Medinah Sharif, Saudi Arabia
Coordinates: 24.437684, 39.618428
The demolition or burning of Masjid al-Dirar, or the Mosque of Dissent, is mentioned in the Qur’an.
Masjid al-Dirar was a mosque in Medinah Sharif that was erected close to the Quba Mosque and which the Islamic Prophet Muhammad ﷺ initially approved of but subsequently had destroyed while he was returning from the Expedition to Tabuk (which occurred in October 630 CE).
Purpose of building that mosque
In the main account narrated by the majority of scholars, the mosque was built by twelve disaffected men from the Ansar on the commands of Abu ‘Amir al-Rahib (a christian monk); who refused Hz. Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ invitation to Islam and instead fought along with the Meccan non-Muslims against Islam in the Battle of Uhud.
Abu ‘Amir reportedly urged his men to establish a stronghold and prepare whatever they can of power and weapons as he promised and insinuated to them that he will lead an army, backed by Heraclius, to fight Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and his companions, and defeat his message by expelling him from Medina.
It is also related that the men, who built the Al-Dirar mosque “for mischief and for infidelity and to disunite the Believers” refused to pray in Masjid al-Quba claiming that it was built in a place where a donkey used to be tied up.
Revelation of verse
When this mosque was built, Abu Amir invited Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to pray in that mosque, which he accepted as the Quranic verse was not revealed onto him at that point. Since Prophet Muhammad ﷺ had to leave for the Battle of Tabuk, so he decided to offer the prayer when he returns from battle.
When he ﷺ returned from the battle, he stayed in Dhu Awan (or Aruan) near Medina where the 107th and 108th verses of Sura al-Tawba was revealed and true intentions of building the mosque of Dirar was exposed.
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.
After Revelation of the verse, Hz. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and his companions believed they were Hypocrites (munafiqs) and had ulterior motives for building the Al-Dirar mosque. In consequence of which the mosque was destroyed by fire. Hencerforth, it was known as the Mosque of Opposition.
No remains of that Mosque is visible toda