The Holy Prophet's Mosque in Madinah Munawwarah
The Holy Prophet's Mosque in Madinah
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) came out from Makkah on 27th of
Safar (SEP.10, 622 A.D.) in the first year of Hijrah
and reached Quba after ten days. He stayed
there for four days and on 12th of Rabi-al-Awwal
(Sep. 24) his Highness went to Madinah .
The Prophet (S.A.W.) announced that wherever his she-camel
kneels down he will choose that place for building
the mosque and his house. The place where his she-camel
knelt down is the Prophet's mosque at present.
The Prophet (S.A.W.) bought that land. At first it was a
ruined place with some date palms' roots and a few
number of graves. The Prophet (S.A.W.) ordered to cut the
roots and level the place and use the date palms'
trunks and fronds in mosque's building .The
Prophet (S.A.W.) placed three doors for the mosque , the
southern door at the end of the mosque and Babul
Rahmah (Al-Rahmah door) at the west and the door of Gabriel at the
east where he himself enters the mosque. The
mosque was as high as a man and its area
was 1050 square meters , it means that the
north-south side was 70 zar (35 meters) and the
east-west side was 60 zar (30 meters) .The
mosque was built of wood and sun-dried bricks
and date palm's trunks covered its roof .The
Prophet (S.A.W.) made a shady place at the end of the mosque which
was named Suffah , in which the strangers and
Indigents took shelter , and the people who lived
there were called "habitants of Suffah" .
The Muslims said their prayers at the Prophet's
Mosque toward the Holy Jerusalem for sixteen
months until verse No .144 form "Baqarah"
Surah was revealed and due to that the Qiblah
was changed to Kaaba ."We have seen the
turning of your face to heaven and now verily we
shall make you turn toward the inviolable place of
worship , then turn your face toward it ."
The first pulpit that was built for the Prophet (S.A.W.),
was a platform made of mud and without stairs
so the new comers could recognize the
Prophet (S.A.W.). Who delivered his homilies on Friday
and the other occasions. In the 7th year A.H
(628 A.D.) a new pulpit was made of wood.
The merciful Prophet (S.A.W.) had defined the sacred
place in a Hadith (tradition) , when he said: The
area between my house and my pulpit is one
of the Paradise gardens . The holy place is
22 meters long and 15 meters wide. Later on
a small part of the holy place was added to
the environs of the Prophet's house.(Present shrine)
The pillars of the mosque are trunks of dates palms
and their locations have not been changed in various
times of the mosque's extensions. Among this
pillars , eight pillars are famous because of some
2)Ghoreh pillar (Ayeshe or Mohajerin), the place
for sitting the emigrants from Makkah.
3)Tawbah pillar (Abu Lababeh) , the pillar where Abu
Lababeh tied himself for repentance.
4)Mohras pillar, the place where Imam Ali (A.S.) used to
say his prayers.
5)Wufood pillar , the place where the Prophet
Muhammad (S.A.W.) used to receive the missions of
6)Sarir pillar , the place where the Prophet (S.A.W.)
performed his Etekaf (a kind of worship) in there.
8)Tahajod pillar , the place for midnight prayer
and incantations. After the return of the Holy
Prophet (S.A.W.) from Khybar war and with
considering the increasing of the Muslims population
the Prophet (S.A.W.) felt that the mosque was in need of some
extensions, so by adding the adjacent land the
measurement of the mosque became twice as much,
Thus, the expansion of the Prophet's house in
north and south and east became twice as much.
In this manner , the mosque become as a
rectangle of 136 Zar (68 m) long from
south to north and 114 Zar (57 m) wide from
east to west. During the early time of Islam
ultimate the area of mosque was 3876
The House of the Prophet (S.A.W.)
The house of the Prophet (S.A.W.) , which at present
is his holy shrine , can be measured in south
(Qiblah) about 10 .75 Zar and in north (Sham) 10.
25 Zar , and the east-west width is 6 .65 Zar.
The ground floor of the mosque which consists in the
old mosque and the new expansion forms the most
important part of the Prophet 's mosque.
The Principal Space
The new expansion which all of it is for prayer is in
the ground floor and the eastern and western
sections are identical. The internal section that
joins two sides sections, has formed in direction
of old building. All over the praying area is roofed
except the open space (courtyards) which has
movable roofs .All the roofs are considered with
dimensions of (6 by 6) meters or (18 by)meters 18 and the pillars
that the load of the roof is upon them are 12
m height. The ground floor and the principal
area are 14 m height that draw the horizon
line of the mosque building. The necessity
of equal connection between the old building and the
new one caused some renovations in the old
mosque . Among them we could mention the
covering of the open space (courtyard) with 12
electrical shades in the form of old domes. This
identical designs of (18 by 18) meters have been
performed in two open spaces with dimensions
of (64 by 32) meters.
The ground floor has 27 open spaces with 27
sliding movable domes. The dimension of each
one is (18 by 18) meters and artistically located around
the ground floor.
Apart from four principal minarets, another six
ones were built in the mosque that each
one is 104 meters high and on the top of each one is a shining
Underground floor measurements are equal to the ground
floor's and some of industrial equipments are
located at this place. The height of this floor is four
meters and the main pillars of the building that
are in the depth of 20 meters have crossed
inside of it.
All the roof of the Prophet's mosque is left for praying
and it has a capacity of 90000 prayers. There are
several ways for prayers to reach the mosque but
in order to prevent the clash between those who exit
from principal doors and those who go to the
underground floor , they have built some exit doors
beside the principal entrance doors which
related to the prayers on the ground floor .There are 30
stairways and escalators to allow the prayers to
go to the ground floor and the underground floor,
for the roof there is a covered balcony with the
width of six meters , and it could be seen all over
The roof of the Mosque
The new project of the expansion of the holy
shrine formation is based on inspiration of
everlasting traditions of Islamic architecture, for
example , the design of the courtyard's tents is based
on this method in such a way that it can make a
connection between the traditional idea of using
the thin cloth for covering the roof and keeping away
the direct sun light from the tents.
Specialty of tents
Among the for mentioned tents, 12 of them are
spread out upon two courtyards of the mosque.
The tents are 14 meters high in case of being
spread out that is as tall as the wall of the
mosque and completely cover the
courtyards of the mosque. The flexible metal bars are
placed inside each tent. The pillar of each tent
is covered with white marble and is automatically
opens and closes the tent. Each tent covers an
area of (18 by17) meters. The diameter of each tent
is near 14 m and the weight of each tent is 10
tons .In summer at daytime the white cover of the
tents spread out until its
shadow covers all over the courtyard, this cover is
removed at nights and the night pleasing
breeze flows in.
The main role of these domes is covering the
courtyards at different climate conditions and
regulating the inside air of the mosque. In summer
with the first beam of the sunlight these domes move gently
and completely cover the courtyard and provide
a pleasant shadow and help the air - conditioning
system. When the night comes the domes return back
to their first place and the ceilings open to let the
hot air exit to the night's cold sky and in
winter this action happens vice versa .
The minarets are the principal sign of
each mosque from the beginning and are
employed as a fundamental element in the Prophet's
mosque at new expansion of it. In this way six
new minarets were built with the height of
104 meters and have became as a beautiful
symbol .In the expanded section of the mosque
2104 pillars are established and on the top of
them there are arches that cover the praying
space .Each pillar is the pedestal of four arches
that form the porches and ceilings. The arches
are covered by pieces of industrial granite
in blue , gray and white color. At the
joint point of arch and ceiling the pictures of
flowery works could be seen and the diameter of
each pillar at the ground is 64 cm and the height
of each one is 13 meters.
Entrances and doors
There are seven big entrances around the
mosque and each one has pillars and portals.
These doors are in the north , east and west and for
each one there is a separate entrance and exit.
The length and width of the doors are (6 by 3) meters.
The doors are made of thick wood with a
thickness of fifteen cm and are covered by a
layer of copper. At the middle of each door there
is a big circle and is imprinted by the name of
Muhammad (S.A.W.) and there is a smaller
circle in it that is imprinted by the name of
Rasul-Allah, and there are some other identical
doors in the north and west of the Qiblah of the
mosque. The doors in ground floor are as
follows : Seven big entrances, each one with five,
3 by 6 doors and fourteen side doors with the
same size .Two entrances are placed at the back
of the building and each one has three doors with the
same dimensions. Two entrances, the entrance of
Bab-ol-Rahmeh (with two doors) and the other
one Bab-ol-Nesa (with two doors) and twelve
small two post-doors which are connected to six
escalators and to the stone-step of the fourteen
mentioned doors .There are two outer sloping
entrances at the underground floor with six stairs to
out and one stair to the mosque.
Walls, Ceilings and Stone-Pavements
Ceilings are made of industrial granite and they
are mostly in square shapes , small and big. The
length of the big one is six meters. The outer walls are
all covered by natural granite and a little industrial
granite is used for external appearance, and the
walls are faced with marble .The green brick
(western and Arabic brick) with golden cover is
used on the top of entrances to beautify the
appearance , and the gilded tiles are seen in
frames and walls up to height of three meters
have been covered by local granite and in the upper
appearance the black granite is used. Due to the
importance of the seven entrances and the
necessity of being visible , the floor of entrance
halls are covered with white marble and an octagonal
star in the middle of it.