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The Holy Mosque - Al Medina

The first work done by the Prophet, peace be upon him, when he reached Medina was building the mosque, which was set up in the center of Medina in Bani Najjar, on a land for two orphans from whom the Prophet bought. The Prophet shared building the mosque with his companions may Allah bless them, using bricks, stones, and palm trunks, and made its roof of palm branches. Muslims worked there in service of God in the first year of the Prophet's migration, corresponding to 622 AD.

The area of the mosque when built: (1050) square meters, the total length: 35 m, and width: 30 m, and two meters high walls.

The Prophet increased the area of the mosque as the number of Muslims increased after his return from Khaybar in 7 AH; the increase was 20 m by 15 m, so that the mosque became square shaped 50 m × 49.5 m with a total area of 2475 square meters, an increase of: 1415 square meters. Walls height reached 3.50 m, the number of doors: three, and the number of columns 35.

The Holy Mosque… During the Orthodox Caliphs Era:
The Prophet's Mosque (peace be upon him) in the succession of Abu Bakr (may Allah bless him) witnessed no change or increase due to being busy with the wars of apostasy and in organizing the State after the death of the Prophet (peace be upon him). And in the year 17 AH, Caliph Omar Bin El Khattab increased the area of the Holy Mosque from the north and west, and he increased the depth of the Kiblah's canopy toward the south, which led to the disappearance of all the original walls of the Holy Mosque except for the eastern wall due to the presence of the Prophet's wives chambers and the Prophet's tomb at the bottom of Aisha Chamber. And in the year 24 AH Caliph Uthman Bin Affan renewed the Holy Mosque by expanding it from the north, west, and south and increased the depth of the kiblah's canopy but didn't touch the holy side due to the existence of the Prophet's Dome(peace be upon him).

This mosque has become a model for all the countries conquered by Muslims with minor changes in the ratios and expanding as needed, as well as in construction and roofing materials, but maintaining the basic idea in planning, which is a middle roofless rounded area surrounded by four canopies, the deepest of which is the Kiblah's canopy...

The canopy facing the Kiblah's canopy or the side canopies can be sometimes omitted and only one canopy kept as was the case with the mosque of Kufa and Basra. Othman Bin Affan built the mosque's walls from carved stones and the roof from teak, and made the length of the mosque one hundred and sixty cubits and its width fifty cubits, with six doors and a high wall around the Prophet's tomb... These were the basic elements of the early Islamic mosque, and the year of change had entered into the mosque many new additions, such as the hollowed mihrab, the minaret, the glass lamps, the denouncer's chair, the Holy Koran carrier chair, and others in accordance with time and cultural development.

During the reign of Caliph Al-Walid Bin Abdul Malak, the prince of Medina, Omar Bin Abdul Aziz, performed a renewal for the Holy Mosque, so he expanded it and included the chamber of the Mother of all Believers, and increased it with a total of 2369 meters and built it from stones and gypsum, and made its columns from stones filled with iron and lead, and that was in the year 88 AH.

The Holy Mosque in the Hands of the Abbasid Caliph Al Mahdi then Sultan Kaitbai:
In the succession of the Abbasid Al Mahdi, the mosque was increased 2450 meters from its northern side, which was completed in year 165 AH.

At the beginning of Ramadan in 645 AH, a fire occurred in the mosque, which began in the doors then spread to the roof and in the entire mosque causing big damage to the Prophet's room, and then all was repaired later.

In 879 AH, King Kaitbai performed maintenance to the mosque, which included some of its roofs, walls, columns, and minarets, and then increased it by 120 meters.

Then the mosque remained untouched till Ramadan in 886 AH, when a grand thunderbolt hit the Great Minaret thus killing the chief of muezzins, who was calling for prayer, then the fire moved to the roof of the mosque and demolished its walls, and later King Kaitbai repaired what was destroyed.

The Holy Mosque… In the Ottoman Era:
The Holy Mosque had witnessed stages of renovation and reconstruction since it was established by the Prophet (peace be upon him), during which the constructors were trying to preserve the traditional features which dates back to the Prophet's days and the Orthodox Caliphs Eras and not to change the Sunnah of the Prophet and be blessed by the things surrounded by memories of that noble era, but at the same time they made sure to provide the Mosque with the most of what is up-to-date in architecture, in an attempt to add as much as possible aspects of architectural beauty and artistic creation to the mosque.

The Prophet's Mosque, though witnessed great constructions, had kept its old architectural style that represents the first basic type of mosque construction in the Islamic world. And since the appearance of the Ottoman Turks in history, they kept trying to take control of the Hijaz, and the custody of the Two Holy Mosques moved to them; and some of the Ottoman sultans took over their shoulders the construction and renovation of the Holy Mosque.

In the year 980 AH, Sultan Salim II reconstructed and repaired the Mosque, and built a mihrab west to the Prophetic platform on the border of the original mosque from the southern side.

Oil filled lamps started to be used in lighting after the ninth century AH and was spread throughout the mosque.

Then Sultan Abdul Majid Bin Murad ordered the reconstruction of the Mosque in 1265, and its pillars were replaced with new stronger ones; work ended in 1277 AH.

The Current Holy Mosque:
The current area of the mosque is a rectangle of uneven sides, with a length of 116 meters from north to south and a width of 66 meters from the north, with a roofless round area in its middle with four canopies, the largest of which is the Kiblah canopy which consists of twelve corridors and the south canopy which consists of three corridors. The canopies were built on joints carried on granite columns and its roof renewed in the Ottoman era in the form of a shallow domes carried on spherical triangles; and the doors of the mosque has increased until they reached twenty-four, four private doors to the Kiblah side and twenty public doors, all of which was blocked except for five doors that can be considered archaeological remains.

The Holy Mosque has three mihrabs: The oldest of which is the Prophetic mihrab is currently located in the third corridor of the Kiblah's canopy which is the same old position appointed by the Prophet (peace be upon him) upon the shift of Kiblah in Shaaban of the second year of migration, the second is to the right of the Prophetic mihrab known as mihrab Al Sulaimani, and the third is located in the center of the Mosque which was added by the Caliph Othman Bin Affan when expanding the Kiblah's canopy.

The Holy Mosque in the Current Saudi Era:
The Saudi government doubled the area of the mosque several times and added to its yard many surrounding yards so the mosque now accommodates for more than million prayers in peak times. The government had also increased the number of minarets from four minarets to ten with each of the six new minarets of height 104 meters, and increased the number of entrances to sixteen main entrances and fourteen sub entrances, and established two buildings for moving stairs to facilitate the movement of the prayers to get to the Mosque's roof in peak times, on Fridays, the two holidays, Ramadan month, and pilgrimage seasons.

In addition to the installation of 36 moving roofs, which is a new type of engineering accomplishments which had not previously been implemented in any mosque; these roofs operate automatically so they close and open in accordance with the weather. And an integrated system of water and sanitation for the disposal of rain water and for providing Zamzam water all year round was established, in addition to the establishment of integrated groups of modern artistic lighting equipments of chandeliers and lamps, also an integrated set of taps for drinking water providing the needs of the Mosque's visitors. The cold marble which is heat-resistant was used in all of the marble works used in the expansion process; and the Medina was re-planned and its streets organized in accordance with the dignity of its status and its holiness so as to become the pearl of all countries and the jewel of all cities.

The Virtue of Praying in the Holy Mosque:
As for the virtue of praying in it, Al-Bukhaari and Muslim quoted from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah bless him) that the Prophet (God bless him) said: (praying in my mosque is better than a thousand prayers in others, except for the Grand Mosque), and the Prophet exactly said: (praying in my mosque is better than a hundred prayers in others, except for the Grand Mosque, and praying in the Grand Mosque is better than a hundred prayers in this), narrated by Ahmad. The doubling of virtues of praying in the three mosques is only to demonstrate the virtue and honor of those mosques, as all were built by the prophets, peace be upon them.

The Prophet's Mosque is one of the mosques that is set out to from all parts of the world, as Abu Hurayrah reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him): (Setting out should only be to three mosques, My Mosque, the Grand Mosque and Al-Aqsa Mosque).

The Minarets of the Holy Mosque:
The Prophet's mosque at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) didn't have minarets, and the call to prayer was done from the roof of Abdalah Bin Omar dwelling, which was at the back of the Kiblah, and Bilal Bin Rabah used to go up to this roof to call to prayer. When the Umayyad Caliph Walid Bin Abdul Malak renovated the Prophet's Mosque he ordered his worker Omar Bin Abdul Aziz to build four minarets on the four corners of the Mosque and there is no remains of these minarets now, but what is currently present are ten minarets including five ancient ones while the rest are the renovation of the Saudi government.

The Ancient Minarets:
Bab Al Salam Minaret: It is located near to Bab Al Salam Door in the southeastern part of the mosque, and it used to overlook Dar Marwan, but when the Caliph Suleiman Bin Abdul Malek performed pilgrimage and the muezzin ascended it, it revealed his home so he ordered to destroy it. Then Sultan Al-Nasir Muhammad Binn Qalawoun rebuilt it in 706 AH and still standing without any change in shape till now.

Bab Al Rahma Minaret: This was established by Sultan Qaitbai Al Mahmoudi in the Mamluk Era, and its top was edged on the Ottoman pattern but the Saudi government repaired it on the Mamluk style

The Southern Minaret: It is the main minaret of the Holy Mosque located in the southern corner behind the Prophet's Chamber, and it preserved its Mamluki shape since Al Nasser Muhammad Bin Qalawoun Era.

Al Sulaymaniyah minaret: It is located in the northern corner of the mosque and was built on the Ottoman style then the Saudi government renovated it on the Mamluk style.

The Majidiyah Minaret: It is located in the Western corner of the mosque and was built on the Ottoman style and then renewed by the Saudi government on the Mamluk style... The Saudi government has added another five minarets so the total number of minarets is now ten.

The Holy Prophetic Compartment: The Prophet (peace be upon him) had a house in the southeastern part of the mosque known as the home of Aisha (may Allaah bless her) and to its south the house of Hafsa (may Allaah bless her), and these houses were made of mud bricks and palm branches with low level roofs, and were separated by a narrow road. When the Prophet died (peace be upon him) in 11 AH, he was buried in the ground of Aisha Room with his holy head to the west and his holy face towards al Kiblah… When Abu Bakr died in 13 AH, he was buried alongside the Prophet (peace be upon him) to the north with his head behind the Prophet's shoulders (peace be upon him).

When Caliph Umar Binn Al-Khattab was stabbed, he asked the permission of Aisha (may Allah bless them) to be buried with his two companions, so when he died in 23 AH, he was buried beside them to the north Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq.

There is also a small cabin buried at its bottom Fatima Al Zahraa, daughter of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

And when Al Waleed Bin Abdul Malik was in power, his assistant Omar Bin Abdul Aziz added these houses to the Mosque's area and surrounded them with a pentagon shaped building around which people don't circumambulate as they do around the Kaaba, and these rooms were roofed with timber...

Its walls were six-meter high and the room remained unchanged till Nour Al-Din Mahmoud built a square shaped room from stones around the old room and dag around the Prophet's tomb (peace be upon him) a deep ditch in which he emptied molten lead to make it impossible for anyone to reach because he was afraid the Crusaders would attack Al Medina...

Then Sultan Mansur Qalawoun built a square shaped room in 678 AH covered from its top with a dome of wooden boards coated with lead sheets for fear of rainfall and which was renewed after combustion in 754 AH by Al-Nasser Muhammad Bin Qalawun, and then again by Sultan Shaaban Bin Hussein in 765 AH. After the roof of the Holy Mosque was burnt in 886 AH, Sultan Ashraf Qaitbai built a small dome of black stones in place of the wooden dome, then built above it a great dome on pillars and its top coated with white gypsum, which the Ottoman Sultan Abed Al-Majid renovated entirely in 1233 AH and painted it green so it was called the Green Dome.

The Most Important Historical Features of Medina:

Kabaa Mosque: Kabaa Mosque is of the glorified mosques in Islam, and it is the first mosque built in Al Medina, planned personally by the hand of the Prophet (peace be upon him) who shared in building it when he was in Bani Amro Bin Auwf and used to visit it from time to time.

Salem (may Allah bless him) used to lead the Companions of the Prophet Mohammed in prayer, where in al-Bukhaari from Ibn Omar (may Allah bless him), he said: (Abu Salem Mulla Abi Hudhayfah used to lead the early Meccans emigrants and the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in prayer in Kabaa Mosque, including Abu Bakr, Umar, Abu Salmah, Zaid, and Amer Bin Rabieha).

In the virtues of this Mosque what was narrated by Muslim from Ibn Omar (may Allah bless him) said: (The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him) used to come to Kabaa Mosque walking and riding to pray two rakaas). Al Tarmazi narrated, and then Al Albani corrected that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: (praying in Kabaa Mosque is like a Umrah), that's why Muslims cared for this holy mosque and were keen to expanding and renovating it when required, and the mosque today is a site of Al Medina, set to by Muslims from around the city, especially those coming to visit the Prophet's Mosque.

The Two Kiblah's Mosque: As its name shows, there is a relationship between this mosque and the Muslims undergone in praying first in Jerusalem, and then ordered to head to the Grand Mosque:
{قد نرى تقلب وجهك في السماء فلنولينك قبلة ترضاها فول وجهك شطر المسجد الحرام وحيثما كنتم فولوا وجوهكم شطره وإن الذين أوتوا الكتاب ليعلمون أنه الحق من ربهم وما الله بغافل عما يعملون } (البقرة:144)،
When God the Almighty ordered His Prophet to head to the Grand Mosque, He sent His Messenger (Peace be upon him) telling Muslims across the city that the Kiblah has changed, so when he reached the place of Bani Haram of Bani Salma he found them bowing to the ground performing dawn's prayer and already finished one rakaa, so he called that the Kiblah has been transformed, thus they leaned in their positions towards the Kiblah, as narrated by Muslim. Since then the mosque has been called by this name.

The Two Kiblah's mosque is located in the southwest, near the Akeek Valley over a little bit high hill, and is about 5 km away from the Prophet's Mosque towards the northwest direction. It has been renewed several times, the most recent expansion and renovation done by the company of Ibin Laden; thus made it of two floors, the ground floor including the mosque's offices, and the upper floor for prayer. Its area is 1190 square meters, and a wide balcony of 400 square meters was designated for women, overlooking the oratory, and a corridor for the memorization of the Holy Quran, in addition to an internal courtyard implanted with trees.

Al Mikat or Di Al Halifa Mosque: This was known as the Mosque of the Tree because the Prophet (peace be upon him) when he left for Mecca for the Hajj or Umrah used to stay under the shade of a tree in this area to pray and then start for Umrah or Haj… The mosque is known as Du Al Halifa which is the name of the area where it is located. It is also the meeting point for Medina people and all the area behind Medina so it is also called Almiqat Mosque; and it became a sacred place for those performing Hajj or Umrah, located on the western side of the Akeek Valley 14 km away from the Prophet's Mosque.

Al Ghamama Mosque or the Eid Oratory: The location of the oratory is an open space outside the urban area surrounding the Prophet's Mosque, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to perform the prayers of the two Eids and the prayer for rain there, that is why it is called the Eid Mosque; also known as The Cloud's Mosque as it was narrated that a cloud used to block the sun from the Prophet (peace be upon him) and is currently located in the South West of the Prophet's Mosque.

The Flag Mosque: It is a small mosque on a small mount called Al Raya or Zobab Mount north to Solaa Mount, where a dome was established for the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) during the conquest of the parties.

The Holy Meadow: It is located in the Prophet's Mosque, and is bordered by the Chamber of the Mother of all Believers Aisha (may Allah bless her) from the East, and from the west by the Holy Platform, and from the south by the Mosque's wall that contains the Prophet's mihrab, and from the north by the way passing east from the end of Aisha House to the Platform west.

Of the virtues of the Holy Meadow and the value of it, the Prophet's saying: (Between my house and my platform is a meadow of Paradise) Agreed on. Experts in the interpretation of this conversation have three statements:
First: As a meadow of paradise where happiness and mercy are achieved through continuous worship there.
Second: To worship there is a way to enter heaven.

Third: That this particular spot is part of Paradise and will be moved there on the Day of Resurrection.

Many sites are present in the Meadow and on its sides, including the Holy Chamber which contained the tomb of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his two companions Abu Bakr and Omar (may Allah bless them), the Prophet's Mihrab placed in the center of its south wall, and the Prophet's Platform. There are a number of columns distinguished from other pillars of the Mosque by their marble coating.

Archers' Mount: A small mount three km north of the Prophet's Mosque. It is the mountain that the Prophet ordered the fifty archers to be centered there during Ahad's conquest to protect the back of Muslims form infidels. But they didn't obey the order thinking the battle was over, so the infidels benefited from this advantage and attacked the Muslims killing a large number of them.

The mount was named Al Ainain Mount, but after this incident the name changed to Archer's Mount.

Al Baraa Bin Azeb, said:
(جعل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم على الرجالة يوم أحد، وكانوا خمسين رجلاً عبد الله بن جبير ، فقال: إن رأيتمونا تخطفنا الطير، فلا تبرحوا مكانكم هذا حتى أرسل إليكم، وإن رأيتمونا هزمنا القوم وأوطأناهم، فلا تبرحوا حتى أرسل إليكم ، فهزموهم. قال: فأنا والله رأيت النساء يشتددن، قد بدت خلاخلهن وأسوقهن، رافعات ثيابهن، فقال أصحاب عبد الله بن جبير : الغنيمة، أي قوم الغنيمة، ظهر أصحابكم، فما تنتظرون، فقال عبد الله بن جبير : أنسيتم ما قال لكم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، قالوا: والله لنأتين الناس فلنصيبن من الغنيمة، فلما أتوهم صرفت وجوههم، فأقبلوا منهزمين، فذاك إذ يدعوهم الرسول في أخراهم، فلم يبق مع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم غير اثني عشر رجلاً، فأصابوا منا سبعين )

Ahad Mount: Is the largest of Medina mountains and embraces it from the north. It was called Ahad for its uniqueness, solitude, and disconnection from the rest of the mountains around it. It is a mountain series extending from east to west with a total length of seven kilometers, and width about three kilometers, and is five kilometers away from the Prophet's Mosque.

Ahad Mount is one of the historical evidences that adds to the beauty of Medina which is full of the fragrance of Islamic history, and the Prophet loved this mount and openly announced this strong passion, saying: (this is Ahad, a mountain that loves us and is beloved by us).

Ahad is associated with the famous historical "Ahad Battle" that took place near it, which the infidels won its second round due to a fault done by the archers when disobeyed the Prophet's order and left the Mount thinking the battle was over so exposed the back of Muslims whom the infidels attacked killing lots of them.

An incident which occurred in this battle and has a relation to Ahad Mount is that when the Prophet took refuge in this mountain along with seniors of his Companions, the mountain trembled under their feet, so the Prophet said: (Be steady Ahad, you've got only a prophet, a friend, and two martyrs) Narrated by Al-Bukhari.

Setting examples and comparison to this mountain occurred in several places:

In the weight of the legs of Ibin Massoud (may Allah bless him):
( والذي نفسي بيده، لهما أثقل في الميزان من جبل أحد ) narrated by Tyalsi.
In spending:
(ولو كان لك جبل أحد، أو مثل جبل أحد ذهبا، أنفقته في سبيل الله، ما قبله الله منك حتى تؤمن بالقدر) Narrated by Imam Ahmad;
and the Prophet's saying: (ما يسرني أن جبل أحد لي ذهباً، أموت يوم أموت عندي دينار أو نصف دينار، إلا لغريم)

In a statement to pay the funeral prayer: (from the blessings of the funeral has carats, and in so he buries Kiratan, which is the same Mohamed hand, greater than one carat is) the son of Maajah.

And desirable to those who visited the city intended to visit the graves of the martyrs who were killed in a battle of one, is recognized them and call them.

And it is preferred for those who visit Medina to head to the martyrs' tombs who were killed in Ahad battle and pray for them.

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