Did you know these facts about Prophet’s Mosque or Masjid Al-Nabawi?

Middle East Contributor
Prophet's Mosque
© Ayman Zaid | Dreamstime.com

To all Muslims around the world, the Masjid Al-Nawabi or Prophet’s Mosque is considered one of the holiest places. The mosque, built by the Prophet (peace be upon him) in Madinah Munawwara, has the reverence and passion of Muslims all over the world.

But there is a lot of information about this mosque that involves our reverence and passion that many of us are unaware of. So this article presents some unknown information about the Prophet’s Mosque.

1) The present size of the Prophet’s mosque is bigger than the then city of Madinah

The current area of the mosque is about 3 lakh 64 thousand square meters. It is the second-largest mosque in the world after the Masjid al-Haram. The present size is one hundred times larger than the infrastructure of the original mosque built by the Prophet (peace be upon him). That is, the mosque is larger in size than the then city of Madinah. About 1.5 million worshipers can pray together in this mosque.

2) The Prophet’s own mosque and the center of governance

Soon after the migration to Madinah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) built the mosque along with his companions. After entering Madinah during the migration (Hijrah), the place where the Prophet’s camel ‘Kaswa’ sits is the place allotted for the mosque. The land was owned by two orphan boys named Sahal and Sohail. The mosque was purchased from them for 10 dinars and the construction of the mosque was completed in seven months. The Prophet himself participated in the construction work along with his companions.

A small part of the mosque is used to house the Prophet (peace be upon him). Besides performing the prayers, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to govern Madinah from this mosque.

The four caliphs ruled from this mosque even after the death of the Prophet (peace be upon him). During the reign of Ali (R) until the relocation of the capital of the Islamic Caliphate from Madinah to Kufa, the Prophet’s Mosque was the religious mark of the Muslims.

3) Last resting-place (Rawza) of the Prophet

After the death of the Prophet (peace be upon him), he was buried in the room of Ayesha (R) at his residence adjacent to the mosque. However, the residence of the Prophet (peace be upon him) was not as attached to the mosque as it is today. The house had a different location from the mosque. During the reign of the Umaiya Caliph Walid Ibn Abdul Malik, the mosque was renovated and expanded, and the Rawza was attached to the mosque.

4) The dome above the Rawza

The Rawza did not have any dome until 650 years after the Prophet’s death. In 1279, during the reign of the Mamluk Sultan Saifuddin Kalawun of Egypt, the first wooden dome was erected over the Prophet’s Rawza. Inside the dome, there are graves of the Prophet (peace be upon him), Abu Bakr (R), and ‘Umar (R). Then, in 1818, the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II built the present green brick dome over the wooden dome.

5) Blue-purple dome

The present green dome above the Rawza was not green at first. Before the dome was built in 1818, the wooden dome beneath it was first painted colorless and later painted white. When the present dome was built on a wooden dome in 1818, it was also painted white for the first time. It was later painted blue-purple according to the tastes of the then Hijazi Arabs. In 1837, for the first time, the dome was painted green by the order of Sultan Mahmud II. Which is still in force today.

6) The empty grave next to the Prophet’s grave

Next to the Prophet’s grave, there is a third grave empty after the graves of Hadrat Abu Bakr (R) and Hadrat ‘Umar (R) so that no one was buried. It is known from the hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) narrated from Abdullah bin Umar (R):

“When Jesus son of Mary (peace be upon him) returns to earth, he will be buried in this empty space after his natural death.”

7) Marks and memories of the Prophet

The residence of his daughter Fatima (R) was near the residence of the Prophet. Various marks and memories, including those used by the Prophet (peace be upon him), were preserved there.

When Madinah was besieged by Arab rebels during World War I, the Ottoman governor of Madinah sent the preserved marks and memories of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to Istanbul, the capital of the then Ottoman Sultanate, along with various invaluable resources. Today, these marks and memories of the Prophet (peace be upon him) are preserved in the Topkapi Palace Museum in Istanbul, Turkey.

6) Six Mihrabs

Most mosques usually have a Mihrab (the place where the Imam stands for Salah). But the number of Mihrabs in the Prophet’s mosque is six. A Mihrab was built during the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and he used to offer prayers here. It is known as ‘Mihrabe Nabawi’.

During the caliphate of ‘Uthman, a new Mihrab was built during the renovation and expansion of the mosque. It was named ‘Mihrabe Uthmani’.

A third Mihrab was built in 1531 during the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Sulaiman. Which came to be known as ‘Mihrabe Sulaimani’.

In addition to these three Mihrabs, three more Mihrabs were later built, namely ‘Mihrabe Fatemi’, ‘Mihrabe Tahajjud’, and ‘Mihrabe Sheikh Al-Haram’.

9) Rawdatul Jannah (Garden of Paradise)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “There is a part of the garden of Paradise between my house and my pulpit…” (Bukhari)

At present this part is preserved wrapped in a special green carpet and is known as ‘Rawda’ for short.

10) The first place in the Arabian Peninsula to receive electricity

When the Ottoman rulers began supplying electricity to the Arabian Peninsula in 1909, they first connected electricity to the Prophet’s Mosque. In honor of the mosque, the Ottoman rulers supplied electricity to the Prophet’s mosque of Madinah before supplying electricity to their royal palace.

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