The original Prophet’s Mosque was built by Prophet Muhammed himself, next to the house where he settled after his Hijrah (emigration) to Medina in 622 AD. It was an open-air building with a raised platform for the reading of the Qur’an.
A square enclosure of 30x35 metres, the mosque was built with palm trunks and mud walls and accessed through three doors: Bab Rahmah to the south, Bab Jibril to the west and Bab al-Nisa’ to the east. The basic plan of the building has since been adopted in the building of other mosques throughout the world.
As it stands today, the Prophet’s 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 the Prophet and can accommodate more than half a million worshippers.
The mosque is located in what was traditionally the centre of Medina, with many hotels and old markets nearby. It is a major pilgrimage site and many people who perform the Hajj in Mecca later come to Medina to visit the mosque.