Masjid al-Qiblatain


Masjid al-Qiblatain is a mosque in Medina that is historically important for Muslims as the place where a companion leading the prayer was told of the change of Qibla and did 180 turn he is said to have been commanded to change the direction of prayer from Jerusalem to Mecca. Thus it uniquely contained two prayer niches (mihrabs). Recently the mosque was renovated, removing the old prayer niche facing Jerusalem and leaving the one facing Mecca.

Muhammad was leading the prayer when he received a revelation from Allah instructing him to take the Kaaba as the Qiblah as in the Qur’anic verse 2:144. According to the accounts, Muhammad, who had been facing Jerusalem during the prayer, upon receiving this revelation, immediately turned around to face Mecca, and those praying behind him also did so. After this, the mosque in which this incident occurred came to be known as Masjid al-Qiblatain (i.e. ‘Mosque of the Two Qiblahs’).