Qaswa - The Prophet's Camel
It was on the journey to Madina (Hijra) that the Prophet (pbuh) bought a camel from Abu Bakr, who offered it as a gift to the Prophet (pbuh). He declined the offer saying "I shall only ride a camel that belongs to me," and so he purchased it for 400 dirhams. He named it Qaswa meaning one who ears were clipped. Qaswa was to become his favourite camel.
As the Prophet (pbuh) entered Madina, he was surrounded by the invitations to be a guest . Some people held on to Qaswa’s bridle, so anxious were they to give the Prophet a home and a resting-place.
The Prophet (pbuh) not wanting to favour anyone said "Qaswa shall decide, let her go free," and leaving the rein loose, he allowed her to take her own course.
Qaswa turned towards the eastern part of the town, and came into an open space where she knelt down, stretched her neck out on the ground and refused to go further. The Prophet (pbuh) accepting the sign and dismounted. "This is the place, if the Rabb pleases!" he exclaimed. On the spot where Qaswa knelt now stands the mimbar of the Prophet's mosque.
This was just outside the house of Abu Ayyub Al Ansari whose ancestors from Tubba had left their progeny in Yathrib (Madina) to await the coming of the Prophet (pbuh).
The land belonged to two brothers from whom the Prophet (pbuh) bought it as a site for the masjid he intended to build.
Qaswa accompanied the Prophet (pbuh) everywhere from the battle of Badr through to Hudaybiyya, Arafat during the last Hajj on whose back he gave his sermon to Ghadeer.
When the Prophet (pbuh) died, Qaswa was saddened and wept as camels do on separation. He refused to eat and died of grief.