Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,
In the heart of Madinah, the city illuminated by the presence of the noble Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), stands the magnificent Masjid al-Nabawi. This sacred sanctuary has witnessed numerous transformations over the centuries, each echoing the devotion and reverence of the Muslim ummah. Among these, the expansion undertaken in 1850 CE by Sultan ‘Abd al-Majid holds a special place in the annals of Islamic history.
Sultan ‘Abd al-Majid, a visionary leader of the Ottoman Empire from 1839 to 1861, embarked on a monumental mission to enhance the grandeur of Masjid al-Nabawi. With a deep sense of respect for the sanctity of the mosque, he initiated a comprehensive remodeling, expanding its boundaries and beautifying its architecture. Yet, in his profound wisdom, he chose to preserve the most sacred elements untouched: the tomb of the Prophet (PBUH), the three mihrabs, the minbar, and the Suleiymaniyyah minaret.
The southern prayer hall was notably expanded, its width doubled, and adorned with a series of intricately designed domes. These domes, with their harmonious symmetry, added to the mosque’s spiritual ambiance, with special emphasis given to the domes enveloping the mihrab area, Bab al-Salam, and the revered tomb of the Messenger (PBUH).
Sultan ‘Abd al-Majid’s dedication to preserving Islamic heritage was unparalleled. He ensured that the expansion was carried out with the utmost precision and care. To achieve this, he prepared an entire generation of huffaz from a tender age, providing them with guidance and training from the most esteemed craftsmen in the Islamic realm. This initiative fortified the preservation of Islamic teachings and further enriched the spiritual atmosphere of Masjid al-Nabawi.
The era of Sultan ‘Abd al-Majid stands as a testament to the harmonious blend of architectural brilliance and spiritual devotion. His commitment to enhancing the divine experience for all who visit Masjid al-Nabawi resonates with believers to this day, serving as a beacon of Islamic artistry and devotion.