Crumbling historic Madinah mosques need repair

Many historic mosques, including that of Mariah, the prophet's wife, were recently demolished

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Many historic mosques in Madinah are in need of urgent repair, maintenance or complete reconstruction to preserve and keep them intact for many years to come, local daily Al-Madinah reported Monday quoting a noted Saudi historian.

"These mosques are part of our history. They need skilled people who use state-of-the-art technology in their work to repair them," Dr. Tinaidib Al-Faydi said.

According to the historian-researcher, Al-Fash Mosque, located at the bottom of Uhud Mountain, is among those that need maintenance. He recalled that the Prophet (peace be upon him) prayed in this mosque while sitting down due to fatigue. His companions prayed after him also sitting down, Al-Faydi added.

He said Banu Aneef Mosque is another historic mosque in need of repair. The Prophet (pbuh) also prayed at this mosque, which is located on a plateau about 500 meters away from Qiba Mosque. It is also incorrectly called Mosabah Mosque.

Al-Nour mosque is located about a kilometer behind the Banu Aneef or Mosabah Mosque. This mosque has been mentioned by Imam Bukhari in his book containing authentic prophetic sayings. The foundation stones of the mosque still exist in a farm with a well near it.

The researcher said many historic mosques, including Mariah Mosque, were recently demolished because they were surrounded by cemeteries from all sides.

Mariah was an Egyptian Coptic who was the wife of the Prophet (pbuh) and the mother of his son Ibrahim, who died at childbirth.

The remains of the mosque are now located inside a large courtyard on Al-Awali Road.

The Al-Fidhaikh Mosque, which is also called Urwah Bani Al-Nadeer Mosque, was also demolished because it was surrounded by graveyards from all its sides.

According to the historian, other ancient mosques in need of repair or complete reconstruction include Banu Quraidha, Banu Dinar which is now known as Al-Mighaislah Mosque, the Al-Qiblatain, Al-Fath, Al-Ahzab, Jabir Bin Abdullah, Al-Ijabah, Banu Muawiyyah, Al-Sajdah, Al-Miqat, Al-Jumaa, Al-Rayah and Otban Bin Malik Mosque where the Prophet (pbuh) had prayed.

According to Al-Faydi the most famous mosques in Madinah include Quba, which is the second largest in Madinah after the Prophet's Mosque.

Al-Anbariyyah Mosque is another historic building which was built by the Ottoman emperor Abdul Hameed II in 1908 as part of Al-Hejaz train project linking Madinah with Damascus.

The Al-Qiblatain Mosque is one of the important historic features of the Prophet's city.

It was also called Banu Salamah Mosque because it was located in Banu Salamah village. It is called Al-Qiblatain because the Prophet (pbuh) received orders from Allah to change the Qibla (the direction to which Muslims point toward when praying) from Jerusalem to Makkah while he was praying there.

The mosque is situated to the northwest of the city and overlooks Al-Aqiq valley.

There is also Abu Dhar Al-Ghifari Mosque, which is named after the great companion of the Prophet (pbuh). It has also been called Al-Sajdah Mosque because the Prophet (pbuh) knelt here for a long time in it thanking Allah. It is also known as Al-Buhairi Mosque because of its proximity to a date palms farm known as Al-Buhair.

The Al-Ghamamah (cloud) Mosque is located to the southwest of the Prophet's Mosque about 500 meters from Al-Salam Door.

People intending to go to Makkah for Haj or Umrah put their ihram (the holy dress pilgrims wear) on in this mosque. It is also known as Abar (wells) Ali Mosque.

Caliph Ali Bin Abi Talib ordered digging of wells in this area to provide water to the pilgrims and visitors.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on December 16,2013

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