Architecture of the Masjid an-Nabawi

By the Editors of the Madain Project

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The current architecture [see note 1] of the Masjid Nabawi, a marvel known for its expansiveness, intricate design and functional character, is the culmination of centuries of work. The mosque's current structure is an extensive complex that covers a vast area, reflecting modern architectural advancements while maintaining elements of traditional and contemporary Islamic, Ottoman and Arab architecture and design.


Masjid an-Nabawi, located in Medina, Saudi Arabia, is a remarkable example of contemporary Islamic architecture. Its design seamlessly blends traditional elements with modern architectural innovations, creating a space that is both functional and aesthetically striking. The mosque has undergone numerous expansions and renovations, resulting in its current extensive and sophisticated structure.

The current mosque complex comprises of several historical and modern sections, which include the Ottoman Hall, first Saudi expansion, second Saudi expansion, Garden of the Saqifah, Jannatul Baqi cemetery.

Masjid al-Nabawi (The Prophet's Mosque in Medina)


circa 610 CE

Exterior Architecture
The exterior architecture of the Masjid an-Nabawi is characterized by its striking minarets and domes. The mosque features ten minarets, each standing approximately 105 meters tall. These minarets are equipped with modern lighting systems that illuminate the mosque at night, creating a mesmerizing view. The mosque’s domes, particularly the iconic Green Dome, are built on square bases and are equipped with sliding mechanisms to facilitate ventilation and natural light.

circa 622- CE

Interior Architecture
The interior of Masjid an-Nabawi is equally impressive, featuring a large prayer hall that can accommodate hundreds of thousands of worshippers. The hall is adorned with intricately designed marble columns and archways that support the roof. The ceiling is decorated with ornate patterns and calligraphy, enhancing the spiritual ambiance of the mosque. Advanced climate control systems are integrated into the architecture to ensure a comfortable environment for visitors.

Gallery Want to use our images?

An illustration of the Masjid Nabawi in early twentieth century CE.
An aerial view of the Masjid Nabawi (looking towards the first Saudi expansion part of the mosque).
Panoramic view of al-Masjid Nabawi from the north-west.

Recommended Readings

Visiting the Prophet's Mosque and Guidelines for Visitors

Dr 'Abdullah Ibn Naji Al-Mikhliif

This book is presented in a simple style and it is comprehensive in the topics it deals with. It comprises the key aspects that should be taken into consideration by visitors. Praise be to Allah Who made visiting the Prophet's Mosque one of the most pious acts and prayer therein a means for gaining higher ranks.
See on Amazon

The Sirah of the Prophet A Contemporary and Original Analysis

Yasir Qadhi

This book provides a refreshing insight into the life of the Final Messenger and contextualises the sīrah in the modern-day context. It is not just a chronological account but also offers beneficial and actionable lessons, relating the biography of the Prophet (PBUH) to our daily lives.
See on Amazon


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