Mosques to visit after the Coronavirus lets up (Chapter 9): Quba Mosque, Saudi Arabia
Once upon a time, a vile disease struck the earth with menacing force, stimulating governments around the world to stop touristic activity, international business and trade; obliging their populations to remain secluded for undetermined periods of time. Sadly, this time is probably far from being over.
If not for despair, the worldwide situation seemingly leaves place only for ignorant optimism, such as the satyric and deriding humour of Boris Johnson until he got infected. Needless to say, this is a notable time for us to turn to Allah in prayer and to our families with a helping hand.
Though currently you cannot travel, nor even go to a nearby mosque, it is now an essential time to commit to the deeds that will please Allah most, as well as reflect upon those that will please Him when free mobility is reenabled. A good example could be to plan out a visit to the Masjid al-Haram in order to reap the reward of Umrah.
Nevertheless, despite this being a very rewarding destination to travel to in terms of your spiritual development and proximity with Allah, there are mosques of great importance that you shouldn’t neglect. We must remember what our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said about the Masjid Quba (Quba mosque):
“He who purifies himself at his home and comes to Masjid Quba and offers two rakats therein, will be rewarded the reward of an Umrah.” [Sunan ibn Majah]
The first stones of the Quba mosque are said to have been placed by our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) when he had arrived from Mecca to Medina with his followers. The construction of the mosque, laying on the outskirts of Medina, was later finished by his comrades within his lifetime.
Ibn Umar said, “The Prophet used to go to the Mosque of Quba every Saturday (sometimes) walking and (sometimes) riding.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
This mosque is also known as the one to have hosted the first-ever Friday prayer, led by our Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
Its current architecture only narrowly resembles that of its original state, as in the year 1984, well-renowned architect Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil set out to expand the mosque in order to underline its symbolic value. He was soon frustrated to see that the technical difficulties of incorporating the old structure into the project were too grand, forcing him to raze the initial edifice in order to rebuild the mosque anew.
The novel reconstruction starred four imposing minarets instead of one, seven main entrance halls and 56 small domes scattered across the perimeter of the mosque. What was previously made from inexpensive local rock became beautiful white marble, including the minbar, mihrab and inner courtyards.
The mosque’s outlook turned quite expressive and much more representative of its holiness. Despite not having conserved its first bricks, having been placed by our Prophet Muhammad (SAW), it was a prudent choice to underline the importance of this mosque via the architectural embellishments, as it was too often engulfed in the light of the Al Masjid an Nabawi, in central Medina.
Now this mosque isn’t only a most holy place, but is also something to marvel at from the aesthetic point of view. As such, once you get a chance to visit Mecca, do not succumb to idleness as you will not regret visiting two of Medina’s, and world’s most historically important mosques.