ThePlace: The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah

Pilgrims walking through the courtyard at the Prophet's mosque in Madinah. (SPA)
Updated 16 October 2018

ThePlace: The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah

  • The Green Dome is in the south east corner of the Prophet’s Mosque, and was first painted green in 1837
  • Last Ramadan, the Prophet’s Mosque made arrangements to accommodate 10,000 worshippers who performed the ritual of “Itikaaf”

The Prophet’s Mosque is one of the largest mosques in the world and the second holiest site in Islam after the Grand Mosque in Makkah. Located in Madinah, it was built by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the year 1 AH (622 AD) near his home after building Quba Mosque (the first mosque in Islam). The mosque was expanded many times over the years, in the reign of the Caliphs and the Umayyad, Abbasid and Ottoman states, and then finally in the span of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1994 when the largest expansion operation took place. The Prophet’s Mosque is considered to be the first place in the Arabian Peninsula to be lit electrically using lightbulbs in 1327 AH (1909). The original mosque was an open-air building, and served as a community center, a court and a religious school. The mosque is also home to the tomb of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and the mosque is a significant Islamic site to pilgrims for its strong affiliation and connection to the life of the Prophet.
Many pilgrims who perform Hajj also travel to Al-Madinah to visit the Prophet’s mosque. Last Ramadan, the Prophet’s Mosque made arrangements to accommodate 10,000 worshippers who performed the ritual of “Itikaaf” (Seclusion and staying in the mosque with the intention of worshipping). Many hotels and local/traditional markets can be found near the mosque. One of the mosque’s most prominent features is the Green Dome; it is built above the prophet’s tomb and the tombs of early Muslim caliphs Abu Bakr As-Siddiq and Omar bin Al-Khattab. The Green Dome is in the south east corner of the Prophet’s Mosque, and was first painted green in 1837, becoming known thereafter as “The Green Dome.”


Saudi Arabia's envoy to UK: We won’t allow Iran to meddle in region 

Updated 9 min 18 sec ago

Saudi Arabia's envoy to UK: We won’t allow Iran to meddle in region 

  • “You cannot give in to a country like Iran because they will see it as a sign of weakness,” Prince Khalid said
  • The ambassador encouraged people to visit his country before forming an opinion of it

LONDON: Riyadh does not seek conflict with Tehran but will not let “Iran’s meddling in the region” go unchecked, said the Saudi ambassador to Britain. 
“We do not seek conflict. We do not seek escalation. We have always been supporters of taking a firm stand against Iran. Our issue is not with the people of Iran, it is with the regime running the country,” Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan told the Daily Telegraph. 
“But we do not believe in appeasement. At no point in history has appeasement proved to be a successful strategy. You cannot give in to a country like Iran because they will see it as a sign of weakness.”
France, Germany and the UK, three of the signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), triggered a “dispute resolution mechanism” recently in response to Iran ramping up its nuclear program in violation of the deal.
Prince Khalid criticized the JCPOA because it does not address “all the other things that Iran” is doing in the region.
“Iran’s meddling in the region is as challenging as the nuclear program. This is why we were concerned with the nuclear deal,” he said.
The ambassador also touched on recent allegations that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in hacking the phone of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
“It is very easy for people to throw these unsubstantiated allegations against Saudi Arabia because they know that it is very difficult for Riyadh to defend itself when it does not have proper access to the details,” Prince Khalid said.
“We need to see the evidence before we make any response, because the evidence made public so far is circumstantial at best.”
Saudis do not always represent themselves well because they are “a reticent people and our culture does not push us to talking about ourselves,” he said. “We need to do a better job on showing the world who we really are.” 
The ambassador, who was appointed last year, encouraged people to visit his country before forming an opinion of it. 
“There are a lot of misconceptions about Saudi Arabia. We want people to come and see Saudi Arabia for themselves, and not rely on what they have read somewhere or heard somewhere to form their opinion of the country,” he said.
“There is plenty to see, and you will find a warm, generous and hospitable people there waiting to greet you.”