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Al-Shams Mosque

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Al-Shams Mosque
The place where al-Shams Mosque was built
The place where al-Shams Mosque was built
Location Medina, Arabia
Established 1st/7th century
Architectural information
Area 76 square meter
Renovation Only ruins of the mosque have remained today.
Features According to hadiths, the event of Radd al-Shams occurred in this place

Al-Shams Mosque (Arabic: مسجد الشَّمس) or al-Faḍīkh Mosque (Arabic:مسجد الفَضیخ), and also called Radd al-Shams Mosque (Arabic: مسجد رد الشَّمس), is a mosque in Medina one kilometer away from the Quba Mosque on the east side. According to hadiths, the event of Radd al-Shams (returning the sun), which was a miracle of Prophet Muhammad (s) and Imam Ali (a), occurred in this place. Only ruins of the mosque have remained today.

The mosque is also known as Banu Naḍir Mosque, but it is mostly known as al-Fadikh Mosque and al-Shams Mosque. Today another mosque near al-Shams Mosque is mistakenly called the al-Fadikh Mosque, but it is in fact the "Banu Qurayza Mosque".


The mosque is called al-Shams (meaning: the sun) or Radd al-Shams (literally means "to return the sun") because in the event of sieging the Fort of Banu Nadir, the Prophet (s) slept at Imam Ali's (a) knees in the evening. When he woke up and found that Imam Ali (a) had not yet said his afternoon prayer ('Asr Prayer), he asked God to return the sun so that Ali (a) could say his prayer in time. The hadith (narration) in which the story is narrated came to be known as Radd al-Shams Hadith which is transmitted by both Shiite and Sunni hadith transmitters.

Some sources refer to the mosque as the Mosque of al-Shams (sun), because it was located on heights, and was the first place on which the sun shone at the sunrise.

The mosque is also called "al-Fadikh" which means date sap or date wine. It was called so because it was located among al-'Awali date gardens. Other reasons have also been mentioned in some sources for its naming as Fadikh.

The mosque is also known as the Mosque of Banu Nadir, because it was located in a place where the Jewish tribe of Banu Nadir resided before the conquest of Muslims.

Geographical Location

The mosque is located southeast of Medina, one kilometer from the east side of the Quba Mosque in the district of Qurban. Only ruins of the mosque have remained today—only four walls of it have survived. The area belonged to Banu Nadir before it was conquered by Muslims. According to sources of the Islamic history, in the Battle of Banu Nadir, the Prophet (s) deployed his soldiers there to siege Banu Nadir. The Prophet (s) had a camp in the location where the Mosque of Fadikh was later constructed. According to a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a), the mosque was called "Fadikh" because there were date palms there. According to hadiths, the Prophet (s) said many prayers there. In some hadiths by the Shiite Imams (a), it is recommended to say prayers in this place.


Some hadiths imply that the mosque was constructed in the first/seventh century. For example, according to a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a), "all constructions by the Prophet (s) have changed except a few", one of these few was al-Fadikh Mosque. According to historical accounts, the building of the mosque had ups and downs, which was why it was sometimes destroyed and reconstructed. It seems that after the Prophet (s), 'Umar b. 'Abd al-'Aziz reconstructed the mosque simultaneously with the reconstruction of the Quba Mosque. Al-Matari, a historian of Medina in the seventh/thirteenth century, reported that the mosque was damaged and ruined, but he implies that at his time, remarkable parts of the mosque were still remaining.

According to him, the mosque had sixteen pillars which were, at his time, damaged and the minarets of the mosque were ruined, and some people had taken the stones of the mosque away to use in the construction of their own houses. Another historian of Medina in the same century, Ibn Najjar, talked about the stone-made building of the mosque. Al-Samhudi, the well-known historian of Medina, had seen al-Fadikh Mosque in the half of the ninth/fifteenth century, but did not talk about when the building was constructed.

Al-shams mosque.jpg

Muhammad Baqir Najafi, the author of the book, Madina shinasi (Introduction to Medina), provided descriptions of the mosque in the late 1970s. He believed that the ruins of the mosque belonged to the period in which the Ottomans had dominated Hijaz. He saw the mosque in person in 1976 and 1977 and reported that at that time, the courtyard of the mosque was earthen, and its shabistans (hall) had five domes and one mihrab. Its damaged walls were built with black stones, covered with plasters.

Today only ruins of the mosque have remained. Another mosque at its east side, which is indeed "Banu Qurayza Mosque", was mistakenly called the "al-Fadikh Mosque".


According to hadiths, the Prophet (s) said many prayers in the Mosque of Radd al-Shams. The mosque is frequently mentioned in sources of the history of Medina in different centuries. According to these sources, the mosque attracted many visitors and pilgrims. According to a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a), the mosque was one of the sites in Medina which he recommended Shi'as to visit.

The Event

Main article: Radd al-Shams

Radd al-Shams is a miracle of the Prophet (s) and Imam Ali (a). In this event, the sun, which was about to set, returned upon the request of the Prophet (s) from Allah, so that Imam Ali (a) performed his afternoon prayer in time. According to some sources, a similar event occurred in the period of Imam Ali's (a) caliphate.