In Mecca, muslims could not openly follow the religion their Prophet ﷺ brought to them. The believers had to bear endless prosecution for conforming to the tawhid of la ilalha illa Allah.
Having attained that freedom in Yathrib, the Prophet ﷺ with the believers engaged in constructing a mosque. A suitable sight was searched and the work began. The idea behind the mosque was a construction of a very simple, ascetic structure. Which could be used for praying, meeting and a place where people could listen to the Divine Revelation from the lips of the Holy Prophet ﷺ. The Prophet ﷺ and his companions worked devotedly. After all, this mosque under construction was to be the epicenter of religious learning and strengthening of the bonds of brotherhood in Islam. This mosque was to witness many surrendering hearts rushing to obedience to the Creator. Unbelievable conversions were to take place here. It was to witness the greatest victories and tragedies. And what tragedy could be bigger than having to see the Prophet ﷺ leave this world? This place was to even house his grave.
As the construction work sped up, small children swarmed around the sight to lend their help. And Rasool Allah ﷺ accepted their innocent proposals by giving them suiting jobs to do.
This was a noble work which they were doing. The faithful ones felt humbled with every brick they placed. One of the muslim started to sing:
If we sat down while the Prophet worked
This action of ours would be the worst.
And the rest joined in:
There is no life but the life of the next world,
O God! Have mercy on Ansar and Muhajirin.
On hearing this, Rasool Allah ﷺ changed its order and said:
There is no life but the life of the next world,
O God! Have mercy on Muhajirin and Ansar.
It is interesting here to note that all of our Prophet’s ﷺ actions were in correspondence to his words and the Qur’an. I recall reading sometime back in the tafsir of the following ayah from Surah Al Hashr,
﴿لِلْفُقَرَآءِ الْمُهَـجِرِينَ الَّذِينَ أُخْرِجُواْ مِن دِيَـرِهِمْ وَأَمْوَلِهِمْ يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلاً مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَناً وَيَنصُرُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الصَّـدِقُونَ وَالَّذِينَ تَبَوَّءُوا الدَّارَ وَالإِيمَـنَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ يُحِبُّونَ مَنْ هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ يَجِدُونَ فِى صُدُورِهِمْ حَاجَةً مِّمَّآ أُوتُواْ وَيُؤْثِرُونَ عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ﴾
(And there is also a share in this booty) for the poor Muhajirin, who were expelled from their homes and their property, seeking bounties from Allah and (His) good pleasure, and helping Allah and His Messenger. Such are indeed the truthful. And those who, before them, had homes (in Al-Madinah) and adopted the faith, love those who emigrate to them, and have no jealousy in their breasts for that which they have been given, and give them (emigrants) preference over themselves even though they were in need of that.
The best comment on Allah’s statement,
﴿وَلاَ يَجِدُونَ فِى صُدُورِهِمْ حَاجَةً مِّمَّآ أُوتُواْ﴾
(…and have no jealousy in their breasts for that which they have been given) is that it means, they do not envy the Muhajirin for the rewards that Allah gave them for their emigration. These Ayat indicate that the Muhajirin are better in grade than the Ansar, and there is a consensus on this ruling among the scholars.
For this reason I believe (Allahu Alim) that the Prophet ﷺ found it better to change the order considering that the status of Muhajirin above that of Ansar. After all, they were the people who left their land, their clan, houses, wealth and even families behind, struggling on the path of Islam. They were the ones who encountered brutal prosecution at the hands of Qureysh. From them were some who were poor and helpless even before Islam entered their lives. And on accepting the call, it added to their plight. They were an easy prey for the leaders of the Qureysh who never missed a chance to humiliate them and cause them bodily harm. When at times the Prophet ﷺ passed them by, their conditions added to his grief and he would whisper to them in the softest word to bear with patience. He ﷺ would remind them that Allah ﷻ is watching and soon He will change their conditions, make them victorious and grant them paradise. It was all that he could at the time.
They were those whose faith was the strongest because none of those beatings and disgrace could turn them away from the path they have set their hearts on. Under the leadership of the Prophet ﷺ the sufferings were only a source of strengthening their faith.
And now, as the all reaching mercy of Allah ﷻ had united them with people who cared for them more than their own families, making them partners in their wealth, wanting them to inherit their properties and even suggesting to the Prophet ﷺ that they were willing to give away their orchards for their dear brothers, the migrants.
It was just after the mosque was constructed that a new question emerged. What means could be used to reach out to the people and call them to prayers? And it wasn’t late before their Lord solved this little riddle for them.
One day, a Sahabi, Abdullah ibn Zayd R.A. came to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and said, “O Messenger of Allah ﷺ! I had a beautiful dream last night.”
“What was the dream you saw?”, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ asked Zayd R.A.
He told the Prophet ﷺ that he saw a man walking past him carrying a large conch (Sea Shell). Abdullah bin Zayd R.A. stopped that man and asked him whether he would sell that conch to him. The man in his dream asked Abdullah bin Zayd R.A. about its purpose. He told the man that he would use the conch to call Muslims for Salah (Prayers). The man in the dream told Abdullah bin Zayd R.A. that he has a better suggestion and gave him the words and method of Adhan (Call for Prayers). He also taught the words and method for Iqamah (Second call for Prayers).
The Prophet ﷺ recognized that it was actually a true vision from Allah. He ﷺ asked Zayd R.A. to teach the words of Adhan to Bilal R.A.
Bilal R.A. stood up and called the Adhan. The voice of Bilal R.A. resounded throughout and appealed so much to the people that they came running to the Mosque.
‘Umar bin Khattab R.A. heard this (Adhan) when he was in his house, and he came out and said, “Messenger of Allah ﷺ, by Him who has sent you with the truth, I have seen the same kind of thing as has been revealed.”
To this Allah’s Messenger replied, “Praise be to Allah!”
What we observed since the coming of Prophet ﷺ in Yathrib was an extra ordinary passion and zeal for his cause and an unmatchable love for him in the eyes of the people he migrated to.
Yathrib, unlike Mecca, was a rich agricultural land. However, there was a huge clan war ongoing in the land for ages. And strong enmity existed between the Jews and the Arabs in Yathrib. Allah ﷻ joined the hearts of people otherwise separated in a manner no one ever imagined.
And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided. (3:103)
Allah ﷻ prepared a place of mercy for his believing servants after years of toil and hardship they faced at the hands of idolaters of Mecca. It was during this time that the Qiblah of Prayer was changed from Jerusalem to the Holy Ka’bah.
When the event of the distribution of booty came and a man from Bani Tamim accused the Prophet ﷺ for being unjust in giving the Ansars their share, the Prophet ﷺ asked them all to assemble in on place. He ﷺ then addressed them and when he was satisfied with the inquiry, he ﷺ made this beautiful Dua’a for them which I here put to conclude my article-
” O Ansar, are you upset for a thing so trivial and worldly that I gave to some people so as to join their hearts to Islam and left you out of it, believing that your Islam sufficed you? Is it not enough for you that the rest of the people will go home with a sheep or a camel, whereas you will return with the Messenger of Allah? By Allah in Whose Hands is Muhammad’s soul, you return with a better thing than they went home with. If not for the migration, I would rather have been one of the Ansar. If the people moved in one way, and the Ansar moved the other way, I would choose the way of the Ansar. O Allah, do have mercy on the Ansar, their children, and their children’s children.”