After a quarter of a century, the Imams of Al-Masjid an-Nabawi returned to the Prophet’s ‘mihrab’ for prayers and the area hyas been developed so that people can visit his tomb.
The ‘mihrab’ is a semicircular niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the qibla - that is, the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca and hence the direction that Muslims should face when praying.(VIDEO: Detailed visit into the Prophet’s Mihrab).
Friday prayers in Al-Masjid an-Nabawi witnessed the return of using the ‘mihrab’, where the Imam would direct the congregation to pray in the direction of the Qibla from inside the Holy Rawdha for the ease and comfort of worshippers and visitors, and Sheikh Abdullah al-Baijan led the prayer.
This means that visits to the tombs of the Prophet Mohammed and his companions Abu Bakr and Omar, can be done calmly, in light of the density of worshippers and visitors to the Prophet's Mosque these days. (PHOTOS: Inside the Prophetic Chamber in Madinah).
East of the Holy Rawdha is the tomb of the Prophet, and on the west is the manbar. It was constructed by Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz in the place where the Prophet used to take as a chapel after the Qibla became directed to the Holy Kaaba.
Before this change, the prayers were held from the ‘mihrab’ which is situated in the front of the Prophet's Mosque in the Qibla wall.
Caliph Othman ibn Affan constructed it during his expansion of the Prophet’s Mosque, and therefore it is called the Othmani ‘mihrab’.
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