بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

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

A Shocking and Distressing Incident nearthe Prophet’s Mosque in the City of the Prophet

While millions of visitors from various parts of the world to the Mosque of the Prophet were breaking their fast in the name of the Creator of this universe on 20th night of the month of Ramadan, the security officials stopped a suspicious person near the Mosque from moving ahead. But the accursed guy launched a suicide attack and did not only end up his own life, but also the lives of the persons deployed to guard over the Holy Mosque.Many big incidents of such terror attacks have taken place in different parts of the world, but this attack affected the Muslims from all around the world gravelyand they prayed altogether: “Save the mosque of the noblest and the most peaceful person ever walked on the earth, O’ Allah, (where he is also buried) from all sorts of evil!”This mosque is ascribed to such a great personthat no one from the beginning of the creation till now came on earth adorned with all the uniquely beautiful qualities he had, nor there shall come anyone like him. He was the one who, just in a short span of twenty three years, presented such a beautiful code of conduct to the humanity without which the dream of establishing peace would have remained unmet. To protect him, billions of Muslims around the world can happily sacrifice their lives. The four security personnel who died in the attack are indeed martyrs and will get, in sha Allah, higher place in the Paradise.May Allah grant patience to their families and relatives and arrange best support for them in the life!

The present government of Saudi Arabia, which takes upon it to serve the two Holy Shrines, will surely make additional arrangements for their protection, in sha Allah, so that the anti-Islamic elements may not succeed in their agenda. King Salman also expressed his determination to cope with the terrorists with iron hands. I pray to Allah that He help the current Saudi government on all fronts inmaintaining peace in the country and protecting the two Holy Shrines and other sacred places! I am sure that the Saudi government will remain ultra vigilant in this regard, for the anti-Islamic elements may again try through terrorist outfits at the two Holy Shrines and other sacred places to plan similar attacks in future especially during the Hajj season. I would also like to request the pilgrims of Hajj and Umrah, who are actually the guests of Allah, to extend their full support to the government and the security personnel, so that no terror incidents could take place in the holy cities.

Killing an innocent person: a major sin in Islam:

The Holy Quran and Ahadith put forth such warnings on killing of an innocent person which have not been laid down for any other crime. Killing an innocent person, according to the teachings of Islam, is the second major sin after shirk (associating partners with Allah). Some scholars have instead stated in the light of the verse 92 of Surah al-Nisa that a person who kills an innocent Muslim gets out of the fold of Islam. “Whoever kills a believer deliberately, his punishment is Jahannam (Hell) where he shall remain forever, and Allah shall be angry with him and shall cast curse upon him, and He prepared for him a mighty punishment.” In another verse of the Quran, Allah has declared killing of one innocent person as killing of the entire humanity: “For this reason, We decreed for the children of Isra‘il that whoever kills a person not in retaliation for a person killed, nor (as a punishment) for spreading disorder on the earth, is as if he has killed the whole of humankind, and whoever saves the life of a person is as if he has saved the life of the whole of humankind.” (Surah al-Maidah: v. 32)

In short, Allah has declared killing of one innocent person as killing of the entire humanity. The reason is that a person intends to kill an innocent person only when he forgets the honour of humanity. Moreover, if the trend of killing innocent people gets accustomed, the very security of entire humanity will be at stake. Thus, every human being should consider the undue killing as a crime against them personally, no matter against whom it is being committed. The Prophet (PBUH) is reported to have said: “Destruction of the entire world is a lighter incident to Allah than killing of an innocent Muslim.” (SunanTirmidhi) These two verses and the hadith clearly reflect the gravity of killing an innocent person. Now one may imagine the utmost gravity of the crimeof the person who intends to commit terror attacks near the Prophetic Mosque (where the leader of all prophets and the noblest human being is resting). Thus, the terror attack near the Prophetic Mosque on 29th of the month of Ramadan should be condemned in the most server words.

Now let us discuss the history of the Prophet’s Mosque in brief and mention its virtues as reported by the Prophet (PBUH) himself.

The Prophet’s Mosque:When the Prophet (PBUH) migrated to Madinah from Makkah, the first thing he did was construction of the Masjid Qubain the first year of Hijrahand then the building Masjid Nabawi with the help of his companions. Masjid Nabawi at that time was 105 feet long and 90 feet wide.After conquest of Khayber in the seventh year of Hijrah, he expanded it. This expansion made the length and width of the Masjid at150 feet on each side. During the caliphate of Umar (RA), Muslims grew hugely in number and the Masjid became insufficient for them. It was therefore expanded for the second time in the 17th year of Hijrah. Third expansion of the Masjid was made in 29th year of Hijrahduring the caliphate of Uthman(RA). The Umayyad caliph Walid ibn Abdul Malik made huge expansion in the Masjid between88th to91st years of Hijrah. Umar ibn Abdul Aziz was the governor of Madinah at that time. The Masjid Nabawi was expanded many times during the Umayyad and Abbasside caliphates. The Turks also constructed it afresh with the use of red stones. It reflects the unforgettable devotion of the Turk in terms of beauty and strength even today. When all these expansions became insufficient for the ever increasing number of devotees on the occasion of Hajj and Umrah, current government bought the surrounding houses and demolished them to make the largest expansion of the Masjid Nabawi so far.

The Tomb of the Prophet (PBUH):The Prophet (PBUH) spent the last ten to eleven years of his life in Madinah. After his demise, he was, according to his instruction, buried in the room of Ayesha (RA)adjacentto the Masjid. He even died in the same room. Abu Bakr and Umar (RA) too were buried in the same place. The pilgrims offer Salam near the same room. There are three curtains at the wall of the room facing the direction of the Qiblah. The second curtain has three small openings. If you come in front of the first circular opening, you will find yourself standing in front of the Prophet’s grave, the second opening is in front of Abu Bakr’s grave and the third openingis in front of Umar’s grave (RA). This room now lies in the premises of the Masjid Nabawi.

Riyad al-Jannah:The space between the pulpit of the Prophet(PBUH) and his room (now his grave) in the old structure of the Masjid is known as Riyad al-Jannah. The Prophet (PBUH) is reported to have said: “Between my house and my pulpit lays a garden from the gardens of Paradise.”One may identify the Riyad al-Jannah by the pillars of white stones made at the place. These pillars are called “Ustuwanah” as written on them. Offering salah in Riyad al-Jannah where the white and green carpets are spread fetches more reward and virtue. It is also a special place to get your supplications answered.

The platform of the people of Suffah:There was a shelter behind the room of the Prophet (PBUH) in Masjid Nabawi. The homeless poor Companions (RA) used to stay in it. They used to be busy in the acts of worship and learning from the Prophet (PBUH) day and night. Abu Hurairah (RA) is also one of the most distinguished fellows of the Suffah. The number of the people of Suffah kept on varying from season to season. Sometimes, they would become as many as eighty Companions. The verse 28 of the Surah al-Kahf was revealed in regards with these very people in which Allah commanded His Prophet to stay with them.

Virtues of Madinah city:The virtues of the blessed city of Madinah are countless. The city holds great position in the eyes of Allah and His Messenger (PBUH). It just suffices for the virtue of the city that the Prophet (PBUH)lived and is resting in it.The faith of Islam spread to each and every corner of the world from this very city. This city is called “Taybah”, the centre of purity. The rewards of good deeds get increased to many foldswhen performedin this city. Some virtues of the city of Madinah as reported by the Prophet (PBUH) are as follows: (1) The Prophet (PBUH) used to supplicate: “O Allah, increase the love for Madinah in our hearts even more than the love for Makkah.” (Sahih Bukhari)(2) He also supplicated: “O Allah, grant to Madinah the blessings two folds of what You have granted to Makkah.”(Sahih Bukhari) (3) He also said: “He who kept patience at the difficulties (during his stay in Madinah), I will make intercession for him on the Day of Judgment. Or he said: I will bear witness in his favour.” (Sahih Muslim) (4) The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Angels are deployed on the paths of Madinah. Neither plague can spread in it, nor can Dajjal enter it.” (Sahih Bukhari)(5) The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Whoever can die in Madinah (can stay in it till his death) should die in it, for I will make intercession for the person who dies in Madinah.” (SunanTirmidhi) (6) The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Faith (near the Day of the Judgment) will draw back to Madinah like a snakewanders about back to its hole.”  (Sahih Bukhari) (7) The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Whoever plays a trick with the people of Madinah will melt out the way salt melts in water (i.e. will be ruined).” (Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim) (8) The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Madinah washes away the evil people the way the fire washes away dirt from silver.” (Sahih Muslim)

Virtue of visiting the Masjid Nabawi:(1) The Prophet (PBUH) said: Do not set out on a journey (for religious devotion) but for the three mosques-for this mosque of mine (at Medina) the Sacred Mosque (at Mecca), and the Mosque al-Aqsa (Bait al-Maqdis).” (Sahih Bukhari) (2) The Prophet (PBUH) said: “The reward of a Salah in this mosque of mine is thousand folds more than in other mosques, except the Masjid Haram.” (Sahih Muslim) (3) The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Whoever offered Salah in this mosque (Masjid Nabawi) continuously for forty days (without missing any Salah), for him salvation from fire, punishment and hypocrisy has been written. (SunanTirmidhi, Tabarani, Musnad Ahmad) Some scholars have classified this hadith as weak, but it is sound according to rest of the scholars.

Virtues of visiting the Prophet’s grave:(1) The Prophet (PBUH) said: “He who recites salawat upon me standing near my grave, I personally listen to him, and he who recites salawat upon me from any other place, his needs pertaining to this world and the hereafter are fulfilled, and I will make intercession and bear witness in his favour on the Day of Judgment.” (SunanBaihaqi) (2) The Prophet (PBUH) said: “He who come to my grave and says salaam to me, Allah conveys it to me and I respond to him.” (Musnad Ahmad, Sunan Abi Daud) (3) The Prophet (PBUH) said: “He who visited my grave, my intercession became compulsory for him.” (Daraqutni, Bazzaz) (4) The Prophet (PBUH) said: “He who came to see, while he did not have any other intention except this, he has the right upon me that I should make intercession for him.” (Tabarani) (5) The Prophet(PBUH) said: “He who came to Madinah and visited (my grave) expecting reward will be in my neighbourhood and I will make intercession for him on the Day of Judgment.” (SunanBaihaqi) (6) The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Do not make my grave idol, for Allah has cast curse upon those who made the graves of the prophets their worship house.” (Musnad Ahmad)

Protection of the Masjid Haram, Masjid Nabawi and other sacred places is as important as protection of Islam itself. I am sure that the present Saudi government will take further initiatives to protect them. The visitors and the guests of Allah are also requested to extend full support to the security personnel and share the responsibility in protection of the sacred places. Even the common Muslims are requested not to forward every news spreading on the social media without investigating itsauthenticity. We should make efforts in terms of action and speech to make the anti-Islamic elements fail in their vicious plans. We must also struggle to maintain peace throughout the world and supplicate to Allah for peace in the entire world and especially in the blessed city of the Prophet (PBUH).

Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi (http://www.najeebqasmi.com/)