house was just east of the mehrab of Masjid-e-Nabwi . Bilal (r.a.) used to call Adhan (the call to prayer) while standing on a pillar of this house. This was one of the houses on the south side of the Masjid-e-Nabwi whose doors opened into the masjid.

- It is described in Umdat-ul-Akhbar that when all the houses in the south side of Masjid-e-Nabwi were removed this house was treated differently. Walls of baked bricks enclosed the land of this house and a door was installed in one wall. It was written on top of this door “the residence of the family of Umar (r.a.)”. Beautiful flowers were planted inside these four walls. This garden was just in front of the Roza Mubarak (where the Prophet (s.a.w.) is buried).

- The iron window in the visitors’ gallery for salam is the site of the door of the house of the family of Umar (r.a.). This door of this house went through several changes during the last fourteen hundred years.

- Note that there are two rows of pillars between the Mehrab Usman and Mehrab Nabawi. Caliph Mehdi bin Mansur Abbasi constructed a covered path from the southern wall of the masjid up to the first row of pillars during 165 A.H. The family of Umar (r.a.) stopped using the door of their house for entry into the masjid. As an alternative an underground tunnel was dug to provide access to the masjid for the family of Omar (ra). This tunnel opened where the second row of pillars is and the family of Umar (ra) used this approach to enter the masjid. The iron window in the visitors’ gallery, that still exists, replaced the door of their house.

- When the family of Umar (r.a.) passed away one by one, this underground passage was closed and a lock was put on its door. The door to this tunnel was opened during the Hajj period for visitors. In due course the tunnel became very crowded and there was undesirable intermingling of men and women. Sultan Ashraf Qaitabai closed it for good during 888 A.H.

House of Abu Ayyub Ansari (r.a.)

This is the approximate spot where existed the house of Abu Ayyub Ansari (r.a.). This is where the Prophet (s.a.w.) initially sstayed for several months on his migration to Madinah, while Masjid-e-Nabwi and the adjoining rooms for his wives were being built.

- When the Prophet (s.a.w.) entered Madinah he told the people to allow his camel to go her own way for “she is guided by Allah.” All of the Muslims desired that he would lodge with them. Finally the she-camel knelt, but the Prophet (s.a.w.) did not dismount. The animal rose to its feet again, ambled ahead for some distance, and then turned back and knelt in the same place it had before. Masjid-e-Nabwi was erected on this very spot.

- Adjacent to the spot where the camel knelt was the house of Abu Ayyub Ansari (r.a.) who hurried to lift the saddle from the camel and took it to his home. The Prophet (s.a.w.) remarked humorously, “A man must follow his saddle,” and went along with Abu Ayyub. Asad bin Zurara (r.a.) took hold of the halter, so he was allowed to take care of the camel.

- According to other reports, lots were cast and was drawn in the favour of Abu Ayyub Ansari (r.a.).

- The house of Abu Ayyub Ansari was double-storied. When it was settled that the Prophet (s.a.w.) would stay at this place, he offered the Prophet (s.a.w.) to stay on the upper storey but the Prophet could not agree to this proposal, as he felt that people frequently coming to meet him would disturb his (Abu Ayyub’s) family. Thus the ground floor was made vacant for the Prophet (s.a.w.). Abu Ayyub (r.a.) sent meals to him twice a day and whatever he left uneaten was shared by Abu Ayyub and his wife. He would look at the marks of the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) fingers on the food and place his own fingers at the same spots as a source of blessing. Although the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) had stayed at the ground floor according to his own wish, it was quite unbearable for Abu Ayyub (r.a.) and his wife that they should live upstairs while the Prophet (s.a.w.) was downstairs. They were much disturbed to think that in this way they were showing disrespect to the Prophet (s.a.w.). One night they could not sleep and passed the whole night sitting in a corner of the roof. In the morning Abu Ayyub (r.a.) came to the Prophet (s.a.w.) and said, “O Prophet of Allah, we could not sleep at night but passed the whole night sitting in a corner of the roof.”When the Prophet asked the cause, he replied, “Our parents may be sacrificed on you, we always remain thinking that we are committing disrespect to you. Last night this feeling grew to the utmost and we could not sleep.”After this he requested, “O Prophet of Allah, have mercy upon us and kindly shift upstairs. We are your slave and shall remain satisfied under your feet.” The Prophet (s.a.w.) granted his request and moved upstairs while Abu Ayyub and his wife moved to the ground floor.

- Abu Ayyub Ansari’s (r.a.) full name was Khalid ibn Zayd ibn Kulayb. His grave lies in Istanbul where he was honoured with martyrdom during the siege of Constantinople in the caliphate of Muawiyah (r.a.) in 48 AH.

Houses along the Qiblah wall

This area along the present Qiblah wall (with Bab-e-Salam in the background) is where the houses of Jafar (r.a.), Abbas (r.a.), Naufal bin Haris (r.a.), and Ammar bin Yasir (r.a.) were located at the time of the Prophet (s.a.w.).

Garden of Abu Talha (r.a.)

The highlighted area, which is in the rear of Masjid-e-Nabwi is the approximate spot where existed a garden at the time of the Prophet (s.a.w.) that was owned by Abu Talha (r.a.). The Prophet (s.a.w.) often visited this garden and drank the water from its well.

- Anas (r.a.) says, ‘Abu Talha owned the best gardens in Madinah, and they were more numerous than those of any other Ansari. One of his gardens was known by the name of Bir Ha, and this was his most favourite resort. It was close to the Prophet’s Masjid and the water of its well was sweet and abundant. When Allah (swt) revealed the verse of the Holy Quran:

“You will not attain unto piety until you spend of that which Ye love.” [3: 92]

Abu Talha (r.a.) presented himself to the Prophet (s.a.w) and opened his heart, “O, Prophet of Allah! I love Bir Ha very much. As Allah wants us to spend precisely that which we love, I make over that garden to be spent in the path of Allah as you please.”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) was very much pleased, and remarked: “What a fine present (to Allah)! I think it would be best utilized if you distribute it among your own heirs.” Abu Talha (r.a.) went and acted upon the Prophet’s advice.

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