Masjid al-Nabawi (Mosque of the Prophet)

al-Masjid an-Nabawī (Arabic: المسجد النبوي‎), also called the Prophet's Mosque, is a mosque established and originally built by prophet Muhammad, situated in the city of Medina. al-Masjid an-Nabawi was the second mosque built in the history of Islam and is now one of the largest mosques in the world. The current structure dates back to the early years of 1990s.

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Overview
Horizon view of the Prophet's Mosque, with the Green Dome far in the background. It is the second-holiest site in Islam, after the Great Mosque in Mecca. It is always open, regardless of date or time. The site was originally adjacent to Muhammad's house; the original mosque was an open-air building and served as a community center, a court, and a school as well.

The mosque is under the control of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. The mosque is located in what was traditionally the center of Medina, with many hotels and old markets nearby. It is a major pilgrimage site. Many pilgrims who perform the Hajj go on to Medina to visit the mosque, due to its connection to Muhammad. The mosque has been extended over the years, the latest being in the mid 1990s. One of the most notable features of the site is the green dome over the centre of the mosque, where the tomb of Prophet Muhammad and early Islamic leaders Abu Bakr and Umar are located

Masjid al-Nabawi

Architecture

circa 622 CE

Green Dome
The Green Dome (القبة الخضراء‎) is a green-coloured dome built above al-Masjid an-Nabawi, the tomb of the prophet Muhammad and early Muslim Caliphs, Abu Bakr and Umar. The dome is located in the south-east corner of al-Masjid al-Nabawi (Mosque of the Prophet) in Medina. The structure dates back to 1279 CE, when an unpainted wooden cupola was built over the tomb. The dome was first painted green in 1837, and hence became known as the Green Dome.

circa 622 CE

Riyad ul-Jannah, Masjid al-Nabawi

Rawdah Riyad ul-Jannah
The Rawdah ul-Jannah (Garden of Paradise), also spelled as the Riaz ul-Jannah, is the oldest and most important part which is sitated at the heart of Masjid al-Nabawi. It extends from Muhammad's tomb (Rawdah) to his pulpit (minbar). Ridwan (Arabic: رضوان‎ Riḍwān) means "pleased". In Islamic tradition, Ridwan is the name of an angel in charge of maintaining Jannah. It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that Muhammad said, "The area between my house and my minbar is one of the gardens of Paradise, and my minbar is on my cistern (hawd)", hence the name. There are several notable and historical interests in this area, including the Mihrab nabawi, Minbar Nabawi, Bab al-Taubah, some eigth notable pillars, and the Mukabariyya.

circa 610 CE

Rawdah Rasool
The Rawdah Rasool (literally meaning the garden of the prophet, referring to the tomb of prophet Muhammad) is located in the south-eastern corner of the Ottoman prayer Hall, the oldest part of the current mosque complex. Generally this part of the mosque is refered to as the Rawdah al-Sharifah (the noble garden). The grave of prophet Muhammad it self is not visible from any point outside or inside the current grilled structure. The small cmaber containing the grave of prophet Muhammad and two of his companions (abiBakr and Umar) is a small 10'x12' room again surrounded by at least two more walls and one blanket shroud.

circa 622 CE

Bab as-Salam Minaret, Masjid al-Nabawi

Minarets of Masjid an-Nabawi
After the renovation project of 1994, today the mosque has ten minarets in total which are 104 metres (341 feet) high. Out of these ten the Bab as-Salam Minaret is the most historic one, located over the Bab as-Salam is one of the four minarets situated on the southern flank of the Prophet's mosque. It was added by Muhammad ibn Kalavun and was renovated by Mehmed IV in 1307 CE. The minarets' upper, bottom and middle portion are cylindrical, octagonal and square shaped respectively.

circa 622 CE

Ottoman Prayer Hall
The Ottoman Hall is the oldest part of the mosque and is situated in the southern most part of the modern Masjid an-Nabawi. The Qibla wall is the most adorned wall of Masjid an-Nabawi and dates back to late 1840s reconstruction and expansion of the prophet's mosque by Ottoman Sultan Abdulmajid I. The Qibla wall is adorned with some 185 names of prophet Muhammad. Other inscriptions and calligraphy includes the verses from Quran, a few Hadiths etc.

circa 622 CE

Ottoman Courtyards
During the Ottoman era the Prophet's Mosque had two inner courtyards, these two courtyards were retained in the subsequent Saudi expansions and reconstructions. Seen here is the first courtyard (حصوة الاولى) with colonnade of first Saudi expansion (left), and Ottoman prayer hall to the right with al-Qubah al-Khaḍrā (القبة الخضراء‎), in background. During the expansion of the mosque the extended courtyard to the north of the Ottoman prayer hall were demolised and rebuilt by al-Saud ibn 'Abdulaziz. While the prayer hall where the tomb of the prophet and Riyad ul-Jannah is located dates back to the Ottoman period. The expansion of ibn 'Abdulaziz has two courtyards, shaded with 12 large umbrellas. Before the modern renovations, maybe before the first Saudi expansion, this area had a small garden (inspect), known as the "Garden of Fatimah" (حديقة فاطمة).

circa 800 CE

Dikkat ul-Aghwat
The Dikkat Al-Aghwat (دكة الأغوات), usually confused with the al-Suffah (الصُّفّة) is a rectangular raised platform near Riyad ul-Jannah immediately south of the Prophet Muhammad's tomb enclosure within the mosque. The modern platform is located slightly south-west of the original site of the Suffah. This particular location marks the spot where Turk soldiers used to sit under shade while guarding the mosque. It is located near the (north of) Dikkat ul-Tahajjud. The original Suffah (literally meaning mud-bench) was a place that was available at the rear side of Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (Muhammad's Mosque), during the Medina period.

circa 622 CE

Masjid al-Nabawi Library

Library of the Prophet's Mosque
The Maktaba Masjid al-Nabawi (Prophet's Mosque Library) is located within the western wing of mosque complex and serves as a modern library and archive of hand written manuscripts and other artefacts. Library has four main sections i.e. the main library, the antique manuscripts hall A and B, the principality exhibition of Masjid al-Nabawi's construction and history. Originally extablished circa 1481/82 CE (886 Hj.), it was destroyed in a later fire that gutted the mosque entirely. The modern library was most likely re-established in circa 1933/34 CE (1352 Hj.). It includes books donated by philanthropists as endowments from several notable people.

circa 622 CE

Bab al-Malik Fahad, Masjid al-Haram

Gates of Masjid an-Nabawi
Today the main complex of the Prophet's Mosque has 42 gates in total, having varying number of portals. King Fahad Gate (Bab al-Malik Fahad), pictured here, is one of the major gates of Prophet's Mosque (Masjid an-Nabawi), it is situated on the nothern side of the mosque. Originally mosque of the prophet had only three small doors on three sides, today the mosque has in excess of two hundred gates, portals and access ways to accommodate the swathes of people. Over the years as the mosque was expanded, the number and location of the gates changed significantly as well. Today the location of only a few original gates is marked or known.

circa 1991 CE

Foundation Stones of Masjid an-Nabawi
A large number of foundation Stones are installed around the entire premises of the mosque for the various expansions and reconstructions of Masjid al-Nabawi. The prophet's mosque has undergone various rebuilding, construction and expansion projects, one after the other Islamic rulers greatly expanded and decorated it. From a small mud wall building measuring some 30.5 m × 35.62 m (100.1 ft × 116.9 ft) today the area of the mosque spans some 1.7 million square feet and can accommodate 0.6-1 million people at a time.

circa 610 CE

Domes of the Prophet's Mosque
The Masjid Nabawi has a flat paved roof topped with 27 sliding domes on square bases. Masjid an-Nabawi's second expansion increased the roof area extensively. Holes pierced into the base of each dome illuminate the interior. The roof is also used for prayer during peak times, when the domes slide out on metal tracks to shade areas of the roof, creating light wells for the prayer hall. The idea of sliding domes to regulate the internal climate of the mosque was conceived by Kamal Ismael. These domes are adorned with Islamic geomatric patterns, mostly in blue color.

circa 610 CE

Piazzas and Umbrellas
al-Masjid an-Nabawi Umbrellas are convertible umbrellas erected at the piazza of al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina, Saudi Arabia. The shade of the umbrella is spread in the four corners, and the area covered by the shade extends to 143,000 square meters. These umbrellas are aimed to protect worshipers from the heat of the sun during prayer, as well as from the risk of slipping and falling in the event of rain.

circa 610 CE

Jannat ul-Baqi or Baqi ul-Gharqad

Jannat al-Baqi'
The Jannatul Baqi' graveyard is located on the eastern flank of the Prophet's Mosque and covers some 170,000 square meters of area. Modern day view of the Jannat al-Baqi. According to Islamic Tradition, more than ten thousand companions of prophet Muhammad are buried here. Some of the graves are that of Fatima bint Muhammad, Imam Hassan ibn 'Ali, Zain ul-'Abideen, Imam Baqir, Imam Jaffar Sadiq. Many traditions relate Muhammad issuing a prayer every time he passed it. Although originally it was located on the outskirts of the city of Medina, today it is an integral part but separate of the mosque complex.

Gallery

See Also

References

Points of Interest

Dome(s)

Green Dome · Silver Dome · Smaller Domes

Bab as Salam · Bab e abi-Bakr al-Siddiqe · Bab ur-Rahmah · Bab al Hijrah · Bab e Quba · King Saud Gate · Bab al-Aqiq · Bab Sultan 'Abdul Majeed · Bab e Umar ibn al-Khattab · Badr Gate · Bab Malik al-Fahad · Bab Uhud · Bab Uthman ibn Affan · Bab 'Ali ibn abi Talib · Bab Abuzr Ghiffari · Bab Malik 'Abdulaziz · Bab Makkah · Bab e Bilal Habashi · Bab e Nisa · Bab e Jibraeel · Bab al Baqi · Gate of Imams

Bab us-Salam Minaret · Minaret of Qaitabey

Sections

Other(s)

Qibla Wall · Muazzin's platform (Mukabariyya) · Library · Multimedia · Fundation Stones · Antique Manuscripts Hall · Riyad ul-Jannah · Jannat ul-Baqi · Masjid Nabawi Piazza

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