About change of the Qibla. The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) as well as the Muslims had been facing towards Jerusalem while worshipping, that is, they regarded it as housing the Qiblah.(44) Such a practice was followed for one year and four months after migrating to Madeenah. It was the Prophet’s (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) desire that the K’abah be made the Qiblah for prayers as did the other Arab converts to Islam, for they had been holding the sanctuary at Makkah in a reverential regard since time immemorial. To them the house of worship built by Ibrahim and Ismail (‘alaihima salaam) was the holiest of the holy ones, incomparable in sanctity to any other sanctum or shrine. They were put to a severe test by being asked to face Jerusalem instead of the K’abah and they withstood this trial by dutifully obeying the divine command. Such was their devotion to the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) that they always replied, whether they found anything to their linking or not:
“We hear, and we obey,” [Qur’an 24:51]
“We believe therein: The whole is from our Lord,” [Qur’an 3:7]
Thus, after the faith of the earliest Muslims had been brought to a test and they had defied it successfully, the Qiblah for the prayer was changed to the K’abah.
“Thus We have appointed you a middle nation, that ye may be witness against mankind and that the messenger may be witness against you. And We appointed the Qiblah which you formerly observed only that We might know him who followeth the messenger, from him who turneth on his heels. In truth it was a hard (test) save for those whom Allah guided.” [Qur’an 2:143]
The Muslims changed their direction promptly in prayer, in compliance with divine command, towards the K’abah which was henceforth selected as the Qiblah for all the believers, living in any part of the World, for all times to come. (See Sihah Sittah and the Qur’anic verses relating to the change of the Qiblah).
JEWS OFFEND THE MUSLIMS
It preyed upon the minds of the Jews that Islam had established itself in Madeenah and was making rapid strides day after day. They were sane enough to realize that if the popularity of Islam continued unabated for an extended period of time, it would be difficult for them to stand up against their potential enemies. So they decided to put up a front against the Muslims and launched a campaign to slight, vilify and ridicule them. The Muslims, were however, not permitted to return the tirades hurled against them. They were still commanded to be patient and forbearing as evidenced by the Qur’anic verse that says “Withhold your hands, establish worship” (Qur’an 4:77). Such was the code of behavior enjoined upon them so that they might learn to disdain the world and its pleasures, become self-denying, get prepared to make nobler sacrifices, experiencing in the end obedience to Allah’s commands.
The Lessons And Examples Can Be Taking From This Period As Follows:
- The happiness of the inhabitants of Yathrib (Madeenah) from among the Ansaar and emigrants due to the safe arrival of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) was so great that it moved the women and children to come out of their houses and the men to leave their jobs. The Jews’ jubilation was all in pretense, because they were peeved and appalled knowing that the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) and his associates would be the new leaders of Madeenah. It is no wonder that the believers took pride in meeting their Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) because it was he who saved them from darkness and led them to enlightenment, by the leave of their Lord and to the straight path of Allah, the Almighty. The stance of the Jews is also but natural, because they were known for their adulation and hypocrisy to the society whom they have just lost touch of dominion and control. They are also known for frustrating and hating those who strip them of their leadership, who prevent them from exploiting the wealth of the people under the guise of loans, and who stop them from shedding blood under the name of advice and consultation. The Jews are still always full of hatred against anyone who frees the nation under their control. Their hatred leads them to treacherous schemes, plots, intrigues, conspiracies and finally to assassinations if only to get rid of them. This is their habit. It is their nature. They did the same to Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) after his settlement in Madeenah despite the treaty which he signed with them granting cooperation and mutual coexistence. But the Jews are a group of people who constantly lit the flames of war and they will remain so forever. As Allah says in the Qur’an, “As often as they light a fire for war, Allah extinguishes it.” [Qur’an 5:64]
- From the events of the emigration to Madeenah, it is clear that the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) never stayed in any place unless he built a mosque therein for the believers to gather. He built the Qubaa mosque when he stayed in the place for four days. He also built a mosque between Qubaa and Madeenah when the time of the Friday prayer came while he was in the residence of the tribe of Salim Ibn Auf (radiallahu ‘anhu) in the heart of Ranonaa’ Valley.
When he arrived in Madeenah, the first thing he did was build a mosque.This indicates the importance of a mosque in Islam. All acts of worship (ibaadah) in Islam are for the purification of the soul, refinement of mores, and strengthening of the ties of mutual cooperation among the Muslims. The congregational prayers and the Friday and Eid prayers are strong examples of the nature of the Muslim community and in the unity of their opinions, goals, and cooperation in achieving righteousness and in fearing Allah.
Thus, if this is the case with the acts of worship, it is without doubt that mosques play a great social and spiritual role in the lives of the Muslims. The mosque is the place that unites them and their efforts. It refines their souls and awakens their minds and hearts. It solves their problems. The mosque shows their strength and cohesiveness.
The history pertinent to the mosques in Islam has proved that from them emanate Islam’s great armies of Islam which rush to fill the earth with Allah’s guidance. From the mosques the beams of the light of guidance emerge for the Muslims and others. Inside them, the seeds of Islamic civilization are nurtured to finally develop and grow.
Is it not true that Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali, Khalid, Saad, Abu Ubaidah, and their ilk who are from among the greats of Islamic history were but students of Muhammad’s school which was headquartered in the Prophet’s mosque?
Another special characteristic of the mosques in Islam is that the word of truth originates from them every week through the tongues of the preachers. The topic may be about forbidding evil and enjoining good or an invitation to some good, an awakening for the heedless, an invitation to assembly, objections to a wrongdoer, or a warning about a tyrant. We witnessed, when we were still children, how the mosques were used as centers of the nationalist movements against the French occupation. From the mosques also came the leaders of Jihad against colonialism in general and against Zionism (Israel) in particular.
If we see the mosques crippled and not living up to their great role today, it is due to the fault of some of their paid preachers, mercenaries or the ignorant ones. Only when the strong leaders and the scholars of Islamic legislation, sincere to Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), stand up to give advice to the leaders and common Muslims and ascend the pulpits and lead the prayers, will the mosque reclaim its leading position in the Islamic society. The mosque will return to its role in raising real men, producing heroes, effacing corruption, fighting evil and building or reforming the society as a whole anchored upon the fear and love of Allah alone. We are all looking forward to the day when this happens, Allah willing, when the vanguard of our purified, believing youths, who are immersed in Allah’s religion and who behave with the Prophet’s (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) manners, fill to the brim the pulpits and the spaces of the mosques.
- The brotherhood between the emigrants and the Ansaar (radiallahu ‘anhum) established by the Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) is a demonstration of Islam’s concept of a socially constructive morality and justice. This is evident when the emigrants were accommodated and provided for by the Ansaar (radiallahu ‘anhum) who were a rich society. because they were a people who cast aside their wealth and their lands in order to go to Madeenah for the sake of Allah, owning nothing of the possessions of this world. Such affluence was due to their agriculture and the money from their industries. Thus, each of the Ansaar (radiallahu ‘anhum) helped his Muslim brother and shared with him the pleasures as well as miseries of life. They shared their homes if there were enough rooms for both of them and would give up half of their money, so long as they could spare it. What social justice in the world could there be to surpass if not equal such kind of brotherhood?
Those who deny that Islam has its own system of social justice are those who do not want the light of Islam to dazzle the sights of the people and dominate their hearts. Or they are the stubborn ones who resist to changes even if the people approve of these modifications which are in consonance with Islam.
How can anyone claim that there is no social justice in Islam while in its history this unique fraternal relationship was established by Muhammad, the source of legislation? It was established under his noble supervision and it formed the basis for the society he created and the first state, which he established. Glory be to You, Allah, it is indeed a great lie they spread (saying that there is no social justice in Islam).
- The pact of brotherhood by the Prophet between the emigrants and the Ansaar and the mutual assistance between the Muslims and others are irrefutable evidence that the Islamic state is built upon social justice. Also, the basis of the international relations between Muslims and non-Muslims is peaceful as long as the non-Muslims are peaceful. The principles of truth, justice, cooperation, righteousness, fearing Allah, and working together for the interest of mankind and repealing the pain and damage that the evildoers inflict upon society are the most visible principles upon which the Islamic state is established.
As a result, the Islamic state, no matter in which place or era it is instituted, is to be based upon the most upright and just principles which today match the most noble parameters upon which states are built and under whose shadow the people of these countries are living.
Trying to establish states in our Islamic society based on Islamic foundations is an action consistent with the development of human thought concerning what a government should be. Furthermore, it allows the Muslims the construction of a society which is the strongest, most complete, most civilized and happiest of all.
No matter what the case may be, it is for our own good to establish a state among ourselves, which is based on the foundation of Islam. Refraining to do so seals our destruction and ruin. Islam does not harm the non-Muslims in the Islamic world. It does not oppress their beliefs nor lessen their rights.
So, what is fearful or wrong with obliging the states in Islamic countries to apply Islamic legislation and establish its laws, especially if these laws are based on justice, truth, strength, brotherhood and collective social cooperation thriving on the foundations of brotherhood, love, and noble cooperation? We will never rid ourselves of foreign occupation except by believing in Islam. For that goal, therefore, the believers and preachers must deliver the goods, surmount some Herculean obstacles or simply have to work double time.
“And if the people of the townships had believed and kept from evil, surely We should have opened for them blessings from the sky and from the earth.” [Qur’an 7:96]
“That is my straight path so follow it and do not follow the other paths that deviate you from His paths.” [Qur’an 7:153]
“And whosoever has taqwa of Allah will have an escape created for him and he will be provided for from where he does not reckon. Whoever puts his trust In Allah, He is sufficient for him. Allah is in control of all affairs and He has established a measure for everything.” [Qur’an 65:2]
“Who keeps his duty to Allah, his affairs will be made easy for him.” [Qur’an 65:4]
“And whoso keeps his duty to Allah, He will remit from him his evil deeds and magnify reward for him.” [Qur’an 65:5]
About change of the Qibla.  Lit. Anything opposite. The direction in which all Muslims must pray, whether in their private or in their public devotions, namely, towards, K’aba.