Mecca The Blessed
It is a city in the western region of Saudi Arabia, located in Hijaz near Jeddah. It is the birthplace of Islam’s founder, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the 6th century AD, where he began preaching and where he returned for his final pilgrimage. It holds the holiest mosque of Muslims, Al- Haram that is centered by the Kaaba. It is a pilgrimage point for Muslims worldwide. Pilgrimage to the city is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The pilgrimage (Hajj) is the defining factor in the growth and life of the city. The arrival of close to 3 million pilgrims each year during the last month of the Islamic calendar is a grand human spectacle as well as one of the largest logistical and administrative undertakings in the world. It has many other names such as: Umm Al-Qura, Al-Balad Al-Amen (secure city) and Al-Balad Al-Haram (Holy City)
The Grand Mosque:
the Holy Mosque in Makkah have great historical as well as spiritual value to Muslims, as they are related to the holiness of Islamic religion and strong commitment in following the guidelines set down by the Prophet and messenger of Allah.
It is the centre of Mecca.The most significant architectural and structural changes came, and continue to come, from the Saudi status of Guardian of the Holy Places. The support columns had got covered by artificial stone and marble. the ceiling was refurnished and the floor was replaced. It has four main gates and fourty one secondary entries. There are nine minarets- two for each main gate- and the ninth is on Al-Safa door. Modern developments have been the addition of heated floors, air conditioning, escalators and a drainage system.
The Holy Kaabah:
Kabba has a great role in Islam, being the vocal point of all prayers as well as a destination for worship and devotion. It is in the mosque's central courtyard. Ibrahim and his son Ishmael built the Kabah. Later through the decades the Kabah was rebuilt various times through history but always by maintaining the original stonework and dimensions. It has the shape of a big, high square room with a height of 15 meters. The door is at its eastern wall, two meters above the ground and it is made of solid gold. The four corners of Kaabah are the black corner, the Shami corner (referring to the most northeastern corner), the Yamani corner (the southwestern corner) and the Iraqi corner. At the top of the northern wall, there is the Mizab, A water drain element which is made of pure gold, dominating the stone of Ismail.
Black Stone (Hajr-e-Aswad)
Located at the southeastern part of Kabah. it is a heavy oval stone, of black reddish color. Its diameter is 30 cm, surrounded with a silver frame. The circler is required to kiss the black stone if possible. It is a sign of divine grace. It is told that Messenger (peace of Allah be upon him) said, "the stone and the station of Ibrahim are two bequeathed from paradise, but Allah obliterated their light, otherwise they would have lit between east and west".
Station of Ibraheem (Maqam lbraheem)
It is the stone upon which Ibrahim (May Allah be please with him) was standing while he was building the Kabah. It is circled with silver. The trace of footprints is clear in the stone. The late King Faisal Bin Abd AI-Aziz ordered to make a crystal glass cover, surpassed by an iron framework, with a marble foundation around the Maqam.
Stone of Ismail:
It is the space to the north of Kabah under the Mizab. It is paved in marble as well as being enclosed by a marble parapet. The stone was originally a portion of the Kabah when Ibrahim originaly built it, but when Quraish (the historic tribe rulers of Makkah) rebuilt it during their era they left the stone out, accordingly, it is a part of the Holy Kabah.
Safa, Marwah and Saee
The origin of this Muslim ritual called “Saee” was based on Ismail’s mothers search for water for her son. Safa is the rocky hill from which “Saee” starts. Marwah is the rocky hill at which “Saee” ends. It is mentioned in Holy Quran that they are of Allah's rituals, accordingly, they have a great importance to Muslims.
Previously, Safa and Marwah were out of the Holy Mosque, when the Saudi expansion began, the path of saee was entered within the Holy Mosque. It is 395 meters long and 20 meters wide with a number of doors opening on to it. The original shape of the Safa and Marwah was maintained as it was.
Historically Ibrahim was ordered to leave his wife Hajirah (may Allah be please with her) and child Ismail in a valley without any vegetation or water at the site of his sacred house before the building of the Kabah promising to provide for them. As Ismail cried in thirst Hadhrath-e-Hajirah ran from a small rise to another (safa and marwah) in the hope that a mirage of water was real. Allah then broke forth a spring at the feet of the crying baby now known as the well of Zamzam. ZamZam well, which water has been pouring through hundreds of years, is located few meters east of Kaaba under the Tawaf area, the well is 35 meters deep and topped by an elegant dome. Many prophetic traditions (Hadeeths) referred to the superiority of Zamzam water, such as: "It is a cure for what it is drunk for".
Sights in Mecca
Mount of Mercy:
Is a granite hill east of Mecca. It is also known as the Mount of Mercy (Jabal ar-Rahmah). The hill is the place Muslims believe the Islamic prophet Muhammad delivered the Farewell Sermon to the Muslims who had accompanied him for the Hajj towards the end of his life. It reaches about 70 m in height.
Laurel of Thour:
(Ghar Thour), At the top of Mount Thor, south of Mecca, where Prophet peace be upon him and his companion Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him stayed for the a few days when they left Medina heading for Mecca.
Laurel of Hera’a:
(Ghar Hera’a) is a laurel at the top of Mount Hira, also known as Jabal Alnour, where The Prophet peace be upon him was staying for worshipping Allah and Where he got the revelation.
This mosque was established in the era of the Abbasid Caliph Abu Jafar al-Mansour in 144 AH. It is located in the site where Alaqabah pledge of allegiance was held. It was built in commemoration of this pledge, which resulted in the migration of the Prophet peace be upon him and the Muslims to Medina (Yathrib), the establishment of an Islamic state, and the spread of Islam throughout the the globe.
It is Located in Mecca in the district of Al Moaabdah, Al Abtah Street. it was built in the Ottoman era on the Islamic architectural style. It has two main gates and its northeast corner looks like a castle with rectangular openings.
Renaissance in Mecca:
Many tunnels were established under the mountains to ease the traffic in Mecca which is surrounded by mountains from all directions
The area surrounding the Holy Mosque has been a center to attract businessmen and investors who are competing for the establishment of residential towers and luxurious hotels to accommodate visitors to Mecca and pilgrims throughout the year.