This window, in the Qibla wall opposite the Rawdah Mubarak is where the door of the house of Abdullah bin Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) was situated. Abdullah bin Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) was the son of the Caliph Umar bin Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him).
- Abdullah bin Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) accepted Islam in his childhood with his father. He was very particular in following the sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ), for example offering salah at every spot where he happened to see the Prophet (ﷺ) praying. He was eighty-four years old when he died in 73 AH.
- His house was just east of the mehrab of Masjid-e-Nabwi . Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him) used to call Adhan (the call to prayer) while standing on a pillar of this house. This was one of the houses on the south side of the Masjid-e-Nabwi whose doors opened into the masjid.
- It is described in Umdat-ul-Akhbar that when all the houses in the south side of Masjid-e-Nabwi were removed this house was treated differently. Walls of baked bricks enclosed the land of this house and a door was installed in one wall. It was written on top of this door ‘The residence of the family of Umar (may Allah be pleased with him)’. Beautiful flowers were planted inside these four walls. This garden was just in front of the Rawdah Mubarak (where the Prophet (ﷺ) is buried).
- The iron window in the visitors’ gallery for salam is the site of the door of the house of the family of Umar (may Allah be pleased with him). This door of this house went through several changes during the last fourteen hundred years.
- Note that there are two rows of pillars between the Mehrab Usman and Mehrab Nabawi. Caliph Mehdi bin Mansur Abbasi constructed a covered path from the southern wall of the masjid up to the first row of pillars during 165 AH. The family of Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) stopped using the door of their house for entry into the masjid. As an alternative, an underground tunnel was dug to provide access to the masjid for the family of Umar (may Allah be pleased with him). This tunnel opened where the second row of pillars is and the family of Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) used this approach to enter the masjid. The iron window in the visitors’ gallery, that still exists, replaced the door of their house.
- When the family of Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) passed away one by one, this underground passage was closed and a lock was put on its door. The door to this tunnel was opened during the Hajj period for visitors. In due course the tunnel became very crowded and there was undesirable intermingling of men and women. Sultan Ashraf Qaitabai closed it for good during 888 AH.
References: History of Madinah Munawwarah – Dr. Muhammad Ilyas Abdul Ghani