Immediately on his arrival in Madinah, Rasulullah 's first Divine urge was to build a Masjid. The vacant site adjoining the house of Hazrat Abu Ayub Ansaari (R.A.) was the ideal place. The young Ansaari orphans, Sahil and Suhailbin Amr Najjari, were the owners of this piece of land. The orphans and their guardian. Mu'aaz bin Ufra offered to donate the land for the Masjid. But Rasulullah preferred to buy it and Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) immediately paid the agreed ten dinars for it.
A few graves of the idolatrous were leveled out and some date palms were cleared away. The building of the Masjid had a deep effect on the lives of the Sahaaba (R.A.) because Rasulullah personally worked like an ordinary artisan with them. The walls were of mud bricks and the up-right columns were shaped from trunks of date palms. The leaves of date palms were used for the roof. The Masjid had three entrances: one was 'Babul Rahmat' (gate of blessings); another was 'Babul Nabee'(gate of Nabee ) which is today known as 'Babul -Jibra'eel and the third entrance was at the rear of the building.
In the eastern section of the Masjid were the 'Hoojra' (private apartments) for the family of Rasulullah . One was for Hazrat Aisha binte Abu Bakr bin Abu Kuhafa (R.A.) and another or Hazrat Sauda binte Zam'ah (R.A.). In due course, Rasulullah sent Hazrat Zaid bin Harith (R.A.) and Hazrat Abu Raa'fe (R.A.) to Makkah with two camels and five hundred dirhams for provisions and expenses to bringHazrat Fatima (R.A.), Hazrat Umme Kulthum (R.A.), Hazrat Sauda binte Zam'ah (R.A.), Hazrat Usaama bin Zaid (R.A.) and Hazrat Zaid (R.A.)'s mother Hazrat Umme Aymen (R.A.).
Hazrat Zainab binte Muhammed (R.A.) could not come as her husband, Abdul As ibn Rabi did not give her permission to go to Madinah.
Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A.)'s family also arrived at about this time to Madinah and his daughter Hazrat Aisha binte Abu Bakr (R.A.) was with them. The family of Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) stayed in the home of Hazrat Harith bin No'maan (R.A.) from the Banu Najjar clan. The nikah of Rasulullah to Hazrat Aisha (R.A.) had taken place in Makkah in the tenth year of Nabuwat after the demise of Hazrat Khadijabinte Khuwaylid (R.A.). Hazrat Aisha (R.A.) was very young at the time. She went as a bride in the first year of Hijrat to Rasulullah when Masji-e-Nabawi was ready. Hazrat Aisha binte Abu Bakr (R.A.) was very intelligent and therefore derived great wisdom and learning in the company of Rasulullah , who loved her very dearly. In later years, her knowledge and understanding of Islam in its pure form proved to be of great inspiration to the Sahaaba (R.A.) and the Tabi'een (successors of the companions of Rasulullah .) The sublime character of Hazrat Aisha (R.A.), her devotion to Rasulullah , her virtue, intelligence and eloquence was unparalleled in history. She was only eighteen years of age when Nabi passed away. She related 2210 Ahaadith (recorded words, actions and sanctions of Rasulullah . She passed away in Hijri 57 at the age of sixty five.
In one section of the Masjid, a raised platform was built for the Ashaab-as-Suffah- this a place made for those poor Muslim who had dedicated their lives to the cause of Islamic education; theology; preaching of Islam; memorizing of verses of the Qur'aan as and when revealed to Rasulullah ; compiling of the Adhaadith in its pristine form; recording of every action and deed of their beloved Rasulullah for posterity. Hazrat Abu Hurairah (R.A.) related that there were 70 Sahaaba who were the people of Suffah. He was one of them.
They were very humble and very often went without a full meal for the day. They never stretched their hands to anyone for charity, but labored to earn a living by collecting firewood and selling it in the market-place to provide food for all the Companions (R.A.)
When the Masjid was completed, the need arose for regular 'Jamaa'ah'. Rasulullah asked the Sahaaba (R.A.) to formulate some method of getting the Muslims together for salaah.
The Ashaab-as-Suffah volunteered to round up the Muslims for salaah, but this was time consuming and not effective. Other suggestions that came forth were: the beating of drums; the ringing of the bell like the Christians; the light of fire like the Zoroastrians; blowing of the horn like the Jews. Rasulullah rejected all these suggestions and Hazrat Bilal bin Rabah Habshi (R.A.) was asked to call out 'Assalaatu-Jaamiah' for the time being. In the second year of Hijrat, when the numbers in the Muslim rank were increasing the need was felt for more effective manner in which to call the Muslims for prayer. One day, Hazrat Abdullah bin Zaid (R.A.) in his dream heard an angel instructing him on the wordings of the 'Azaan' (Call To Prayer). He related his experience to Rasulullah who in turn asked Hazrat Bilal bin Rabah Habshi (R.A.) to learn the words and call the Azaan. When Hazrat Umar (R.A.) heard the Azaan, he rushed up to Rasulullah and reported that he had also heard the same Azaan in his dream.
Hazrat Bilal (R.A.) became the first Muazzin in Islam. The powerful and melodious voice of Hazrat Bilal (R.A.), issuing from his strong lungs, resounded through the city of Madinah. The word of the Azaan: 'Allah is great! There is no God but Allah, Muhammed is the Rasul Of Allah ! Come to Salvation!' The words of the Azaan echoed in all the dwellings, and this caused every citizen to inhale with delight the refreshing scent of prayer.
At first the 'Qibla' in Madinah was towards Jerusalem, but later Allah commanded Rasulullah to face the Ka'bah and perform salaah, Allah says in Sura Baqara:
'We see the turning of your face to the heavens;
now We shall turn you to a Qibla that shall please
you. Turn then your face in the direction of the
sacred Masjid, and wherever you be, turn your face
in that direction'.
(Sura: Baqara v:144)
The calculation of years by the Muslims had begun from the first year of Nabuwat (Prophethood). However, immediately after the Hijrat of Rasulullah , the year became known as Hijrat the first year of Hijrat being the year of the arrival Rasulullah in Madinah. The name of the lunar months remained the same as were customary in Arabia before the advent of Islam. Muharram was the first month, followed by Safar, Rabi-ul-Awwal, Rabi-ul-Aakhir, Jamaadil-Awwal, Jamaadil-Akhir, Rajab, Sha'baan, Ramadhaan, Shawwal, Zilqa'dah and the last month Zil-hajj.
The Masjid-e-Nabawi was becoming the center of Islamic activity. The Muslims were zealously following the principles laid down by Rasulullah from time to time. The Sahaaba (R.A.) witnessed with great admiration the simple and solemn marriage ceremony of Rasulullah 's fifteen years old daughter Hazrat Fatima (R.A.) to his twenty year old cousin Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talib (R.A.). To raise the money for 'Mehr' (Dowry) Hazrat Ali (R.A.) sold his 'Zirrah' (chain armour) for 480 dirhams. For his part, Rasulullah gave his daughter a 'Jehaz'(dowry) comprising of a bamboo and reed bedstead; a quilt of date-palm leaves; one leather water bag; two grindstones and two earthen water pots.
Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talib (R.A.) lived with Rasulullah since childhood. Now, that he was married, he was given an apartment by Hazrat Harith bin No'maan Ansaari (R.A.), whose buildings were situated behind Masjid-e-Nabawi. As the need arose he donated all these buildings, one after the other to Rasulullah . These houses were to become the 'hoojarat' (apartments) of the family of Rasulullah Rasulullah turned his attention to the Muhajireen who were newcomers to Madinah. He did not wish them to become a burden and a liability to the ever hospitable Ansaar. He was also aware that not all the Ansaar were prosperous and wealthy. But the Muhajireen had sacrificed their land and homes, their families and friends, their valuables and made Hijrat for the pleasure of Islam.
Rasulullah assembled the Muhajireen and the Ansaar in Masjid-e-Nabawi and issued a proclamation.This was in the form of 'Mua'khaat'(brotherhood) which is hailed as one of the greatest gifts of Rasulullah to the future Muslims of the world. He ordained that they should pair off in couples consisting of a man of the Muhajireen and an Ansaar.
The degree of devotion attained by this brotherhood of religion was stronger than the ties of blood. All these men's hearts, united in the love of Allah were now nothing more than a single heart, beating in different breasts. Each man loved his brother better than himself, and an islamic brotherhood was established.
Among the brotherly unions, Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) was taken by Hazrat Kharijah bin Zaid (R.A.); Hazrat Umar (R.A.) by Hazrat Uthman bin Malik; Hazrat Abu Ubaidah (R.A.) with Hazrat Sa'ad bi Muaz (R.A.) Hazrat Uthman bin Affan (R.A.) with Hazrat Aus bin Nijjar (R.A.); Hazrat Abudurrahman bin Auf (R.A.) with Hazrat Sa'ad bin Rabie (R.A.).
The Allah-fearing Muhajireen did not take undue advantage of all the facilities offered to them. On the contrary, they labored and persevered and were soon able to fend for themselves. Some Muhajireen borrowed just enough money from his 'brother' Ansar to begin trade. Later they were able to repay their loans and become independent and wealthy Muslims.
The Qur'aan refers to this 'Mua'khaat' as follows:
'Those who believed, and adopted exile and fought
for the faith, with their property and their persons, in
the cause of Allah, as well as those who gave
(them) refuge and aid, these are all brothers one of
(Surah: Anfal v:72)
When in later years, the Jews left Madinah, many of the properties and orchards were allotted to the Muhajireen and the proclamation on 'inheritance' during the Mua'khaat was replaced. In every instance, the Muhajireen gratefully repaid their obligations to Ansaar.