al-Masjid an-Nabawi

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al-Masjid an-Nabawi
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|religious_affiliation = IslamMedina, Hejaz, Saudi ArabiaGOOGLE MAPSURL=HTTPS://MAPS.GOOGLE.COM/MAPS?F=Q&SOURCE=S_Q&HL=EN&GEOCODE=&Q=MASJID+AN+NABAWI&AQ=&SLL=36.287827,59.615014&SSPN=0.010533,0.021136&VPSRC=0&IE=UTF8&HQ=&HNEAR=&LL=24.46844,39.611807&SPN=0.011894,0.021136&T=M&Z=16&IWLOC=A&CID=4164084360606748207ACCESSDATE=24 SEPTEMBER 2013, Hijri year>AH 1 (circa 622 Common Era>CE)|administration = Saudi Arabian governmentImam(s):{hide}plainlist>
  • Abdur Rahman Al Huthaify
  • Sufyan Ahmed
  • Abdulbari Awadh Al-Thubaity
  • Abdul Muhsin Al-Qasim
  • Hussain Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh
  • Ahmad ibn Taalib Hameed
  • Abdullah Bu'ayjaan

{edih}|architecture_type = Mosque
Islamic architecture>Islamic; Ottoman architecture; Islamic architecture#Mamluk architecture>Mamluk revivalist|capacity = 1,000,000WMN|minaret_quantity = 10105ft|sp=us}}|website = }}Al-Masjid an-Nabawī (, ) is a mosque established and built by the Islamic prophet Muhammad, situated in the city of Medina in the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia. It was one of the first mosques built by Muhammad, and is now one of the largest mosques in the world. It is the second-holiest site in Islam, after the Great Mosque in Mecca.{{Citation |last=Trofimov |first=Yaroslav |title=The Siege of Mecca: The 1979 Uprising at Islam's Holiest Shrine |place=New York |year=2008 |page=79 |pages= |language= |isbn=0-307-47290-6 }} It is always open, regardless of date or time.The site was originally adjacent to Muhammad's house; he settled there after his migration from Mecca to Medina in 622. He shared in the heavy work of construction. The original mosque was an open-air building. The mosque served as a community center, a court, and a religious school. There was a raised platform for the people who taught the Quran. Subsequent Islamic rulers greatly expanded and decorated it. In 1909, it became the first place in the Arabian Peninsula to be provided with electrical lights.The History of Electrical lights in the Arabian Peninsula 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.After an expansion during the reign of the Umayyad caliph Al-Walid I, it now incorporates the final resting place of Muhammad and the first two Rashidun caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar.BOOK, Penerbit UTM, 978-983-52-0373-2, Ariffin, Syed Ahmad Iskandar Syed, Architectural Conservation in Islam : Case Study of the Prophet's Mosque, 2005, 88–89,109, One of the most notable features of the site is the Green Dome in the south-east corner of the mosque,BOOK, Routledge, 978-0-203-20387-3, Petersen, Andrew, Dictionary of Islamic Architecture, 2002-03-11, 183, registration,weblink originally Aisha's house, where the tomb of Muhammad is located. In 1279, a wooden cupola was built over the tomb which was later rebuilt and renovated multiple times in late 15th century and once in 1817. The current dome was added in 1818 by the Ottoman sultan Mahmud II, and it was first painted green in 1837, hence becoming known as the "Green Dome". It is made with limestone.


{{See also|History of Islam}}

Early days

{{Muhammad|related}}The mosque was built by Muhammadصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم in the first year of the Hijrah (c. 622 CE), after his arrival in Medina.WEB, The Prophet'sصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم Mosque [Al-Masjid mastf An-Nabawi],weblink Islam Web, 17 June 2015, Riding on a camel called Qaswa he arrived at the place where this mosque was built. The land was owned by Sahal and Suhayl, partly as a place for drying dates, and at one end had been previously used as a burial ground.{{sfn|Ariffin|p=49}} Refusing to "accept the land as a gift", he bought the land and it took seven months to complete the construction of the mosque. It measured {{convert|30.5|×|35.62|m|abbr=on}}.{{sfn|Ariffin|p=49}} The roof which was supported by palm trunks was made of beaten clay and palm leaves. It was at a height of {{convert|3.60|m|abbr=on}}. The three doors of the mosque were Bab-al-Rahmah to the south, Bab-al-Jibril to the west and Babal-Nisa to the east.WEB, Gates of Masjid al-Nabawi,weblink Madain Project, 18 March 2018, {{sfn|Ariffin|p=49}}After the Battle of Khaybar, the mosque was "enlarged".{{sfn|Ariffin|p=50}} The mosque extended for {{convert|47.32|m|abbr=on}} on each side and three rows of columns were built beside the west wall, which became the place of praying.{{sfn|Ariffin|p=51}} The mosque remained unaltered during the reign of the first Rashidun caliph Abu Bakr.{{sfn|Ariffin|p=51}} The second caliph Umar demolished all the houses around the mosque except that of Muhammad'sصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم wives to expand it.BOOK, Atiqur Rahman, Umar Bin Khattab: The Man of Distinction, Adam Publishers, 978-81-7435-329-0, 53, The new mosque's dimensions became {{convert|57.49|×|66.14|m|abbr=on}}. Sun-dried mud bricks were used to construct the walls of the enclosure. Besides strewing pebbles on the floor, the roof's height was increased to {{convert|5.6|m|abbr=on}}. Umar moreover constructed three more gates for entrance. He also added the Al-Butayha for people to recite poetry.{{sfn|Ariffin|p=54}}The third caliph Uthman demolished the mosque in 649. Ten months were spent in building the new rectangular shaped mosque whose face was turned towards the Kaaba in Mecca. The new mosque measured {{convert|81.40|×|62.58|m|abbr=on}}. The number of gates as well as their names remained the same.{{sfn|Ariffin|p=55}} The enclosure walls were made of stones laid in mortar. The palm trunk columns were replaced by stone columns which were joined by iron clamps. Teakwood was used in reconstructing the ceiling filza.{{sfn|Ariffin|p=56}}

Middle years

File:Medina Grab des Propheten.JPG|thumb|Al-Masjid an-Nabawi during the Ottoman Era, 19th century]]In 707, the Umayyad caliph al-Walid ibn Abd al-Malik ({{reign|705|715}}) renovated the mosque. It took three years for the work to be completed. Raw materials were procured from the Byzantine Empire.BOOK, NE McMillan, Fathers and Sons: The Rise and Fall of Political Dynasty in the Middle East, Palgrave Macmillan, 978-1-137-29789-1, 33, The area of the mosque was increased from {{convert|5094|m2|ft2}} of Uthman's time to {{convert|8672|m2|ft2}}. A wall was built to segregate the mosque and the houses of the wives of Prophet Muhammad. The mosque was reconstructed in a trapezoid shape with a length of {{convert|101.76|m|ft}}. For the first time, porticoes were built in the mosque connecting the northern part of the structure to the sanctuary. For the first time, minarets were built in Medina as he constructed four minarets around it.{{sfn|Ariffin|p=62}}Abbasid caliph al-Mahdi ({{reign|775|785}}) extended the mosque to the north by {{convert|50|m|ft}}. His name was also inscribed on the walls of the mosque. He also planned to remove six steps to the minbar, but abandoned this idea, owing to this causing damage of the woods on which they were built.{{sfn|Munt|p=116}} According to an inscription of Ibn Qutaybah, the caliph al-Ma'mun ({{reign|813|833}}) did "unspecified work" on the mosque. Al-Mutawakkil ({{reign|847|861}}) lined the enclosure of Prophet Muhammad's tomb with marble.{{sfn|Munt|p=118}} The Mamluk sultan al-Ashraf Qansuh al-Ghawri ({{reign|1501|1516}}) built a dome of stone over his grave in 1476.BOOK, Wahbi Hariri-Rifai, Mokhless Hariri-Rifai, The Heritage of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, GDG Exhibits Trust, 978-0-9624483-0-0, 161, File:Burton Nabi.gif|thumb|The Green Dome, in Richard Francis BurtonRichard Francis BurtonThe Rawdah (referred to as al-Rawdah al-Mutaharah), covered by the dome over the south-east corner of the mosque, was constructed in 1817C.E. during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Mahmud II ({{reign|1808|1839}}). The dome was painted green in 1837 and came to be known as the "Green Dome".Mahmud II's successor, Abdul Majid I ({{reign|1839|1861}}), took thirteen years to rebuild the mosque, beginning in 1849.{{sfn|Ariffin|p=64}} Red stone bricks were used as the main material in reconstruction of the mosque. The floor area of the mosque was increased by {{convert|1293|m2|ft2}}. On the walls, verses from the Quran were inscribed in Islamic calligraphy. In the northern side of the mosque, a madrasah was built for "teaching Quranic lessons".{{sfn|Ariffin|p=65}}

Saudi era

(File:View of Masjid-e-Nabawi Gate 21, 22.jpg|thumb|View of Masjid-e-Nabawi Gate 21, 22 as seen from the north, the gate with two minarets is Bāb Al-Malik Fahd ())When Saud bin Abdul-Aziz took Medina in 1805, his followers, the Wahhabis, demolished nearly every tomb dome in Medina in order to prevent their veneration,BOOK, Mark Weston, Prophets and princes: Saudi Arabia from Muhammad to the present,weblink 2008, John Wiley and Sons, 978-0-470-18257-4, 102–103, and the Green Dome is said to have narrowly escaped the same fate.BOOK, Doris Behrens-Abouseif, Stephen Vernoit, Islamic art in the 19th century: tradition, innovation, and eclecticism,weblink 2006, BRILL, 978-90-04-14442-2, 22, They considered the veneration of tombs and places thought to possess supernatural powers as an offence against tawhid.ENCYCLOPEDIA, 2nd, Brill Academic Publishers, 11, 40, 42, Peskes, Esther, Wahhābiyya, Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2000, 90-04-12756-9, Prophet Muhammad's tomb was stripped of its gold and jewel ornaments, but the dome was preserved either because of an unsuccessful attempt to demolish its hardened structure, or because some time ago Ibn Abd al-Wahhab wrote that he did not wish to see the dome destroyed despite his aversion to people praying at the tomb. Similar events took place in 1925 when the Saudi ikhwans retook—and this time managed to keep—the city.WEB,weblink History of the Cemetery Of Jannat Al-Baqi,, BOOK, Mark Weston, Prophets and princes: Saudi Arabia from Muhammad to the present,weblink 2008, John Wiley and Sons, 978-0-470-18257-4, 136, BOOK, Vincent J. Cornell, Voices of Islam: Voices of the spirit,weblink 2007, Greenwood Publishing Group, 978-0-275-98734-3, 84, BOOK, Carl W. Ernst, Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World,weblink 2004, Univ of North Carolina Press, 978-0-8078-5577-5, 173–174, After the foundation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932, the mosque underwent several major modifications. In 1951 King Ibn Saud (1932–1953) ordered demolitions around the mosque to make way for new wings to the east and west of the prayer hall, which consisted of concrete columns with pointed arches. Older columns were reinforced with concrete and braced with copper rings at the top. The Suleymaniyya and Majidiyya minarets were replaced by two minarets in Mamluk revival style. Two additional minarets were erected to the northeast and northwest of the mosque. A library was built along the western wall to house historic Qurans and other religious texts.{{sfn|Ariffin|p=65}}WEB, New expansion of Prophet's Mosque ordered by king,weblink Arab News, 19 June 2015, In 1974, King Faisal added 40,440 square metres to the mosque.NEWS, Prophet’s Mosque to accommodate two million worshippers after expansion,weblink 27 November 2016, Arab News, 26 September 2012, live,weblink" title="">weblink 7 March 2017, dmy-all, The area of the mosque was also expanded during the reign of King Fahd in 1985. Bulldozers were used to demolish buildings around the mosque.WEB, Expansion of the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah (3 of 8),weblink King Fahd Abdulaziz, 19 June 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 March 2016, In 1992, when it was completed, the area of the mosque became 1.7 million square feet. Escalators and 27 courtyards were among the additions to the mosque.WEB, Expansion of the two Holy Mosques,weblink Saudi Embassy, 19 June 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 24 September 2015, A $6 billion project for increasing the area of the mosque was announced in September 2012. After completion, it could accommodate between 1.6 millionWEB, Saudi Arabia plans $6bln makeover for second holiest site in Islam,weblink RT, 19 June 2015, to 2 million worshippers. In March of the following year, Saudi Gazette reported that demolition work had been mostly complete, including the demolition of ten hotels on the eastern side, in addition to houses and other utilities.WEB, Prophet's Mosque to house 1.6m after expansion,weblink Saudi Gazette, 19 June 2015, dead,weblink 22 December 2015,


The two tiered mosque has a rectangular plan. The Ottoman prayer hall lies towards the south.WEB, Holy places: The Prophet's Mosque, Medina,weblink Daily Monitor, 19 June 2015, It has a flat paved roof topped with 27 sliding domes on square bases.Frei Otto, Bodo Rasch: Finding Form: Towards an Architecture of the Minimal, 1996, {{ISBN|3-930698-66-8}} 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. At these times, the courtyard of the Ottoman mosque is also shaded with umbrellas affixed to freestanding columns.WEB,weblink Archnet,, The roof is accessed by stairs and escalators. The paved area around the mosque is also used for prayer, equipped with umbrella tents.WEB,weblink Large scale umbrellas (250 units) completed, covering the pilgrims worldwide with membrane architecture : MakMax, MakMax (Taiyo Kogyo Group),, 2013-06-10,weblink" title="">weblink 2015-10-26, dead, Sliding domes and retractable umbrella-like canopies were designed by the German architect Mahmoud Bodo Rasch, his firm SL Rasch GmbH, and Buro Happold.BOOK, Walker, Derek, The Confidence to Build, Taylor & Francis, 1998, p 69, 176, 0-419-24060-8,


The Rawḍah (, literally "Garden") is an area between the minbar and burial chamber of Muhammad. It is regarded as one of the riyāḍ al-Jannah (, gardens of Paradise).BOOK, Muwatta Imam Malik, 14.5.11,weblink Malik ibn Anas, WEB,weblink Islam-QA, "Islamic Guidelines for Visitors to the Prophet's Mosque", It is prescribed for the one who visits the Prophet's Mosque to pray two rakats in the Rawdah or whatever he wants of supplementary prayers, because it is proven that there is virtue in doing so. It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said, "The area between my house and my mimbar is one of the gardens of Paradise, and my mimbar is on my cistern (hawd)." Narrated by al-Bukhari, 1196; Muslim, 1391., A green carpet distinguishes the area from the rest of the mosque, which is covered in a red carpet.Imams and Khateebs of Masjid an Nabawi
1) Sheikh Dr. Ali bin Abdul Rahman al Hudhaify
2) Sheikh Dr. Abdul Bary bin Awwad ath Thubaity
3) Sheikh Dr. Hussain bin Abdul Aziz aal Sheikh
4) Sheikh Dr. Abdul Muhsin bin Muhammad al Qaasim
5) Sheikh Salah bin Muhammad al Budayr
6) Sheikh Ahmed Taalib Hameed
7) Sheikh Dr. Abdullah bin Abdul Rahman al Bu'ayjaan

Mu'adhins of Masjid an Nabawi
1) Sheikh Abdul Rahman Khashughji 2) Sheikh Essam Bukhari 3) Sheikh Umar Yusuf Kamal 4) Sheikh Sami Dewali 5) Sheikh Muhammad Maajid Hakeem 6) Sheikh Ashraf Afeefi 7) Sheikh Ahmad Afeefi 8) Sheikh Umar Sunbul 9) Sheikh Abdul Majeed as Surayhi 10) Sheikh Usamah Al Akhdar 11) Sheikh Mahdi Baree12) Sheikh Anas Shareef13) Sheikh Muhammad Qassas 14) Sheikh Hassan Khashughji 15) Sheikh Ahmad al Ansary 16) Sheikh Faisal Numaan 17) Sheikh Iyaadh Shukry Pilgrims attempt to visit the confines of the area, for there is a tradition that supplications and prayers uttered here are never rejected. Access into the area is not always possible, especially during the Hajj season, as the space can only accommodate a few hundred people.

Green Dome

The chamber adjacent to the Rawdah holds the tombs of Prophet Muhammad and two of his companions, father-in-laws and caliphs, Abu Bakr and Umar ibn al-Khattab. A fourth grave is reserved for ‘Īsā (, Jesus), as it is believed that he will return and will be buried at the site. The site is covered by the Green Dome. It was constructed in 1817 CE during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Mahmud II and painted green in 1837 CE.


There are two mihrabs in the mosque, one was built by Muhammad and another was built by the third Rashidun caliph Uthman. The one built by the latter was larger than that of Muhammad's and act as the functional mihrab, whereas Muhammad's mihrab is a "commemorative" mihrab.{{sfn|Ariffin|p=57}} Besides the mihrab, the mosque also has other niches which act as indicators for praying. This includes the miḥrâb Fâṭimah () or miḥrāb aṫ-Ṫahajjud (), which was built by Muhammad for the Ṫahajjud ().


(File:Minbar at Masjid Nabvi, Medina.JPG|thumb|The Minbar of Qaitbay still in use at the Masjid)The original minbar () used by Muhammad was a "wood block of date tree". This was replaced by him with a tamarisk one, which had dimensions of {{convert|50|x|125|cm|abbr=on}}. Also in 629, a three staired ladder was added to it. The first two caliphs, Abu Bakr and Umar, did not use the third step "due to respect for the Prophet", but the third caliph Uthman placed a fabric dome over it and the rest of the stairs were covered with ebony. The minbar was replaced by Baybars I in 1395, and later by Shaykh al-Mahmudi in 1417. This was also replaced by a marble one by Qaitbay in the late fifteenth century, which as of August 2013, is still used in the mosque.WEB, The Prophet's Mosque,weblink Last Prophet, 19 June 2015,


The first minarets (four in number) of {{convert|26|ft|m}} high were constructed by Umar. In 1307, a minaret titled Bab al-Salam was added by Muhammad ibn Kalavun which was renovated by Mehmed IV. After the renovation project of 1994, there were ten minarets which were {{convert|104|m|ft}} high. The minarets' upper, bottom and middle portion are cylindrical, octagonal and square shaped respectively.


File:Entrance Nabvi Mosque.jpg|Bab e Makkah entrance of the mosque with umbrella tents openFile:Qibla Nabvi mosque.jpg|The main Mihrab (mehrab e Nabawi)File:Engraving on Main entrance Nabvi Mosque.jpg|Details on one of the portals of Makkah GateFile:Nabavi Mosque at Night.jpg|The mosque at night, as seen from eastern courtyardsFile:المسجد النبوي الشريف والصورة مأخوذة من الدور الرابع عشر فندق أنوار المدينة موفينبيك.jpg|The mosque at night, view from afarFile:Model of Mescid-i Nebevi in Istanbul.jpg|Model of the mosque located at Sultan Ahmed I Mosque in IstanbulFile:SaudiArabiaP25-100Riyals-(1984)-donatedth b.jpg|The mosque at 100 rials banknote (1983, reverse)File:1999 Pakistan stamp for Eid al-Fitr.jpg|The mosque at 1999 Pakistan stamp for Eid al-Fitr

See also




  • BOOK, Architectural Conservation in Islam : Case Study of the Prophet's Mosque, Syed Ahmad Iskandar Syed, Ariffin, Penerbit UTM, 978-983-52-0373-2, harv,
  • BOOK, The Holy City of Medina: Sacred Space in Early Islamic Arabia, Harry, Munt, Cambridge University Press, 978-1-107-04213-1, harv,

Bibliography and further reading

  • BOOK, Fahd, Salem Bahmmam, Pilgrimage in Islam: A description and explanation of the fifth pillar of Islam,weblink Modern Guide, 2014, 978-1-78338-174-6,
  • BOOK,weblink Hasrat Muhammad the Prophet of Islam, Adam Publishers, 978-81-7435-582-9,
  • BOOK,weblink The Road To Mecca, The Book Foundation, 1954, Muhammad, Asad, 978-0-9927981-0-9,
  • BOOK,weblink Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah & Meccah, Volume 2, Sir, Richard Francis Burton, 978-0-486-21218-0,

External links

{{Commons|المسجد النبوي|Al-Masjid an-Nabawi}}{{Wikivoyage|Medina}}{{Wikinews|Annual Islamic pilgrimage takes place}} {{Characters and names in the Quran}}{{Mosques in Saudi Arabia}}{{Hajj topics}}{{Authority control}}

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