| Masjid al-Qiblatain (Mosque of the Two
Qiblas) is a mosque in Medina that is historically important
for Muslims, as it is remembered as the place where a companion
leading the prayer was told of the change of qibla. He supposedly
did a 180 degree turn and he is said to have been commanded to
change the direction of prayer (qibla) from Jerusalem to Mecca.
Thus this mosque uniquely contained two prayer niches (mihrabs).
This is an important mosque for our study as the original structure
was built around 626 AD and further renovations maintained the
original two qiblas. In 1987 the mosque was completely renovated,
removing the old prayer niche that faced north, but maintaining
the one facing Mecca. The mosque has undergone several major
reconstructions, the latest being in 1987. Nothing remains of
the original mosque, but Abdel Wahed el Wakil, an architect,
made excellent drawings of the earlier structures before the
mosque was torn down and replaced with the new building. When
the old mosque was torn down, the foundation stones of the earlier
mosque revealed that the original building faced north towards
both Petra and Jerusalem which were in almost the same direction.
This is true of every mosque in Medina. (see below). For more
information see: http://archnet.org/sites/580