Building Masjid An-Nabawi - The Headquarters of Islam - Our Prophet 6 - Foundations Of Islamic State
Respected brothers and sisters, as-salamu 'alaykum wa Rahmat Allah wa barakatu.
Previously we examined the migration of the Holy Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi, from Makkah to Madinah and how he settled first in Quba for about two weeks, then he entered the city of Madinah. Now, historians generally state that the Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi, arrived Madinah on a Friday. When he entered Madinah from Quba, it was on a Friday. And that Friday, the Prophet offered Salat ul-Jumu'ah [Friday prayer] according to these reports, and he offered a very powerful, moving sermon.
It was a very, very moving sermon which was delivered at an area situated in the neighbourhood of Bani Salim. Then after that, the first thing that the Prophet did in Madinah was to start the construction of the mosque. In Quba you had a small mosque, that was the first Masjid to be constructed in Islam. The second masjid, and the more important one was the Mosque of Madinah.
The Prophet realized that in order to build a strong community, you need a centre, a hub. It acts as a spiritual centre where people come in and worship. It is an educational centre people come and hear the sermons of the Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi. In fact, you know that the Mosque of Madinah was a fulltime school, day and night there were programs in it, circles, sessions, discussions, speeches, during the time of the Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi.
It was also a political hub because the important political decisions, announcements, the Prophet would make them in the mosque. It was also a court. Anybody had a dispute, a problem, they would come to the Mosque of the Prophet. The Prophet would resolve their disputes.
So, the Prophet wanted to build a centre. And that tells us a lot about our religious centres, my brothers and sisters. How important they are in the community to have a centre to go to, for spirituality, for education, for a social atmosphere, a positive, healthy social atmosphere. The Prophet created all of that by establishing the mosque.
It also was a literary arena. In fact, you had famous poets like Ka'b Ibn Zuhayr and also Hassan Ibn Thabit. They would come to the Mosque of the Prophet. They would deliver powerful poems honouring the Prophet, praising the Prophet and the religion of Islam. And the Prophet would welcome them.
So, imagine, the most active place in Arabia was now the Mosque of the Prophet. A political center, a social, spiritual center, a political center, even a literary poetic center. It served all of these very important purposes.
Now, the land that the Prophet designated for the Masjid, as we stated last week, the Prophet stopped in Madinah by the house of Abu 'Ayyub Al-Ansari. That piece of land belonged to Sahl and Suhayl, they were orphans. They were under the protection of As'ad Ibn Zurarah. The Prophet purchased that land from them. He purchased the land, according to some reports, for ten dinars. The Prophet paid ten dinars. Some reports state it was donated, it was gifted. But some reports state the Prophet actually gave them ten dinars for this land.
Now, this land, how big was it when they wanted to start the construction? What was the area of the Mosque of the Prophet? One historical account tells us it was, 'Mi'at Dhira' Fi Mi'at Dhira'. What is 'Dhira' in Arabic? It is an arm length from the elbow to the fingers. We call this Dhira. This is about 18 inches. So, if you do the math, 100 arms length in 100, that is about 20, 22000 square feet. So, we are talking about half an acre. Pretty sizable, right? Half an acre at the time. Not bad. Some reports state 70 by 60. So, that makes it probably maybe a quarter of an acre. Some scholars have said initially it was a quarter of an acre, then later on, it was expanded. As more and more Muslims joined Madinah, the expansion now became half an acre.
So, the Prophet starts the construction, and he called on the companions to participate in this big honour of constructing the Mosque of the Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi. They would get the blocks, the stones, from a place called Harrah. It had stones, so they would take the rocks and stones from that area. It is not far from Madinah. It is within the vicinity of Madinah. And they would bring it to the Mosque of the Prophet to construct.
The Prophet, he himself would carry the rocks and blocks in order to encourage and motivate the companions. And when you see your own leader working so hard, he is carrying the blocks, that motivates you to also work very hard. So they were working day and night to complete the construction of the mosque.
And when they saw the Prophet participating in the construction, they read these beautiful lines of poetry. They would say, 'La 'in qa'ad'na wa an-Nabiyyu ya'mal, ladhaka minna al-'amalu mudhallal'. They say, 'if we sit while the Prophet himself is working, then we are really deviants to do that.' So, they would encourage themselves to support the Prophet's cause and participate in the construction.
And then, as they were building the mosque, look at this beautiful scene. Imagine, this is early Islam in Madinah. The companions with united hearts, they are around the Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi. Putting the first building blocks of this amazing Mosque of the Prophet. Some of them would recite the following lines. 'Allahumma inna al-Ajra 'ajrul akhirah farhah min Ansara wa al-Muhajirah' O Allah, that is the real reward, we expect it in the Akhirah, So have mercy on the Ansar, the people of Madinah and the Muhajira,' meaning the migrants who came from Makkah.
So, we see this beautiful atmosphere as the Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi, was constructing the mosque. Now, there is one interesting incident that I would like to conclude with that happened during the construction of the mosque.