Will you give information about Ashab as-Suffa? Why was Ashab as-Suffa abolished?

The Details of the Question
Will you give information about Ashab as-Suffa? Why was Ashab as-Suffa abolished?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Suffa was the place where the Companions were educated during the time of the Prophet (pbuh). The Prophet himself took care of the Companions who studied there. The people met the needs of food and drinks of the Companions there.

Suffa means yard, canopy, etc. The poor and single Companions lived in the yard and canopy of Masjid an-Nabawi; that is why they were called “Ashab as-Suffa (People of the Yard). Before the suffa in the mosque, the single muhajirs without families stayed in different places. The fact that they stayed in different places caused difficulties in meeting their needs. Therefore, they were brought together in Masjid an-Nabawi when their number increased. The yard of the mosque was allocated to them for their accommodation. The yard was covered by palm leaves to provide shade. Thus, the aim was to protect them from rain, the sun and cold to a certain extent.    

Suffa was in the south of Masjid an-Nabawi until the qiblah was changed. When the qiblah was changed, it was moved to the north. The people of Suffa were also called "Adyafu'l- Islam= Guests of Islam” or "Adyafu'l- Muslimin = Guests of Muslims" since they were regarded as temporary guests.

Members of Ashab as-Suffa:

- They were primarily single muhajirs without any families. For, married muhajirs were settled in the houses of married Ansar.

- Some single people who had houses in Madinah also stayed in Suffa in order to see the Prophet (pbuh) more often and learn more things from him. Abdullah b. Umar was one of them.

Some people from various Arab tribes became Muslims and migrated to Madinah; some of them stayed there and returned to their tribes after learning Islam.

- The delegates and envoys coming from distant places were entertained there.

- That is, Suffa was used as a kind of guesthouse.

- There was also a part of Suffa allocated for women. This part was called “Suffatu'n- Nisa = Suffa of Women”.

The Conditions of Leaving Suffa:

- Leaving due to death.

- End of temporary staying in Madinah (for instance, those who came to Madinah from different Arab tribes; and the delegates that came to Madinah).

- Those who got married left Suffa. Hz. Prophet helped the single Muslims staying there to get married.

The Abolition of Suffa:

It is not definitely known whether Suffa continued to exist there after the death of the Prophet (pbuh). It is probable that the need for Suffa ended when the Muslims got rich as a result of the conquests during the period of Hz. Umar and when the people of Suffa were put on salary. In addition, when Masjid an-Nabawi was expanded during the period of Hz. Umar and Hz. Uthman, the place where Suffa was located became part of the mosque.

References:

-Bukhari, Riqaq, 17; Musnad, III515; Kattani, Taratib, I/448, 474, 476; Abu Dawud, Sunan, Hudud, 12; Nasai Sunan, Qat’u’s- Sariq, 4.

- Hamidullah, İslam Peygamberi, II/80.

(For detailed information, see Editör Vecdi AKYÜZ, Bütün Yönleriyle Asr-ı Saadet’te İslam, I-VI, Beyan Yayınları, İstanbul 1994. IV, 385- 391)

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