Masjid-e-Quba (Mosque of Quba) is the first Islamic place of worship ever constructed. It is situated near Medina, some 6 kilometers from a village named Quba. It is considered the third holiest place for Muslims, after Masjid-e-Haram in Mecca and Masjid-e-Nabvi in Medina.
Amongst so many reasons why this historic Masjid is so important for Muslims, the most relevant and unique is that it was constructed by the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. He laid the foundation of this Masjid and actively participated in its entire construction. He practically participated in its construction as a laborer along with his companions.
That’s why Muslims love to visit and pray in this Mosque. Muslims from all over the world come to pray here whenever they can, Hajj or Umrah. It is believed that offering two Rakat Nafal in Masjid-e-Quba is just like performing an Umrah.
Historic Background of Masjid-e-Quba
In the 13th year of Prophethood, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ decided to migrate from Mecca to Yasrab (the then name of Medina). It was done per the command of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى. This was deemed imperative due to the ever-increasing oppression by the people of Mecca, especially the Quraysh tribe.
As a first phase of migration, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ instructed his followers to start leaving Mecca and settle in Medina, which was some 200 miles away from Mecca. When almost all of his followers migrated, he and his close companion Hazrat Abu Bakar رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ also left Mecca, leaving behind Hazrat Ali رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ, to settle the affairs of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. They reached Medina’s outskirts on the 16th of July 622 CE, the 12th of Rabi Ul Awwal. The significance of this date is that the Hijri Calendar started from this day.
At this juncture, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ decided to stay in a small village near Quba. He is believed to have stayed in a home for 14 nights and offered Prayers there. This place was converted into the first Masjid in Islam, known as Masjid-e-Quba.
Significance of Masjid-e-Quba in Quran
The hypocrites (known as Munafiqeen in Arabic) established a separate mosque near Masjid-e-Quba in an attempt to harm Islam and Muslims. But Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى commanded in Surah Tawbah, verse number 107 and 108, establishing the status of Masjid-e-Quba.
Translation of Verse Number 107: “There are also those ˹hypocrites˺ who set up a mosque ˹only˺ to cause harm, promote disbelief, divide the believers, and as a base for those who had previously fought against Allah and His Messenger. They will definitely swear, “We intended nothing but good,” but Allah bears witness that they are surely liars.”
Translation of Verse Number 108: “Do not ˹O Prophet˺ ever pray in it. Certainly, a mosque founded on righteousness from the first day is more worthy of your prayers. In it are men who love to be purified.1 And Allah loves those who purify themselves.”
That establishes the importance and status of Masjid-e-Quba as the first and holiest place of worship for Muslims.
Importance of Masjid-e-Quba in Sunnah
The Prophet offered the first Jumma Prayers in this Masjid. Muslims believe that offering two rakats salah in Masjid Quba is rewarded by Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى equivalent to the rewards of one Umrah. Hadith number 1412 of Sunan Ibn Majah narrates as under:
Translation: “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘Whoever purifies himself in his house, then comes to the Quba’ Mosque and offers one prayer therein, will have a reward like that for ‘Umrah.”
It is narrated in the Sahih Al-Bukhari Book 21, Hadith Number 285, that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ used to go to Masjid-e-Quba almost every Saturday.
Translation: “The Prophet (ﷺ) used to go to the Mosque of Quba (sometimes) walking and sometimes riding. Added Nafi` (in another narration), “He then would offer two rak`at (in the Mosque of Quba).”
First Construction of Masjid-e-Quba
When it was decided by the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to construct the first Masjid of Islam at the place where he spent 14 nights after migrating from Mecca, the Muslims, both the emigrants and the natives of Medina, started the work voluntarily. Everyone was excited. They took part in the construction wholeheartedly.
They were motivated by the physical participation of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in construction work as a laborer. It is narrated in history that when someone saw the Prophet ﷺ carrying stones and rocks on his back, he requested to let him do that. The Prophet ﷺ refused and said bring other load yourself. With this level of practical and effective participation of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, the Muslims got highly motivated.
Everyone ensured his participation in construction work enthusiastically. Hence the Masjid was completed in a very short time. The Masjid Quba was completed in the 1st year of migration, which later became the Islamic date system, now known as the Hijri Calendar, based on the moon’s appearance.
Renovations of Masjid Quba
Masjid e Quba, the first-ever place of worship for Muslims, is rated very high. It is believed to be the third holiest place after Masjid Haram and Masjid Nabvi. So, the influx of Muslims worldwide, especially during the Hajj days, is quite heavy in this Masjid. It has been the pattern from the very old days of Islam. Hence, the Muslim rulers always paid due respect and attention to the upkeep of this Masjid. That resulted in multiple renovations and expansions of this Masjid almost regularly.
The first renovation of this Masjid was done by the third Caliph Hazrat Usman رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ. The 8th Caliph of Banu Umayya, Hazrat Umar Bin Abdul Aziz, built its first minaret. Mehrab was added to the Masjid-e-Quba in 435 AH (After Hijrah). Subsequently, different rulers continued renovations and improvements to this Masjid, most relevant being in 555, 671, 733, 840, and 881 AH.
However, an important renovation was done by the Ottoman ruler Sultan Abdul Majid era. The first major expansion and complete renovation came in 1986 by King Fahad Bin Abdul Aziz of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The capacity of this Masjid was increased to accommodate around 20,000 people at a time. In 2022, the current Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman announced further expansion of Masjid Quba to house around 66000 people at a time, covering around 50,000 square meters of land area.
Architecture of Masjid e Quba
Masjid e Quba also comprises Minarets, Domes, and Prayer Hall like every Masjid in Islamic culture. Masjid-e-Quba, as it stands today, is a landmark of real Islamic Architecture. However, it underwent a series of renovations from the very early days of Islam and reached this condition in 1986.
Currently, it has the main prayer hall on the 2nd floor. Libraries, offices, and different shops are also on this floor. Masjid-e-Quba comprises of four minarets and 56 small domes. It has several entrances, 7 being main entrances, whereas 12 small entrances are also there on different sides of the building. It has a vast courtyard made up of white, black, and red marble. The Mimbar is built with white marble.
The building has three central air conditioning units that always ensure cooling. It has all the necessary facilities for the worshippers and visitors. The minarets are built on the octagonal shaft of the Masjid, which gives them a round shape. When one reaches the top of the minaret, he would see the six domes of the Masjid situated around the main courtyard.
It has a porch, which is two bays wide. It separates the prayer areas for men and women. The women’s prayer area is situated on the northern side of the building.
Historical and Religious Significance of Masjid-e-Quba at a Glance
Masjid-e-Quba has a very special status in the history of Islam. Let’s see how
- It is the first-ever place of worship built in the history of Islam.
- It was first built by the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. He worked as a laborer in the construction of this Masjid.
- The place of this Masjid was decided by the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ by the will of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى
- The Islamic date system, now known as the Hijri Calendar, started from the day when the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ reached the location of this Masjid in the village of Quba. Per the Islamic Calendar, it was the 12th of Rabi ul Awwal.
- The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ spent their first 14 nights at this place when he migrated from Mecca.
- The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ regularly visited this Masjid and offered two Rakats here almost every Saturday.
- Offering two rakats in this Masjid equals one Umrah’s reward.
When the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ migrated from Mecca to Medina along with his close companion Hazrat Abu Bakar رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ and reached the outskirts of Medina, his female camel turned towards the village of Quba and stopped at a certain place. The Prophet ﷺ decided to stay here. He stayed at this place for 14 nights. Later, he decided to construct the first-ever Masjid in the history of Islam at this particular site. That was the one which we know as Masjid-e-Quba today.
The importance of this Masjid is proven in the Quran and Hadith and also by various actions of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ Hence, it is known as the most visited Masjid after the two holy Masjids. Due to the heavy inflow of Muslims, it has been expanded and renovated regularly. It was last renovated in 1986 to accommodate around 20,000 worshipers. The latest renovation plan is underway, which will increase this number to around 66,000.
Preserving religious historical places is a much-required task. Maintaining its upkeep and making it comfortable for the worshipers and visitors is another crucial thing. Masjid-e-Quba, one of the holiest places for Muslims, is being taken care of in this respect quite effectively by the KSA authorities. They have ensured the provision of every possible facility for the worshipers at this Masjid. May Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى give us an opportunity to visit this historic Masjid.