Masjid Areesh is built on the site where the tent of the Prophet (ﷺ) was pitched during the Battle of Badr. The battle was directed from here.
[Read about the next landmark associated with the Battle of Badr: Khatheeb al-Hannan]
- Sa‘d bin Mu‘adh (رضي الله عنه) suggested that a shelter be built for the Prophet (ﷺ) to function as headquarters for the Muslim army. He justified his proposal by saying that if the Muslims were victorious, then everything would be satisfactory. In case of defeat, the Prophet (ﷺ) would not be harmed and he could go back to Madinah where there were more people who loved him and who would come out to help him.
- The Prophet (ﷺ) praised him and invoked blessings upon him, and the shelter was fashioned with branches of palms. A squad of guards were chosen, primarily from among the Ansar under the leadership of Sa‘d bin Mu‘adh (رضي الله عنه) to defend the Prophet (ﷺ).
- In preparation of the battle on the night before (some scholars say on the morning of), the Prophet (ﷺ) was in the tent that Sa’ad bin Mu’adh (رضي الله عنه) had constructed. Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) was with him. The Prophet (ﷺ) started making dua (supplication) over and over again for hours saying, “O Allah, if you allow this small group of devout believers to be destroyed and perished in the battlefield tomorrow, You will not be worshipped in the earth as You deserve to be worshipped. O Allah, You promised me that You will grant me victory, so grant me victory now. O Allah, we need Your help and victory now.”
- The Prophet (ﷺ) raised his arms up to the sky so high that the shawl he was wearing around his shoulders fell off. Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) picked up the shawl and put it back on his shoulders. Then Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) embraced the Prophet (ﷺ) from behind and consoled him, “Ya Rasulullah, you have made enough dua to your Rabb. He will fulfil His promise to you. He has fulfilled His promise to you.”
- Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) was the main person appointed to watch over the Prophet (ﷺ). The entire time the Prophet (ﷺ) was sitting and making dua, Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) was standing and had his sword drawn to watch over him and make sure he was safe.
- When Ali (رضي الله عنه) was Caliph, he gave a khutbah where he said, “O people, who is the bravest of all the people?”. The congregation replied, “You are, O leader of the believers.” Ali (رضي الله عنه) replied, “When you say I’m the bravest of the people, I might have been the most skilled fighter. I never faced anyone in battle that I was never able to defeat. However, the bravest man that I have ever seen in my entire life was none other than Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه). We had built a tent for the Prophet (ﷺ) in the Battle of Badr. We asked, ‘Who will guard over the Prophet so then nobody would dare go near him from the mushrikoon?’ Wallahi, nobody from amongst us stepped forward faster than Abu Bakr. He drew out his sword & stood right at the head of the Prophet to guard him. Anytime anyone even came in the direction of the Prophet, Abu Bakr would immediately step forth in the direction of that person. He was the bravest of all the people.”
- ‘Areesh’ refers to the shadow of date palms. The original mosque was located approximately where the mimbar is today.
[Read about the next landmark associated with the Battle of Badr: Al-Aqanqal]
References: When the Moon Split – Shaykh Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri, Muhammad (s.a.w.) the Last Prophet – Moulana Sayyed Hasan Ali Nadwi, The Life of Muhammad (s.a.w) – Tahia Al-Ismail, Qalam Seerah notes – Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda