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Masjid al-Dirar

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Masjid al-Ḍirār (Arabic: مسجد الضرار) was a mosque built by hypocrites in Medina which was later destroyed by the order of Prophet Muhammad (s). This mosque was built by hypocrites in order to cause disunity among the believers, promote hypocrisy and it was a base for disbelievers as well. However, they claimed the mosque was built for the patients and wretched people who were not able to come to Quba mosque. Construction of Masjid al-Dirar led to revelation of Quranic verses 107 and 108 of Sura al-Tawba; the name Al-Dirar is derived from the mentioned verse.

Location

Masjid al-Dirar was built in a part of Khidham b. Khalid's house or Wadi'a b. Khizam's. Ibn Hisham regarded Khizam b. Khalid as a hypocrite from the tribe of Banu 'Amr b. 'Awf.

Builders

The builders of Masjid al-Dirar were fifteen or twelve persons and Mujammi' b. Jariya was the lead prayer of the mosque. A group of the hypocrites of Medina were from the tribe of Banu Ghanam b. 'Awf who built this mosque in order to say prayers in a mosque other than Quba mosque. They were jealous of Banu 'Amr b. 'Awf who supported Prophet Muhammad (s) when he entered Medina and built Quba mosque.

It is said Abu 'Amir, the father of Hanzala, from the tribe of Aws was the first one who had the idea of building Masjid al-Dirar. In Jahiliyya era, he was a follower of Monasticism, and he became famous as Abu 'Amir the Rahib (the Monk). After the emergence of Islam, contrary to other members of his tribe Abu 'Amir refused to convert to Islam and opposed Prophet Muhammad (s) then he moved to Mecca. He also helped hypocrites to fight against Muslims. As a result, Prophet (s) called him a fasiq (grave sinner). After the Conquest of Mecca, he moved to Ta'if and then Syria where he became a Christian. He died in 10 (A.H.) in Syria. According to Al-Waqidi, Abu Lubaba b. 'Abd al-Mundhir prepared woods for building Masjid al-Dirar.

Purposes

According to 107th verse of Sura al-Tawba Masjid al-Dirar was built to promote hypocrisy, disunity of believers and it was regarded as a base of hypocrites to work against Prophet Muhammad (s). However, the builders claimed that they built the mosque for the patients and wretched people who were unable to go to Quba mosque. In addition, according to the content of this verse Masjid al-Dirar was a base for hypocrites. Abu 'Amir sent a letter to his supporters in Medina and informed them of his arrival to Medina with an army of Heraclius, the Roman Emperor, to attack Muslims and throw out Prophet Muhammad (s) and his supporters of the city. He asked them to prepare weapons and a base for the army.

Revelation of Verses

As for those who took to a mosque for sabotage and for defiance, and to cause division among the faithful, and for the purpose of ambush [used] by those who have fought Allah and His Apostle before—they will surely swear, 'We desired nothing but good,' and Allah bears witness that they are indeed liars.

Do not stand in it ever! A mosque founded on Godwariness from the [very] first day is worthier that you stand in it [for prayer]. Therein are men who love to keep pure, and Allah loves those who keep pure.

Qur'an 9:107-108

After the building of Masjid al-Dirar, its builders met Prophet Muhammad (s) and asked him to say prayers there. But Prophet (s) delayed accepting their request as he wanted to set out for the Battle of Tabuk. When he returned from the battle, he stayed in Dhu Awan (or Aruan) near Medina where the 107th and 108th[1] verses of Sura al-Tawba was revealed and true intentions of building the mosque of Dirar was exposed.

Destruction

After the revelation of Quranic verses of Sura al-Tawba, Prophet Muhammad (s) ordered Malik b. Dukhshum and Ma'n b. 'Adi (or his brother 'Asim b. 'Adi) to destroy Masjid al-Dirar and set it on fire. They followed the order and demolished the mosque. Prophet (s) also ordered to collect garbage of region there.

Based on the reports of Al-Waqidi, Abu Lubaba b. 'Abd al-Mundhir built a house with the remained woods of demolished mosque near the place. It is said no child was born there and no bird built a nest near the house.

Notes

  1. وَالَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مَسْجِدًا ضِرَارًا وَكُفْرًا وَتَفْرِيقًا بَيْنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَإِرْصَادًا لِّمَنْ حَارَبَ اللَّـهَ وَرَسُولَهُ مِن قَبْلُ ۚ وَلَيَحْلِفُنَّ إِنْ أَرَدْنَا إِلَّا الْحُسْنَىٰ ۖ وَاللَّـهُ يَشْهَدُ إِنَّهُمْ لَكَاذِبُونَ * لَا تَقُمْ فِيهِ أَبَدًا ۚ لَّمَسْجِدٌ أُسِّسَ عَلَى التَّقْوَىٰ مِنْ أَوَّلِ يَوْمٍ أَحَقُّ أَن تَقُومَ فِيهِ ۚ فِيهِ رِجَالٌ يُحِبُّونَ أَن يَتَطَهَّرُوا ۚ وَاللَّـهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُطَّهِّرِينَ

References

  • The material for this article is mainly taken from مسجد ضرار in Farsi WikiShia.