Masjid Nabawi

Upon the arrival of the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him", Muslim ladies and girls started singing this song.

طَلَعَ الْبَدْرُ عَلْيْنَا مِنْ ثَنِيَّاتِ الْوَدَاعِ

ِوَجَبَ الشُّكْرُ عَلَيْنَا مَا دَعى لله دَاع

Today, the full moon has risen upon us from the valleys of Mount Wadā; For this reason, gratitude to Allah has become forever obligatory upon us.

It was a day of happiness for the entire Muslim Ummah merely because they would practice their faith and worship God freely, despite the hardship they faced in Mecca. In the Holy Qur’an Allah the Almighty says:

ذَلِكُمُ اللَّهُ رَبُّكُمْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ خَالِقُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ فَاعْبُدُوهُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَكِيلٌ

Such is Allah, your Lord. There is no God but He, the Creator of all things, so worship Him. And He is Guardian over everything.

The Holy Quran (6:103)

Purely for this purpose mosques are built; to worship one God. Upon the arrival of the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him", everyone was desirous that the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" should stay in their house. Upon this the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" said, ‘Leave my camel, for at this time, it has been divinely inspired.’ In other words that wherever Allah desires it would sit down itself. The Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" released its reins; the animal advanced and sat down on a place where Masjid Nabawi was later constructed.

The Construction of the Prophet’s saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" Mosque

Upon the arrival of the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him", the first task was to build a mosque in Medina. The Mosque was built where the camel chose to rest. The land was owned by two children from Madinah named Sahl and Suhail. It was an empty land, which was bought at a price of 10 dirham.

The Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" supplicated to Allah the Almighty and laid the foundation stone, the companions worked as labourers and he himself participated several times while lifting bricks. After a long time of hard work, Masjid Nabawi was constructed.

The mosque itself was built from slabs and bricks apart from the roof, which was made out of branches and trunks of palm trees. Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib states in his book that at that time, the height of the mosque was 10 feet, the length was 105 feet and the width was 90 feet.

A visitor to the mosque today may not recognise which part was built during the life of the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" because of many extensions and renovations introduced later.

Change of Qiblah

The Ka'ba - Makkah
The Ka’ba – Makkah

When the mosque was built, prayers were conducted towards the direction of Masjid Aqsa and later on it was changed towards the Ka’aba. It is mention in the Holy Quran:

َقَدْ نَرَى تَقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ فِي السَّمَاءِ فَلَنُوَلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْضَاهَا فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنْتُمْ فَوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ لَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا يَعْمَلُونَ

Verily, We see thee turning thy face often to heaven; surely, then, will we make thee turn to the Qiblah which thou likest. So, turn thy face towards the Sacred Mosque; and wherever you be, turn your faces towards it. And they to whom the Book has been given know that this is the truth from their Lord; and Allah is not unmindful of what they do.

The Holy Quran (2:145)

Hadith Narrated by Bara ‘bin Azib raabbreviation for "May Allah be pleased with him/her/them" that: Allah’s Messenger saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" prayed facing Baitul-Maqdis for sixteen or seventeen months but he loved to face the Ka’aba (in Makkah) so Allah revealed:

Verily, We have seen the turning of your face to the heaven!

The Holy Quran (2:144)

So the Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" faced the Ka’aba and the fools amongst the people namely ‘the Jews’ said,

‘What has turned them from their Qibla (Baitul-Maqdis) which they formerly observed?’

Allah revealed:

Say: “To Allah belongs the East and the West. He guides whom He will to a straight path”.

The Holy Quran(2:142)

A man prayed with the Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" (facing the Ka’aba) and went out. He saw some of the Ansar praying the `Asr prayer with their faces towards Baitul-Maqdis, he said, ‘I bear witness that I prayed with Allah’s Messenger saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" facing the Ka’aba’. So all the people turned their faces towards the Ka’aba.

Ashabus-Suffah

During the time of the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him", a shed was built for those Muhajirin who were homeless; these people would spend their entire time in the remembrance of God. These people stayed in the company of the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him". The Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" would take care of them and comfort them in any way; and engage in their hospitality even though he would himself starve and send whatever was in his home to Ashabus- Suffah.

With regards to hospitality, one of the people from Ashabus Suffah, said: ‘The Messenger of Allah saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" said to us: “Come with me.” So we went to the house of Aisha raabbreviation for "May Allah be pleased with him/her/them", where we ate and drank. Then the Messenger of Allah saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" said to us: “If you want, you can sleep here, or if you want you can go out to the mosque.” We said: “We will go out to the mosque.”’

Expansion of Masjid Nabawi

Masjid Nabwi
Masjid Nabwi

After the Battle of Khaybar the Mosque was extended approximately by 155.2 metres on each side due to an increase of Muslim population. It was estimated that the expansion was about 2025 square metres.

During the time of Khulfa-e-Rashedeen only two expansions took place by Hazrat Umar raabbreviation for "May Allah be pleased with him/her/them" and Hazrat Usman raabbreviation for "May Allah be pleased with him/her/them". Hazrat Umar raabbreviation for "May Allah be pleased with him/her/them" increased the area of the mosque by 13.5 metres from south, west and north. His enlargement was estimated about 1100 square metres.

Due to an increase in Muslim population Hazrat Usman raabbreviation for "May Allah be pleased with him/her/them" expanded the mosque from the west and north by 4.9 metres. His enlargement was estimated about 439 square metres.

Many expansions for the mosque were placed but by far Ottoman Sultan Abdul Majeed and the Saudis made the greatest expansion. Ottoman Sutan Abdul Majeed who reconstructed the mosque in 1845-1860. They sent architects, experts and carpenters to reconstruct the mosque. It was the largest and most beautiful of the renovations, which was made for the mosque. Domes were decorated and verses from the Holy Qur’an and names of prophets were written. On them he even sent 140 bags of gold to reconstruct the doors. His overall enlargement of the mosque is estimated to be 1293 square metres. The Saudis underwent major modifications. During the time of Saud bin Abdul-Aziz till King Abdullah many expansions took place. In 2012, a project worth 6 billion was made for increasing the area, which would accommodate more than 1.6 million people.

Riad ul-Jannah

Riad ul-Jannah is a small area which extends from his tomb to his pulpit and is also referred to as Radah. Muslims visit this sacred place and offer their voluntary prayers as it is referred in a Hadith that the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" said ‘Between my house and my pulpit there is a garden of the gardens of Paradise’.

The reason why it was called the ‘Gardens of paradise’ is because Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" used to be so immersed in the remembrance of God Almighty, while leaving his house to lead the Salat and on the way back to his home.

Minarets

Masjid Nabwi
Masjid Nabwi

The mosque did not have any minarets during the time of the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" and the four caliphs. It was first introduced by Omar ibn Abdul Aziz, a governor of Medina who ruled from 717 to 720. During his time, he built four minarets in each corner of the mosque. Later on, Ottoman Sultan Abdul Majeed remodelled the Mosque by building five minarets and renovating the old ones.

Most of the minarets were destroyed when the Saudi Government reconstructed the mosque except for two. One of them is right next to the green dome and the other next to Bab al-Salam.

Due to this reconstruction, Masjid Nabawi now holds 10 minarets at a height of 70 metres.

Residence of the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him"

Holy Prophet’s saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" residence was constructed next to Masjid Nabawi, which was a small chamber merely 10 to 15 feet. The chamber was built from the same material that was used for the mosque. A single entrance led from the chamber to the mosque, from which he would enter the mosque to lead the prayer.

It is also proven from Hadith that the chamber he used to live in was very small. Hazrat Aisha raabbreviation for "May Allah be pleased with him/her/them" narrates ‘I used to stretch my legs towards the Qibla of the Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" while he was praying; whenever he prostrated he touched me, and I would withdraw my legs, and whenever he stood up, I would re-stretch my legs.’

Jannat-ul-Baqi

The literal meaning of Jannat-ul-Baqi is garden of trees. Jannat-ul-Baqi is the main and the largest cemetary of Madinah. The Holy Prophet’s saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" family members and his companions are also buried there.

Jannat-ul-Baqi is blessed through the prayers of the Holy Founder saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him", as he would head out at night towards Al Baqi and say, ‘Peace be upon you, abode of a people who are believers. What you were promised would come to you tomorrow, you receiving it after some delay; and God willing we shall join you’.

Al Baqi used to be a cemetery of great booty. In the 1840s the Ottoman Empire acknowledges its importance by building domes over the graves of his relatives.

In 1925, everything was destroyed by the Wahabis including the history, they also demolished the tombs of special personalities. They ordered the shrines of the family and companions of the Prophet Muhammad saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" in al-Baqi to be razed, in order to prevent shirk and polytheism.

The Prophet’s saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" grave and his companions

The graves today cannot be seen as it is covered by a green curtain and by a golden barrier; which is guarded to prevent the pilgrims; from performing any kind of idolatry; due to Wahabi teachings.

The Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" was buried in his room. Among the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" were Hazrat Abu Bakr raabbreviation for "May Allah be pleased with him/her/them" and Hazrat Umar raabbreviation for "May Allah be pleased with him/her/them". After the demise of the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him", his companions did not know where to bury him.

A Hadith was narrated by Hazrat Aisha raabbreviation for "May Allah be pleased with him/her/them":

When the Messenger of Allah died, they disagreed over where to bury him. So Abu Bakr raabbreviation for "May Allah be pleased with him/her/them" said: I heard the Messenger of Allah saying something which I have not forgotten, he said: “Allah does not take (the life of) a Prophet except at the location in which He wants him to be buried”.

So they buried him at the spot of his bed.

Hazrat Umar raabbreviation for "May Allah be pleased with him/her/them", was injured due to an assassination attempt. Before his demise he was really desirous, to be buried next to the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him". Before his death he said to his son, Abdullah, ‘O Abdullah bin Umar! Go to the mother of the believers, Aisha raabbreviation for "May Allah be pleased with him/her/them" and say, “Umar bin Al-Khattab sends his greetings to you”, and request her to allow me to be buried with my companions.’ She said, ‘I had the idea of having this place for myself but today I prefer him’.

The Green Dome

Masjid Nabawi - Green Dome
Masjid Nabawi – Green Dome

The Green Dome was built above the tomb of the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" and his companions, Hazrat Abu Bakr raabbreviation for "May Allah be pleased with him/her/them" and Hazrat Umar raabbreviation for "May Allah be pleased with him/her/them". The dome is located in the southeast corner of Al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina. It was mainly to distinguish the chamber from the rest of the roof.

The sacred chamber of the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" had no dome; until the year 687 AH. The dome was built out of wood and was covered by lead; due to a fire which struck the dome was renovated in 886 AH, by using solid tiles. The present green dome over the tomb of the Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" was added in 1818 under the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II.

Attempt to steal the body of the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him"

An attempt was made by two Jews, who tried to steal the body of the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him". They rented a house not far from the sacred chamber. These Jews acted as being pious, by performing prayers, helping out the needy and also by visiting the Mosque. They started digging by loading the sand into their bags and disposing it nearby. They managed to get closer, but Allah the Almighty would never have let them succeed in their plan. He showed a dream to Sultan Nuruddin Mahmoud ibn Zangi, in which he saw the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" pointing out at two men and said, ‘save me from them’. He saw the dream three times and therefore, he visited Medina. Upon his arrival, he firstly visited the mosque and offered his salat. He had also brought gifts with him so that he could distribute the gifts among the residents of Medina. He distributed the gifts to each resident and looked at each recipient carefully. Then the Sultan enquired if every resident has visited me. People said to him that there are two really pious men who don’t take anything from anyone and told him how they would rather feed the needy very generously than taking anything for themselves. The Sultan investigated them and went to their residence which was close to the chamber. The Sultan was roaming around until he removed an old carpet and saw a tunnel which lead to the sacred chamber. After inquiring about them, they confessed themselves and were later on executed. He then ordered the digging of a ditch around the sacred chamber, to put a cast inside in order to guard it from future attempts.

The infidels tried many things in the past and till now to defame the name of Islam and the Holy Prophet saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" but they don’t know the reason why they are not successful. The Holy Qur’an states:

وَإِذْ يَمْكُرُ بِكَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِيُثْبِتُوكَ أَوْ يَقْتُلُوكَ أَوْ يُخْرِجُوكَ وَيَمْكُرُونَ وَيَمْكُرُ اللَّهُ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ

And remember the time when the disbelievers plotted against thee that they might imprison thee or kill thee or expel thee. And they planned and Allah also planned, and Allah is the Best of planners.

The Holy Quran (8:31)

Disclaimer

This article was originally published in the Annual Printed Edition of Majallatul Jamia

Azhar Ahmed

Azhar Ahmed

Student Jamia Ahmadiyya UK

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