As mentioned earlier, Habsha street was just north of Osman’s (RU) home and Baqee street was just south of Osman’s (RU) house. The Prophet (SAS) had designated an open space between these two streets and just west of Hujrat. This area was to conduct funeral services and it was, therefore, known as funeral place.
Abu Saeed Khudri (RU) described how and when was this place used for the funeral services.
He said, “In the very beginning we used to inform the Prophet (SAS) when one of us was near the death. The Prophet (SAS) used to visit the ailing person and made supplication for his forgiveness. Many times the Prophet (SAS) stayed there till the completion of his funeral services. In this way the Prophet (SAS) had to wait there for a very long time at each such occasion. We, therefore, decided not to inform the Prophet (SAS) till the person had passed away. Now the Prophet (SAS) used to lead Salat-ul-Janaza and used to make dua for the deceased person. Sometimes the Prophet (SAS) stayed till the burial services were completed. We gave another thought to this process. We decided to take the body of the deceased person near the Hujrat so that the Prophet (SAS) can lead the salat more easily. The Prophet (SAS) started offering Salat-ul-Janaza in the area described above.”
Historical Stages of This Funeral Place:
The Prophet (SAS) used to lead Salat-ul-Janaza at this site. Companions followed this tradition. During 91 H, Omar bin Abdul Aziz included the Hujrat in his extension of the Prophet’s Mosque. He, however, left the funeral place as such. No changes took place in the funeral courtyard for about eight hundred years. During 886, a lightning struck the Mosque and the Mosque caught fire. This fire damaged the sacred chamber as well. Hence Aisha’s Hujrah, the dome and supporting columns had to be rebuilt. Additional columns were constructed by the side of the existing columns to reinforce them. In this way the space between the sacred chamber and eastern wall of the Mosque was some what narrowed. To widen this path the eastern wall of the Mosque was moved into the funeral courtyard by about 75 centimeters. However Bab Jibreel, Bab-un-Nisa and the wall between them was left as it was.
During 1277 Hijrah Sultan Abdul Majeed reconstructed the Mosque and further reinforced the columns. Once again the eastern wall of the Mosque had to be moved into the funeral courtyard by about 2.6 meters. Again Bab Jibreel, Bab-un-Nisa and their connecting wall was left as it was. Hence you see Bab-un-Nisa is pushed into the Mosque by about three meters along the eastern side of the Mosque.
Turks built an enclosure around the remaining funeral courtyard and provided a door in the north wall of this enclosure. This area used to be available to the worshippers. Very recently it is reserved for storage of those materials that are needed frequently in the Prophet’s Mosque.
Stoning in the Funeral Courtyard.
As mentioned in Vafa-ul-Vafa and narrated by Abdullah bin Omar (RU), the Prophet (SAS) ordered stoning of two Jews for adultery. This punishment of stoning was inflicted upon them at the site of this funeral courtyard.
Detail of this event is described in Bukhari. Abdullah bin Omar (RU) said, “Two Jews, a man and a woman, were brought to the court of Prophet Mohammad (SAS). Both said, ‘Our scholars have a new punishment for adultery. According to this the faces of the criminals of adultery are blackened. The criminals are made to ride a donkey with their faces towards the tail of the donkey. They go through the community with this donkey ride to put them to shame.’ Abdullah bin Salam (RU) spoke out, ‘O dear Prophet (SAS), please consult Torah to verify their statements.’ Torah was brought and one Jew started reading the verses of Torah with thumb on the specific verse pertaining to stoning punishment of adultery. Abdullah bin Salam (RU) asked him to move the thumb. As soon as he moved his thumb, the stoning verse was seen there. Consequently the Prophet (SAS) ordered the stoning of both criminals.” Abdullah bin Omar (RU) added, “I saw that this Jew adulterer threw himself on top of this adulteress to save her during the stoning.”
Note that Abdullah bin Salam (RU) was a Jew and his name was Hasain. He embraced Islam and the Prophet (SAS) gave him Islamic name Abdullah (RU). He knew Torah very well. He died in 43 Hijrah.
Al-Ahqaf verse number 10 was revealed about him. Al-Ahqaf # 10
Say: “Tell me! If this (Quran) is from Allah and you deny it, and a witness from among the Children of Israel testifies that this Quran is from Allah, and he believed while you are too proud.” Verily, Allah guides not the people who are wrong-doers.