BEAUTIFUL MOSQUES OF THE WORLD:
AL MASJID AL NABAWI: SAUDI ARABIA
The original mosque was built by Prophet Mohammed and his companions next to the house where he settled after his journey to Medina in 622 CE. The original mosque was an open-air building (covered by palm fronds) with a raised platform for the reading of the Quran. It was a rectangular enclosure of 30 m × 35 m (98 ft × 115 ft) at a height of 2 m (6 ft 7 in) wall which was built with palm trunks and mud walls. It was accessed through three doors: Bab Rahmah (Door of Mercy) to the south, Bab Jibril (Door of Gabriel) to the west and Bab al-Nisa' (Door of the Women) to the east.The basic plan of the building has since been adopted in the building of most mosques throughout the world.
Inside, Prophet Mohammed created a shaded area to the south called the suffah and aligned the prayer space facing north towards Jerusalem. When the qibal (prayer direction) was changed to face the Kaaba in Mecca, the mosque was re-oriented to the south. The mosque also served as a community center, a court, and a religious school.
Seven years later (629 AD/7 AH), the mosque was doubled in size to accommodate the increasing number of Muslims. The area of the mosque was enlarged by 20 m × 15 m (66 ft × 49 ft) and became almost a square 50 m × 49.5 m (164 ft × 162 ft). The height increased to became 3.5 m (11 ft) and the mosque encompassed 35 columns.
The mosque remained like that during the caliphate of Abu Bakr until the caliphate of 'Umar bin al-Khattab, who enlarged the area of the mosque to 3575 m2 and built more wooden columns.
During the time of Uthman ibn Affan an arcade of stone and plaster was added to the mosque and the columns were remolded and built of stone.