Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Medina - Quba Mosque

Date of visit: 27th June 2017

This is the first mosque being built in the history of Islam. Its foundation stone was personally laid by the Prophet Muhammad himself when he first reached Madinah upon receiving instruction from Allah to emigrate from Mecca.  Quba Mosque is being mentioned in the Qur'an as the mosque being built and founded on piety and devoutness by the Prophet Muhammad. Qur'an, sura 9 (Repentance @ “At-Tawba”), verse 108 quoted Allah saying “Never stand (to pray) there (referring to a place of worship in which the hypocrites had used for harm and disbelief, as mentioned in the previous ayah). A place of worship which was founded upon duty (to Allah) from the first day is more worthy that thou should stand (to pray) therein, wherein are men who love to purify themselves. Allah love the purifiers”.

The Quba Mosque is located in the outlying environs of Medina in Saudi Arabia, being ranked as one of the oldest mosques in the world. According to legend, its first stones were positioned by the Islamic prophet Muhammad as soon as he arrived on his emigration from the city of Mecca to Medina and the mosque was completed by his companions. Prophet Muhammad spent 14 days in this mosque during the Hijra praying qasr (a short prayer from 4 rakaʿāt to 2 rakaʿāt) while waiting for Ali to arrive in Medina after the latter stayed behind in Mecca to carry out a couple of tasks entrusted to him by the Prophet.  

Our group arrived at the mosque. The lady in red Abaya was my room mate.
Ramp to those on wheel chair leading to abulation areas

According to Islamic tradition, performing wudu in one's home then offering 2 rakaʿāt of nafl prayers in the Quba Mosque is equal to performing one Umrah. Prophet Muhammad used to go there, riding or on foot, every Saturday and offer a 2 rakaʿāt prayer. He advised others to do the same, saying, "Whoever makes ablutions at home and then goes and prays in the Mosque of Quba, he will have a reward like that of an 'Umrah". This hadith is reported by Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Al-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah and Hakim al-Nishaburi.

Women's prayer area where everyone who arrives would perform the 2 rakaat prayer  following Prophet Muhammad's sunnah

Over the years, the mosque has been refurbished many times by the Muslim rulers. In the 20th century, when Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil was commissioned to conceive a larger mosque, he intended to incorporate the old structure into his design. But the old mosque was torn down and replaced with a new one. The new mosque consists of a rectangular prayer hall raised on a second story platform. The prayer hall connects to a cluster containing residential areas, offices, ablution facilities, shops and a library.

Beautiful carved door and shoe racks inside Women's prayer hall

6 additional entrances are dispersed on the northern, eastern and western facades. 4 minarets mark the corners of the prayer hall. The minarets rest on square bases, have octagonal shafts which take on a circular shape as they reach the top. The prayer hall is arranged around a central courtyard, characterized by six large domes resting on clustered columns. A portico, which is two bays in depth, borders the courtyard on the east and west, while a one-bayed portico borders it on the north, and separates it from the women's prayer area. The women's prayer area, which is surrounded by a screen, is divided into two parts as a passageway connects the northern entrance with the courtyard.

Men's prayer hall

My aunt was reading some important facts about Quba Mosque

When Quba Mosque was rebuilt in 1986, the Medina architecture was retained with its ribbed white domes and basalt facing and modest exterior. It said to meet the qualities that recall Medina's simplicity. The courtyard is flagged with a black, red and white marble. It is screened overhead by day from the scorching heat with shades. Arabesque latticework filters the light of the palm groves outside. Elements of the new building include work by the Egyptian architect Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil and the Stuttgart tensile architect Mahmoud Bodo Rasch, a student of Frei Otto.

Last photo for this entry where I asked my aunt stood as my model :)

Before I pen off, I would like to update you guys about status of my hajj application. It's still pending as "waiting list" but my new good friend Dila had her call on Thursday last week. She came to my office and in between the conversation the Tabung Haji called to let her know to collect her offer letter from the nearest branch. Yesterday, while having meeting at Serai Project (we are building a building platform for Gamuda Gardens) Ismail also received his call. 3 of us, Ismail, Dila and myself applied to perform hajj this year. Though both Dilla and I had our name initially selected for this year but we still have to wait for an official invitation from them. But Ismail had only registered 5 years ago and had every year submit his plea to be considered. It was his 4th appeal and I can sense how overjoyed he must be. Witnessing his journey for repentance when I first introduced to him by Dato' Ubul in April 2015 since now has taught me many good things about hope.

Surprisingly, after he's been selected I became more calm since I sincerely prayed and promised the Almighty that I'm fine if Allah has chosen Ismail over me. That was the deep conversation I had with Allah while driving to the meeting yesterday. Allah has miraculously cured my impatience and unsettle heart. On the other hand, I knew that Ismail and I couldn't leave the office at the same time. We are the only 2 seniors that handles everything in the office and projects that were awarded to us. It would be tough for our staffs if we were away from our duties. For the first time in 3 years, I let the fate lead the way. I'm sure there will be a place for me next year if by ramadan I still haven't received my call. Being positive is what matters. Cheers everyone!
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