Qibla Wall of Masjid Nabawi

By the Editors of the Madain Project

The Qibla Wall (جدار القبلة), is the most richly decorated wall of Masjid an-Nabawi, dating back to the time of Ottoman Sultan Abdulmajid I. It is adorned with the names of prophet Muhammad, and verses from Quran.


The Qibla wall of Masjid Nabawi lies to the south of the mosque and is part of the Ottoman prayer hall. It 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.

Interior of Masjid an-Nabawi's Qibla Wall

circa 1840 CE

Inscriptions and Other Decorative Elements
The Qibla wall of Masjid an-Nabawi, which is part of the Ottoman prayer hall, is adorned with some 185 names of prophet Muhammad. Calligraphic inscriptions of prophet Muhammad's name start from Bab as-Salam, located west of the Masjid an-Nabawi, with a heading "These are the names of the prophet, peace be upon him" (هذه أسماء النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم). These names were inscribed during the reconstruction by Abdulmajid I.

circa 1840 CE

Mihrab Uthmani
The Mehrab Uthmani, located near the center of the Masjid Nabawi's qibla wall, is the functional mehrab of the Prophet's mosque today. It is named after the Rashidun Caliph Uthman, although during his time there was no mehrab just a marker for the Imam to stand while leading prayers. It was sultan Qaitbey who first installed a proper curved mehrab topped with a semi-circular dome. It was reconstructed, renovated and decorated several times after that.

Exterior of Masjid an-Nabawi's Qibla Wall

circa 1840 CE

Ottoman Era Wall
The exterior of the Masjid an-Nabawi's qibla wall was last reconstructed by Abdulmajid I and then it was renovated during the first Saudi expansion. Originall the qibla wall of Masjid Nabawi had no entrance. The entire length of the current qibla wall of Masjid Nabawi is about 93 meters.

circa 1840 CE

Saudi Era Reconstruction and Additions
Later on during the second expansion a number of service chambers were installed along the qibla wall on the outside, and an access door was installed for the Imams to enter and exit the mosque at times of prayers and after. The gate of the Imams is one of the several gates of Masjid an-Nabawi that allow access to the central complex of the Prophet’s mosque. There are two minarets at the either ends of the qibla wall, first Minaret of Bab as-Salam on the western corner and Minaret of Bab al-Baqi on the wastern corner.

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