Story of the New Khandaq Mosque in Madinah

This mosque lies at the foot or base of the Sal’ hill, on its western side. It signifies the scene of the Battle of Trench, or Khandaq, which is about three kilometers from the Prophet’s Mosque.

The latter lies on the opposite side of the hill. In the immediate vicinity of this mosque, the historical “Seven Mosques” are located. The mosque was established in 2007. Just a few years ago, it became fully operational.

Due to the topography of the site, the mosque is somewhat awkwardly situated. Its entire eastern and, to some extent, northern and southern sides border the fringes of the Sal’ hill.

The qiblah is towards south. Thus nearly enfolded, the mosque is poorly accessible. Its western side is only rendered completely “free” and unobstructed. As a result, the most frequently used main entrances are positioned right there; so are its two minarets which stand at the south-western and north-western corners.

It is obvious that the mosque was not built entirely for the conventional reasons mosques are normally built for. The reasons for its construction were tripartite.

Firstly, it was built in order to overshadow, as it were, the questionable physical presence of the Seven Mosques, and to counterbalance and, if possible, completely nullify yet more problematic and controversial recurring beliefs and practices associated with them.

Secondly, the mosque exists with the aim of fulfilling the needs of multitudes of pilgrims and visitors. Even though the place is not on the list of the sites recommended by the Prophet (peace be upon him) to be visited, the authorities finally succumbed to the exigencies entailed in people’s thronging to the place. It was the pressure of a public practice (culture) and its numerous demands.

The mosque, therefore, is a means for achieving a noble goal, that is, for spreading the truth and promoting as well as facilitating the right beliefs and practices. That perhaps explains the mosque’s tardy conception and construction.

And thirdly, the mosque was built partially to cater to the needs of the inhabitants of its neighborhoods.


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About Dr. Spahic Omer
Dr. Spahic Omer, an award-winning author, is an Associate Professor at the Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). He studied in Bosnia, Egypt and Malaysia. In the year 2000, he obtained his PhD from the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur in the field of Islamic history and civilization. His research interests cover Islamic history, culture and civilization, as well as the history and theory of Islamic built environment. He can be reached at: [email protected].