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9 Things You Didn’t Know About The Prophet’s Mosque

Dr Muhammad Wajid Akhter



Seeing a scene of impeccable beauty, we often hear the term “Heaven on Earth!” But there is only one place that literally has the right to proclaim itself as such. There, deep in the mosque of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) (Masjid Nabawi), covered by green carpets and the tears of millions, lies a “garden from the gardens of paradise.” [1] It is a place known to every Muslim who has ever lived, yet there’s still much we don’t know about it. Here are just some of the interesting facts and mysteries of the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) Mosque:

9. The first place in the Arabian Peninsula to have electricity

When the Ottomans introduced electricity to the Arabian Peninsula, the first place to be lit up was the mosque of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). [2] By some accounts, it would be a few more years before the Sultan himself had full electricity in his own palace in Istanbul. [3]

first place to get electricity in arabia

8. The current mosque is larger than the old city

The current mosque is more than 100 times the size of the original building. [4] [5] This means that the current mosque covers almost the entire area of the old city itself. [6] [7] This is evident from the fact that whereas Jannat Al-Baqi cemetery was on the outskirts of the city during the time of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), [8] it now borders the precincts of the current mosque grounds.

current mosque is larger than the entire city

7. There’s an empty grave in the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) room

It has long been the stuff of legend that there is an “empty grave” next to where the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) and Umar raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) are buried. [9] [10] [11] This was confirmed, however, when the individuals who went in to change the coverings in the hujrah* in the 1970s noted the presence of an empty space. [12] Whether or not it is meant for Isa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) when he returns is a matter of debate. [13]

*Note from author: What is meant by “hujrah” in this case is not the actual burial chamber / original room of Aisha (Ra.) This is enclosed in a pentagonal structure with no doors or windows and has not been visible for centuries. The area meant is the entire grilled area encompassing the chamber and area of other rooms.

6. It was destroyed by fire

The majority of the old mosque, including the original mimbar of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), was destroyed in a fire that swept through the mosque centuries after the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) died. The fire was so extensive that the roof and even some of the walls of the room of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) collapsed, revealing his resting place for the first time in 600 years. [14]

5. There was no dome before, now there are two!

For more than 650 years after the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) passed away, there was no dome over his ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) grave. [15] The first one was built in 1279 by a Mamluk sultan and was made of wood. [16] The green dome that we see today is actually the outer dome over the room of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). There is an inner dome that is much smaller and has the name of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) and Umar raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) inscribed on the inside. [17]

4. The dome used to be purple!

Yup – purple. It turns out that the dome has been through various colors and renovations before it reached its current form and colour about 150 years ago. [18]  At one point it used to be white and for the longest period it was a purple-blue colour that the Arabs of Hijaz were particularly fond of. [19] [20]

Purple Dome

3. It has 3 mihrabs

Most mosques only have one mihrab, but the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) mosque has three. The current mihrab is the one used nowadays for the imam to lead prayers. The next mihrab is set back and is called the Suleymaniye or Ahnaf mihrab. [21] It was made on the orders of the Sultan Suleyman the magnificent for the Hanafi Imam to lead prayers whilst the Maliki Imam lead prayers from the Prophetic mihrab. The Prophetic mihrab completely covers the area that the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) used to lead prayers from except where he placed his feet. [22]

2. What lies in the room of Fatima raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her)?

Items belonging to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) were housed in his room or the room of Fatima raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) which was incorporated into his room after a major expansion. [23] When Medina was under siege during World War I, the Ottoman commander had many priceless artifacts evacuated to Istanbul, hidden in the clothes of women and children. [24] [25] They can now be seen in the Topkapi Palace. However, intriguingly, some items still remain but are undocumented. [26]

1. It is FULL of secret signs

Yes, the mosque of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is covered with so many subtle signs and secrets that it makes the DaVinci Code look like a cheap puzzle for pre-schoolers. Each pillar, each dome, each window carries a story and indicates the location of events that carry historical and spiritual significance. The people who constructed the Prophet’s Mosque realized that it would be impossible to put up signs everywhere as it would distract from the main purpose of prayers. Therefore, they came up with an ingenious way of indicating a location of importance through minor changes in the design of surrounding objects. What are the secrets? Well, that is a story for another day inshaAllah.

secret signs in the mosque

The mosque of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was never just a mosque. It was the center of the first Islamic community and nation. It was the scene of our greatest triumphs and tragedies. It was a community center, homeless refuge, university and mosque all rolled into one.

Like the Muslim community, it has grown over the years and become more modern with each passing generation. But despite the exponential growth and changes from the simple Hijazi date palm trunk interior to the marble and gold clad structure we have today – the inner core remains the same. Perhaps there’s a lesson in there for us all.


(Authors note: You may also be interested in Ten things you didn’t know about the Kaaba)



1. Sahih Bukhari – Book 30, Hadith 112
2. The holy cities, the pilgrimage and the world of Islam. Sultan Ghalib Al Quaiti, Page 439
4. History of Al Madinah Al Munawarah. Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri. Pg 68 
7. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and the urbanization of Madinah. Assoc Prof Dr Spahic Omer. Research paper. Pages 89-90 
8. Sabiq Al-Sayyid. Fiqh al Sunnah (Kitab Al-‘Ibadat) volume 2. Page 148. 
9. Sahih Bukhari. Chapter 23, Hadith 474
11. Sultan Ghalib Al Quaiti, Op Cit. Page 144
14. Sultan Ghalib Al Quaiti, Op Cit. Pages 124-125
15. Ibid Pages 125-127
16. Wafa Al-Wafa, Al Samhudi Pages 608-609
17. Ibid Pages 633 – 636
18. Fusul Min Tarikh Al-Madinah Al Munawarrah. Ali Hafiz. Pg 127 
19. Diaries of Rifat Pasha, Vol 1, Page 464- 465 
20. Sultan Ghalib Al Quaiti, Op Cit. Page 148
21. Ibid Page 144
22. Ibid Page 146 
23. Ibid Page 125 
24. Ibid Page 497
25. The Sacred Trusts: Topkapi Palace Museum. Hilmi Aydin

WAJiD Dr. Muhammad Wajid Akhter - Doctor, Medical Tutor (Social Media, History & Medicine) - Islamic Historian - Founder of, and current board member to Charity Week for Orphans and needy children. - Council member, British Islamic Medical Association



  1. Avatar


    May 24, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    I wud luv to know abt the secret signs :)

    • Avatar

      Prof M Shamim

      May 27, 2013 at 7:17 AM

      As to the empty grave mentioned by you, no reference is given —wherefrom you got this information?

      • Muhammad Wajid Akhter

        Muhammad Wajid Akhter

        May 27, 2013 at 8:07 AM

        Walaikum asalaam,

        – Aisha (Ra) wanted to be buried in the same room but finally decided against differentiating herself from the other wives of the Prophet (SAW)
        – Hassan (R) wanted to be buried in the room but was prevented from this by the authorities of the time
        – There was also discussion about burying some of the other Ahsra Mubashara (like AbdurRahman ibn Auf [R]) in the same room but these also did not take place for various reasons

        From the above we can see that they could only have had these considerations if there was indeed space for a 4th grave. In my article, I have only mentioned that there is a space and no 4th grave since the proposed inhabitant (Isa [A]) has yet to return.

        Also there are other references in Tirmidhi and a narration by Ibn Jawzi in Kitaabul Wifaa.

        • Avatar


          May 27, 2013 at 9:22 AM

          A good question and a good answer. Jazakallah khair both of you

      • Avatar


        September 21, 2015 at 1:15 PM

        why don’t you do little research. why you people always ask for ref like a bagger

      • Avatar

        Tahir Iqbal

        August 3, 2016 at 12:56 AM

        Dear Prof Sahib:if you are serious to gain information,so pleas go to Maddinah and you can have all the information from the library ( situated inside the Masjad e Nabvi ).

      • Avatar

        Syed Ullah

        December 18, 2016 at 3:47 AM

        It is in Hadith that Prophet PBUH said I will be raised from my grave first with Isa AS next to me will be Abu Bakar and Omar then we will wait for people of Makkah to arrive and we will proceed to ground of judgment.
        That Hadith clearly indicates that Isa RA will be buried there….

    • Avatar

      abdulkadir saidu

      June 9, 2015 at 7:40 AM


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      December 9, 2015 at 2:53 AM

      You can read about the Secret Signs Mentioned in the Post (Also Watch the Video to locate them) here-

      • Avatar


        May 1, 2016 at 11:36 PM


        Thank you to provide the link.

        Abdul Waris

    • Avatar


      January 17, 2016 at 11:44 AM

      Can I know. Ore about the secret signs in Rohda

    • Avatar

      Riaz Ahmad.

      July 1, 2016 at 4:21 PM

      i want to know about islam &kaaba.madina. old history of islam/& .muslims

  2. Avatar


    May 24, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    Great read and very informative. I wish there more books written about the masjid.

    • Avatar


      January 3, 2015 at 12:19 PM


  3. Avatar


    May 24, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatulllahi wa barakatuh

    JazzakAllahu khair

    You better get to those secrets quick!!! Make that your next article!!!

    Also, it is good you mentioned that that famous green dome isn’t real. In fact, it is not allowed because we are not supposed to make structures over graves and the Prophet sallahualayhiwasalam warned us against taking his grave as a masjid!!!

    Usually, I imagine Islamic history after the few decades after seerah to be extremely boring. But JazzakAllahu khair we have our history literate brother to pick out all the interesting parts.

    • Avatar


      May 27, 2013 at 1:30 AM

      Dunno why that warranted 13 negatives…..anyone want to say?

      • Avatar


        May 27, 2013 at 12:51 PM

        Most likely reason is that the sufis & baraelwys revere the green dome.

        • Avatar


          May 27, 2013 at 3:42 PM

          Asalamu alaykum

          Sister Fatima your comment above either means you are naive of history or unwilling to shed your mantra of sectarianism. The green dome was not built by a brelwi – he wasnt even Indian he was an Ottoman Turk.

          Secondly Muslims love the green dome as it is a sign of the home of and the final resting place of the beloved and his two beloveds

          Your brother

          [Note: comment edited by author to maintain tone of harmony but still get the commentators point across inshaAllah.]

          • Avatar


            May 27, 2013 at 7:11 PM

            Allah cursed the Jews and the Christians because they took the graves of their Prophets as places for praying
            -Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa salam)

            “Apart from invoking Allah’s forgiveness for the engraved, all act of worship are prohibited at the graves like, formal prayers[1], reciting the Qur’aan[2], sacrifice[3], etc. because this would contribute to making the graves as places of worship. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) has warned his nation from taking graves as places of worship: “…Beware that those before you took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship. Do not take graves as places of worship, for verily I forbid you to do so.”[4] He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) also said: “The most evil of mankind are those who will be alive when the Last Day arrives and those who take graves as places of worship.”[5]”


            Some love him so much they obey him. Others love him so much they disobey him. One enters Paradise and the other is deprived of Paradise and enters Jahannam.

            Love is a powerful emotion.

            Say, [O Muhammad], “If you should love Allah , then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”
            Say, “Obey Allah and the Messenger.” But if they turn away – then indeed, Allah does not like the disbelievers.


      • Avatar


        December 9, 2015 at 11:43 AM

        AsSalamAlaikum waRahmatulla waBarkatu,

        You responded well and I second your statement about how we shouldn’t take the Prophets Mosque as a place of worship. Don’t worry about the negatives, not everyone has correct Aqeeda unfortunatley.

    • Avatar

      Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      May 27, 2013 at 12:04 PM

      No idea Gibran why people voted your comment down. But then it is public controlled and we can’t change it unfortunately.

      • Avatar


        May 27, 2013 at 6:30 PM

        Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh
        Wasn’t asking you to at all, where did you get that idea? It was clearly just a general question. Fatima’s answer makes sense.

        Yes, Barelvis didn’t invent it sajid, Fatima did not say it was invented by Barelvis, so why are you insinuating that she did? There are numerous hadith that make it clear this is completely haram and no amount of love for Allah and His Messenger will justify disobedience.

        May the love of the people who support these grave structures never be accepted until they obey Allah and His Messenger.

    • Avatar


      May 27, 2013 at 3:36 PM

      Keep in mind that the Prophet’s house was actually PART of the Masjid, and he wanted to be buried in his house. Thus, his grave is in the same structure as a Masjid. It was literally unavoidable, and whether there’s a dome on top or not doesn’t factor into that.

      • Avatar


        May 27, 2013 at 4:36 PM

        No it was not part of masjid, it was attached to masjid. It became part in banu ummayah time

        • Avatar


          May 27, 2013 at 6:37 PM

          Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

          The second Hassan was correct, the grave was not originally part of the masjid and in fact such an act is forbidden by Allah and His Messenger!!!

          “It is not correct to quote the fact that people built a dome over the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) as evidence that it is permissible to build domes over the graves of the righteous dead and others, because those people’s building a dome over his grave (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was haraam and those who did it sinned thereby, because they went against what is proven in a report from Abu’l-Hayaaj al-Asadi who said: ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with him) said to me: Shall I not send you on the same mission as the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent me? Do not leave any image without erasing it or any high grave without levelling it.

          And it was narrated that Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade plastering over graves, or sitting on them or building over them. Both reports were narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh. So it is not correct for anyone to quote the haraam action of some people as evidence that it is permissible to do similar haraam actions, because it is not permissible to go against the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) by citing the words or actions of anyone else. And because he is the one who conveyed the command from Allaah, and he is the one who is to be obeyed, and we must beware of going against his commands, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it)” [al-Hashr 59:7].”

          • Avatar

            Abdul kalik razak

            November 26, 2013 at 9:22 PM

            Gibran,you’re correct,now we see the majority of muslim graves with buildings erected and much worse,huge photos framed placed on the deceased grave,nauzzubillah!!!!!

  4. Avatar


    May 24, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Jazakallah khair for this very interesting and fascinating post!

  5. Avatar


    May 24, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    i am deadly waiting to know about secret signs in masjid… i avoid word mosque

    • Avatar


      September 9, 2013 at 6:41 AM

      Exactly, we should not use the word mosque. Masjid is totally understandable by all Muslims plus it is the correct word

      • Avatar


        November 22, 2014 at 7:39 PM

        If you are Arabs talking to people that speak Arabic then yeah. But if you are talking to people of different faiths they wont have no clue what a “masjid” is… so you should say MOSQUE.

        You shouldn’t “avoid” that, you make it sound like its harram

      • Avatar


        March 31, 2016 at 6:26 AM

        So true plz dont change the words for sake some people teach your children proper like masjid should be masjid and Ramzan should be ramzan nor Ramdan but to help and for understanding other some time we can use in ( )

  6. Avatar


    May 24, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    Alhamidullah, beautiful article, thank you brother

  7. Pingback: Islam | Pearltrees

  8. WAJiD


    May 25, 2013 at 5:05 AM

    Walaikum asalaam,

    JazakAllah khairun to all of you for your kind comments. I’m working on the secret signs article/ book/ website (depending on my ability) inshaAllah so please make duaa that I do it justice.


    • Avatar


      May 26, 2013 at 12:44 AM

      As-salamu ‘alaykum,

      How to get the blessed news? I am currently planning to go for umrah shariff in two months time – Is it possible for u too tell about “secrets” some way or the other telling about few books, so one can prepare a bit and get more blessed?

      Jazaka Llahu khayran wa fi amani Llah


      • Avatar


        May 26, 2013 at 12:56 AM


        There are a number of things to see. I live in Saudi and have been working here for 2 years now. I regularly go to the Holy Cities and have endeavored to make a site profiling the calligraphy ad pillars in the masajid.

        The problem is that Ladies do not get much time to spend in the masjid and certainly very little at riyadh al jannah – hence you wont be able to see the main features such as the pillar motifs, the calligraphy on the holy chamber external walls, poetry on the qibla wall, the enscriptions on the mihrabs, the enscriptions on the mimbar.

        I am documenting these on my website.


        • Avatar


          May 26, 2013 at 1:21 AM

          As-salamu ‘alaykum Sajid,

          A link for ur website? It is still better than nothing… This subject is VERY dear to my heart so I will in sha’a Llah take whatever I can get!

        • Avatar


          June 3, 2019 at 7:18 AM

          Whats your Web site?

    • Avatar


      May 26, 2013 at 8:17 AM

      Assalaamu Alaykum brother, please share to us this secrets.. May ALLAH SWT reward you and bless you more… Shukran brother and Massalaam

    • Avatar

      Raja Kreem

      December 4, 2013 at 8:57 AM

      I am very excited and cannot wait to read, The secret Sign book publication – once 40 million copies are sold a block buster movie is made than I will know you did a great job in translating those secret signs and I will accept your claim that De Vinci code was just cheap puzzle. Thanks.

  9. Avatar


    May 25, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    please share your website/ book as and when parts get completed!

  10. Avatar

    M. Khan

    May 25, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    Great article brother – we need the secrets of the Masjid!!!!!!

  11. Avatar


    May 26, 2013 at 12:28 AM


    I am also working on a similar project.

    Some of the secrets are:

    1. The green carpet – indicates Riyadh ul jannah

    2. The long, thin, orange/ brown strips on the pillars – indicate the actual position of Riyadh al jannah according to some scholars.l

    3. The golden floral pattern on the pillar to the right of the image – indicates the height of the original masjid in the time of the prophet.

    Please see my website for more of the open secrets.


    • Avatar


      May 26, 2013 at 8:12 AM

      Salaam brother, can you please give us the link for your website? It’s gonna be priceless… May ALLAH SWT reward you for your work… Shukran brother… Massalam

      • Avatar


        May 26, 2013 at 8:24 AM


        Simply click on my name above or click


        • WAJiD


          May 27, 2013 at 4:20 AM

          Walaikum asalaam,

          MashaAllah excellent work brother Sajid. May Allah reward you abundantly for what must be quite a difficult task. I will contact you when I have something substantial for your advice and opinion if this is ok inshaAllah.

          • Avatar


            May 27, 2013 at 9:31 AM


            Please let me know of what assistance i can offer. I am currently working on the mimbar and the qibla wall inscriptions. They detail the poetry that was put up and still exists – until when i do not know???


    • Avatar


      January 1, 2017 at 1:41 AM

      Asalam o alaikum, just returned from umrah. It was impossible for me and my daughter to reach riyadul janah, women are misbehaving and even few died ! We didn’t have enough time so could not try to go again , we prayed on red carpet and now I’m v sad .

  12. Avatar


    May 26, 2013 at 7:06 PM


    It would be of great help if you could provide some historical sources from where you have drawn these information. The information provided are of great significance. Please kindly provide the sources as well. Jazzakkallah khair.


    • Avatar


      May 27, 2013 at 1:28 AM

      Yes – PLEASE do give sources. All this sounds wonderful, but we have a very strong tradition of proofs and evidence, so please provide your sources for all this info.

      • WAJiD


        May 27, 2013 at 4:17 AM

        Walaikum asalaam,

        Sources include:

        Al Bidaya Wa Al Nihaya – Ibn Katheer
        History of Madinah – Dr Abdul Ghani
        History of Makkah – Dr Abdul Ghani
        The Holy Cities – Sultan Ghalib
        … and my own investigations/ questioning of the scholars and khuddam of the Masjid over the last 25years.

        InshaAllah full referencing will be present in the website/ book etc…

  13. Pingback: WAJiD (wajid) | Pearltrees

  14. Avatar

    Arif Khalil

    May 27, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    During my visit to the reverend Masjid al Nabvi (in July 2011) one researcher asked few of us to roll one carpet from main entrance to the new premises, onto its left. Then he showed a medium size circle that indicates one historical well is there underneath…

    • Avatar


      May 28, 2013 at 7:29 AM

      We saw that too, though I don’t remember the full story behind it.

      • Avatar

        abu Hamza

        January 7, 2014 at 10:15 AM

        Probabliy you saw Bir Haa/ well of abu Talha Ansari r.z, its inside the Masjid few meters left to the gate Fahad no 21.
        it was in the Garden of Abu Talha Ansari rz., Prohet s,w often used to visit this garden and drank the water from this well.
        Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) says, ‘Abu Talha owned the best gardens in Madinah, and they were more numerous than those of any other Ansari. One of his gardens was known by the name of Bir Ha, and this was his most favourite resort. It was close to the Prophet’s Masjid and the water of its well was sweet and abundant. When Allah (Glorified and Exalted is He) revealed the verse of the Quran:
        “You will not attain unto piety until you spend of that which Ye love.” [3: 92]

        Abu Talha (may Allah be pleased with him) presented himself to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and opened his heart, “O, Prophet of Allah! I love Bir Ha very much. As Allah wants us to spend precisely that which we love, I make over that garden to be spent in the path of Allah as you please.”
        The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was very much pleased, and remarked: “What a fine present (to Allah)! I think it would be best utilized if you distribute it among your own heirs.” Abu Talha (may Allah be pleased with him) went and acted upon the Prophet’s advice

  15. Avatar

    wycliffe hili

    May 28, 2013 at 4:28 AM

    This is very fascinating. Keep informing us of the unknown.

  16. Avatar


    May 28, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    Loved this very informative and interesting article. Jazakumullah for it.
    Please post the one about the secret signs of the mosque soon.

  17. Avatar

    Jeddah Blog

    May 28, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    Can the author kindly get in touch with us at Jeddah Blog as I would be very interested in this information for our readers.

  18. Avatar


    May 28, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    SubhanAllah… May Allah guide and assist you all for the work done in the name of Allah.

    Looking at the atrocious number of dislikes suggests that there are ‘eyes’ watching. May Allah protect us from all evil.


  19. Avatar

    Abu Huzaifa

    June 1, 2013 at 11:15 AM


    We have done some research to uncover some of the lesser known places in Masjid-e-Nabwi and documented them here:

    Jazakallahu Khair

  20. Avatar


    June 3, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    Great article. Keep them coming!

  21. Avatar

    Mir Taqi

    June 3, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    Mr Akhter’s little gem on nine points related to Masjid-e-Nabwi is laudable. He has thus placed in the records of history these nine features associated with the Prophet [ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam] at a time when concrete signs of his times are fast disappearing. Praiseworthy as his effort is, I wish he had stated somewhat differently three of his nine “things” so as to keep the tone and tenor of his piece entirely sacred. The three “things” are:

    1) In the 4th “thing” he uses the expression, “Yup – purple.” This is chatty and juvenile and inappropriate in a sacred discourse.

    2) In the 3rd “thing” his talk of Suleyman as “Sultan Solomon the magnificent” seems odd. The Turkish and even European scholars prefer to call this Sultan in English as “Sultan Suleyman” or “Suleiman the Magnificent”.

    3) Finally in the 1st “Thing” Mr Akhter makes recourse to that cheap book of fiction called “The DaVinci Code” which had been built up by the media into a book of historical facts in the minds of the gullible public. There can never be any comparison or reference made in the same breath between an utter work of fiction and the factual, so far indecipherable (not ‘secret’), inscriptions dotted around the Masjid-e-Nabwi.

    • Muhammad Wajid Akhter

      Muhammad Wajid Akhter

      June 4, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      Walaikum asalaam brother Mir,

      JazakAllah khairun for your kind words. As to your critiques I would say that the use of chatty/ juvenile words and pop fiction books to discuss points in this article was on purpose. Unfortunately, the majority of Muslim youth (and adults) cannot relate to our heritage and live in a world so far removed from it that they are unable to truly appreciate it. Therefore, I feel it is incumbent to bridge this divide in order to make the information more accessible and interesting to the masses. Of course it must be done in a way that does not compromise our principles or denigrate the subject matter.

      In fact, I find the entire format of “Ten things you didn’t know…” as quite tabloid like and not one you are likely to come across in books or serious treatise. Even though I dislike it myself, I choose to write in this style and have more people get the information rather than in a more formal style and benefit far fewer.

      Hope that makes sense.
      JazakAllah khairun
      p.s. I think the Solomon instead of Suleyman thing was down to spellchecker. It has been changed

  22. Avatar


    June 21, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    Assalam-o-Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa barakatuhu

    Indeed it is an informative & exciting efforts keep it up.

  23. Avatar


    June 21, 2013 at 2:23 AM


    A Sufi brother told me that there is a wall in the Prophet’s Mosque with all his names, including the controversial YaaSin & TaaHaa. Is this true? And what is the Islamic ruling on such claims?

    Thank You.

    • Muhammad Wajid Akhter

      Muhammad Wajid Akhter

      June 21, 2013 at 7:14 PM

      Walaaikum asalaam,

      Firstly – JazakAllah khairun to you all for your kind statements and support. It encourages me to work harder to present this information in a better way for more people to benefit from inshaAllah.

      The Qiblah wall in the Prophet (SAW)s mosque has the longest piece of single artist calligraphy in the world. It has some surahs but one of the panels (in red) contains more than 100 names of the Prophet (SAW) – including Yasin and Taha.

      As to what the Islamic ruling is, I humbly suggest you ask a scholar you trust.

  24. Avatar

    shamsher aalam

    August 10, 2013 at 5:35 AM

    assalamu alaikum warahmatullahe wabarakatuhu.
    Its amazing to have the information about the kaba and the mosque .

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  27. Avatar


    October 24, 2013 at 2:27 PM You can visit this to see the column deacription

  28. Avatar

    Prayer times

    November 25, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    Very interesting. Thanks :)

  29. Avatar

    Fatou Binetou

    November 27, 2013 at 6:41 AM

    Ma cha Allah! Thanks very much for these precious information. I am so happy to learn about fact#4. Purple is my favorite color with green! A sister from Senegal, west Africa.

  30. Avatar

    Abu Hamza

    January 15, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    in fact there are more then 90 things You Didn’t know about the Prophet Mosque and Scared Chamber..
    it’s a long list ..i am adding 9 only……

    1) How Prophet s.w and Abu bakr r.z Umar r.z Graves look like inside the Aisha R.z Hujra ( Aisha house walls is the 1st structure around Prophet .sw and Shaikhain Graves)
    Dr. Irfan Al Alawi, Executive Director Islamic Heritage Research Foundation has written the following to dispel many misconceptions about the graves in the Sacred Chamber:
    “It will be pertinent to mention here that the companions never put bricks or other similar materials on these three graves. Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr {Ra} narrated as mentioned in Sunan Abu Dawud, ‘I visited Aaisha {Ra} and requested her to show me these three graves. I observed that the graves were neither very high above the ground nor totally in level with the ground. I saw these covered with reddish color earth.’
    It is mentioned in Tabaqatul Kubraa by ibn Sa’ad as narrated by Qaasim, ‘I was only a child when I visited these graves which were covered with reddish colour earth.’

    2) When one of the wall Aisha r.z Hujra fall
    it happened in the time of Umar Bin AbdulAziz, when he was governor of Medina, due to heavy rain fall one of the wall of Aisha R.z Hujra destroyed. people rush to see the Grave of Prophet.sw but Omar Bin Abdul Aziz r.a immediately cover that wall portion with a cloth and said i will not enter my slef neither i will allow you people to entre as Prophet s.w could get disturb by the crowd. then only a slave named ” Mazaham” allowed only to enter the Hujra Mubarak for cleaning and repair.

    3) When Graves became Visible to everyone. Prophet s.w wives Hujrats were demolished and included in Prophet Chamber area:
    Construction of Five side wall (2nd structure around Aisha R.z house) around Aisha rz Hujra
    It is mentioned in Fath al-Baari as narrated by Abu Bakr Ajari {Ra}, ‘I saw these graves during the period of Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz {ra}. These were about four inches above the ground level.’ It is also mentioned in Fath al-Baari as narrated by Rija ibn Haiwah, ‘Waleed ibn Abdul-Malik wrote to Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz to purchase the hujrat of the wives of Prophet Muhammad {sallallaahu Alayhi wasallam} and include this area in the mosque as well. When the walls of the hujrats were removed, these graves became visible. The sandy soil on the graves had somewhat levelled off. Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz rebuilt the walls of Aaisha’s chamber during the expansion of the Prophet’s mosque.’
    In 91 AH Umar bin Abdul Aziz (Allah show mercy on him) built five cornered walls so that nobody may enter inside the Sacred Chamber. REMEMBER that till this time there was no Dome on sacred chamber.
    4)Trench built around the chamber filled with molten lead..
    After several plots were uncovered to steal the body of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) by digging underneath the graves, the Sultan Nurruddin Zengi had a trench built around the chamber which was filled with molten lead

    5) The last time when someone saw the actual Grave of Prophet S.w 878H
    A renowned scholar, Samhoudi, mentioned in Wifa-ul-Wifaa that the walls of the sacred chamber were remodelled in 878H. He had the privilege and honor of entering the Sacred Chamber during these repairs. Samhoudi said, ‘As I entered the Sacred Chamber, I found very delicate fragrance there which I had never experienced in my life before. I offered salutation to the Prophet {Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam} and his both companions. Then I focused my attention to condition of the graves so that I could describe it fully to others. All three graves were almost even to the ground level. At one place, there was a slight rise above the ground level. It was probably, Umar’s {Ra} grave. The graves were definitely covered by ordinary earth.’
    After this occasion, nobody has been able to see these graves since all the four walls of the Sacred Chamber have been fully built up to the roof level and closed for any view.

    6) Window in the Dome ( in both dome, Inner and Outer)
    The inner dome has a window located above the Prophet’s grave and parallel to it another window on the outer dome. The window would open as Istisqaa prayer was performed, a practice originating during earlier days. As cited by al-Darmi, when the followers of the Prophet complained to Aisha, the Prophet’s wife, about the drought in Madinah, she instructed them to leave an opening in the Prophet’s grave connecting it to the sky while praying Allah for rain (istisqaa prayer); and upon doing that the sky did rain

    7) Funeral place ( area enclosed with walls in between Bab-e-Baqi and Bab-e-Jibraeel

    The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) used to lead Salat-ul-Janaza at this site and the Sahaba continued this tradition. Abu Saeed Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) described how and when this place was used for funeral services:
    “In the very beginning we used to inform the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) when someone was near death. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) used to visit the ailing person and made supplication for his forgiveness. Many times the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) stayed there till the completion of the funeral services. In this way the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) had to wait there for a very long time at each such occasion. We, therefore, decided to take the body of the deceased person near the Hujrat (houses of the wives of the Prophet) so that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) can lead the salat more easily. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) started offering Salat-ul-Janaza in the area described above.”
    The Turks built an enclosure around the funeral courtyard which used to be open to worshippers. Recently however, it is used as a storage space for materials needed in Masjid-e-Nabwi.

    8)Round Stone on the top of Bab-eJibraeel is Exact Place where Jibreel stood at bab-e-Jibraeel or Bab-eUsman or Bab-e-Nabvi

    This door is also called Bab-un-Nabi since the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) used to enter the masjid through this door. It was also known as Bab Othman since it was in front of Ottoman’s (RU) house.
    There is a round stone on the top of this window. This window indicates the location where Jibreel (AS) stood during his conversation with the Prophet (SAS).
    During the extension of the mosque, the door has been moved somewhat eastward in line with its original position.

    9) Bab-e-Abubakr Siddique still exists.

    Ibn Hajar said, “Small door is called Khukhah” Such small door of Abu Bakr’s (RU) house was near the fifth column west of the pulpit. This small door opened into the mosque. This door was moved westward along the same line during the various expansions of the mosque. During the first expansion by the Saudi Government, it was named Bab Siddique.
    if one enter from Bab-e-slam you could find a door on your left side. there is a small room, used for storage purpose now. this door was always kept in Masjid Nabvi, as Prophet s.w said ” close all the door which open in Masjid except Abu Bakr .rz door” so in every expansion this door was moved along the same line to the westward.

    Wafa ul wafa by Shaikh Samodi,
    History of Masjid Nabvi by Dr Ilyas Abdul Ghani,
    تحقيق النصرة بتلخيص معالم دار الهجرة
    أبو بكر بن الحسين بن عمر المراغي ص161-183
    تحقيق: د. عبد الله العسيلان

    دليل مساجد المدينة المنورة
    إعداد سعيد أحمد الدربي ومحمد عبد الرحمن أبو عزة ص: 27
    نشر: مدير أوقاف المدينة المنورة 1399
    الدرة الثمينة في أخبار المدينة
    محمد بن محمود بن الحسن بن النجار ص 177-178
    تحقيق: د . صلاح الدين بن عباس بن شكر
    ط 1/1427هـ
    المغانم المطابة في معالم طابة
    مجد الدين محمد بن يعقوب الفيروز آبادي ج2/619

    its a long list, i have mentioned few only. i am working to compile all the Historical scared sites related Stuff with Photo Graph, GPS Tags ,Maps of Madina,Makkah,Tareequl Hijra, Tareequl Anbia, Tareequl Hajj, Tareequl Ghuzwaat .
    i would request to all of you , please pray for me that Allah Give me strength to complete This task . as i am in final phase of work .and in sha allah in couple of months i will upload the document.

    • Avatar

      Rudaba Safvi

      March 3, 2014 at 9:47 AM

      Asalam alekum Hamza , I am so great full that you shared precious information about Our Prophet’s Mosque . Thank you once again . Allah Hafiz .

      • Avatar

        Abu Hamza

        May 6, 2014 at 1:53 PM

        walikumslam , warhamtau Allah, Remember me in your prayers. Jazak allah

    • Avatar

      masroor ahmed

      April 11, 2014 at 5:48 AM

      Dear Brother ABU HAMZA, I want to purchase your book. From where i can purchase it in Pakistan or anywhere? what is the price?

      • Avatar

        Abu Hamza

        May 6, 2014 at 1:32 PM

        Dear Brother Masroor, Ma sha allah for your Interest, book would be free in sha Allah, and will be ready very soon, few of the chapters are left, mostly related to Prophet s.w Hijra Route , Ghuzwa Routs, .

    • Avatar


      May 2, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      Great information shared Ya Abu Hamza. I myself have almost the same information. If I may add:

      The five cornered wall was built so that there should be no resemblance with Holy Kaabaa

      There is a door on all four sides leading inside to the empty space around the Sacred Chamber.

      The five cornered Sacred Chamber is surrounded by metallic grills (painted green) on all sides, green colored cloth embroider with what is hanging on this grill obstructing the view of the five cornered chamber (photos can be googled)

      Only the Khudam (the direct decedents of Hazat Bilal Razi Allah Anhu) are the people who can go inside for cleaning purposes. They are headed by (now very old) Shiekh Noori. You can often see him sitting on awheel chair near Ashab e Sufa Platform. All these Khuddam are MUKHANAS, as the people told me there.

      These Khudam have a room behind Ashab e Sufa platform in the corner as you enter from Bab e Jibraeel.Dignitaries who go inside, enter from the door on the Qadmain e Mubarik side, which was the door of Hazrat Ali’s (KAW) and Hazrat Bibi Fatima’s Hujra.

      There is a lot more, which maybe I will share next time.

      • Avatar

        Abu Hamza

        May 6, 2014 at 1:50 PM

        Dear Brother Muzzamil, Jazak allah khair for the information you shared, as this is not the right forum where i can share the stuff with complete authentic references, so i will only write few of sentences,

        “The five cornered wall was built so that there should be no resemblance with Holy Kaabaa” True , it was first built by Umar bin Abdul Aziz r.z and then after the second fire in masjid nabvi, it was re built along the inner four side walls, Original Hujra of Aisha siddiqa rz.

        yes its true, there is a lot alot alot more to share, … this is why i thought to compile the stuff,:) .

      • Avatar

        Abu Hamza

        May 6, 2014 at 2:26 PM

        Brother Muzzamil, i heard about these Khudam many times, wondering when did they started this Job? who appointed them first ? why Mukhans only? actually i never came across these people in any Historical book.
        ” the direct decedents of Hazat Bilal Razi Allah Anhu were appointed for this job,
        as far as at the time of SAHABa r.z no one has mentioned this thing, infect Bilal r.z himself left the madinah after the death of prophet.sw and got settled in Syria.. so where did this hole story come from? the first writer who wrote about Masjid Nabvi and other historical places was Ibn Zabala r.h who the student of Imam Malik r.h , he never reported about this, then Ibn Shiba, Matri, Samhodi etc a long list of Muslim scholars who spend their entire life only to Digg out the historical places,event related to Prophet.s.w has never mentioned this, and these are the people whose research was such a thoroughly about the ” Asaar Nabvi s.w” that they even mentioned the name of the people who were living on the way, streat, from where Rasool allah s,w passed only once….
        so if this Muhanas story is true and is not like the wrong stories which we used to hear like anything, specially about Prophet sw Masjid and Scared Chamber, then there shoud be some Origin and Reason for this, could you please provide us some more details, when did it start,( i am sure if this is true then its only about two digit years old ) why Mukhanas only? why only Descendent of Bila r.z only ? etc

    • Avatar

      Mrs Ali

      October 4, 2015 at 7:31 PM

      Asalamualaikum wr wb, have you compiled your research in book form yet? looking forward to reading it iA

      • Avatar

        Abu Hamza

        December 9, 2015 at 6:05 AM

        walikum slam … book was ready last year but then some brothers insist to add Magahzi ul Nabi Places..( travelling of Prophet ) and this is a big topic , hundreds of places, so i have to pull out the photos, narrations, historical back ground present day situation etc from my stuff.. which is taking time ..hopefully by next year inShALLh it will be ready.

    • Avatar

      Shiraz Khan

      October 7, 2015 at 1:46 PM

      Jazak-Allah brother… pls share your website or pls msg me on facebook.. or email me your website where you will / have upload(ed) the information. email me at

      Inshaallah, you will get nothing but success !!!!

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  33. Avatar

    Tricia Bell

    April 17, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    Who is the prophet?

  34. Avatar

    Tricia Bell

    April 17, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    And why is there such a big fuss/deal about him?

    • Avatar


      April 18, 2014 at 7:13 AM

      Dear Tricia,

      If this is a genuine question then we can provide you with a lot of information about the Prophet (peace be upon him.)

      We Muslims believe that Muhammad the son of Abdullah (from the Makkan area of Arabia) – peace be upon him – was the last in a long line of messengers from God who was sent to guide humanity to the true purpose of life.

      We revere the Prophet (peace be upon him) as the most perfect man to walk the earth and love him more than we love ourselves.

      If you want to know why a teenage girl in Sudan and an elderly man in China could be moved to tears just by the mere remembrance of a man who they never met… let us know.

      There are many good books/ videos/ websites out there.

      Take care.

      • Avatar


        May 31, 2016 at 11:32 PM

        Clear, concise and excellent response Alhamdullilah

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    Amina Amir

    July 17, 2014 at 5:27 AM

    Awesome post about 9 things you didn’t know about the Prophets mosque. Thanks a lot for sharing. Really It is a place known to every Muslim who has ever lived, yet there’s still much we don’t know about it.

    • Avatar


      August 1, 2014 at 4:58 AM

      No one has been in heaven to know how it looks. Furthermore, it is not right to compare earthly structures like the mosque with heaven.

  37. Avatar


    July 26, 2014 at 5:45 AM

    Commenting here to follow up so that whenever those “secrets” post is up, I will get notified.

  38. Avatar


    July 29, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    Masha Allah… These post about hings you didnt know about the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) Mosque as well as Al- Aqsa and Makkah are very informative.

    One thing that came to mind when reading this is If the Open space is meant for Isa ‘alayhi’l-salām (peace be upon him), then it means that Isa will pass on in that spot… as was reported in the hadith… every prophet is buried in the place that he dies.

    • Avatar

      Muhammad kabir

      April 18, 2016 at 5:47 PM

      Assalamu alaikum!
      really an intriguing and informative platform, Jazakal Allahu bi khair ya majid.
      @Ebrahim ” Every prophet is buried where he died”
      that is true but Isa (AS) is not coming back as prophet but as a follower of the Rasul (SAW). so he may not necessarily die at that location. walLahu a’alam

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  42. Avatar

    Umm Musa

    December 26, 2014 at 8:22 PM

    SubhanAllah. Why is no one allowed to see inside?

  43. Avatar


    January 3, 2015 at 12:07 AM

    very educational and easy to grasp.

    Many thanks

    • Avatar


      September 24, 2015 at 3:00 AM

      You are right. It helped me alot as well.

  44. Avatar


    January 3, 2015 at 1:47 PM

    There are a lot of mistakes in this article and it should be corrected, like the people going into the hujrah in 1970. This is baseless and the masjid’s main scholars and caretakers are my personal friends and so are the masjid’s royal guards. Many of these matters mentioned in this article are not matters that are verified and it is conjecture. I would ask that things like this be verified better and the author do more authoritative research before making comments and claims. Wallahu alim.

    • WAJiD


      December 11, 2015 at 11:26 AM

      Walaikum asalaam,

      Thank you for your concerns.

      The article is fully referenced. Unfortunately, being in the vicinity of history does not make one knowledgeable of it which explains why – like you – I have not been able to rely on the caretakers or the guards for the information collected here.

    • Avatar


      December 13, 2015 at 12:56 AM

      Tawfique: “There are a lot of mistakes”
      Asslamualikum , could you please mention those “alot of mistakes”?? people entering Hujra does not mean entering in Chamber, i believe i simple means entering in Green fence area, and that still people do, like Khuddams, Aghwat for cleaning and stuff.

    • Avatar


      December 13, 2015 at 1:00 AM

      Tawfique: “There are a lot of mistakes”
      Asslamualikum , could you please mention those “a lot of mistakes”?? people entering Hujra does not mean entering in Chamber, i believe it simple means entering in Green fence area, and that still people do, like Khuddams, Aghwat for cleaning and stuff.

  45. Avatar


    January 17, 2015 at 1:54 PM

    Good, informative article.

    In your research, please also include some info on the peculiarity on the dome as discussed at

    Also if you see the new extended portion of the mosque (behind the old Turkish construction) is slightly angled compared to the front portion. Why this deviation ? it actually changes the direction of the people offering prayers by a very small angle.

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  47. Avatar

    abdu mohammed

    July 5, 2015 at 7:55 PM

    subhanallah let’s see miracle of allah

  48. Avatar

    Mohammed Lambat

    August 18, 2015 at 10:20 AM

    When will the article of secret signs be written?

    • WAJiD


      December 11, 2015 at 11:28 AM

      Walaikum asalaam,

      I deliver it as a presentation and am currently working on it. InshaAllah it will be available in 2016.

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  50. Avatar


    October 7, 2015 at 10:44 AM

    It is forbidden for a masjid to encompass *any* grave. InshaAllah the structural changes and extensions will one day be reversed. If anyone is aware of a restoration campaign, please let me know.

    And what’s with these “secret symbols”? Dear Lord, don’t let it be anything shirk-y.


    • WAJiD


      December 11, 2015 at 11:31 AM

      Walaikum asalaam,

      “And what’s with these “secret symbols”? Dear Lord, don’t let it be anything shirk-y.”

      Thank you for making me smile…

  51. Avatar


    December 22, 2015 at 2:34 PM

    Turks did most of the damage to islam. They are in middle of two civilizations n they tried to mix them both. Concept of eid milad came from Christmas n building tombs on sahaba and sufis’s grave . If u look at the old cemeteries in Europe u will see high graves some with tombs. Now even west has corrected themselves according to teachings of Islam by making grave simple.

  52. Avatar

    Fizraa Fayaz

    January 19, 2016 at 10:37 AM

    I wanted to know about whose janazah did prophet ( PBUH ) attend in masjid nab a with ??

  53. Avatar

    Fizraa Fayaz

    January 19, 2016 at 10:38 AM

    * masjid nabawi.

  54. Avatar


    March 18, 2016 at 8:17 AM

    SUBHANALLAH its really nice blog i love it and i love Muhammad s.a.w..

    *Name has been changed to comply to our Comments Policy*
    [Please refrain from using a ‘Name’ that is considered advertising]

  55. Avatar

    Muhammad Ibn Salah Al Deen

    April 14, 2016 at 4:57 AM

    Jazakallah Khair for the informative discussion.
    Is there any video or image of the resting place of beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)?

    • WAJiD


      April 14, 2016 at 3:11 PM

      Walaikum asalaam br Muhammad,

      No, there is no video of the resting place of the Prophet (SAW.) The inner chamber where the grave is located has not been opened in more than 800 years. The room itself has been opened but not the inner chamber.

  56. Avatar

    Abdulshikur Mubarek

    April 22, 2016 at 2:10 AM

    aselwaleykum yaresulullah/S A W/
    YARESULULLAH when you call me medinnah to visit you.

  57. Avatar

    Naimuddin saifi

    September 8, 2016 at 6:24 AM

    it is a great article I am reading

  58. Avatar


    September 18, 2016 at 12:54 PM

    Mashaa Allah.
    I didn’t know this before❤
    You can also visit this link.

  59. Avatar

    Muhammad Sohail Khurshid

    September 19, 2016 at 3:19 AM

    Dear Wajid,
    Please update about your book. I am keenly waiting for it.

  60. Avatar

    Hassan Khalid

    January 25, 2019 at 1:54 PM

    Masjid e Nabawi has six (6) Mehrabs, you’ve listed only 3. The names of these mehrabs are
    Mahrab e Nabawi
    Mehrabi e Uthmani
    Mehrab e Suleimani
    Mehrab e Tahajjud
    Mehrab e Fatimah
    Mehrab e Bait ul-Muqaddas


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Lessons From Surah Maryam: 1

Shaykh Furhan Zubairi



Alhamdulillah, it’s a great blessing of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) that He has given us both the opportunity and ability to come here tonight to study and explore the meanings of His words in Surah Maryam. I’m truly grateful for this opportunity. May Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) accept this effort from all of us and place it on our scale of good deeds.

Alhamdulillah, in our last series we were able to complete the tafsir of Surah Al-Kahf. InshAllah, in this next series, we’ll be exploring the meanings, lessons, and reminders of Surah Maryam. Tafsīr is an extremely noble and virtuous discipline. The reason why it’s so noble and virtuous is that it’s the study of the divine speech of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). As mentioned in a hadith the superiority of the speech of Allah over all other speech is like the superiority of Allah over all of His creation. There’s nothing more beneficial and virtuous than studying the Quran. And by doing so we’ll be counted amongst the best of people. As the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “the best amongst you are those who learn the Quran and teach it.”

All of us need to build a stronger relationship with the Quran. The Quran is full of wisdom and guidance in every single verse and word. It’s our responsibility to seek that guidance, understand it, contextualize it and more importantly act upon it. Tafsīr is such a unique science that it brings together all of the other Islamic sciences. While exploring a Surah a person comes across discussions regarding Arabic grammar and morphology, rhetoric, Ahādīth, fiqh, sīrah and all those studies that are known as the Islamic Sciences. One scholar described the Quran as an ocean that has no shore, بحر لا ساحل له. The more we study the Qur’ān the stronger our relationship with it will become. We’ll become more and more attached to it and will be drawn into its beauty and wonder. The deeper a person gets into tafsir and studying the more engaged and interested they become. They also recognize how little they truly know. It develops humility. That’s the nature of true knowledge. The more we learn the more we recognize we don’t know. May Allah ﷻ allow us all to be sincere and committed students of the Qur’ān.

Surah Maryam

Surah Maryam is the 19th surah in the Quran. It is a relatively long Makki surah made up of 98 verses. Some commentators mention that it’s the 44th Surah to be revealed, after Surah Al-Fatir and before Surah Taha. It has been given the name Maryam because Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) mentions the story of Maryam (as) and her family and how she gave birth to Isa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) miraculously at the beginning of the Surah. Just like other Makkan surahs, it deals with the most fundamental aspects of our faith. It talks about the existence and oneness of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), prophethood, and resurrection and recompense.

The Surah is made up of a series of unique stories filled with guidance and lessons that are meant as reminders. One of the main themes of this Surah is mercy… It has been mentioned over 16 times in this Surah. We’ll find the words of grace, compassion and their synonyms frequently mentioned throughout the sūrah, together with Allah’s attributes of beneficence and mercy. We can say that one of the objectives of the Surah is to establish and affirm the attribute of mercy for Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). That’s why all of the stories mentioned also have to do with Allah’s mercy.

Another objective of the Surah is to remind us of our relationship with Allah ﷻ; the concept of Al-‘Ubūdiyyah. These are the two major themes or ideas of this Surah; the concept of Rahmah and the concept of ‘Ubūdiyyah (Mercy and Servitude).

The Surah can be divided into 8 sections:

1) Verses 1-15: The surah starts with the story of Zakariyya (as) and how he was given the gift of a child at a very old age, which was something strange and out of the ordinary.

2) Verses 16-40: mention the story of Maryam and the miraculous birth of Isa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) without a father and how her community responded to her.

3) Verses 41-50: The surah then briefly mentions one part of the story of Ibrahim 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), specifically the conversation he had with his father regarding the worship of idols. The surah then briefly mentions a series of other Prophets.

4) Verses 51-58: Mention Musa and Haroon 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), Ismail 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and Idrees 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) to show that the essence of the message of all Prophets was the same

5) Verses 59-65: compare and contrast the previous generations with the current ones in terms of belief and actions.

6) Verses 66-72: Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) addresses the Mushrikoon rejecting their false claims regarding life after death and judgment.

7) Verses 73-87: continue to address the Mushrikoon and warn them regarding their attitude towards belief in Allah and His messengers. They also mention the great difference between the resurrection of the believer and the resurrection of the non-believer.

8) Verses 88-98: contain a severe warning to those who claim that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has taken a child. They also express that Allah is pleased with the believers and mentions that one of the objectives of the Quran is to give glad tidings to the believers and to warn the non-believers.


From various narrations, we learn that this surah was revealed near the end of the fourth year of Prophethood. This was an extremely difficult time for Muslims. The Quraysh were frustrated with their inability to stop the message of Islam from spreading so they became ruthless. They resorted to any method of torture that they could think of; beating, starving and harassing. When the persecution became so severe that it was difficult for the Muslims to bear it, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) gave permission to migrate to Abyssinia. “For in it dwells a king in whose presence no one is harmed.” 10 men and 4 women migrated in the 5th year of Prophethood secretly. After a few months, a larger group of 83 men and 18 women migrated as well. This migration added more fuel to the fire. It enraged the people of Quraysh.

Umm Salamah [rahna]narrated, “When we stopped to reside in the land of Abyssinia we lived alongside the best of neighbors An-Najashi. We practiced our religion safely, worshipped Allah without harm and didn’t hear anything we disliked. When news of our situation reached the Quraysh they started to plot against us…” They decided to send two delegates to persuade An-Najashi to send the Companions back by offering him and his ministers’ gifts. The plan was to go to each minister with gifts and turn them against the Muslims. So they went to each minister with gifts and said, “Verily, foolish youth from amongst us have come to the country of your king; they have abandoned the religion of their people and have not embraced your religion. Rather they have come with a new religion that neither of us knows. The noblemen of their people, from their fathers and uncles, have sent us to the king asking that he send them back. So when we speak to the king regarding their situation advise him to surrender them to us and to not speak to them…” The minister agreed.

Then they went to the king, offered him gifts and said the same thing… The ministers tried to convince him as well. An-Najashi became angry with them and said, “No, by Allah, I will not surrender them to these two and I don’t fear the plotting of a people who have become my neighbors, have settled down in my country, and have chosen me (to grant them refuge) over every other person. I will not do so until I summon them and speak to them. If they are as these two say I will give them up, but if they aren’t then I will protect them from these two and continue to be a good neighbor to them as long as they are good neighbors to me.”

al-Najāshī then summoned the Prophet’s ﷺ Companions. When his messenger informed the Prophet’s Companions that they were to appear before the king, they gathered together to discuss what they should do. One of them asked, “What will you say to the name (al-Najāshī) when you go to him?” They all agreed on what they would say to him, “By Allah, we will say what our Prophet ﷺ taught us and commanded us with, regardless of the consequences.” Meanwhile, al-Najāshī called for his priests, who gathered around him with their scrolls spread out before them. When the Muslims arrived al-Najāshī began by asking them, “What is this religion for which you have parted from your people? You have not entered into the fold of my religion, nor the religion of any person from these nations.”

Umm Salamah [rahna] narrated, “The Person among us who would speak to him was Jaʿfar ibn abī Ṭālib [rahnu] who then said, “O king, we were an ignorant people: we worshipped idols, we would eat from the flesh of dead animals, we would perform lewd acts, we would cut off family ties, and we would be bad neighbors; the strong among us would eat from the weak. We remained upon that state until Allah sent us a Messenger, whose lineage, truthfulness, trustworthiness, and chastity we already knew. He invited us to Allah – to believe in His oneness and to worship Him; to abandon all that we and our fathers worshipped besides Allah, in terms of stones and idols. He ﷺ commanded us to speak truthfully, to fulfill the trust, to join ties of family relations, to be good to our neighbors, and to refrain from forbidden deeds and from shedding blood. And he ﷺ forbade us from lewd acts, from uttering falsehood, from wrongfully eating the wealth of an orphan, from falsely accusing chaste women of wrongdoing. And he ﷺ ordered us to worship Allah alone and to not associate any partners with him in worship; and he ﷺ commanded us to pray, to give zakāh, and to fast.” He enumerated for al-Najāshī the teachings of Islam. He said, “And we believe him and have faith in him. We follow him in what he came with. And so we worship Allah alone, without associating any partners with Him in worship. We deem forbidden that which he has made forbidden for us, and we deem lawful that which he made permissible for us. Our people then transgressed against us and tortured us. The tried to force us to abandon our religion and to return from the worship of Allah to the worship of idols; they tried to make us deem lawful those abominable acts that we used to deem lawful. Then, when they subjugated us, wronged us, and treated us in an oppressive manner, standing between us and our religion, we came to your country, and we chose you over all other people. We desired to live alongside you, and we hoped that, with you, we would not be wronged, O king.” al-Najāshī said to Jaʿfar [rahnu], “Do you have any of that which he came with from Allah?” Jaʿfar [rahnu] said, “Yes”. “Then recite to me,” said al-Najāshī. Jaʿfar [rahnu] recited for him the beginning of Surah Maryam. By Allah, al-Najāshī began to cry, until his beard became wet with tears. And when his priests heard what Jaʿfar [rahnu] was reciting to them, they cried until their scrolls became wet. al-Najāshī then said, “By Allah, this and what Mūsa (as) came with come out of the same lantern. Then by Allah, I will never surrender them to you, and henceforward they will not be plotted against and tortured.”

Describing what happened after the aforementioned discussion between al-Najāshī and Jaʿfar [rahnu], Umm Salamah raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) said, “When both ʿAmr ibn al-ʿĀṣ and ʿAbdullah ibn abī Rabīʿah left the presence of al-Najāshī, ʿAmr [rahnu] said, “By Allah tomorrow I will present to him information about them with which I will pull up by the roots their very lives.” Abdullah ibn Rabīʿah who was more sympathetic of the two towards us said, “Don’t do so, for they have certain rights of family relations, even if they have opposed us.” ʿAmr said, “By Allah, I will inform him that they claim that ʿĪsā ibn Maryam is a slave.”

He went to the king on the following day and said, “O king, verily, they have strong words to say about ʿĪsa (as). Call them here and ask them what they say about him.” al-Najāshī sent for them in order to ask them about ʿĪsa. Nothing similar to this befell us before. The group of Muslims gathered together and said to one another, “What will you say about ʿĪsa when he asks you about him?” They said, “By Allah, we will say about him that which Allah says and that which our Prophet ﷺ came with, regardless of the outcome.” When they entered into his presence, he said to them, “What do you say about ʿĪsa ibn Maryam?” Jaʿfar raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) said, “We say about him that which our Prophet ﷺ came with – that he is the slave of Allah, His messenger, a spirit created by Him, and His word, which he bestowed on Maryam, the virgin, the baṭūl.”

al-Najāshī struck his hand on the ground and took from it a stick. He then said, “ʿĪsa ibn Maryam did not go beyond what you said even the distance of the stick.” When he said this, his ministers spoke out in anger, to which he responded, “What I said is true even if you speak out in anger, by Allah. (Turning to the Muslims, he said) Go, for you are safe in my land. Whoever curses you will be held responsible. And I would not love to have a reward of gold in return for me hurting a single man among you. (Speaking to his ministers he said) Return to these two (men) their gifts, since we have no need for them. For by Allah, Allah did not take from me bribe money when He returned to me my kingdom, so why should I take bribe money. The two left, defeated and humiliated; and returned to them were the things they came with. We then resided alongside al-Najāshī in a very good abode, with a very good neighbor.”

The response was simply amazing in its eloquence. A believer puts the needs of his soul before the needs of his body. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) starts the Surah by saying,

Verse 1: Kaf, Ha, Ya, ‘Ayn, Sad.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) starts Surah Maryam with a series of five letters. There are many different saying or explanations regarding these five letters. The most correct opinion is that these are from the broken letters. There are 29 different Surahs in the Quran that start with the broken letters. Only Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) alone knows the meanings of these letters. They are a secret from amongst the secrets of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), meaning that no one knows what they truly mean. Only Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows their meanings so they are from amongst the Mutashaabihat, those verses whose meanings are hidden.

However, we do find that some great Companions, as well as their students, sometimes gave meanings to these words. For example, it’s said that it is in acronym and each letter represents one of the names of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Kaf is for Al-Kafi or Al-Kareem, “haa” is for Al-Hadi, “yaa” is from Hakeem or Raheem, “’ayn” is from Al-‘Aleem or Al-‘Adheem, and “saad” is from Al-Saadiq. Others said that it is one of the names of Allah and it’s actually Al-Ism Al-‘Atham or that it’s a name of the Quran. However, these narrations can’t be used as proof or to assign definitive meanings. They offer possibilities, but no one truly knows what they mean.

Now the question should come to our mind that why would Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) start of a Surah with words that no one understands?

1) To grab the attention of the listeners.

2) To remind us that no matter how much we know there’s always something that we don’t know.

3) These letters are the letters of the Arabic language and the Quran was revealed at a time that was the peak of eloquence of the language and it was their identity. The Quran was revealed challenging them spiritually and intellectually. The Arabs never heard these letters being used in such a majestic way.

4) To prove the inimitable nature of the Quran.

Allah then starts the story of Zakariyya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him). Zakariyya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was one of the Prophets sent to Bani Israel. He was the husband of Maryam’s paternal aunt. He was also one of the caretakers or custodians of Baitul Maqdis.

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When Faith Hurts: Do Good Deeds = Good Life?

Loving Allah and trusting the Wisdom and Purpose in everything He throws your way- even if it hurts. It is a time to learn.

Zeba Khan



hurts, hardship. Allah, test, why Allah is testing me

The Messenger of Allahṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said that the faith in our hearts wears out the way our clothes wear out. Deterioration, maintenance, and renewal are part of the cycle.  That’s life with all that hurts. That’s normal.

But what happens when that’s life, but life is not your normal? What happens when it feels like life isn’t normal, hasn’t been normal, and won’t be normal for a foreseeably long time?  For some of us, refreshing faith becomes secondary to just keeping it.

It’s easier to say Alhamdulillah when you are happy. It’s harder when you’re not. That’s human nature though. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there is something wrong with what we teach about faith that can leave us unprepared for when Allah tests it. I believe that our discussions about faith tend to be overly simplistic. They revolve around a few basic concepts, and are more or less summed up with:

Faith = Happiness

Righteousness = Ease

Prayer = Problem Solved

Good Deeds Equals Good Life?

Basically, the TLDR is Good Deeds = The Good Life. None of these statements are technically untrue. The sweetness of faith is a joy that is beyond any other gratitude, for any other thing in this world. Righteousness in the sight of Allah will put you on the path to the good life in the afterlife. Making dua can be the solution to your problems. But when we say these things to people who have true faith but not happiness, or righteous behavior yet distressing hardship, we’re kind of implying that that either Islam is broken (because their prayers seem unanswered), or they are broken (because their prayers are undeserving of answers.) And neither of those is true either.

Allow me to elaborate. I think it’s safe to say that there is not a single parent who has not begged Allah to make their sick or disabled child well again. Yet, our Ummah still has sick and disabled children. Through history, people have begged Allah for a loved one’s life, and then buried them – so is prayer not equal to problem solved?

Many righteous people stand up, and are then ostracized for their faith. Many people speak truth in the face of a tyrant only to be punished for it. Many of us live with complete conviction, with unshakeable belief in the existence and wisdom and mercy of Allah, and still find ourselves unhappy and afraid of what He has willed for us.

Are We Broken?

No, but our spiritual education is. In order to fix it, we have to be upfront with each other. We have to admit that we can be happy with Allah and still find ourselves devastated by the tests He puts before us, because faith is not a protection from struggle.

Has anyone ever said this to you? Have you ever said this to anyone else?

No one ever told me. It was hard for me to learn that lesson on my own, when I pleaded with Allah to make my son’s autism go away, and it didn’t. Everyone told me –Make dua! The prayer of a mother for her child is special! Allah will never turn you down!

It was hard trying to make sense of what seemed like conflicting messages- that Allah knows best, but a mother’s prayer is always answered. It was even harder facing people who tried to reassure me of that, even when it obviously wasn’t working.

“Just make dua! Allah will respond!”

I’m sure people mean well. But it’s hard not to be offended. Either they assume I have never bothered to pray for my son, or they imply that there must be good reason why Allah’s not granting to my prayers. What they don’t consider is that allowing my test to persist – even if I don’t want it to- is also a valid response from Allah.

I have been told to think back in my life, and try to determine what sin caused my child’s disability, as if the only reason why Allah wouldn’t give me what I asked for was because I was so bad I didn’t deserve it. As if good deeds equaled the good life, and if my life wasn’t good, it’s because I hadn’t been good either.

Bad Things Happen to Good People

You can assume whatever you like about my character, but bad things do happen to good people, even when they pray. You can try your hardest and still fall short. You can pray your whole life for something that will never come to you. And strength of faith in that circumstance doesn’t mean living in a state of unfulfilled hope, it means accepting the wisdom in the test that Allah has decreed for you.

That’s a bit uncomfortable, isn’t it.  When we talk about prayer and hope, we prefer to talk about Zakariyyah 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) – who begged Allah for a child and was gifted with one long after anyone thought it even possible. But we also need to talk about Abu Talib.

The Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was raised by his uncle Abu Talib, and in his mission to preach Islam he was protected by Abu Talib.  But Abu Talib died without accepting Islam, was there something wrong with the Prophet, that Allah did not give him what he asked for? Was he not good enough? Did he not pray hard enough? Astaghfirullah, no. So if Prophets of God can ask for things and still not get them, why are we assuming otherwise for ourselves?

Making a Bargain with Allah

If we can understand that faith is not a contract for which we trade prayers for services, then maybe we can cope better when fate cannot be bargained with. Maybe it won’t have to hurt so bad – on spiritual level – when Allah withholds what we ask for, even when we asked for the “right” things in the right way and at all the right times.

Life is not simple. Faith is not simple. The will of Allah is not simple, no matter how much we want it to be, and when oversimplify it, we create a Muslim version of Prosperity Gospel without meaning to.

If you’ve never heard of it, prosperity gospel is a religious belief among some Christians that health and wealth and success are the will of God, and therefore faith, good deeds and charity increase one’s wellbeing. Have faith, and God will reward you in this life and the next. That’s nice. But it’s too simple. Because the belief that Good Deeds = The Good Life doesn’t explain how Ibraheem 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him)’s father tried to have him burnt alive.

Yusuf 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him)’s brothers left him for dead in the bottom of a well. He grew up a slave and spent years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Aasiya 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) – the wife of the Pharoah – one of the four best women in the history of womankind – died from her husband’s torture.

Good people are not guaranteed good lives. Islam is what we need, not a system of practices that we use to fulfill our needs.

When we limit our understanding of faith to a simplistic, almost contractual relationship with Allah, then we can’t even explain the things that Allah Tested His own prophets with.

Nor can we understand, or even begin to cope with- what He Tests the rest of us with either. We have to be real in our talk about faith, because otherwise we set each other up for unrealistic expectations and lack of preparation for when we face hardship. Faith is not protection from hardship. Faith is part of hardship. And hardship is part of faith.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) asks us in the opening of Surah ‘Ankabut,

Do people think once they say, “We believe,” that they will be left without being put to the test? We certainly tested those before them. And ˹in this way˺ Allah will clearly distinguish between those who are truthful and those who are liars.

Allah says in Surah Baqarah, ayah 155: “And most certainly shall We try you by means of danger, and hunger, and loss of worldly goods, of lives and of the fruits of your labor. But give glad tidings to those who are patient in adversity.

tests, hurts, faith , hardship

Allah Tests Everyone Differently

Allah tests each of us differently, but in every single case – every single time – a test is an invitation to success. Hardship is the process through which we prove ourselves. Experiencing it– and then drawing closer to Allah through it –is how faith is tested as well as strengthened.

If we can change how we perceive hardship, then we can also change how we perceive each other. On our cultural subconscious, we still see worldly failure as being equivalent to spiritual failure. So when we see people who are homeless, we assume fault. When we see people facing depression or divorce, we assume fault. We even look at refugees and victims and special needs children and we look for fault. Because if it’s that bad then it’s has to be someone’s fault, right?

Fault is how we place blame. Blame is how we know whose mistake it is. But the will of Allah is never a mistake, it’s a test.  Instead of faulting each other for what Allah tests us with, we could respect each other for the struggles we all endure. We could see each other with more compassion for our challenges, and less aversion when Allah tests us with dealing each other.

So when you’ve done things the right way, but the right things aren’t happening. Or you’ve been charitable to others, and they’re being evil towards you. Or you’ve earned only halal, but haram- it’s been taken away from you, remember this- your faith is being tested. Allah tests those that He loves. When He raises the difficulty level, Allah is extending a direct invitation for you to climb higher.

So How Do We Succeed When Faced With Failure?

The first thing to do is redefine failure. There is only one true failure in this life, and that is dying on the wrong side of Siraat ul Mustaqeem, because if close your eyes and wake up in Jahannam, no success in this life can compensate for that.

I find that helpful to remember, when I fail to stay fit because I can’t exercise without hurting myself, when I fail to fast in Ramadan because it’s dangerous for me to do so- when I fail to discover a cure for my family’s personal assortment of medical issues through rigorous internet “research,” none of that is my failure either. And I can feel a lot of different ways about these situations, but I do not feel guilty- because it’s not my fault. And I do not feel bitter, because my test is my honor. Even when I do feel scared.

Being scared in not a failure either. Neither is being unemployed. Being unmarried is not a failure. Being childless is not a failure. Being divorced is not a failure. Nothing unpleasant or miserable or unexpected is a failure. It’s all just a test, and seeing it as a test means you have the state of mind to look for the correct answers.

Not even sin is failure, because as long as you are alive, your sin stands as an invitation to forgiveness. The bigger the sin, the greater the blessings of repenting from it.  Everything that goes bad is the opening of the door for good. A major sin can be the first step on a journey that starts with repentance and moves you closer to Allah every day thereafter. Sin only becomes failure when it takes you farther away from Allah, rather than closer to him.

Jahannam is the Only Failure

Addiction is not a failure. Depression is not a failure. Poverty is not a failure. Jahannam is the only failure. Everything else is a gap in expectations.

You assumed you would have something, but it’s not written for you. You assumed you’d ask Allah for something and He’d give it to you, but what is that assumption based on again? That good deeds are the guarantee to the good life, and that prayer equals problem solved?

Allah has all the knowledge, Allah has the wisdom, Allah is the best of Planners – how are you assuming that your wishes supersede His will? Even when you put your wishes in the form of a prayer?

They don’t. It is absolutely true that Allah may choose to rewrite Qadr itself based on your prayers – but that’s still His choice. Allah has always, and will always be in control of this world. And that means your world too. If you still think you’re in control, you will find it really, really hard to cope the first time you realize you’re not.

When we understand that we don’t get to control what happens and what doesn’t, we can then release ourselves from the misplaced guilt of things going wrong.  Lots of special needs parents struggle with guilt. I meet them often – and every single parent has asked the question- directly or indirectly-

What did I do for my child to deserve this?

Can you hear the presumption in there? That the parents were good, so why did something bad happen? They were expecting for good deeds to equal the good life.

There’s a second presumption in there too, that their life choices were a determining factor of what happened to their child. That is a presumption of control. And as long as you try to hold on to that presumption of control, there is the constant feeling of failure when it just doesn’t work the way you think it will.

I am not proposing that we lose hope in Allah and despair of His Mercy. I am in no way insinuating that Allah doesn’t hear every prayer, hasn’t counted every tear, and isn’t intimately aware of your pain and your challenges. Allah hears your prayers, and in His wisdom, sometimes he grants us exactly what we want. In His Wisdom, sometimes he grants us exactly what we need.

Even if we don’t see it.

Even if it scares us.

Even if it hurts us – because Allah has promised that He will never, ever break us.

hurts, hardship, special needs

Allah Tests Us in His Mercy

I am proposing that we put trust in the wisdom of Allah, and understand that when He tests us, that is part of his mercy, not a deviation from it. When He grants something to us, that is part of His mercy, and when he withholds something from us, that too is part of His Mercy, even if we don’t like it. Even when we ask Him to take it away.

The third thing I would like to propose, is that we correct our understanding of – Fa Inna Ma’Al usri yusraa, Inna Ma’al usri yusra.

So verily, definitely, for sure- with hardship there is ease. Again, Inna – for sure, with hardship there is ease.

I’m sure lots of you have said this to people you loved, or to yourself when you’re struggling with something and you’re just trying to get through it. But did you mean that this hardship will end, and then things will be good again? Like as soon as things have been hard for a while, Allah will make them easy again?

Would you believe that’s not really what that means? Ma’a means with, not after. With this hardship, there is ease. And maybe you’re like aww man, but I wanted the ease! I want the hardship to go away and Allah I’m ready for my ease now!

But that hardship, will bring you ease. Allah does not tell us what the ease will be, or when it will be- but He says it’s there, so trust Him. Even if you can’t see it right away, or in this life –it will become apparent.

I can tell you some of the ease I found with mine.

Learning When It Hurts

When my son was diagnosed with autism, my husband and I had to drop everything. We dropped our plans to save, to travel, and to live the charmed life of neurotypical parents whose only fears are that their children may grow up and NOT become Muslim doctors. We spent our earnings and our savings and our time and our nights and our tears and Alhamdulillah, we learned patience. We learned perspective. We learned compassion.

We really learned what we thought we already knew – about unconditional love and acceptance. We learned to be bigger than our fears, and smaller than our own egos. We learned to give and take help. We learn to accept what wisdom our cultures could offer us, and respectfully decline what did not. We learn to set boundaries and make rules that did justice by our children and our family, regardless of whether they were popular. With hardship comes ease.

When we couldn’t afford therapy for my son, my husband and I founded a not for profit organization in the UAE that provided it for my son and dozens of other people’s sons and daughters. Three and a half years ago I left that organization to seek better educational opportunities for my son here in the US, but it’s still running. The seed that our challenges planted has grown into something beyond us. With our hardship came ease for ourselves and others as well.

When I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, my health issues were upgraded from challenging to permanent. I had to rethink how I lived, how I planned, how I dressed, and even – my relationship with Allah. But if I had never been sick, I would never have started writing. When it hurt, I wrote. When I was scared, I wrote. When I was lonely, I wrote. And by and by the grindstone of fear and sickness and frustration sharpened my skills. Where I am today both spiritually and professionally – is actually a direct result of both autism and chronic illness. With hardship comes ease.

I don’t like my hardships, but I don’t have to. You don’t have to either. Being a good Muslim doesn’t always mean being a happy Muslim. It just means being Muslim, no matter the circumstances.

That means loving Allah and trusting the Wisdom and Purpose in everything He throws your way – even if not loving everything He throws your way. You may hate your circumstances, and you may not be able to do anything about them, but as long as you trust Allah and use your hardships to come closer to him, you cannot fail, even if this life, you feel as if you never really succeeded.

hurts, depression, faith , hardship

Faith Wears Out In Our hearts, The Way Our Cothes Wear Out on Our Bodies

The hardship that damages and stains us is Allah’s invitation to repair, renew, and refresh ourselves. Our test are an invitation, an opportunity, an obstacle – but not a punishment or divine cruelty. And when we know that those tests will come, and some may even stay, then we can be better prepared for it.

Trust Allah when He says that He does not burden any soul with more than it can bear. He told us so in Surah Baqarah Ayah 286. Remember that when you are afraid, and Allah will never cause your fear to destroy you. Take your fear to Allah, and He will strengthen you, and reward you for your bravery.

Remember that when you are in pain. Allah will never cause your pain to destroy you. Take your pain to Him, and He will soothe you and reward you for your patience. Take it all to Allah – the loneliness, the anxiety, the confusion. Do not assume that the only emotions a “good Muslim” takes to Allah are gratitude and happiness and awe. Take them all to Allah, uncertainty, disappointment, anger — and He will bless you in all of those states, and guide you to what is better for you in this life, and the next, even if it’s not what you expected.

The struggles in your life are a test, and whether you pass or fail is not determined on whether you conquer them, only on whether you endure them. Expect that they will come, because having faith is not protection from struggle. Faith is protection from being broken by the struggle.

I ask Allah to protect us all from hardship, but protect us in our hardships as well. I ask Allah to grant us peace from His peace, and strength from His strength, to patiently endure and grow through our endurance.


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What Does Sharia Really Say About Abortion in Islam

Abortion is not a simple option of being pro-life or pro-choice, Islam recognizes the nuance.

Reem Shaikh



The following article on abortion is based on a research paper titled ‘The Rights of the Fetus in Islam’, at the Department of Sharia at Qatar University. My team and I presented it to multiple members of the faculty. It was approved by the Dean of the Islamic Studies College, an experienced and reputed Islamic authority.

In one swoop, liberal comedian Deven Green posing as her satirical character, Mrs. Betty Brown, “America’s best Christian”, demonized both Sharia law as well as how Islamic law treats abortion. Even in a debate about a law that has no Muslim protagonist in the middle of it, Islam is vilified because apparently, no problem in the world can occur without Islam being dragged into it.

It is important to clarify what Sharia is before discussing abortion. Sharia law is the set of rules and guidelines that Allah establishes as a way of life for Muslims. It is derived from the Qur’an and the Sunnah, which is interpreted and compiled by scholars based on their understandings (fiqh). Sharia takes into account what is in the best interest for individuals and society as a whole, and creates a system of life for Muslims, covering every aspect, such as worship, beliefs, ethics, transactions, etc.

Muslim life is governed by Sharia – a very personal imperative. For a Muslim living in secular lands, that is what Sharia is limited to – prayers, fasting, charity and private transactions such as not dealing with interest, marriage and divorce issues, etc. Criminal statutes are one small part of the larger Sharia but are subject to interpretation, and strictly in the realm of a Muslim country that governs by it.

With respect to abortion, the first question asked is:

“Do women have rights over their bodies or does the government have rights over women’s bodies?”

The answer to this question comes from a different perspective for Muslims. Part of Islamic faith is the belief that our bodies are an amanah from God. The Arabic word amanah literally means fulfilling or upholding trusts. When you add “al” as a prefix, or al-amanah, trust becomes “The Trust”, which has a broader Islamic meaning. It is the moral responsibility of fulfilling one’s obligations due to Allah and fulfilling one’s obligations due to other humans.

The body is one such amanah. Part of that amanah includes the rights that our bodies have over us, such as taking care of ourselves physically, emotionally and mentally – these are part of a Muslim’s duty that is incumbent upon each individual.

While the Georgia and Alabama laws in the United States that make abortion illegal after the 6-week mark of pregnancy are being mockingly referred to as “Sharia Law” abortion, the fact is that the real Sharia allows much more leniency in the matter than these laws do.

First of all, it is important to be unambiguous about one general ruling: It is unanimously agreed by the scholars of Islam that abortion without a valid excuse after the soul has entered the fetus is prohibited entirely. The question then becomes, when exactly does the soul enter the fetus? Is it when there is a heartbeat? Is it related to simple timing? Most scholars rely on the timing factor because connecting a soul to a heartbeat itself is a question of opinion.

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The timing then is also a matter of ikhtilaf, or scholarly difference of opinion:

One Hundred and Twenty Days:

The majority of the traditional scholars, including the four madhahib, are united upon the view that the soul certainly is within the fetus after 120 days of pregnancy, or after the first trimester.

This view is shaped by  the following hadith narrated by Abdullah bin Masood raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him):

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إن أحدكم يجمع خلقه في بطن أمه أربعين يوما ثم يكون في ذلك علقة مثل ذلك ثم يكون في ذلك مضغة مثل ذلك ثم يرسل الملك فينفخ فيه الروح..

“For every one of you, the components of his creation are gathered together in the mother’s womb for a period of forty days. Then he will remain for two more periods of the same length, after which the angel is sent and insufflates the spirit into him.”

Forty Days:

The exception to the above is that some scholars believe that the soul enters the fetus earlier, that is after the formation phase, which is around the 40 days mark of pregnancy.

This view is based on another hadith narrated by Abdullah bin Masood raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him):

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إذا مر بالنطفة إثنتان وأربعون ليلة بعث الله إليها ملكاً، فصوره، وخلق سمعها وبصرها وجلدها ولحمها وعظمها…

“If a drop of semen spent in the womb forty-two nights, Allah sends an angel to it who depicts it and creates its ears, eyes, skin, flesh and bones.”

Between the two views, the more widespread and popular opinion is the former, which is that the soul enters the fetus at the 120 days (or 4 months) mark, as the second hadith implies the end of the formation period of the fetus rather than the soul entering it.

Even if one accepts that the soul enters the fetus at a certain timing mark, it does not mean that the soul-less fetus can be aborted at any time or for any reason. Here again, like most matters of Islamic jurisprudence, there is ikhtilaf of scholarly difference of opinion.

No Excuse Required:

The Hanafi madhhab is the most lenient, allowing abortion during the first trimester, even without an excuse.

Some of the later scholars from the Hanafi school consider it makruh or disliked if done without a valid reason, but the majority ruled it as allowed.

Only Under Extreme Risks:

The Malikis are the most strict in this matter; they do not allow abortion even if it is done in the first month of pregnancy unless there is an extreme risk to the mother’s health.

Other Views:

As for the Shafi’i and Hanbali schools of thought, there are multiple opinions within the schools themselves, some allowing abortion, some only allowing it in the presence of a valid excuse.

Valid excuses differ from scholar to scholar, but with a strong and clear reason, permissibility becomes more lenient. Such cases include forced pregnancy (caused by rape), reasons of health and other pressing reasons.

For example, consider a rape victim who becomes pregnant. There is hardly a more compelling reason (other than the health of the mother) where abortion should be permitted. A child born as a result in such circumstances will certainly be a reminder of pain and discomfort to the mother. Every time the woman sees this child, she will be reminded of the trauma of rape that she underwent, a trauma that is generally unmatched for a woman. Leaving aside the mother, the child himself or herself will lead a life of suffering and potentially neglect. He or she may be blamed for being born– certainly unjust but possible with his or her mother’s mindset. The woman may transfer her pain to the child, psychologically or physically because he or she is a reminder of her trauma. One of the principles of Sharia is to ward off the greater of two evils. One can certainly argue that in such a case where both mother and child are at risk of trauma and more injustice, then abortion may indeed be the lesser of the two.

The only case even more pressing than rape would be when a woman’s physical health is at risk due to the pregnancy. Where the risk is clear and sufficiently severe (that is can lead to some permanent serious health damage or even death) if the fetus remained in her uterus, then it is unanimously agreed that abortion is allowed no matter what the stage of pregnancy. This is because of the Islamic principle that necessities allow prohibitions. In this case, the necessity to save the life of the mother allows abortion, which may be otherwise prohibited.

This is the mercy of Sharia, as opposed to the popular culture image about it.

Furthermore, the principle of preventing the greater of two harms applies in this case, as the mother’s life is definite and secure, while the fetus’ is not.

Absolutely Unacceptable Reason for Abortion:

Another area of unanimous agreement is that abortion cannot be undertaken due to fear of poverty. The reason for this is that this mindset collides with having faith and trust in Allah. Allah reminds us in the Quran:

((وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلَاقٍ ۖ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْئًا كَبِيرًا))

“And do not kill your children for fear of poverty, We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin.” (Al-Israa, 31)

Ignorance is not an excuse, but it is an acceptable excuse when it comes to mocking Islam in today’s world. Islam is a balanced religion and aims to draw ease for its adherents. Most rulings concerning fiqh are not completely cut out black and white. Rather, Islamic rulings are reasonable and consider all possible factors and circumstances, and in many cases vary from person to person.

Abortion is not a simple option of being pro-life or pro-choice. These terms have become political tools rather than sensitive choices for women who ultimately suffer the consequences either way.

Life means a lot more than just having a heartbeat. Islam completely recognizes this. Thus, Islamic rulings pertaing to abortion are detailed and varied.

As a proud Muslim, I want my fellow Muslims to be confident of their religion particularly over sensitive issues such as abortion and women’s rights to choose for themselves keeping the Creator of Life in focus at all times.

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