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Mehrab Nabawi (Prayer Niche of the Prophet)

The Mehrab e Nabawi (محراب نبوي) also known as the Muhammad's mihrab or the Hanafi mehrab is a "commemorative" prayer niche, marking the location of the actual spot from which Prophet Muhammad used to lead salah (prayers). Besides this mihrab, the mosque also has other niches which act as indicators for praying. These include mihrab al-tahajjud, mihrab Fatima, Mehrab-i Usmani and a few others.


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circa 1500 CE

Mihrab of the Prophet, Masjid al-Nabawi

Mihrab-i Nabawi and the Musallah as seen from the north, the Mehrab of Uthman ibn Affan is directly behind this prayer niche. The current mehrab dates back to the abu al-Nasr Qaitibai's era, 1482 CE. It was renovated twice at least once by Suleiman and then during the reign of King Fahd. It is one of the six mehrabs inside the mosque, five of these can be currently located and one was removed during the second expansion.

circa 1500 CE

View of the Riyad ul-Jannah, looking east, with the mehrab to the right and grills of the tomb in the far background. It is speculated that the mosque of the prophet did not have a curved Mihrab during the Prophet’s time or during the time of the four caliphs. The first curved niche or Mihrab was added during the Ummayad period to the current mehrab e Uthmani.

circa 1500 CE

The mehrab has the typical Ottoman cupola above it, which was added during the renovation by Suleiman the magnificient. The ornating was added and changed over the years by subsequent rulers and other influential people. The most recent decorations date back to the second Saudi reconstructions of the Masjid al-Nabawi. A small red plaque (one of the inscriptions) directly above the mehrab's main arch reads "This is the mussallah of the Prophet". The golden capital to the upper right corner behind the cupola belongs to the Ustuwaanah Hannanah.

circa 1500 CE

Panoramic view of the Riyad ul-Jannah with Mihrab e Nabawi (left), minbar (pulpit) of Qaitbey (right), A rich Islamic history lies hidden behind the breathtaking view of this part of Masjid an-Nabawi, which is an epitome of modern and ancient art and architecture. Riyazul Jannah (green carpeted area), where the original mosque once stood, is the center of attraction for various reasons. The red-carpet area behind the mehrab to the left, was added during the time of Usman ibn Affan, third caliph.

circa 1500 CE

The lower part of the prophet's prayer niche covers the spot where prophet Muhammad's head used to touch when he prostated during Salah. The open space inside the mehrab is where the prophet would have stood for prayers. The two identical plaques on the flanks read "This is the Musallah of the prophet" (identify) and "Prophet Muhammad said, 'Salah is the pillar (mainstay) of Deen'" (identify). The calligraphy surrounding the main arch of the prophet's mehrab bears verses from Quran, including Surah Taubah, Surah al-Baqarah.

circa 1500 CE

On the posterior wall of the mihrab are the historic inscriptions of five lines written in the Mamlooki Thuluth script (identify), which talks about the Al-Ashraf, Abu Al-Nasr Qaitibai's placement and dedication of the mehrab in the mosque. The two passages flank the mehrab, with western passage (right) bearing an inscription of a Hadith, which reads "What lies between my house and my pulpit is one garden from the gardens of Jannah", the origin hadith for the concept of Riyad al-Jannah.

circa 1500 CE

There are two passages on the flanks of Mehrab e Nabawi, one to the east (identify) and one to the west (identify), topped with arches, both are ornated with inscriptions. On both faces of eastern passage arch are inscribed with a hadith (saying of prophet Muhammad), which reads: "Nabi said, what is between my house and my minbar is a garden from the gardens of Jannah". Some of these inscribed arches, from earlier eras, are preserved in Makkah Museum of Two Holy Mosques.

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