|Al-Masjid an Nabawi
Mosque of the Prophet
|Location||Medina, Saudi Arabia|
|Administration||Saudi Arabian government|
Sheikh Hussain Abdul Aziz Aal Sheikh
|Style||Classical and contemporary Islamic; Ottoman; Mamluk revivalist|
|Capacity||600,000 (increased to 1,000,000 during the hajj period)|
|Minaret height||105 meters (344 ft)|
|Website: Haramain Thread|
Part of a series on
|Dastgah · Ghazal · Madih nabawi
Al-Masjid al-Nabawī (Arabic: اَلْمَسْجِد اَلنَّبَوِي [ʔælˈmæsdʒɪd ænnæbæwiː], "Mosque of the Prophet"), often called the Prophet's Mosque, is a mosque built by the Islamic Prophet Muhammad situated in the city of Medina. It is the second holiest site in Islam (the first being the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca). It was the second mosque built in history and is now one of the largest mosques in the world. After an expansion during the reign of al-Walid I, it also now incoporates the site of the final resting place of Muhammad and early Muslim leaders Abu Bakr and Umar.
The site was originally adjacent to Muhammad's house; he settled there after his Hijra (emigration) to Medina in 622. He shared in the heavy work of construction. The original mosque was an open-air building. The basic plan of the building has been adopted in the building of other mosques throughout the world.
The mosque also 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 mosque is under the control of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
One of the most notable features of the site is the Green Dome in the south-east corner of the mosque, originally Aisha's house, where the tomb of Muhammad is located. In 1279 AD, 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 dome was first painted green in 1837, and later became known as the Green Dome.
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 and many people who perform the Hajj go on to Medina before or after Hajj to visit the mosque. It is open 24 hours for 365 days.
First Built 
The original mosque was built by Muhammad and his companions next to the house where he settled after his journey to Medina in 622 CE. The original mosque was an open-air building (covered by palm fronds) with a raised platform for the reading of the Quran. It was a rectangular enclosure of 30 m × 35 m (98 ft × 115 ft) at a height of 2 m (6 ft 7 in) wall which was built with palm trunks and mud walls. It was accessed through three doors: Bab Rahmah (Door of Mercy) to the south, Bab Jibril (Door of Gabriel) to the west and Bab al-Nisa' (Door of the Women) to the east.The basic plan of the building has since been adopted in the building of most mosques throughout the world.
Inside, Muhammad created a shaded area to the south called the suffah and aligned the prayer space facing north towards Jerusalem. When the qibla (prayer direction) was changed to face the Kaaba in Mecca, the mosque was re-oriented to the south. The mosque also served as a community center, a court, and a religious school.
Seven years later (629 AD/7 AH), the mosque was doubled in size to accommodate the increasing number of Muslims. The area of the mosque was enlarged by 20 m × 15 m (66 ft × 49 ft) and became almost a square 50 m × 49.5 m (160 ft × 162.4 ft). The height increased to became 3.5 m (11 ft) and the mosque encompassed 35 columns.
The mosque remained like that during the caliphate of Abu Bakr until the caliphate of 'Umar bin al-Khattab, who enlarged the area of the mosque to 3575 m2 and built more wooden columns.
Subsequent Islamic rulers continued to enlarge and embellish the mosque over the centuries. In 707, Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid ibn Abd al-Malik (705-715) replaced the old structure and built a larger one in its place, incorporating the tomb of Muhammad. This mosque was 84 by 100 m (276 by 330 ft) in size, with stone foundations and a teak roof supported on stone columns. The mosque walls were decorated with mosaics by Coptic and Greek craftsmen, similar to those seen in the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem (built by the same caliph). The courtyard was surrounded by a gallery on four sides, with four minarets on its corners. A mihrab topped by a small dome was built on the qibla wall.
Abbasid Caliph al-Mahdi (775-785) replaced the northern section of Al-Walid's mosque between 778 and 781 to enlarge it further. He also added 20 doors to the mosque: eight on each of the east and west walls, and four on the north wall.
During the reign of the Mamluk Sultan Al Mansur Qalawun, a dome was erected above the tomb of Muhammad and an ablution fountain was built outside of Bab al-Salam (Door of Peace). Sultan Al-Nasir Muhammad rebuilt the fourth minaret that had been destroyed earlier. After a lightning strike destroyed much of the mosque in 1481, Sultan Qaitbay rebuilt the east, west and qibla walls.
The Ottoman sultans who controlled Medina from 1517 until World War I also made their mark. Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (1520–1566) rebuilt the western and eastern walls of the mosque and built the northeastern minaret known as al-Suleymaniyya. He added a new mihrab (al-Ahnaf) next to Muhammad's mihrab (al-Shafi'iyyah) and placed a new dome covered in lead sheets and painted green above Muhammad's house and tomb.
Ar-Rawdah, the green dome over the south-east corner of the mosque, where the tomb of Muhammad is located was constructed in 1817C.E. during the reign of Mahmud II and painted green in 1839 C.E.. It is known as the (Green) Dome of the Prophet.
During the reign of Ottoman Sultan Abdul Majid I (1839–1861), the mosque was entirely remodeled with the exception of Muhammad's Tomb, the three mihrabs, the minbar and the Suleymaniyya minaret. The precinct was enlarged to include an ablution area to the north. The prayer hall to the south was doubled in width and covered with small domes equal in size except for domes covering the mihrab area, Bab al-Salam and Muhammad's Tomb. The domes were decorated with Quranic verses and lines from Qaṣīda al-Burda (Poem of the Mantle), the famous poem by 13th century Arabic poet Busiri. The qibla wall was covered with glazed tiles featuring Quranic calligraphy. The floors of the prayer hall and the courtyard were paved with marble and red stones and a fifth minaret (al-Majidiyya), was built to the west of the enclosure.
When bin Saud took Medina in 1805, his followers, the Wahhabis, demolished nearly every tomb dome in Medina in order to prevent their veneration, and the Green Dome is said to have narrowly escaped the same fate. 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. In the Wahabi interpretation of Islam, the veneration of tombs and places thought to possess supernatural powers was an offense against tawhid.
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.
In 1973 Saudi King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz ordered the construction of temporary shelters to the west of the mosque to accommodate the growing number of worshippers in 1981, the old mosque was surrounded by new prayer areas on these sides, enlarging five times its size.
The latest renovations took place under King Fahd and have greatly increased the size of the mosque, allowing it to hold a large number of worshippers and pilgrims and adding modern comforts like air conditioning. He also installed twenty seven moving domes at the roof of Masjid Nabawi.
In 2007, according to the The Independent, a pamphlet, published by the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs and endorsed by the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, stated that "the green dome shall be demolished and the three graves flattened in the Prophet's Masjid".
The original mosque was not very large, and today the original exists only as a small portion of the larger mosque. The newer and older sections of the mosque are quite distinct. The older section has many colorful decorations and numerous small pillars.
Architecture and Special Structures 
As it stands today, the mosque has a rectangular plan on two floors with the Ottoman prayer hall projecting to the south. The main prayer hall occupies the entire first floor. The mosque enclosure is 100 times bigger than the first mosque built by Muhammad and can accommodate more than half a million worshippers.
The mosque has a flat paved roof topped with 27 domes on square bases. 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. The roof is accessed by stairs and escalators. The paved area around the mosque is also used for prayer, equipped with umbrella tents.
The north facade has three evenly spaced porticos, while the east, west and south facades have two. The walls are composed of a series of windows topped by pointed arches with black and white voussoirs. There are six peripheral minarets attached to the new extension, and four others frame the Ottoman structure. The mosque is lavishly decorated with polychrome marble and stones. The columns are of white marble with brass capitals supporting slightly pointed arches, built of black and white stones. The column pedestals have ventilation grills that regulate the temperature inside the prayer hall.
This new mosque contains the older mosque within it. The two sections can be easily distinguished: the older section has many colorful decorations and numerous small pillars, and fans have been installed in the ceiling; the new section is in gleaming white marble and is completely air-conditioned.
The heart of the mosque houses a very special but small area named al-Riad-ul-Jannah, which extends from Muhammad's tomb (Rawdah) to his pulpit (minbar). Pilgrims attempt to visit and pray in Riad-ul-Jannah, for there is a tradition that supplications and prayers uttered here are never rejected. Entrance into Riad-ul-Jannah is not always possible (especially during the Hajj season), as the tiny area can accommodate only a few hundred people.
Al-Riad-ul-Jannah is considered part of Jannah (Paradise). It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that Muhammad said: "The area between my house and my minbar is one of the gardens (rawdah) of Paradise, and my minbar is on my cistern (hawd)" 
Ar-Rawdah is one of the most important feature of the site. It is the green dome over the center of the mosque, where the tomb of Muhammad is located. Constructed in 1817C.E. during the reign of Mahmud II and painted green in 1839C.E., it is known as the Dome of the Prophet. Early Muslim leaders Abu Bakr and Umar ibn al-Khattab are buried beside Muhammad. Ar-Rawdah has two small gateways. The original pulpit was much smaller than the current one, and constructed of palm tree wood, not marble. The current marble pulpit was constructed by the Ottomans.
|This section requires expansion. (June 2012)|
|This section requires expansion. (June 2012)|
Muhammad sometimes preached while standing by a wood of palm trees. In 628 a minbar replaced it so that the Prophet was able to raise above the crowd and lead prayer. It was a one-meter-high wooden pulpit with three steps. A fire destroyed it in 654. The minbar which was built in the reign of Murad III is still in use.
|This section requires expansion. (June 2012)|
The mosque has 10 minarets built in different eras. 6 Which are largest among these 10 are constructed in reign of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King fahd bin abdul aziz
===Current Imams=== as of 2013
- Sheikh Abdul Muhsin al Qasim
- Sheikh 'Ali al Hudhaify
- Sheikh Salaah al Budayr
- Sheikh Abdul Bari ath Thubaity
- Sheikh Hussain aal ash Sheikh
Former Imams 
===Muadhins=== as of 2013
See also 
- Burial places of founders of world religions
- Islamic art
- List of mosques
- Holiest sites in Islam (Shia)
- Holiest sites in Islam (Sunni)
- Ariffin, Syed Ahmad Iskandar Syed (2005). Architectural Conservation in Islam : Case Study of the Prophet's Mosque. Penerbit UTM. p. 88-89,109. ISBN 9789835203732.
- The History of Electrical lights in the Arabian Peninsula
- Petersen, Andrew (2002-03-11). Dictionary of Islamic Architecture. Routledge. p. 183. ISBN 9780203203873.
- Encyclopedia of the orient
- Mark Weston (2008). Prophets and princes: Saudi Arabia from Muhammad to the present. John Wiley and Sons. pp. 102–103. ISBN 978-0-470-18257-4.
- Doris Behrens-Abouseif; Stephen Vernoit (2006). Islamic art in the 19th century: tradition, innovation, and eclecticism. BRILL. p. 22. ISBN 978-90-04-14442-2.
- Mark Weston (2008). Prophets and princes: Saudi Arabia from Muhammad to the present. John Wiley and Sons. p. 136. ISBN 978-0-470-18257-4.
- Vincent J. Cornell (2007). Voices of Islam: Voices of the spirit. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-275-98734-3.
- Carl W. Ernst (2004). Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World. Univ of North Carolina Press. pp. 173–174. ISBN 978-0-8078-5577-5.
- Peskes, Esther (2000). "Wahhābiyya". Encyclopaedia of Islam 11 (2nd ed.). Brill Academic Publishers. pp. 40,42. ISBN 9004127569.
- "The Prophet's Mosque (Masjid an-Nabawi) - Medina, Saudi Arabia". Medina, , Saudi Arabia: Sacred-destinations.com. 2009-10-19. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
- Jerome Taylor (24 September 2011). "Mecca for the rich: Islam's holiest site 'turning into Vegas'". The Independent (independent.co.uk). Retrieved 2012-04-13.
- Walker, Derek (1998). The Confidence to Build. p 69: Taylor & Francis. p. 176. ISBN 0-419-24060-8.
- Islam-QA: "Islamic Guidelines for Visitors to the Prophet’s Mosque" section 5 - It is prescribed for the one who visits the Prophet’s Mosque to pray two rak’ahs in the Rawdah or whatever he wants of naafil 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 minbar is one of the gardens (riyaad, sing. rawdah) of Paradise, and my minbar is on my cistern (hawd)" Narrated by al-Bukhari, 1196; Muslim, 1391.
- Narrated by al-Bukhari, 1196; Muslim, 1391.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Al-Masjid an-Nabawi|
- Watch Live from Masjid Al Nabawi Madinah
- Panoramic and interactive view of Masjid Al-Nabawai
- Photo gallery of Masjid an-Nabawi from the inside and the outside