Ebrahim Moosa - Radio Islam International | 19 Rabi uth Thani 1439/07 January 2018
As of Zuhr today, all Fardh Salaah in Masjid Nabawi (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) will be led from the Mihrab of Rasulullah (SAW) in the Rawdatul Jannah section of the Masjid, and not the relatively newer Mihrab at the forefront of the blessed mosque.
The move is reportedly an extension of a recent decree aimed at facilitating ease in worshippers conveying greetings at the resting places of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his two most esteemed companions from the front wing of the Masjid.
With the new arrangement in effect, rows for salaah will not be formed in the area ahead of the Rawdatul Jannah, and as such could assist in the flow of pilgrims heading to deliver salaam especially in the periods immediately prior to and after Salaah.
The move follows the historic leading of Jummuah Salaah from the Mihrab of the Prophet (SAW) in December. That Salaah represented the first time prayers were led from the Prophetic Mihrab in the past quarter of a century, with records showing that Salaah was last led (prior to that occasion) from the Rawdatul Jannah in Ramadan 1414, corresponding with March 1994.
It was reported in December that directives were issued by the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques for worshippers in the Prophet’s Mosque to be led from the old mihrab of the Prophet’s Mosque during Jummuah, the two Eids, Taraweeh, and Qiyamul Layl, in order to allow visitors to greet the Prophet (SAW) and his companions without crowding and to minimise the risk of stampeding, in light of the density of worshippers recently witnessed visiting the the mosque.
With the new arrangement of all Fardh Salaahs being led from the same spot as well, it is as yet unclear if the new arrangement will be permanent.
As with the Jummuah in December, today’s Zuhr Salaah from the Rawdatul Jannah was led by Imam and Khateeb of Masjid Nabawi (SAW), Sheikh Abdullah Buayjaan.
According to Islamic Landmarks, if one were to stand in mihrab of Rawdatul Jannah for offering salah, one’s place of sajdah will correspond to the spot where the Prophet’s (SAW) blessed feet used to stand. The Prophet’s (SAW) place of sajdah is intentionally covered by the thick wall of the mihrab.
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) led Salah from this spot for a considerable time after the construction of the Masjid. There was however no mihrab at this spot during the period of the Prophet (SAW) and the four Caliphs. That construction came later, in the year 91H when Umar bin Abdul Aziz (RA) established a structure at its place.
Due to successive expansions of Masjid Nabawi, daily Salaah was not traditionally led from this Mihrab. Instead, the Imam stood at a newer Mihrab that came into being during a renovation of Masjid Nabawi in the year 20AH.