…the dome of Masjid al Nabawi built so many years later after Sayyidina Rasulullah’s (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) death.
There was no dome over the sacred chamber. There was in the roof of the mosque above the chamber a waist-high enclosure of brick to distinguish the location of the chamber from the rest of the mosque’s roof.
Sultaan Qalawoon al-Saalihi was the first one to build a dome over the chamber. He did that in 678 AH. It was square at the bottom and octagonal at the top, made of wood, and built on top of the pillars that surrounded the chamber. Planks of wood were nailed to it, over which plates of lead were placed, and the brick enclosure was replaced with one made of wood.
The dome was refurbished at the time of al-Naasir Hasan ibn Muhammad Qalawoon, then the leaden plates slipped, but they were fixed and refurbished at the time of al-Ashraf Sha’baan ibn Husayn ibn Muhammad in 765 AH. It fell into disrepair and was renovated at the time of Sultaan Qayit Bey in 881 AH.
The chamber and dome were burned in the fire that swept through the Prophet’s mosque in 886 AH. During the reign of Sultaan Qayit Bey the dome was rebuilt, in 887 AH, and strong pillars to support it were built in the floor of the mosque, and they were built of bricks to the correct height. After the dome had been built in the manner described above, cracks appeared in its upper part. When it proved impossible to refurbish it, the Sultaan Qayit Bey ordered that the upper part be demolished and rebuilt strongly using white plaster. So it was built solidly in 892 AH.
In 1253 AH, an order was issued by the Ottoman Sultan ‘Abd al-Hameed to paint the dome green. He was the first one to colour it green, and the colour has been renewed whenever necessary until the present.
It became known as the green dome after it was painted green. It was previously known as the white dome or the fragrant dome or the blue dome.