The Kufa Mosque, Center of Rule and Guidance

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The Kufa Mosque, Center of Rule and Guidance

Before Islam, al-Kufa was a Christian area where Christian monasteries spread and belonged to the Kingdom of Hirah. At the beginning, it was not an important area for Muslims, but when the power of Muslims grew and started thinking of expansion and conquests, al-Kufa area was the first city that Muslims thought to conquer and made a city so that they can launch from to various parts of the world.

We have mentioned in the subject of founding al-Kufa some details of the first foundation, followed by founding the mosque in al-Kufa that was about the year 17 AH([1]). One can review this information in the subject of founding al-Kufa in the previous chapter.

Now, and after a period of time on establishing alKufa, it is time to think about taking this new city as a capital of Islamic state and a center of the Caliphate. The history mentioned that the beginning of the rise of al-Kufa and the growth of its entity was when it was selected by Amir al-Mu'minin Ali (peace be upon him) a capital of Islamic State and the Center for Islamic Rule.

After ending from the war of al-Jamal in Basra, Imam Ali (peace be upon him) moved to al-Kufa and remained there from the year 36 Ah and until his martyrdom in 40 AH. Then Imam Ali (peace be upon him) has moved and with him a number of immigrants and supporters. The geographical al-Maqdisi al-Bashari mentioned al-Kufa in the period of the entry of Imam, saying, ((The first who entered al-Kufa from the companions was Ali Bin Abi Talib, followed by Abdullah Bin Moasood, Abu Darda and then all followed successively))([2]).

The arrival of Imam Amir al-Mu'minin to al-Kufa coming from Basra (peace be upon him) was in 36 Ah, who has directly gone to the greatest mosque with rapturous reception from the people of al-Kufa. Nasr Bin Muzahim mentioned this coming and what happened to Imam Ali (peace be upon him). He said,((when Ali Bin Abi Talib came from Basra to al-Kufa on Monday, the twelfth of Rajab, Allah has blessed with a victory over the enemy accompanying him the noblest people of Basra, he received by people of al-Kufa including their readers and their noblest people, who called Allah to bless him. Then, they said," O the Commander of the Faithful," Where are you staying? Are you going to live in the palace?  "He said "No", but I will stay in al-Rahba, and so he did, and then he went to the greatest mosque where he prayed two bows and then ascended the platform glorifying Allah and praising Him and His Messenger…..))([3]).

Bin Muzahim also mentioned elsewhere in his book ((When Ali came to al-Kufa, he descended at the door of the mosque where he entered and prayed. Soon he finished his prayer, he sat and people sat around him))([4]).

Ibn al-Faqih mentioned the quality of those who came with Imam Ali or some of them saying ((And he came to al-Kufa whether whom I named to you seventy men from the Messenger's companions (Allah may pray and peace upon him)) ([5]).

If the coming down of Imam Ali (peace be upon him), and of companions is the real beginning of launching the city to the global and the stardom, and  the Kufa city becomes the capital of the Islamic Caliphate without any challenge.

Thus, the holy city of al-Kufa became the first political center of the Islamic world. Therefore, all people including the science students came to al-Kufa, where expanded in the building and in the population; it became more in the greatness, in the importance and in the vitality.

There is no doubt that the great character of Imam Ali (peace be upon him) and his lofty status, his wisdom and his handling of things have played an important role in spreading of the vitality, and the activity, the movement and the power in the city.

Dr. Salabi says ((Al-Kufa received the delegations and sent away the armies, that was the reason of its attraction to people. Undoubtedly this had had a major role in the revitalization of the commercial and the constructive movement in al-Kufa during the caliphate of Ali who paid (may Allah be pleased with him) much attention in al-Kufa and inspected its families himself([6]). It has become particularly important because of the residence of Amir al-Mu'minin))([7]).

Even we found those who says in the right of Imam (peace be upon him) ((They said " Who comes down al-Kufa, unless he acknowledges to the Kkufa people with the virtue of three things: Euphrates water, the dates of Mishan (kind of dates) and Amir al-Mu'minin; he will have no residence))([8]).

Thus, Kufa was in the presence of Imam Ali (peace be upon him) was the best city because of his wisdom, his residence in its heart, in the greatest mosque.

Al-Kufa has built by Imam Ali's idea, wisdom and rule and it did not die complete because of his martyrdom. It was the capital of his eldest son Imam Hassan (peace be upon him) where he took the greatest mosque as his headquarter, and its platform as a launching place of his speech and the management of other things…

The Caliphs and the princes, the Kings and others came successively to al-Kufa and to its greatest mosque. Ibn al-Faqih says ((The caliphs and Imams who came down al-Kufa were Imams Ali and Hassan(peace be upon him); the kings and caliphs were Muawiyah and Abdul Malik, Abu al-Abbas and Abu Jaafar al-Mansour, al-Mahdi and Harun al-Rashid))([9]).

In al-Kufa and from al-Kufa started the revolution of Bin Abi Abaid al-Thaqafi and from al-Kufa and in its greatest mosque Abu al-Abbas al-Safah became a caliph. Al-Yaaqubi mentioned ((When Abu Abbas al-Safah recognized as a Caliph, he ascended the platform in the same day of his homage, but he cannot deliver his speech because he was shy, so instead, Dawud Bin Ali ascended the platform without taking a permission and delivered his speech after he glorified and praised Allah))([10]).

Abu Jaafar al-Mansour was living in al-Kufa in the first years of his rule…

We understand from this important existence of al-Kufa that it was not like the other city in the Islamic world, but it was the actual capital of the Islamic Cali-phate.

Therefore, if the holy city of al-Kufa was a pole and a hub of what was around it, its greatest mosque was a center for that pole and that axis.

It is (i.e. the mosque) first and foremost, was the key center and the headquarters for the ruling Caliph, Imam Ali (peace be upon him) who was the main founder of the universality of this center that is the starting point for the basic work of the government and its various projects and instructions.

It was the center and the headquarters of his son the Caliph al-Hassan Bin Ali (peace be upon him), as well as a passage, a center or a residence for those who came after them to the city as caliphs and rulers, governors and political, religious and other characters.

Therefore, the Inclusive Mosque in al-Kufa considered the most important center in the Islamic state. All political and religious, economic and social, cultural, scientific and media activities of the state happened in and around this mosque beside the affairs of the state and the citizen.

While the prayer and the diverse matters of the worship were taking place in the mosque, the platform of the mosque was a starting point for state orders and prohibitions and for all those who wanted to service the religion and the state.

It is a religious platform offers to people the religious, intellectual and ideological materials, as well as the legal provisions for the different religious and social issues benefiting people and the community. The first and greatest pioneer of this sacred pulpit was Imam Ali (peace be upon him) and later dignified Imams (peace be upon them) and others who want to serve the Islam and Muslims.

An informational and notifying pulpit informs the people about the orders and the prohibitions, the news and the proposals, the important projects and the information and the necessary directives to all people whether they are living close to or far from al-Kufa. The near person informs the remote one and the present informs the absent and so on.

If the state wanted to inform people about any order, the caller will call for gathering people in the mosque. Imam Ali (peace be upon him) was commanding Qanbar to call in people. It has mentioned ((He said (i.e. Imam Ali)" O Qanbar calls in people for the collective prayer, and when people gathered, he came up the pulpit glorified and praised Allah))([11]). On the role of the mosque in gathering people, Abu Faraj al-Isfahani mentioned that Yusuf Bin Umar ((Ordered al-Hakam Bin al-Salt to gather the people of al-Kufa in the greatest Mosque in order to meet them. Thus, al-Hakam sent for the sergeant, the police, and the fighters who gathered in the mosque and the caller and then the caller called who was among you a man from Arab and pro becoming aware of our presence in the yard of the mosque, he will be exempted from the protection([12]))). The mosque is a good place to gather and inform

The mosque was an important place to assemble the soldiers to go to Jihad or battles. History mentioned ((Ali sat in the mosque and called in people and four thousands came, and then he led them to fight other nation until he met them in Tadmur, a village of Homs where he and his army fought and defeated them))([13]).

The mosque is a good place to practice the judiciary and the rule among people. A special bench has designed for the judiciary of Amir al-Mu'minin among people on various issues. He has sentenced in many things and varied issues.

Ibn Saad cites in his Tabaqat ((I saw al-Sha'abi (the popular) in al-Kufa…. Moreover, I saw him while he was a judge practicing judiciary in the mosque))([14]).

Imam Amir al-Mu'minin Ali (peace be upon him) or-dered the judge Shariah dead in 78 AH to sit in the great Mosque to facilitate the access to him))([15]).

Ibn Abi Layla sits to practice judiciary in the mosque.

The house of money or treasury was one of the im-portant facilities of the government. They gave a great interest in the money house of Muslims. They built the money house beside the mosque of al-Kufa; we men-tioned earlier that the founding of the money house was within the Kufa mosque as well as the governor's mansion or the house of emirate. Tabari mentioned ((Saad has planned a palace next the niche of the today Kufa mosque which he built and made a money house))([16]).

When Imam Amir al-Mu'minin Ali, the caliph of the Muslims, was in the city of al-Kufa, his home was near the mosque of al-Kufa, which was his main headquarters. Ibn Jubair mentioned ((At the end of this space (i.e. near by the mosque) the house of Ali Bin Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) in which he washed at his martyrdom))([17]).

 Therefore, the mosque in al-Kufa was the bigger and most comprehensive mosque than a mosque for the prayer and the worship, because its activities were of the state and the nation. We can summarize our speech about the activity of the Inclusive Mosque as following: the inclusive mosque considered as a state with all its different aspects and it is the nation with its various classes. It was the headquarters of the state as well as the center for general life, where people met and practiced their worldly religious activities. They practiced various religious deeds beside the political and economic, educational and cultural activities. Moreover, they were looking at people matters and achieving their various needs, and so on.

 



[1]. Fituh al-Buldan /al-Baladhuri: P388.

[2]. Ahsan al-Taqasim/al-Maqdisi al-Bshari: P116.

[3]. Waqaay Sifeen/ Naser Bim Muzahim al-Maqari: P116.

[4]. The same reference: P6.

[5]. Kitab al-Buldan/ Ibn al-Faqih al Hamadani: P208.

[6]. Asma al-Matalib Fi Sirat Amir al-Mu'minin/Dr. Ali Mohammed al-Salibi: 1/423.

[7]. The same reference: P424.

[8]. Kitab al-Buldan/ Ibn al-Faqih: P302.

[9]. Kitab Al-Buldan/Bin al-Faqih: P202.

[10]. Tarikh al-Yaaqoubi/ Ibn Wadh al-Yaaqoubi: 2/244.

[11]. Tarikh al-Yaaqoubi/ al-Yaaqoubi: 2/147.

[12]. Muqatil al-Talibyin/ Abu Faraj al-Isfahani: P128.

people about something.

[13]. Tarikh al-Yaaqoubi/ al-Yaaqoubi:2/136.

[14]. Al-Tabaqat al-Qibrah/ Ibn Saad: 6/252.

[15]. Asma al-Matalib Fi Sirat Amir al-Mu'minin Ali/ Dr. Ali Mohammed al-Slabi: 1/346.

[16]. Wafiyat al-A'yan /Ibn Khalikan: 4/180.

[17]. Rihlat Ibn Jubair /Ibn Jubair: P177.

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