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A Masjid or Mosque is the building in which Muslims worship Allahسبحانه و تعالى (The God).  Throughout Islamic history, the mosque was the centre of the community and towns formed around this pivotal building.  Nowadays, especially in Muslim countries mosques are found on nearly every street corner, making it a simple matter for Muslims to attend the five daily prayers.


Al-Masjid al- Nabwi is the second next superior to al-Masjid al-Haraam from all the mosques in the world. The best of all mosques is al-Masjid al-Haraam (The Sacred Mosque in Makkah), then al-Masjid an-Nabawi (the Prophet’s Mosque in Madeenah), then al-Masjid al-Aqsa (Bait ul Maqdis, Palestine). 


Travelling to visit al-Masjid al-Nabawi is an action which is prescribed in sharee’ah as indicated by the hadeeth of the Prophet.These three mosques are the three for which it is prescribed to travel for the purpose of worship. The Prophetsaid: “Do not travel or set out on journey(specifically) to any mosque except three: al-Masjid al-Haraam, Masjid al-Aqsa, and this mosque of mine.” Sahih al-Bukhaari, Vol.2: 1189, Vol.3: 1996 and Sahih Muslim 1397 [1] [2]


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Building Al-Masjid An-Nabawi was the first thing that the Prophet, did when he arrived in Madina. He built it on a piece of land that he had bought from two orphans at the Banu An-Najjaar district. 



During Prophet’s time

The Prophet, himself participated in the heavy work of construction with all his Companions . The original mosque was built on an area of 1050m2(30 m × 35 m), and at a height of 2m. The mosque was initially built with palm trunks; the roof was from palm fronds and mud walls, and the two doorposts were made of stone. All the Muslims participated in the construction of the mosque with the sole hope of getting rewarded by Allaah The Exalted. This was during the first year of the immigration around 622 CE.


Seven years later, the Prophet, expanded the area of the mosque to accommodate the increasing number of Muslims after the Prophet, came back from Khaybar. The area of the mosque was enlarged by (20m x 15m) and became a square with a total area of 2475m2 (50m x 49.5m) that is, the areaincreased by 1415m2. The height became 3.5m and the mosque was accessed through 3 doors and encompassed 35 columns.


During Caliphate

The mosque remained like that during the caliphate of Abu Bakr(R) until the caliphate of ‘Umar(R) who enlarged the area of the mosque to 3575m2 and built wooden columns for the mosque.


During the caliphate of ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan(R) an arcade of stone and plaster was added to he mosque and the columns were remolded and built of stone.


On 88 AH, during the caliphate of Al-Waleed ibn ‘Abd Al-Malik, ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd Al-‘Azeez(RH) who was the ruler of Madeenah then, expanded the mosque by 2396m2, encompassing the rooms of Mothers of the Believers in the mosque, and rebuilding it with stone and plaster. Additionally, he rendered its columns of stone with iron and lead core.


The Abbasid Caliph Al-Mahdi, enlarged the northern section of the mosque by 2450m2, and this extension operations ended in 165 AH.


At the beginning of the month of Ramadan on 645 AH, a fire occurred in the mosque. It started at the doors and reached the roofs destroying them and spread throughout the entire mosque causing great damage to Ar-Rawdhah an-Nabawiyyah. However, the entire mosque was renovated later on.


On 879 AH, Sultan Qaitbay operated a comprehensive maintenance process of the mosque; its roofs, walls, columns, and minarets were renovated. Furthermore, he expanded the area of the mosque by 120m2. 


The mosque witnessed no further improvements until the month of Ramadan in 886 AH, when lightning struck the biggest and main minaret and killed the head of Muezzins at that time. The fire spread to the walls and roofs of the mosque destroying much of it. Sultan Qaitbay then rebuilt what was ruined of the mosque.


In 980 AH, Sultan Selim II renovated the mosque and added a new Mihraab (prayer niche) to the west of the Mihraab of the Prophet, in the southern boundaries of the original mosque.


During 19th to 21 Century

Just after the 19th century after Hijrah, the mosque was lit with oil lanterns that were distributed all over the mosque. The Ottoman Sultan Abdul Majeed Muraad ordered the mosque to be remodeled entirely in 1265 AH. The columns were replaced with new and more durable ones, and the remodeling process ended in 1277 AH.


Later, the Al Saud dynasty made several major modifications to the mosque. The latest extension process was begun in 1414 AH, and the area of the mosque has now become 384,000m2. [3]

Current Expansion

The expansion of the Prophet’s Mosque will allow pilgrims and visitors to pray comfortably in the mosque and the surrounding areas. The expansion project will be implemented in three phases. “The first phase will accommodate more than 800,000 worshippers while the second and third will accommodate an equal number of worshippers bringing the total number of people the mosque can accommodate to more than 1.6 million at any given time,” he said, quoted by local daily Arab News.


King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz has already approved the expansion plan, Ebrahim Al Assaf, the finance minister, has told the Saudi News Agency. [4] [5]


Virtues of the Prophet’s Mosque

Abu Hurayrah(R) reported that the Prophet, said:“One prayer in my mosque is better than one thousand prayers in any other mosque except al-Masjid Al-Haraam [the Sacred Mosque in Makkah].” Sahih al-Bukhari 1190


The Prophet, also said:“One prayer in my mosque is better than one hundred prayers in any other mosque except al-Masjid Al-Haraam. And prayer in al-Masjid al-Haraam is better than one hundred prayers in this mosque [Al-Masjid An-Nabawi].”  Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 1, Book 5, Hadith 1406 and Ibn Hibban 1620


Furthermore, it was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah(R) that the Prophet, also said: “Only three mosques are to be travelled to visit: this mosque of mine(Al Masjid an Nabawi), Al-Masjid-al-Haraam, and Masjid Al-Aqsa [in Jerusalem].”  Sahih al-Bukhaari, Vol.2: 1189, Vol.3: 1996 and Sahih Muslim 1397


Dua to be read

When a Muslim reaches the Prophet’s Mosque, he should enter with his right foot first and say, “Bismillaah wa’l-salaatu wa’l-salaam ‘ala Rasoolillaah. Allaahumma ighfir li dhunoobi waftah li abwaab rahmatika. A’oodhu Billaah il-‘azeem wa bi wajhihi’l-kareem wa bi sultaanihi’l-qadeem min al-shaytaan il-rajeem (In the name of Allaah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allaah. O Allaah, forgive my sins and open to me the gates of Your mercy. I seek refuge in Allaah the Almighty and in His noble Face and in His eternal Power, from the accursed Shaytaan).” Then he should pray as he likes. 



It is better for him to pray in Al-Rawdah which is the area between the minbar of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the room in which is his grave, because this area is one of the gardens (riyaadh, sing. rawdah) of Paradise. When he has prayed and wants to visit the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), he should stand in front of it in a dignified manner and say, “Assalaamu ‘alayka ayyuha’l-Nabiyyu wa rahmat-Allaahi wa barakaatuhu. Allaahumma salli ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala aali Muhammad kama salayta ‘ala Ibraaheem wa ‘ala aali Ibraaheem, innaka hameedun majeed; Allaahumma baarik ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala aali Muhammad  kama baarakta ‘ala Ibraaheem wa ‘ala aali Ibraaheem, innaka hameedun majeed. Ashhadu annaka Rasool-Allaah haqqan wa annaka qad balaghta al-risaalah wa adayta al-amaanah wa nasahta al-ummah wa jaahadta fillaahi haqqa jihaadihi. Fa jazaka Allaahu ‘an ummatika afdal ma jaza nabiyyan ‘an ummatihi (Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the mercy of Allaah, and His blessings. O Allaah, send prayers upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, as You sent prayers upon Ibraaheem and the family of Ibraaheem, verily You are Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory. O Allaah, send blessings upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, as You sent blessings upon Ibraaheem and the family of Ibraaheem, verily You are Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory. I bear witness that you are indeed the Messenger of Allaah, that you conveyed the message and fulfilled the trust, and advised the ummah and strove truly for the sake of Allaah. May Allaah reward you on behalf of your ummah better than any Prophet is rewarded on behalf of his nation).” 


Then he should move a little to his right and send salaams upon Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq(R) and pray that Allaah be pleased with him. 


Then he should move a little further to his right and send salaams upon ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab(R) and pray that Allaah be pleased with him. If he makes du’aa’ for Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them) in an appropriate manner, that is good. [6]


Virtues of Madina City

  1. Narrated by Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) : The Prophet  (peace be upon him) said, "Medina is a sanctuary from that place to that. Its trees should not be cut and no heresy should be innovated nor any sin should be committed in it, and whoever innovates in it a heresy or commits sins (bad deeds), then he will incur the curse of Allah, the angels, and all the people." Sahih al-Bukhari 1867(Volume 3, Book 30, Number 91)
  2. Narrated Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him):  Allah's Apostle (peace be upon him) said, "I was ordered to migrate to a town which will swallow (conquer) other towns and is called Yathrib and that is Medina, and it turns out (bad) persons as a furnace removes the impurities of iron. Sahih al-Bukhari 1871 (Volume 3, Book 30, Number 95)
  3. Narrated Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him): If I saw deer grazing in Medina, I would not chase them, for Allah's Apostle (peace be upon him) said, "(Medina) is a sanctuary between its two mountains."  Sahih al-Bukhari 1873(Volume 3, Book 30, Number 97)
  4. Narrated Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him): Allah's Apostle (peace be upon him) said, "Verily, Faith returns and goes back to Medina as a snake returns and goes back to its hole (when in danger)." Sahih al-Bukhari 1876 (Volume 3, Book 30, Number 100)
  5. Narrated Sa’d (May Allah be pleased with him): I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) saying, "None plots against the people of Medina but that he will be dissolved (destroyed) like the salt is dissolved in water." Sahih al-Bukhari 1877 (Volume 3, Book 30, Number 101)
  6. Narrated Anas bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "There will be no town which Ad-Dajjal will not enter except Makkah and Medina, and there will be no entrance (road) (of both Makkah and Medina) but the angels will be standing in rows guarding it against him, and then Medina will shake with its inhabitants thrice (i.e. three earth-quakes will take place) and Allah will expel all the non-believers and the hypocrites from it."  Sahih al-Bukhari 1881(Volume 3, Book 30, Number 105)
  7. Narrated Anas (May Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "O Allah! Bestow on Medina twice the blessings You bestowed on Makkah." Sahih al-Bukhari 1885(Volume 3, Book 30, Number 109)
  8. Narrated Anas (May Allah be pleased with him), Whenever the Prophet (Peace be upon him) returned from a journey and observed the walls of Medina, he would make his Mount go fast, and if he was on an animal (i.e. a horse), he would make it gallop because of his love for Medina. Sahih al-Bukhari 1886(Volume 3, Book 30, Number 110)
  9. Narrated Zaid bin Aslam from his father (May Allah be pleased with them), Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) said, O Allah! Grant me martyrdom in Your cause, and let my death be in the city of Your Apostle (peace be upon him)." Sahih al-Bukhari 1890 (Volume 3, Book 30, Number 114)   [7]


See also

Masjid ; Masjid E Haraam; Masjid E Aqsa; Makkah; Madina; Expansion of Masjid Al Haram; Allah; Messenger of Allah;










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