Mosque Name: Qiblatain Mosque

Country: Saudi Arabia

City: Medina

Year of construction (AH): 5 AH

Year of construction (AD): 626 AD

GPS: 24°29’2.72"N 39°34’43.17"E

ArchNet: http://archnet.org/sites/580

Original Qibla: Petra & Jerusalem

Rebuilt facing Mecca: 88 AH & 1987

Description:

Masjid al-Qiblatain (Mosque of the Two Qiblas) is a mosque in Medina that is historically important for Muslims, as it is remembered as the place where a companion leading the prayer was told of the change of qibla. He supposedly did a 180 degree turn and he is said to have been commanded to change the direction of prayer (qibla) from Jerusalem to Mecca. Thus this mosque uniquely contained two prayer niches (mihrabs). This is an important mosque for our study as the original structure was built around 626 AD and further renovations maintained the original two qiblas. In 1987 the mosque was completely renovated, removing the old prayer niche that faced north, but maintaining the one facing Mecca. The mosque has undergone several major reconstructions, the latest being in 1987. Nothing remains of the original mosque, but ’Abdel Wahed el Wakil, an architect, made excellent drawings of the earlier structures before the mosque was torn down and replaced with the new building. When the old mosque was torn down, the foundation stones of the earlier mosque revealed that the original building faced north towards both Petra and Jerusalem which were in almost the same direction. This is true of every mosque in Medina.

It is easy to see how the people in Medina assumed that the old mosques faced Jerusalem. But all of the other mosques of the first one hundred years of Islam faced Petra, so we must assume that this mosque originally faced Petra also.

It is easy to see how the people in Medina assumed that the old mosques faced Jerusalem. But all of the other mosques of the first one hundred years of Islam faced Petra, so we must assume that this mosque originally faced Petra also.

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