By: YUSUF MOHAMMAD
Quba Mosque to the south of Madinah is the second largest and prestigious mosque in the city after the Prophet’s Mosque, but claims the first place owing to its importance in Islamic history having been built in the first year of the Islamic calendar.
Quba Mosque witnesses an influx of worshippers and visitors throughout the year, but the numbers have increased these days owing to the holy month of Ramadan. Large gatherings can be observed in the mosque’s precincts especially in the early hours of the morning.
Author Sapphire Hamwi said in his book (Lexicon countries) that Quba Mosque was originally a well surrounded by a village named after it. It was inhabited by the tribe of Bani Amr bin Auf. On his way to Madinah, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) visited the home of Bani Amr Bin Auf and built a mosque in the area which he named Quba.
Historical references indicate that the Prophet (PBUH) and his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) built the mosque to the Southwest of Madinah, three km away from the Prophet’s Mosque in the first year of the Hijri or Islamic calendar.
The mosque contained a well which belonged to Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari (may Allah be pleased with him). It became a blessed place as the Prophet’s she-camel first knelt down there to take a long draught of water after the Prophet’s journey.
The prestigious and unique characteristics of Quba Mosque compared to other mosques are cited in this Hadith narrated by the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Whoever makes ablutions in this house and offers one prayer therein, will be rewarded the equivalent of one Umrah.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) made it a habit to come to Quba Mosque every Saturday, either riding his camel or on foot and offer two rak’at prayers.
“The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to go to Quba Mosque sometimes walking, sometimes riding,” narrated by Ibn Umar, and in another narration: “He would then offer two Rak’at”. ‘Abdullah (Ibn ‘Umar) used to do the same.
In the past centuries, Muslims have accorded Quba Mosque much attention. It was renovated by a number of caliphs of the period. The third Caliph Uthman ibn Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) made the first renovations. Caliph Omar bin Abdul Aziz built the mosque’s first minaret. It was renovated again in 435 AH by Abu Yali Al-Husaini who constructed a prayer niche known as the “Mihrab.”
In the year 555 AH, several additions were made to the mosque by Kamal Al-Din Al-Isfahani. Successive renovations of the mosque took place in the years 671, 733, 840, 881 AH, and the latest changes were made in the era of Sultan Abdul Majid in the year 1245 AH during the time of the Ottoman Empire.
In modern times, the Saudi regime has taken charge of the mosque by endowing the responsibility to the Ministry of Haj Affairs which made further renovations and added structures to the original design.
The modern day Quba Mosque is an architectural feat equipped with the latest facilities while maintaining its Islamic identity. The mosque has been expanded to accommodate more than 20 thousand worshipers.
In 1984, the late King Fahd bin Abdulaziz laid the foundation stone for the historic expansion of the Quba Mosque. Two years later, he inaugurated the opening of the mosque after its expansion.
The Mosque was designed with an inner courtyard with several entrances. The northern section was reserved for women worshippers.
The mosque now has four minarets and 56 domes and adjoined to it is the residence of Imams and muezzins, a library, lodging for the guards in an area of 112 sq. meters, and a commercial center with 12 shops covering an area of 450 sq. meters. The mosque has 7 main entrances and 12 subsidiary ones.
The mosque has 64 toilets for men and 32 toilets for women, and 42 units for ablution.
The mosque is cooled by three central units each with a capacity of one million and eighty thousand thermal units. Quba Mosque is a unique landmark and its white building can be clearly seen from a distance.