Ghamama Mosque

By the Editors of the Madain Project

Mosque of al-Ghamamah (مسجد الغمامة‎) is one of the oldest mosques in Medina, Saudi Arabia, located in the place believed to be where the prophet Muhammad performed an Eid prayer in the year 631 CE. According to the Hadith tradition , once the people of Medina complained to prophet Muhammad on the lack of water and rain fall and their hardships in consequence. At the moment prophet was at the Masjid e Nabavi, he rose and emerged from the mosque and offered "Salat ul-Istisqaa" at this approximate location. As he prayed the clouds started to gather and rain fell.


The facade and the main entrance to the mosque. The word "Ghamama" means cloud in arabic. It is situated near abi Bakr Mosque. This Masjid is in right front corner of Masjid al-Nabawi some 300 meters away from current gate to courtyard of the Masjid.

Tradition Significance

circa 700 CE

Site of Prophet's Istasqa and Eid Prayers
It is also narrated that Prophet Muhammad offered Salat ul-Istasqa (nafil prayer for the rains) when the city of Madina faced a shortage of rain. The site was also, according to the tradition, used for the Eid prayers, possibly becasuse the enclosed space of the nearby Masjid Nabawi might not have sufficed for the larger crowds gathering at the festive events.

Traditional Site of Najashi's Funeral Prayer
It is also reported that at this place the Prophet Muhammad offered Janazah of Najashi, the king of Abasynia. He was Christian but welcomed the groups of the Muslims who had migrated to Habasha in order to escape the persecution of the Quraish. He gave warm welcome to the Muslim delegation and offered complete protection. Later on he embraced Islam after observing the Muslims. When he passed away there was no one who could lead his Janazah, so the Prophet prayed his funeral prayers, the only time ever, in the absence of the actual body.

Brief History

circa 700 CE

Initially a small make-shift mosque-structure was built here by second caliph of Islam Umer ibn Khattab.

The first notable structure of the mosque was built during the reign of the Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz, also known as the Umar II, between the hijri calendar of 86 to 93. This mosque fell in to disuse and was left to ruin.

Then again it was renovated by the Sultan Hasan bin Muhammad bin Qalawan al-Shalihi in 1340 CE during the Sharifate-era of Mecca. It was expanded and reconstructed again by the Sharif Saifuddin Inal al-Ala'i in 1622, and the time of the Sultan Abd-ul-Mejid I in 1859 during the Ottoman era, using new tools and the look resembled more or less the shape of today.

During the Ottoman era the mosque was was renovated during the reign of Sultan Abdul Majeed al-Uthmani

King Fahad bin Abdul Azeez al-Saud extensively had the Ottoman era structure renovated, preserving most of its previous architectural styles, including minaret.


circa 700 CE

Entrance and the Prayer Hall
The mosque is rectangular shaped, and made of two parts, which are entrance door and prayer room. The entrance door is also rectangular shaped and has a length of 26 meters and width of 4 meters, and has five dome-shaped circles drawn on facade. Prayer room has a length of 30 meters and width of 15 meters. It is located at 500 meters west of as-Salam door of al-Masjid an-Nabawi.

circa 700 CE

The mosque has six domes in the shape of a circle. The largest dome is at the top of the mihrab. There are five domes over the porch area as well. Mosque has retained the architectural style of the Ottoman era renovation by Sultan Abdul Majeed I.

Current Prayer Facilities

circa 700 CE

For a while, this mosque was closed for daily prayers because of its proximity to the al-Masjid an-Nabawi. However quite recently it has been reopened for the worshipers for praying. Five times prayers are held in this mosque now with an internal sound system to avoid the clash of sounds from the Prophet's Mosque. The mosque is one of the historical mosques of Medina.


See Also

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