The Prophet in Madeenah

The Prophet in Madeenah

The news about the Prophet’s (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) departure from Makkah had already spread fast. Eagerly expecting his arrival, the Ansaars used to go out after morning prayers to the outskirts of the city and await his arrival until there was no more shade and the sun became unbearable. Then, as it was the hot season, they returned to their homes, sad and disappointed.

At last, the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) arrived one day. The Ansaar had already returned to their houses but a Jew who happened to see him, cried aloud announcing his arrival. Everybody rushed out to greet the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) whom they found sitting beneath a tree with Abu Bakr (radiallahu ‘anhu) who was of like age. Many of them had never seen the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) and did not know which of the two was he. They crowded round both, but now, Abu Bakr (radiallahu ‘anhu) realized their difficulty. He rose up, stood behind the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) shielding him with a piece of cloth from the sun, and thus the doubts of the people dissipated. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. I, p. 492)

More or less five hundred Ansaars rushed to pay their respects to the Prophet of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam); they requested him to enter the city, saying, “Ride on! Ye two are safe and we shall obey you!”

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) went on, accompanied by his companions and the welcoming crowd. The inhabitants of Madeenah stood in front of their doors, the women lined up on the roofs inquiring one another about the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam). Anas (radiallau ‘anhu) says that he never came across such a happy event later on.(33)

The people thronged in the way at their doors and windows and on the roofs of the houses. The slaves and lads cried excitedly, “Allahu-Akbar, the Prophet of Allah is come!”(34)

Bara b. Azib (radiallahu ‘anhu), who was then in his youth, had said: “I never saw the people of Madeenah display warmth so great as the happiness they expressed on the arrival of the Prophet of Allah where even the slave-girls were shouting that the Prophet of Allah hath arrived!”(35)

The faithful greeted the arrival of the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) with the joyful cries of Allahu Akbar. No other welcome wore that festive glance to gladden their hearts. Madeenah appeared to be jubilant and beaming into a smile.The young maidens of Aus and Khazraj felt elated and sang in chorus:(36)

“On the hillside whence caravans are given a send off, The full moon comes up this day. All the while God is praised, We had better return our thanks, The Holy one, O Thou sent us, Thou has brought binding commands.”(37)

Anas b. Malik (radiallahu ‘anhu) had not come of age when the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) came to Madeenah. He was present on the occasion and he says, “I never saw a day more graceful and radiant than the day when the Prophet came to us.” (Darimi, On the authority of Anas)

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) stayed for four days in Quba where he laid the foundation of a mosque. He left Quba on Friday; the time for Friday prayers found him among the clan of Banu Salim b. ‘Auf where he performed the prayer in their mosque. This was the first Friday prayer offered by the Prophet of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) in Medina. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. I, pp. 494).

As the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) rode through the streets of the city, people approached him in throngs with everyone offering to accommodate him in their homes. They said, “Live with us and enjoy our wealth, honor and protection.” Sometimes they took hold o his camel’s halter, but he said to one and all: “Let her go her way. She is guided by Allah.” This happened more than once.

While the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) was going through the locality of Bani an-Najjaar, the slave girls of the clan recited these verses to greet him:

“Daughters of Bani Najjaar we are, What luck! Muhammad is our neighbor!”

On reaching the house of Bani Malik b. an-Najjaar, the Prophet’s camel knelt by herself at the place where now stands the gate of the Prophet’s mosque. The place was then used for drying the dates and belonged to two orphan boys who were related to the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) on his mother’s side.

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) alighted from his camel. Abu Ayyub Khalid b. Zayd, who belonged to the clan of an-Najjaar, hastily unloaded the camel and took the luggage to his house. Thus, the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) stayed with Abu Ayyub (radiallahu ‘anhu), who paid him the greatest respect and did all he could to entertain the honored guests. Abu Ayyub (radiallahu ‘anhu) was loath even to live in the upper-story that he requested the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) to occupy the place and came down with his family to live in the ground floor. The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), however, said to him, “O Abu Ayyub, it would be more convenient for me as well as those who come to see me if I stay in the lower portion.”

Abu Ayyub Ansaari (radiallahu ‘anhu) was not a man of means, but he was extremely happy on having the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) as his guest. He was beaming with joy at the great honor bestowed by Allah on him. The loving regard he paid to the prophet was an indication of his genuine gratitude to Allah and the Prophet himself. “We used to prepare the evening meal for the Prophet of Allah, says Abu Ayyub, “and send it to him. We used to take only what was left. Umm Ayyub and I took the food from beside the part that the Prophet had eaten in order to partake in its blessings. In compliance with the Prophet’s preference, he lived in the ground floor, while we occupied the upper portion. Once, we broke a jar of water whereby Umm Ayyub and I mopped up the water with the only robe we had for fear that it would drop on the Prophet thereby causing him inconvenience.”(38)

[33] Ibn Kathir, Vol. II, p. 256, Ahmad b. Hanbal on the authority of Anas b. Malik.

[34] Bukhari, Chap. The Migration of the Prophet, on the authority of Abu Bakr.

[35] Bukhari, Chap. The Migration of the Prophet, on the authority of Abu Bakr.

[36] Ibn Kathir, Vol. II, p. 269. On the authority of ‘Aisha.

[37] Ibn Qayyim has raised an issue about these verse wherein he says that the hillside ‘Thaniyatul Wid’a mentioned in these verses is not on the (south-north) road leading from Mecca to Medina, but is on the road one takes for Syria from Medina. He, therefore, holds the view that these verses were recited on the occasion of the Apostle’s triumphant return from Tabuk. Bukhari also mentions the place in question in connextion with the expedition. On the other hand, almost all the boigraphers, including the earliest one, relate that the verses were recited on the Prophet’s first coming to Madina. The writer has enquired about it from the inhabitants of Medina who told him that one coming from Mecca can also take the road going towards Syria. It is just possible that in view of the conditions in which the Prophet had to emigrate to Medina, he might have preferred the other route. It is also to be noted that Thaniyatul Wid’a was not the name given to a single spot in Medina. On the way to Mecca, there is a similar elevation which slopes down to the Wadi Aqiq, surrounded by low plains on all sides. It was a pleasure resort of Medina in olden times where people used to assemble in the evening during the summer season. It is also probable that the verse s allude to this place, for, at this place also the caravans going to Mecca were given a send off. (Athar al-Madina al-Munawwara, 3rd Edition, p. 160). The verses in question furnish an intrinsic evidence that they were sung at a time when the Prophet first came to Medina. The vigour and spirit of the verses, particularly the last one, clearly indicate that these were recited when the people of Medina first found the Prophet among them. Even if the verses were recited on the return of the Prophet from the expedition of Tabuk, as some of the authentic Traditions relate, it merely means that the verses again on that occasion, since, a popular song like this very often repeaon joyous occasions.

[38] Ibn Is’Haq, on the authoof Abu Ayyub Ansari, Ibn Kathir, Vol. II, p. 277.

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