• Masjid Nimra

    Masjid Nimra (Arabic: مسجد نمرة), located in Wadi Uranah, marks the location where the Prophet ﷺ camped before delivering his final sermon on the plain of Arafat. During Hajj, on the Day of Arafat, the mosque’s Imam delivers a sermon before Dhuhr and Asr prayers are performed together. The front section of the mosque lies beyond the boundary of Arafat.

    History

    During the Farewell Hajj on the Day of Arafat, the Prophet ﷺ arrived at the site where Masjid Nimra stands today. He stayed in a tent which had been erected for him. His wives stayed in tents around him. When the sun came down from its meridian, he sent for his she-camel, al-Qaswa. He then rode into the interior of Wadi Uranah, where his companions were able to gather around him. He arrived at the bottom of the valley and, seated on his camel, addressed his companions with a powerful sermon. This speech is now known as Khutbat al-Wida (Arabic: خطبة الوداع; “The Farewell Sermon”).

    After combining the Dhuhr and Asr prayers there, the Prophet ﷺ proceeded to Arafat and performed Wuquf there.

    Names

    Masjid Nimra derives its name from a small mountain to its west, which shares the same name. It also has several other names, including:

    • Masjid Ibrahim al-Khalil (Arabic: مسجد إبراهيم الخليل)
    • Masjid Arafah (Arabic: مسجد عرفة)
    • Masjid Uranah (Arabic: مسجد عرنة)
    • Masjid Namirah
    • Masjid-e-Nimra

    Location

    Masjid Nimra is situated to the west of the plain of Arafat, with a portion of its western side extending into Wadi Uranah, one of the valleys of Makkah. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ forbade doing Wuquf on the Day of Arafat here, as it is the dividing line between Arafat and Makkah. He said:

    The whole of Arafat is a mawqif, except the middle of Uranah, and the whole of Muzdalifah is a standing place, except for the middle of Muhassir.
    [Narrated in Muwatta Malik]

    Hajj

    On the Day of Arafat  (9th of Dhul Hijjah), pilgrims travel from Mina to Arafat. After arriving in Arafat, pilgrims gather at Masjid Nimra where the Imam delivers a sermon.

    As Wadi Uranah, where the Prophet ﷺ delivered the sermon, lies beyond the boundaries of Arafat, a portion of Masjid Nimra extends beyond these limits as well. Following subsequent extensions to the masjid, it became divided into two sections: the front section, representing the original masjid, situated outside Arafat’s boundaries, and the rear section, located within them. The front of the mosque is where the Prophet ﷺ delivered the sermon and combined the Dhuhr and Asr prayers thereafter.

    Following renovations, signboards were placed inside the mosque to inform worshippers of this distinction. After performing combined qasr Dhuhr and Asr prayers in congregation, pilgrims are advised to either move to the back section of the masjid or outside to Arafat. Remaining solely in the front section from midday to sunset would render one’s stay at Arafat invalid, thus making the Hajj pilgrimage incomplete.

    Development

    Masjid Nimra was initially constructed in the middle of the second century AH (eighth century CE), during the early years of the Abbasid Caliphate. Its construction and architectural details garnered significant attention from Muslim caliphs, sultans, and princes. Notably, al-Jawad al-Isfahani undertook its construction in the year 559 AH (1164 CE), showcasing meticulous craftsmanship.

    Two significant renovations were undertaken during the Mamluk era. The first occurred by the decree of King Muzaffar Saif al-Din Qutuz in 843 AH (1439 CE). Subsequently, Sultan Qaitbay ordered another renovation in 884 AH (1479 CE), which enhanced its grandeur, beauty, and intricacy, making it one of the most luxurious mosques of its time.

    The mosque underwent further architectural renewal in 1272 AH (1855 CE) during the Ottoman era.

    During the Saudi era, Masjid Nimra underwent its most extensive expansion in history, with the reconstruction costs reaching 237 million riyals. This expansion resulted in significant alterations to the mosque’s dimensions, stretching its length from east to west to 340 meters and its width from north to south to 240 meters. The total area of the mosque now exceeds 110 thousand square meters, with an additional shaded area of approximately 8,000 square meters located behind the mosque. With such vast dimensions, the mosque can accommodate approximately 350,000 worshippers. Adorned with six towering minarets, each standing at a height of 60 meters, the mosque has three domes and ten main entrances, comprising a total of 64 doors. Additionally, the mosque features an external radio room equipped to broadcast sermons, as well as the Dhuhr and Asr prayers on the Day of Arafat, directly via satellites.

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