Al-Masjid al-Nabawī "Mosque of the Prophet"), often called the Prophet's Mosque, is a mosque built by the Islamic Prophet Muhammad situated in the city of Medina. It is the second holiest site in Islam (the first being the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca). It was the second mosque built in history and is now one of the largest mosques in the world. After an expansion during the reign of al-Walid I, it also now incorporates the site of the final resting place of Muhammad and early Muslim leaders Abu Bakr and Umar.
The site was originally adjacent to Muhammad's house; he settled there after his Hijra (emigration) to Medina in 622. He shared in the heavy work of construction. The original mosque was an open-air building. The basic plan of the building has been adopted in the building of other mosques throughout the world. The mosque also served as a community center, a court, and a religious school. There was a raised platform for the people who taught the Quran. Subsequent Islamic rulers greatly expanded and decorated it. In 1909, it became the first place in the Arabian Peninsula to be provided with electrical lights. The mosque is under the control of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
One of the most notable features of the site is the Green Dome in the south-east corner of the mosque, originally Aisha's house, where the tomb of Muhammad is located. In 1279 AD, a wooden cupola was built over the tomb which was later rebuilt and renovated multiple times in late 15th century and once in 1817. The dome was first painted green in 1837, and later became known as the Green Dome.The mosque is located in what was traditionally the center of Medina, with many hotels and old markets nearby. It is a major pilgrimage site. Many pilgrims who perform the Hajj go on to Medina to visit the mosque and the Prophet. The mosque is open for service 24/7, all year round.
As it stands today, the mosque has a rectangular plan on two floors with the Ottoman prayer hall projecting to the south. The main prayer hall occupies the entire first floor. The mosque enclosure is 100 times bigger than the first mosque built by Muhammad and can accommodate more than half a million worshippers.The mosque has a flat paved roof topped with 27 sliding domes on square bases. Holes pierced into the base of each dome illuminate the interior. The roof is also used for prayer during peak times, when the domes slide out on metal tracks to shade areas of the roof, creating light wells for the prayer hall. At these times, the courtyard of the Ottoman mosque is also shaded with umbrellas affixed to freestanding columns. The roof is accessed by stairs and escalators. The paved area around the mosque is also used for prayer, equipped with umbrella tents. Sliding Domes and retractable umbrellas are designed by the German architect Mahmoud Bodo Rasch and his firm SL Rasch GmbH
The north facade has three evenly spaced porticos, while the east, west and south facades have two. The walls are composed of a series of windows topped by pointed arches with black and white voussoirs. There are six peripheral minarets attached to the new extension, and four others frame the Ottoman structure. The mosque is lavishly decorated with polychrome marble and stones. The columns are of white marble with brass capitals supporting slightly pointed arches, built of black and white stones. The column pedestals have ventilation grills that regulate the temperature inside the prayer hall.This new mosque contains the older mosque within it. The two sections can be easily distinguished: the older section has many colorful decorations and numerous small pillars, and fans have been installed in the ceiling; the new section is in gleaming white marble and is completely air-conditioned.The open courtyard of the mosque can be shaded by folded, umbrella-like canopies, designed by Mahmoud Bodo Rasch with his firm SL Rasch GmbH and Buro Happold.