Medina, El- (Medee'na; Arabic for 'The City;' more fully, Medinat en-Nebi, ' City of the Prophet,'), the second capital of the Hedjaz in western Arabia, is the holiest city of the Mohammedan world after Mecca, because it was there that Mohammed took refuge after his Hegira or Flight from Mecca in 622, and there that he lived till his death. Situated 250 miles N. of Mecca, and 132 N. by E. of the port of Yanbu' on the Red Sea, it forms an irregular oval within a walled enclosure, 35 to 40 feet high, flanked by thirty towers, and enclosing the castle of the Turkish garrison. The Prophet's Mosque El-Haram, supposed to be erected on the spot where Mohammed died, and to enclose his tomb, is smaller than that of Mecca, being a parallelogram, 420 feet long and 340 broad, with a spacious central arcaded area. The present building is, however, only the last of many reconstructions. The Mausoleum, or Hujrah, in which the Prophet's body is supposed to lie undecayed, is an irregular doorless chamber in the south-east corner, and is surmounted by a crescented 'Green Dome,' springing from a series of globes. That his coffin rests suspended in the air is of course an idle Christian fable. Pop. 26,000.


Medina, a river of the Isle of Wight, flowing 12 miles N. to the Solent at Cowes.