The house belonging to the Holy Prophet’s (sa) paternal uncle, Hazrat Abbas (ra) was attached to one side of Masjid-e-Nabwi. Hazrat Umar (ra) wanted to extend the area of the mosque and asked Hazrat Abbas (ra) if he would sell his house so that he could include that area as part of the mosque. Hazrat Abbas (ra) stated that this was not possible.
Hazrat Umar (ra) then asked if he could gift it and again Hazrat Abbas (ra) refused to do so as he was would usually do things in his own way. Hazrat Umar (ra) then asked if he himself would then extend the mosque and this would be a great act for the benefit of the ummah if he was to extend the mosque and include his house as part of it. Hazrat Abbas (ra) replied that this was also not possible. He did not agree to this either.
Hazrat Umar (ra) said, “You will have to accept one of these three options.” Hazrat Abbas (ra) replied, “I agree to none of these options.”
Thus, as the matter remained unresolved, both of them appointed Hazrat Ubayy (ra) bin Kaab as an arbitrator. Hazrat Ubayy (ra) said to Hazrat Umar (ra), “What right do you have to take something that he is not content on giving?” and then said, “You cannot take it from him.”
Hazrat Umar (ra) asked Hazrat Ubayy (ra) whether he based his decision on the Holy Quran or a Hadith. Hazrat Ubayy (ra) stated that he based it on a hadith and then stated that when Prophet Solomanas constructed [the temple] in Jerusalem, one of the walls that was built on someone else’s land fell down. Prophet Solomonas received a revelation stating that he should seek permission from the owner before constructing on the land.
Upon hearing this, Hazrat Umar (ra) fell silent. However, Hazrat Abbas (ra) was loyal and sincere and had pledged allegiance to Khilafat and he was overcome with this passion. Although he initially refused, he had, however, a pious and virtuous disposition. He had great honour for the faith and respect for Khilafat which he demonstrated. When Hazrat Umar (ra) agreed to the decision and fell silent, Hazrat Abbas (ra) then said to Hazrat Umar (ra), “Very well, I will include my home as part of the mosque.”
(Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 3 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Ishaah Urdu Bazar, 2004] 155)