Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Jannatul Baqi

Jannatul Baqi (Garden of Heaven) is the main cemetery of Madinah. Buried there are many members of the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) close family, around ten thousand of his companions (Sahabah) and many prominent, pious personalities.

- Aisha (r.a.) reported (that whenever it was her turn for the Prophet (s.a.w.) to spend the night with her) he would go out towards the end of the night to al-Baqi and say: “Peace be upon you, abode of a people who are believers. What you were promised would come to you tomorrow, you receiving it after some delay; and God willing we shall join you. O Allah, grant forgiveness to the inhabitants of Baqi al-Gharqad.”[Muslim]

- Baqi means the land in which the roots of different trees are embedded, Gharqad is the name of a thorny tree (Boxthorn) which were abundant in Baqi. Hence the cemetery also came to be known as Baqi al-Gharqad.

- The first person to be buried in al-Baqi was As'ad Bin Zararah (r.a.), an Ansari companion who died soon after the Prophet ‘s (s.a.w.) migration to Madinah. The Prophet (s.a.w.) chose the spot to be a cemetery. The first of the Muhajirun (Emigrants) to be buried there was Uthman bin Mazoun who died shortly after the Prophet (s.a.w.) returned from the battle of Badr.

- Some of the blessed personalities resting in Jannatul Baqi are:

•All the wives of the Prophet (s.a.w.), also known as the Mothers of the Believers including Aisha, Hafsa, Sawdah (r.a.) etc. except for Khadijah bint Khuwaylid who is buried in Makkah and Maymuna bint al-Harith who is buried in Sarif.
•The daughters of the Prophet (s.a.w.), Fatima, Ruqayyah, Zainab and Umme Kulthum (r.a.)
•Ebrahim (r.a.), the son of the Prophet (s.a.w.) by Maria al-Qibtiyya
•Abbas (r.a.), the uncle of the Prophet (s.a.w.)
•The aunts of the Prophet (s,a,w,), Safiyyah and Aatikah (r.a.)
•Uthman (r.a.), the third Caliph and son-in-law of the Prophet (s.a.w.)
•Halimah Saadia , the wet-nurse of the Prophet (s.a.w.)
•Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas (r.a.)
•Abdur-Rehman bin Auf (r.a.)
•Abdullah bin Mas’ood (r.a.)
•Abu Saeed Khudri (r.a.)
•Imam Malik (r.a.)

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “On the day of Qiyaamah my grave shall be opened first and I shall step forth. Then shall Abu Bakr (r.a.) step forth and then Umar (r.a.). Then shall I proceed to Baqi and take all its inmates with me. Then shall we await the inmates of the graveyard of Makkah, who shall meet me halfway between Makkah and Madinah.” [Tirmidhi]

During different times of history many domes and structures were built or rebuilt over many famous graves in Al-Baqi in order to identify the inhabitants. On April 21, 1925, mausoleums, domes and structures in Jannatul Baqi were demolished by the order of King Abdul Aziz Al Saud with the objective of complying with the hadith of the Prophet (s.a.w.) to not cover or build structures over any grave and to prevent people from seeking help from the dead.

It is virtuous to visit Jannatul Baqi (preferably on a Friday) and supplicate to Allah (swt) for all those buried in its noble earth.

Masjid Quba

Quba is the place on the outskirts of Madinah where the Prophet (s.a.w.), accompanied by Abu Bakr (r.a.) arrived and first stayed after emigrating from Makkah. They arrived on Monday 12th Rab’i al-Awwal, fourteen years after Prophethood and this date marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar (Hijra). (16th July 622 CE). A masjid was established here by the Prophet (s.a.w.), the first to be built in Islam.

- The virtue of Masjid Qubas is mentioned in the following Quranic verse in Surah Taubah:

“...certainly a masjid founded on piety from the very first day is more deserving that you should stand in it...” [9:108]

- The Prophet (s.a.w) said: “He who purifies himself at his home and comes to Masjid Quba and offers two rakats therein, will be rewarded the reward of an Umrah (lesser pilgrimage).”[Sunan ibn Majah]

- The people of Yathrib (which was later named Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, the Enlightened City) had long awaited the Prophet (s.a.w.), and each day they would go beyond the fields and palm groves and wait for him until the sun became unbearable. One day the people returned to their homes after waiting a long time for the Prophet. A Jew happened to catch a glimpse of a small group of white-robed travellers in the distance. He called out: “O people of Arabia! What you have been waiting for has arrived!”

- The Muslims lifted their weapons and rushed to greet the Prophet (s.a.w.). There was a great clamour as everyone ran to the edge of the desert to catch a glimpse of the travellers. The Prophet (s.a.w.) then turned toward the right and came to Banu Amr bin Auf at Quba. Most of the Muslims who had emigrated from Makkah had stayed at Quba and many of them were there when the Prophet (s.a.w.) arrived.

- After reaching Quba, the Prophet (s.a.w.) dismounted. Those of the Ansar (literally meaning ‘the supporters’, the name given to those in Al-Madinah who became Muslim) who had not seen the Prophet (s.a.w.) thought that Abu Bakr (r.a.) was the prophet because his hair had grown a little gray. But when they saw Abu Bakr shade the Prophet (s.a.w.) with a sheet, they realized their mistake.

- It was a time of great joy from both sides. The Prophet (s.a.w.) addressed them saying:

“O People, give unto one another greetings of peace; feed food unto the hungry; honour the ties of kinship, pray in the hours when men sleep. Even so shall ye enter paradise in peace.”

- On arriving in the village of Quba after the blessed Hijra (migration), the Prophet (s.a.w.) stayed for several days in the house of Kulthoom bin Hadm (r.a.) and laid the foundations of Masjid Quba on his land. Prior to the migration of the Prophet (s.a.w.) the Muslims sometimes offered their Friday prayers at the house of Sa’ad ibn Khaithamah (r.a.) which was close by. The location of this house was included in the modern day extension of Masjid Quba but the location of the house of Kulthoom bin Hadm (r.a.) is marked by a few boulders to the south-west of Masjid Quba.

- The Prophet (s.a.w.) personally carried stones, rocks and sand with his companions for the construction work. Al-Tabarani quoted Al-Shimous Bint Al-Nuaman as saying, “I saw the Prophet when he constructed this mosque. He used to carry stones and rocks on his back until it was bent. I also saw dust on his dress and belly. But when one of his companions would come to take the load off him, he would say no and ask the companion to go and carry a similar load instead.”

- Ali (r.a.) stayed on for three days after the Prophet (s.a.w.) secretly left Makkah for Madinah. During this period he settled all the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) affairs in Makkah. He then left on foot and met up with the Prophet (s.a.w.) in Quba.

- Narrated by Abdullah bin Dinar: Ibn 'Umar (r.a.) said, "The Prophet used to go to the Mosque of Quba every Saturday (sometimes) walking and (sometimes) riding."

- Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) led the first group prayer from Quba Mosque when Al-Aqsa Mosque in Al-Quds (Jerusalem) was the Qibla at the time. That Friday he left Quba with Abu Bakr (r.a.). He sent a message to Banu Najjar, the house of his maternal grandfather. His kinsmen came to Quba and joined the Prophet (s.a.w.) on his way to Madinah.

Masjid Jummah

Masjid Jummah, on the boundary of Madinah marks the site where the Prophet (s.a.w.) led the first Jummah salat, shortly after his Hijrah (migration) from Makkah. It is about 2.5 km from Masjid-e-Nabwi.

- The Prophet (s.a.w.) left Quba on a Friday to head into Madinah. About a kilometer from Quba he passed the village of Banu Salim bin Auf. The people of Banu Salim implored: “O Prophet of Allah, you stayed at the homes of our cousins for a number of days, reward us too with something, for they will pride themselves over us till the Day of Judgement that you stayed with them”. The Prophet (s.a.w.) dismounted and offered his first Jummah in their locality.

- Approximately one hundred Muslims participated in this first Jummah salah. Amongst them were the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) relatives from Bani an-Najjar who had come to meet him and some from Bani Amr who had escorted him from Quba.

- After performing the Friday prayer, the Prophet (s.a.w.) mounted Qaswa (his camel) and set off for the city of Madinah.

- Masjid Jumma is also known by Masjid Bani Salim, Masjid al wadi, Masjid Ghubaib and Masjid Aatikah.

- According to ibn Jarir, he delivered this khutbah (sermon):

“Praise belongs to Allah. I praise Him, ask for His help and seek His Forgiveness and beseech Him for Guidance. I believe in Him and do not reject Him. I despise those who disbelieve Him. And I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, the One, Who has no partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger who is sent with guidance and true religion, light and admonition, when there has not been a Messenger for a long time, when knowledge is but little, men are misguided, and end of time is near, death being at hand.

He who obeys Allah and His Messenger is indeed guided and he who disobeys them is lost on the wrong path, is fallen down to a terrible misguidance.

And I urge you to fear Allah – the best advice a Muslim may give to another Muslim, urging him to prepare for the Hereafter and to fear Allah. O People; keep away from that which Allah has asked to shun. And there is no counsel greater than that and no remembrance greater than that. Know! For him who fears Allah in his pursuits, the best course is taqwa (righteousness) in affairs of the Hereafter. He who keeps his relationship with Allah, both secret and open, correct – being sincere – that will be an asset for him after death more than zikr in this world. But if anyone fails in that then he would wish that his deeds were kept away from him. As for him who believes and fulfils his promise then;

“The word is not changed with Me, nor do I wrong (My) servants.” [50:29]

Muslims! Fear Allah in what concerns you now and what will follow, in what is hidden and what is open, for,

“And he who fears Allah, He will acquit him of his evil deeds and He will magnify reward for him.” [65:5]

And those who fear Allah will gain a mighty success. It is fear of Allah that keeps away His disapproval, punishment and wrath. It is taqwa (fear of Allah) that brightens the countenance, pleases the Lord and raises ranks.

O Muslims! Pursue good fortune but do not lag behind in rights of Allah. He taught you His Book and guided you on the path that the righteous and the false may be distinguished. O People! Allah has been good to you and you should be like that to others. Keep away from His enemies and strive in His cause with determination. He has chosen you and named you Muslims so that he who perishes, does so for worthy cause and he who lives, follows a worthy cause. And every piety is done with His help.

O People! Remember Allah. Strive for the Hereafter. As for him, who corrects his relationship with Allah then Allah correct his relationship with other people.

Know! Allah judges over people but is not judged by anyone. He is their Master but they have no power over Him. Allah is the Greatest. And there is no power (to do good) except with Allah the Mighty.”

Masjid Qiblatain

This is Masjid Qiblatain (Mosque of the Two Qiblas). It is historically important to Muslims as this is where in Rajjab 2 AH the revelation of the Holy Quran came to change the direction of the qibla from Bait-al-Maqdis in Jerusalem to the Ka’bah in Makkah.

- During his time in Makkah, the Prophet Muhammed (s.a.w.) used to pray towards Bait-al-Maqdis, with the Ka'bah in front of him. When he migrated to Madinah, he prayed towards Jerusalem for 16 months, but he hoped it would be changed to the Ka'bah.

- During Dhuhr prayer or it was said that it was Asr, the Prophet (s.a.w.) had led his Companions in praying two rak'ahs , when he was commanded to face towards the Ka'bah by the following revelation in the Holy Quran in Surah al-Baqarah:

"Verily, We have seen the turning of your (Muhammed's) face towards the heaven. Surely, We shall turn you to a Qiblah (prayer direction) that shall please you, so turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah). And wheresoever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction." [2:144 ]

- The Prophet (s.a.w.) turned around towards the Ka'bah and the Sahabah copied out of obedience. Thus the Ka’bah became the new qibla of the Muslims for all time to come.

- Masjid Qiblatain used to uniquely contains two mehrabs, one in the direction of Bait-al-Maqdis and the other towards Makkah. However, the old mehrab has now been covered.

- While it was a day of joy for the Muslims, it was a day of mourning for the Jews. The Muslims had now become completely independent of them and a prophecy in their old books had been fulfilled that the last of the great prophets would change the orientation of the religion of Allah from Jerusalem to the Ancient House of Ebrahim (a.s.). Their elders went as a body to the Prophet (s.a.w.) and said that if he would change his orientation back to Jerusalem, then they would follow him. Allah (swt) revealed in the Holy Quran in Surah al-Baqarah:

“And even if thou broughtest unto those who have received the Scriptures all kinds of portents, they would not follow thy qiblah, nor canst thou be a follower of their qiblah; nor are some of them followers of the qiblah of others. And if thou shouldst follow their desires after the knowledge which has come unto thee, then surely wert thou of the evil doers.” [2:145]

- The Muslims began to have a distinctive character while the Jews began to grow closer to the hypocrites and the polytheists. Many of the Hypocrites reverted to either Judaism or paganism, thereby purifying the ranks of the Muslims.

- Imam Ahmed has reported from Aisha (r.a.) that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said:

“The People of the Book do not envy us for anything as much as they do for the Friday given to us by Allah with which they are deprived. They also envy us for the qibla which Allah gave us but not them, and also for the aameen (recital after Surah Fatiha in salat) behind the imam.”

Saqeefah Garden

Situated 200m west of Masjid-e-Nabwi, the Saqeefah garden belonged to the Banu Sa’edah and is where the Muslims consulted regarding who should be appointed the Caliphate after the demise of the Prophet (s.a.w.). It is presently a library.

- Confusion reined among the Sahabah as a result of the devastating impact of the death of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and the most significant dispute that arose was choosing the Prophet (s.a.w.)’s successor. Ali (r.a.) thought that he was within his rights to succeed the Prophet because he had been close to him from the beginning of his mission. He withdrew to his house with Talha and Zubayr (r.a.). The Ansar (Helpers) had gathered at Saqeefah Banu Sa’edah to discuss the question of succession and felt that it should be one of them as they had protected Islam and offered a home for the Prophet (s.a.w.) and his companions when they were persecuted by their own people.

- When news of this dispute reached Abu Bakr and Umar (r.a.), they rushed from Masjid Nabwi to Saqeefah Banu Sa’edah accompanied by a group of Muhajireen (Emigrants). The Ansar were on the verge of pledging allegience to Sa’d ibn Ubadah (r.a.). They re-iterated the right of the Ansar to the leadership of the Muslims but Abu Bakr (r.a.) spoke about the gravity of the problem. He pointed out that the matter did not concern the citizens of Madinah alone; it was a matter of concern for all the Arabs who had become Muslims, who were not likely to accept the leadership of the Ansars, particularly when there were differences among the two principal tribes of the Ansars themselves.

- Abu Bakr (r.a.) pointed out that under the circumstances the Quraysh, who were the custodians of the Ka’bah could alone provide the leadership for the Muslim community. Addressing his appeal to the Ansar he said: "O Ansar, none can deny the superiority of your position in religion or the greatness of your eminence in Islam. You were chosen by Allah as the helpers of His religion and His Apostle. To you the Prophet (s.a.w.) was sent on his emigration from Makkah and from you come the majority of his companions and his wives. Indeed in position you are next only to the earliest companions. Therefore it would be fair if we take the Amirat and you accept the ministry. You should not be obstinate in your stand. We assure you that we will do nothing without consulting you."

- Abu Bakr (r.a.) then caught the hand of Umar and Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah and said, “I choose either of these two to be our Amir.” “One Amir from among us and one from among you,” someone from among the Ansar suggested. People began to raise their voices until finally Umar (r.a.) intervened saying, ”O Helpers, know ye not that the Messenger of Allah ordered Abu Bakr to lead the prayer?”. “ We know it,” they answered, and he said: “Then which of you will willingly take precedence over him?”. “Allah forbid that we take precedence over him!” they said whereupon Umar (r.a.) seized the hand of Abu Bakr (r.a.) and pledged allegiance to him, followed by Abu Ubaidah (r.a.) and others of the Emigrants who had now joined them. Then all the Helpers who were present likewise pledged their allegiance to Abu Bakr (r.a.). Only Sa’d ibn Ubadah (r.a.) did not offer allegiance.

- Whatever they had decided in the hall, it would have been unacceptable for anyone to have led the prayers in Masjid-e-Nabwi other than Abu Bakr (r.a.) so long as he was there. The next day at dawn, before leading the prayer, he sat in the pulpit and Umar (r.a.) rose and addressed the assembly, bidding them pledge their allegiance to Abu Bakr, whom he described as “the best of you, the Companion of Allah’s Messenger, the second of two when they were both in the cave.”A recent Revelation of the Quran had recalled the privilege of Abu Bakr (r.a.) to have been the Prophet’s sole companion at this crucial moment; and with one voice the whole congregation swore allegiance to him – all except Ali (r.a.), who did so later.

- Some months later, Ali (r.a.) said to Abu Bakr (r.a.): “We know well thy pre-eminence and what Allah has bestowed upon thee, and we are not jealous of any benefit that He hath caused to come unto thee. But thou didst confront us with a thing accomplished, leaving us no choice, and we felt that we had some claim therein for our nearness of kinship unto the Messenger of Allah.” Then Abu Bakr’s (r.a.) eyes filled with tears and he said: “By Him in whose hand is my soul, I had rather that all should be well between me and the kindred of Allah’s Messenger than between me and mine own kindred”; and at noon that day in the masjid he publicly exonerated Ali for not yet having recognised him as Caliph, whereupon Ali (r.a.) affirmed the right of Abu Bakr (r.a.) and pledged his allegiance to him.

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