14.1 Reception of the Prophet in Yathrib
At last the Prophet reached the settlement of Quba, just beyond the boundaries of Yathrib and remained there four days to rest, during which time the mosque of Quba was built. He set out for Yathrib on the fourth day, a Friday. The people of Yathrib were on the lookout as usual. Suddenly a Jew shouted to the waiting crowd,
"People of Yathrib, here he comes!"
They all went out either singly or in groups to meet him, hurrying forward in hope and awe, in joy and fear. They had heard so much of Mohamed, but few of these men and women who mentioned him five times a day in prayer had ever seen him. The women came in a group with musical instruments, singing a poem of joy:
The full moon has risen above us from the direction of Sanyat Al- Wada
Thanks is due from us whenever we call upon Allah,
O you who have been sent to us, you have come to be obeyed
On and on they chanted, verse after verse as Mohamed entered the city. All wanted to have a glimpse of this great man, both those who believed and those who did not believe. This man, who was so wise, who had endured so much, and had been able to escape the ring of assassins - this man who, although from the noblest of the clans of Quraysh, had accepted to be as one of them and to come and live amongst them.
They followed his camel wherever it went. The nobles of Yathrib vied with each for the honor of having him as their guest, but the Prophet tactfully excused himself. He gave his camel free rein and let it go where its Maker would guide it. It went on and on, while the Muslims followed, until it reached a plot of land where it stopped and kneeled. Mohamed asked to whom the land belonged and was informed that it belonged to two orphan boys from Banu Najjar, Mohamed's maternal uncles. Their guardian said they would offer it to him as a present, but he insisted on buying it. He then ordered that a mosque be built on the site, and beside the mosque was built a simple house for the Messenger.
Yathrib, where his grandfather had been brought up, and where his father had been buried, was now the home of the Messenger of Allah, and henceforth it ceased to be known by its old name, but took on a new and noble designation - the "Illuminated" City, Al-Medina al-Munawarra, or as we known it in English, Medina.