Quba, the first mosque of Islam, was originally built by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and his fellow emigrants from Makkah on their arrival in Madinah in 622. That year marks the beginning of both the Muslim era and the Muslim calendar.
For thirteen years in his birthplace of Makkah, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) called people to the worship of the One True God, to do good and renounce all that was false. But the powers with interests to protect remained implacably hostile and made life intolerable for those who had submitted to the truth.
In constant search for fertile soil to plant the message of truth, the noble Prophet Muhammad (saw) eventually migrated – not fled – northwards to Yathrib. The green oasis became known as the Madinah or the City of the Prophet and was to become the territorial base from which he won the hearts of multitudes and consolidated Islam’s place in the landscape of the peninsula.
The leaders of Makkah and a large part of its citizenry remained stubbornly hostile and sought – through wars, siege and alliances – to destabilise the fledgling community. The Holy Prophet (saw), who desired security and peace for people, negotiated a truce with the pagan Makkans on terms that many of his followers were deeply unhappy about. This was in the fifth year after the hijrah or migration to Madinah.
The truce turned out to be beneficial to the whole peninsula but the Makkans eventually broke it by mounting a bloody aggression against an ally of the state of Medinah. The Holy Prophet (saw) could not overlook this breach and in the eighth year after the hijrah, he mobilised an impressive force and moved on Makkah. Ten thousand converged on the city, reaching there in the month of Ramadan, the month of fasting. The Quraysh realized that there was no hope of resisting, let alone of defeating, the Muslim forces. What was to be their fate – they who had harried and persecuted the believers, tortured and boycotted them, driven them out of their hearths and homes, stirred up others against them, made war on them, and killed many?
They were now completely at the mercy of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw).
Revenge was easy. He could have laid waste the city and wiped out its inhabitants. But revenge was not his object. He did not lead his confident army into Makkah like any tyrant, full of arrogance, forgetting the Almighty, the Cause of all causes, and intoxicated with self-conceit.
Far from it. In the words of an early biographer, he entered with great humility and gratitude, prostrating himself repeatedly on the back of the camel he was riding, before the One God, thankful to Him for all He had provided, declaring an all-embracing amnesty and peace, in place of any thought of avenging past material or mental afflictions, and in fact demonstrating what God wills of Godly men:
“… enter the gate prostrating and say ‘Amnesty’.” (Holy Qur’an, Ch. 2: Vs. 58; Ch. 7: Vs.160)
He ordered Bilal, the Ethiopian, to go on the rooftop of the Ka’bah to call the adhan. The noble Prophet Muhammad (saw) led the congregational prayer and then addressed the assembled citizens in the compound around the Ka’bah. He reminded them of what they had done to him and the Muslims, and said, “The arrogance and racial pride of the heathen days has been wiped out by God today. All human beings are descended from Adam, and Adam was made of clay.”
He recited the following verse of the Quran:
“O human beings! We have indeed created you of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another. Surely the most honorable of you with God is the one among you who is most deeply conscious of Him. Surely, God is Knowing, Aware.” (Holy Qur’an, Ch. 49: Vs. 13)
If the Holy Prophet (saw) abused anybody, he used to give him compensation and show him kindness. He never cursed any woman or slave. Once when he was in the battle field, he was asked: Oh Messenger of Allah, it would have been better if you had cursed them.
He (saw) said: Allah sent me as a Mercy and not as a great curser. When he was asked once to curse a particular person or an unbeliever, he did not curse him but on the contrary prayed for his welfare. He never beat anybody with his own hand except in the way of Allah. He did not take any revenge for personal wrongs but he used to take it for preservation of the honor of Allah.
He used to select the easier of two things and keep away if there was any sin therein or anything to cut off relationship. He used to fulfill the needs of anyone who required his help, whether a slave or a free man. Hazrat Anas (ra) said: By One who has sent him as a Prophet, he never said to me: “Why have you done this or why have you not done this?” His wives also did not rebuke me. If there was any bed of the Holy Prophet (saw), he used to sleep on it or else he used to sleep on the ground.
Another trait of his character is that he used to salute first one whom he met with. He used to wait at a place where he was to meet a man. He used not to withdraw his hand from anybody ’till he first withdrew his hand. When he met with any of his companions, he used to handshake with them, hold his hand, enter his fingers into his fingers and hold them firmly. He did not stand up or sit without remembering Allah. When anybody sat by him at the time of his prayer, he used to make it short and say to him: Have you got any need? When he fulfilled his need, he returned to his prayer.
His assembly was not different from that of his companions, as he sat where he went. He was not found sitting among his companions spreading out his legs. He used to sit mostly facing the Ka’ba and honor one who came to him. Even he used to spread his own sheet of cloth for one whom he had no relationship.
He used to give his pillow to one who came to him and everyone thought that the Nabi honored him more. Whoever came to him could see his face.
He used to call his companions by their Kunyas with honor and he used to give one kunya to one who had no kunya. He used to call the women by the names of their issues and call others by their surnames. He used to call the boys by their kunyas for which their hearts were inclined to him. He used to get angry last of all and was very affectionate and kind in dealing with the people. Nobody could speak loudly in his assembly. He used to recite: “O Allah, Thou are Pure, all praise is for Thee. I bear witness that there is no deity but Thee. I seek forgiveness from Thee and turn to Thee.”
Narrated ‘Aisha: The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah’s Apostle was in the form of good righteous (true) dreams in his sleep. He never had a dream but that it came true like bright daylight. He used to go in seclusion to (the cave of) Hira where he used to worship (Allah Alone) continuously for many (days) nights. He used to take with him the journey food for that (stay) and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food like-wise again for another period to stay, till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him in it and asked him to read. The Prophet (saw) replied, “I do not know how to read.” (The Prophet added), “The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and again asked me to read, and I replied, “I do not know how to read,” whereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and asked me again to read, but again I replied, “I do not know how to read (or, what shall I read?).” Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me and then released me and said, “Read: In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists). Has created man from a clot. Read and Your Lord is Most Generous…up to….. ..that which he knew not.” (Qur’an 96.15)
Then Allah’s Apostle returned with the Inspiration, his neck muscles twitching with terror till he entered upon Khadija and said, “Cover me! Cover me!” They covered him till his fear was over and then he said, “O Khadija, what is wrong with me?” Then he told her everything that had happened and said, ‘I fear that something may happen to me.” Khadija said, ‘Never! But have the glad tidings, for by Allah, Allah will never disgrace you as you keep good reactions with your Kith and kin, speak the truth, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guest generously and assist the deserving, calamity-afflicted ones.” Khadija then accompanied him to (her cousin) Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin ‘Abdul ‘Uzza bin Qusai. Waraqa was the son of her paternal uncle, i.e., her father’s brother, who during the Pre-Islamic Period became a Christian and used to write the Arabic writing and used to write of the Gospels in Arabic as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight. Khadija said to him, “O my cousin! Listen to the story of your nephew.” Waraqa asked, “O my nephew! What have you seen?” The Prophet (saw) described whatever he had seen.
Waraqa said, “This is the same Namus (i.e., Gabriel, the Angel who keeps the secrets) whom Allah had sent to Moses. I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out.” Allah’s Apostle asked, “Will they turn me out?” Waraqa replied in the affirmative and said: “Never did a man come with something similar to what you have brought but was treated with hostility. If I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly.” But after a few days Waraqa died.