Masjid an Nabawi (S.A.W) (Prophet’s Mosque) is the second holiest mosque or site in Islam and it is also one of the largest mosques in the world. It is located in Medina, Saudi Arabia, and always opens even in day and night. The pilgrims come for performing hajj; also visit the Masjid Nabawi because of its significance. Let’s take the detour back in time to know the Masjid Nabawi history.
In 622 CE, the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) migrated to Medina from Makkah, he built the mosque by himself in Rabi-ul-Awwal, 1 Hijri. And foundation of Masjid e Nabawi (S.A.W) was laid by him. The mosque (S.A.W) was originally next to the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) house. The mosque was open air when it was originally built.
Original Construction And Structure
The original mosque was built with unbaked bricks and foundation was made of stones. Columns of mosque were built with stalk of palm trees. The prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) covered the roof with branches of palm trees.
The original dimension of mosque was 35*30 meters. There were three doors; one door was in direction of Qiblah into southern wall. But when the direction of Qiblah was change this door was closed and new door was open in northern wall. The other two doors were known as Bab Rehman in western wall and in eastern wall there was Bab Jibreel.
Extension By Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W)
After the battle of Khyber, prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) ordered the Sahaba (companions) to extend the Masjid e Nabawi (S.A.W) because more people enter into Islamic circle. In 7H, width of the mosque was increased by 20 meters and length by 15 meters. The new dimensions of the mosque become 50*50 meters. The height of the roof was extended from two and a half meters to three and a half meters. Hazrat Osman (R.A) paid for additional land of the mosque.
Renovation And Extension In Caliph’s Reign
First Caliph: Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A)
In Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) reign, some of the trees stem of the columns worn out. So, he replaced these columns with similar trees and covered the roof with palm tree branches.
Second Caliph: Hazrat Omar Farooq (R.A)
As population of Muslims grew significantly, people requested the caliph to extend the mosque. Hazrat Omar Farooq (R.A) in 17H extended the whole mosque by ten meters to west, five meters to south and fifteen meters to north. The roof was increased by five and a half meters and new door was added in western wall known as Bab Salam. The western boundary of mosque was extended up to seven columns from podium. So, new dimensions become 70*60 meters.
Third Caliph: Hazrat Osman (R.A)
Hazrat Osman (R.A) extended the Masjid e Nabawi (S.A.W) in 29H. The mosque was extend by five meters to north, five meters to south and five meters in western direction. That’s why mosque was extended up to eight columns from podium. After Hazrat Osman (R.A) extension no changes were made in southern side so it is still place in original position.
There were many extension made after the Caliph’s reign by Omayyad ruler, Abbasid ruler. There were two fires in mosque so it was reconstructed twice. Then Sultan Abdul Majeed the Ottoman Empire ruler extended and redesigns the Mosque (S.A.W). The Saudi Government extended the Mosque (S.A.W) two times and adds ladies’ prayer areas as well. Today the Mosque (S.A.W) is well equipped with toilets, air conditioners, car parking, basement, and public service. Its current capacity is 10,00000.