This is the approximate spot, at the front of Masjid-e-Nabwi, where existed the house of Abu Ayyub Ansari (رضي الله عنه). This is where the Prophet (ﷺ) initially stayed for several months on his migration to Madinah, while Masjid-e-Nabwi and the adjoining rooms for his wives were being built.
- When the Prophet (ﷺ) entered Madinah he told the people to allow his camel to go her own way for “she is guided by Allah.” All of the Muslims desired that he would lodge with them. Finally the she-camel knelt, but the Prophet (ﷺ) did not dismount. The animal rose to its feet again, ambled ahead for some distance, and then turned back and knelt in the same place it had before. Masjid-e-Nabwi was erected on this very spot.
- Adjacent to the spot where the camel knelt was the house of Abu Ayyub Ansari (رضي الله عنه) who hurried to lift the saddle from the camel and took it to his home. The Prophet (ﷺ) remarked humorously, “A man must follow his saddle“, and went along with Abu Ayyub. Asad bin Zurara (رضي الله عنه) took hold of the halter, so he was allowed to take care of the camel.
- According to other reports, lots were cast and was drawn in the favour of Abu Ayyub Ansari (رضي الله عنه).
- The house of Abu Ayyub Ansari was double-storied. When it was settled that the Prophet (ﷺ) would stay at this place, he offered the Prophet (ﷺ) to stay on the upper storey but the Prophet could not agree to this proposal, as he felt that people frequently coming to meet him would disturb his (Abu Ayyub’s) family. Thus the ground floor was made vacant for the Prophet (ﷺ). Abu Ayyub (رضي الله عنه) sent meals to him twice a day and whatever he left uneaten was shared by Abu Ayyub and his wife. He would look at the marks of the Prophet’s (ﷺ) fingers on the food and place his own fingers at the same spots as a source of blessing.
- Although the Prophet (ﷺ) had stayed at the ground floor according to his own wish, it was quite unbearable for Abu Ayyub (رضي الله عنه) and his wife that they should live upstairs while the Prophet (ﷺ) was downstairs. They were much disturbed to think that in this way they were showing disrespect to the Prophet (ﷺ). One night they could not sleep and passed the whole night sitting in a corner of the roof. In the morning Abu Ayyub (رضي الله عنه) came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said, “O Prophet of Allah, we could not sleep at night but passed the whole night sitting in a corner of the roof.” When the Prophet asked the cause, he replied, “Our parents may be sacrificed on you, we always remain thinking that we are committing disrespect to you. Last night this feeling grew to the utmost and we could not sleep.” After this he requested, “O Prophet of Allah, have mercy upon us and kindly shift upstairs. We are your slaves and shall remain satisfied under your feet.” The Prophet (ﷺ) granted his request and moved upstairs while Abu Ayyub and his wife moved to the ground floor.
- Abu Ayyub Ansari’s (رضي الله عنه) full name was Khalid ibn Zayd ibn Kulayb. His grave lies in Istanbul where he was honoured with martyrdom during the siege of Constantinople in the caliphate of Muawiyah (رضي الله عنه) in 48 AH.
References: The History of Islam – Akbar Shah Najeebabadi, When the Moon Split – Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri, Siratun Nabi – Allama Shibli Nomani & Syed Suleman Nadvi