Masjid Biah / Masjid Uqbah
This mosque, close to Mine, marks the place where Ansar from Medina promised their loyalty to the Prophet (saw) in 621 CE. The group included the leaders of the Aws and Khazraj tribes in Medina, and there were twelve of them. The second such promise, called the second promise of Aqaba or Aqabah pledge (Bay’ah Aqabah Thaaniya), occurred the following year, the thirteenth year after the Prophet (saw) proclaimed his Prophecy.
The Prophet (saw) came into contact with various Arab tribes who came to Mecca for their festivals, fairs or pilgrimages, and preached the truth of Islam to them. He would take the advantage to encourage them to worship only Allah and to believe in his Prophecy. His uncles Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab often followed him, dissuading people from listening to his message. In order to avoid them, he went out in the dark of night to contact the caravans that were a few miles from Kaaba.
One night, the Prophet (saw) heard some people talking in Aqabah. He came closer and saw that there were six of them who came from Yatrib (later known as Madina) to make a pilgrimage to the Kaaba. The Prophet (saw) preached Islam to them and recited some verses of the Quran. They listened with reverence and immediately accepted Islam. They were neighbors of the Jews in Yatribe and heard how they mentioned the coming of the great Prophet in the near future and his domination over all others. Six new Muslims promised that when they returned to Yatrib, they would invite their people to Islam and that they would meet with the Prophet (saw) again during the next pilgrimage.
The following year, five of the six returned to meet with the Prophet (saw) in Aqabah again, and they came with seven more converts. These twelve people promised their loyalty to Islam at the hand of the Prophet (saw), and this became known as the “First Pledge of Aqabah.” They promised that they would not associate partners with Allah, commit thefts, commit adultery, kill their children, slander others and disobey the Prophet (saw) when he told them to do good.
The Prophet (saw) instructed Musab bin Umair to go with them to teach them Islam and preach to others. He was always busy teaching the Quran and other Islamic practices to people. He stayed with Asad bin Zararah (may Allah be pleased with him) and was known as Muqraee (teacher). During this period, many people from Yatrib have accepted Islam.
The following year, Musab bin Umair (may Allah be pleased with him) left Yatrib for Mecca with a caravan of 72 men and two women, consisting of Muslims and pagans. The Muslims wanted to meet with the Prophet (saw) and invite him to come to Yathrib. They were alarmed by the persecution, insults and fear that had darkened the Prophet (saw) and other Muslims and decided to offer them their full protection if they move there. A secret meeting with the Prophet (saw) was organized late in the evening in Aqabah.
The Prophet (saw) met them accompanied by his uncle Abbas, who was not a Muslim at the time. He spoke with the group, read the Quran, prayed to Allah and called people to embrace Islam. Then he said: “I ask your loyalty on the basis that you protect me just as you protect your wives and children.” They promised their loyalty to him, and this became known as the “Second pledge of Aqabah.” They asked him to promise that he would not leave them and would not return to his people. The Prophet (saw) made his promise: “I am from you, and you from me. I will fight those with whom you fight, and I will be at peace with those with whom you are at peace. ” Then twelve people were selected to take responsibility for the affairs of the community, including Abdulla Bin Rawahah, Sa’d Bin Ubadah and Ubad Bin. Sumit (may Allah be pleased with them).
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Shaitan watched and listened from the top of Aqabah, and when he could no longer restrain himself, he shouted in the loudest voice and said the name Mudhammam (Reprobate). The Prophet (saw) knew who it was, and answered him, saying: “Oh, the enemy of Allah. I will not give you a delay.
Masjid was built by Abu Jafar al-Mansur in the year 144 AH. It was reconstructed several times with the last Sultan Abdul Majid Khan al-Osmani in 1250 AH.
Sources: When the Moon Split – Shaikh Safiur-Rahman Mubarakpuri, Muhammad – Martin Lings, Fazail-e-Aamal – Sheikh Zakariyya Kandhalvi, The History of Islam – Akbar Shah Najeebabadi