Much More Than a Mosque
It was due to this particular role played by the Prophet’s mosque that the Prophet (PBUH) once wanted to tie a strong demon from the Jinn to one of the mosque pillars, having earlier caught him.
Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“A strong demon from the Jinns came to me yesterday suddenly, so as to spoil my prayer, but Allah enabled me to overpower him, and so I caught him and intended to tie him to one of the pillars of the mosque so that all of you might see him, but I remembered the invocation of my brother Sulayman (Solomon): “And grant me a kingdom such as shall not belong to any other after me,” (Sad, 35) so I let him go cursed.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
For the same reason, indeed, a companion, Abu Lubabah Ibn ‘Abd al-Mundhir, tied himself to one of the pillars in the Prophet’s mosque, after indicating to the Jewish tribe Banu Qurayzah, which the Prophet (PBUH) and the Muslims had besieged for days for the reasons earlier given, that if they surrendered they would be killed.
Abu Lubabah was formerly an ally of the Jews, and they consulted him about surrendering.
Having hinted at their likely fate, he regretted it very much, believing that he had breached the limit and, in certain ways, betrayed the Muslims.
He then tied himself in the mosque and refused to be set free until his repentance was accepted, which eventually came to pass.
Abu Lubabah remained at the pillar for some ten or fifteen days.
Before every prayer, or whenever it was necessary, his daughter would come to untie his bonds.
Then after he had prayed, he would ask her to bind him once more.
Subsequently, the pillar, which Abu Lubabah had tied himself to, became known as the Pillar of Repentance (Ustuwan al-Tawbah).
At the time of the Muslim military expedition to Tabuk, there was a group of ten men who failed to march with the army along with several other groups.
Each group had its own reasons for the default. The Qur’an says about them:
“Others (there are who) have acknowledged their wrong-doings: they have mixed an act that was good with another that was evil.
Perhaps Allah will turn unto them (in mercy): for Allah is Most-forgiving, most Merciful.” (al-Tawbah: 102)
Pressed by guilt, seven of the ten men tied themselves in the mosque to its pillars until the revelation of the said verse, in which they were forgiven.
Abu Lubabah Ibn ‘Abd al-Mundhir was one of the ten men, and was one of those who tied themselves.
This article was originally published at Islamicity.com. It is an excerpt from the author’s book titled “The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Urbanization of Madinah”.
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