Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, often referred to as The Prophet’s Mosque, is one of the world’s oldest mosques. Located in the sacred city of Madinah, Al-Masjid an-Nabawi is the second holiest site in Islam. The mosque was built by the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) himself in 622CE and is also his final resting place.
When the Prophet (S.A.W) was close to his death, he lived with Hazret Aisha (R.A) in their house. This house now forms part of Al-Masjid an-Nabawi and is regarded as a sacred place.
After his passing, many people tried to take some of the amber-scented soil covering the holy grave and tried to use it for healing purposes. To stop this disturbance, Hazret Aisha (r.a) built a wall in the middle of the room to protect the grave. The first two Caliphs, Abu Bakr (r.a) and Umar (r.a) were buried in Hujra al-Saadet, at the foot of the Messenger of Allah, as per their will.
The mosque was demolished and rebuilt twice throughout history to allow for additional development. It was also expanded several times over the centuries to accommodate the increasing number of visitors each year. The extensions included Omer bin Abdulaziz’s construction of the pentagon wall, the addition of minarets, beautiful Islamic calligraphy on the walls, huge pillars and the iconic Green Dome. At present, the mosque covers an area of over 1.5 million square metres to accommodate millions of visitors each year.
About Makkah Al-Mukarramah Makkah Al-Mukarramah is considered the holiest city in Islam. It is the home of the auspicious Masjid Al-Haram, the largest mosque on earth. It is the epicentre of Islamic worship and an integral part of the sacred rite of Hajj and Umrah.
Although Makkah Al-Mukarramah has undergone many changes over the centuries, there are certain key structures that have remained intact throughout history.
Masjid Al-Haram is considered the most important mosque. It has a wonderful history and houses many sacred structures and artefacts that hold great significance in Islam.
Masjid Al-Haram is home to the magnificent Ka’bah. Built by Nabi Ibrahim and his son Isma’il, it sits at the very centre of the of Masjid Al-Haram. In Islam, the Ka’bah serves as a guide to all Muslims around the world as to which direction to pray. This is known as Qibla. Pilgrims walk around the Ka’bah seven times in a counter-clockwise direction. This practice, known as Tawaaf, is an integral part of performing Hajj and Umrah.
The Ka’bah also houses the black stone known as Hijr Al-Aswad. It is considered a blessed object and it has become a Sunnah to touch the stone during Tawaaf.
Makam Ibrahim is the stone Nabi Ibrahim stood on while building the highest parts of the Ka’bah. The stone has been kept in many structures of the decades.
During the Ottoman period, Makam Ibrahim was protected by a domed building on four pillars, surrounded by an iron cage. It then got rebuilt as a hexagonal structure in 1967 and then as an elliptical building in 1997.
Safa, Marwa and the Zamzam Well
Zamzam is considered blessed water from the Almighty Allah. The well is located just below the circumambulation area today.
While Nabi Ibrahim was away on Allah’s command, he left his son Isma’il in his mother’s care. Hajar ran out of provisions to feed Isma’il. She desperately started searching for water for her son.
She walked back and forth between two small hills seven times. These two hills are called Safa and Marwa. Today, pilgrims perform this same walk as a tribute to Hajar’s efforts to help her son.
Isma’il’s cries became more frantic with each passing second. He started kicking and stomping the ground and water miraculously sprang from the earth. The Zamzam well has provided water every day since then.
Masjid Al-Haram is one of the oldest and most revered mosques in the world. It is at the heart of one of the five pillars of Islam (Hajj) and therefore of great significance. Its rich history is awe-inspiring and a testament to the Almighty’s greatness.
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