Quba. When the Holy Prophet and Abu Bakr reached in the neighborhood of Madina their first stop was at Quba, a suburb of Madina. As they arrived at Quba the people crowded round them. As the people had not seen them before, it was difficult for them to know as to who out of the two was the Holy Prophet. Seeing this predicament of the people, Abu Bakr stood up and shielded the Holy Prophet with his mantle. Thereupon the people came to know who was the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet and Abu Bakr stayed at Quba for a few days, and then they proceeded to Yathrib which was named Madinat-un-Nabi or Madina in the honor of the arrival of the Holy Prophet.
Reception at Madina. At Madina the Holy Prophet and Abu Bakr were given a royal welcome. The maidens of Madina mounted on the roof tops of their houses and sang: "From the hill tops of the south, The full moon cloth arise, With what a lovely call, Unto God doth he call, And we thank him for it all. O you sent by Allah the Rahman We bow to thy demand."
The change. The world of Madina was quite different from the world of Makkah. At Makkah the Muslims were a persecuted people, at Madina they were the masters of their destiny. The life at Madina was a great break with the past. The days of trial, tribulations and tortures were now over, the Muslims were now set on the path of fulfillment. They were now poised to build a new commonwealth and a new ideal society.
Construction of the mosque. The first thing that the Holy Prophet called upon the Muslims to do at Madina was to build a mosque which was to be the prayer house as well as the community center. The owner of the plot of land selected for the purpose of building the mosque insisted on donating the land free. The Holy Prophet, however, paid the price at the market rate, and this price was paid by Abu Bakr. All the Muslims including the Holy Prophet and Abu Bakr participated in the construction of the mosque. As the Muslims labored, they chanted: "There is no life, but the life of the next world, O God have mercy on the Muhajreen and the Ansar."
Within a few months the mosque was completed. It was square in form each side measuring fifty yards. It faced towards the north, and had three gates on each of the remaining three sides. Adjoining the mosque, apartments were constructed for the household of the Holy Prophet, and for some of the companions, including Abu Bakr. The mosque was a monument of simplicity. The walls were made of mud bricks, and the roofs were supported by trunks of palm trees. The apartments for the houses of the Holy Prophet and Abu Bakr were simple structures, and blankets of camel hair were hung at the doors. The courtyard in each case was hardly six to seven paces in length, and the length of the rooms did not extend beyond ten paces.