Hills in Makkah
Makkah is known for the hills it has apparently everywhere. There are plenty of them adorned with rocks of different colors and shapes but bare without a single tree or green bush. With these types of hills peaking every here and there one can visualize the roughness of this desert land.
But, Allah the creator of the universe and everything in it has selected Makkah to be the center of the best civilization in the world. He has chosen Makkah to hold the first ever worship center in the earth. He has picked Makkah as birth place of His beloved and the last messenger Muhammad Rasoolullahi (صلى الله عليه و سلم). Yes, we can call it as the center of the earth as from every part of the earth people are turning towards it during their prayers!
There are many hills in Makkah which holds much historic significance. Safa and Marwah are mentioned in the Holy Qura’n as symbols. These two hills have to say many stories on Hazrath Hajar (رضي الله عنها) and her toddler Sayyiduna Ismael (عليه السلام) who were virtually the initial inhabitants of Makkah. Just near by there is Jabal Qubais upon which Rasoolullahi (صلى الله عليه و سلم) made his first public preaching on Islam to members of Quraish tribe.
Nearby there is another hill called Jabal Kaa’ba (جبل كعبة). As the name suggests, stones to construct the Holy Kaa’ba was cut from this hill. As many other hills in vicinity of Masjidul Haram were leveled for expanding the Mosque, this hill also was leveled. There is a rock painted green over its vertical surface kept just to mark the position of the hill.
Safa and Marwah were almost fully flattened to facilitate smooth Sa’ee (سعي). Jabal Qubais was demolished to build a palace over it. Jabal Kaa’ba was leveled to construct hotel apartments. This area is now planned for another reconstruction as part of the ongoing project to expand Masjidul Haram and surrounding areas. Another nearby hill named Jabal Umar is also being flattened for this project.
One could see the very face of Masjdul Haram will change soon as part of the ongoing development. Apart from expansion of prayer area, many high rise towers are planned to be built to accommodate Hajis. One can’t discard the need of such development, but it is happening at expense of many natural sites which were trademark of Makkah for a long time.