First mosque in Medina
Date: ca. 622
Location or Findspot (Modern-Day Country): Saudi Arabia
Description: The prototypical Muslim Friday mosque was built in Medina for Muhammad (570–632); it also contained living quarters for his family. The prayer space was a large unpaved courtyard surrounded by porticoes supported by palm-tree trunks; followers of the new faith prayed in rows facing south toward the Ka'ba in Mecca. The place from which Muhammad led prayers was later commemorated by an empty niche, the mihrab. Like later mosques, the space served communal, educational, and judicial functions in addition to religious ones. The Medina mosque, an important pilgrimage destinations for Muslims and one of the major objectives of the annual hajj, has been extensively rebuilt over the centuries.
Relevant Textbook Chapter(s): 3
Image Credits: Navid Jamali
Tags: Works in textbook, Islamic, Late Antique, Western Asian, Access to the sacred, Domestic, Pilgrimage