Posts filed under ‘Makkah’

House of Halimah (رضي الله عنها) where Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) spent his childhood

House of Halimah (رضي الله عنها) where Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) spent his childhood

Allah has granted special privilege to things and places related to Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Hujrathu Shareefah (حجرة الشريفة), the small area where Rasoolullah’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) Qabar Shareef is located is described as the best place in earth. Area between Hujrathu Shareefah and Pulpit(منبر) of Rasoolullah’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is described as a garden among garden of the Paradise.

It is written in history with golden scripts about childhood of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) with Halimah (رضي الله عنها). It was a practice in that era that toddlers in city were nursed by villagers who folk the cities for that purpose. Birth parents of babies had found it a useful practice as their babies will gain better physical and mental strength once lived in villages. On the other hand villagers saw it as an opportunity to get some wealth.

Halimah (رضي الله عنها) accompanied by her husband Harith came to Makkah riding on an old and weak animal along with many other women from Saadiyya tribe seeking babies. Because of the weakness of their vehicle they were lagging at rear of the convoy. The frontrunners of the convoy entered the city fast and got babies from wealthy families.

Halimah (رضي الله عنها) when reached Makkah she couldn’t find a baby from rich families and was sad. She was told about the orphan infant in the house of Abdul Muttalib and went to see the baby. At once she was attracted and after consulting with her husband took the baby.

Subhana Allah… she couldn’t believe it. Suddenly her animal started to run fast as if it got fresh energy from somewhere! It raced ahead of all other vehicles and other women were amazed to see it! Her breast seem to be full with milk which was dry till then and her son Dhamrah (ضمرة) was crying without getting milk!

Such was blessing (بركة) of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) even at this infant age. Verily Allah has given this blessing to his beloved Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Anything and everything related to Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is full with blessings from Allah.

There were many wonders happened during Rasoolullah’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) stay with Halimah (رضي الله عنها) and for sure she loved Him more than her own children. The garden surrounding their house became green and blossom. Sheep and cattle became fat and healthy. Their livelihood became easier than ever.

During His (صلى الله عليه وسلم) stay there on 4th year of age the famous heart splitting incident occurred. It was while He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and Dhamrah where grazing their herd when three angels descended and held Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم). They operated his chest and took out the heart. They removed a blood-clot from it and cleansed it with Zam Zam before keeping it back!

Here are a few pictures of the house of Halimah (رضي الله عنها) taken by one of my friend visited the site recently. It is a few kilometers away from Taif. The serenity and village nature of the area is still intact today as the route to this site remains rough and the area is scarcely populated still. Unfortunately this place is obscured like many other historically significant places in Hijaz and there is no easy access for the public.

My friend continues “Alhamdu Lillah! Allah blessed us with the opportunity to enter the house and recite a few Swalats and Adkar. There used to be a Masjid very close to this area which has been destroyed but the place of the Masjid is specially marked. Another Masjid is built in a different area for daily prayers.”

House of Halimah (رضي الله عنها) where Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) spent his childhood

April 23, 2011 at 9:07 pm 4 comments

Mawlid in Hijaz

April 16, 2011 at 6:42 pm Leave a comment

Jannah Al Ma’alla (جنة المعلى)

Al Ma’alla graveyard in Makkah is in vicinity of Masjidul Haram blessed with graves of many companions of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and many other righteous followers. This ancient time cemetery is the main one in Makkah till in use.

It is located to the left side of road leading from Marwah gate of Masjidul Haram towards ‘Hayy al Muabda’. The entrance to the Ma’alla is almost one KM away from Marwah and one could reach there after passing two historical Mosques ‘Masjid al Rayyah’ and ‘Masjid al Jinn’.

Due to increase in number of deaths nowadays the graveyard is built as multiple layers. That is by constructing walls and filling soil above closed graves. New graves are thus dug in this fresh soil. But some prominent graves are still kept intact without closing for upper layers.

There is a road over bridge passing right across the graveyard. From top of this road Qabar (grave) of Sayyidah Khadeejatul Kubra (رضي الله عنها), first wife of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is clearly visible. Many people who posses very special love towards this doubtlessly great lady are seen offering salam (salutation) to her with tears flowing from their eyes.

Other prominent Qabars are

1. Qasim ibn Muhammad (رضي الله عنه) eldest son of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) who died in childhood

2. Asmaa binth Aboobacker (رضي الله عنها), daughter of first Caliph Aboobacker al Siddique (رضي الله عنه) and elder sister of Ayisha (رضي الله عنها)

3. Abdullah ibn Zubair (رضي الله عنه) son of Asmaa (رضي الله عنها) and Zubair bin Awwam (رضي الله عنه) who was killed by cruel ruler Hajjaj bin Yousuf.

4. Sumayya Ummu Ammar bin Yasser (رضي الله عنها), first from Muslims sacrificed who was brutally tortured and killed by Abu Jahl in presence of her husband Yasser (رضي الله عنه) and son Ammar (رضي الله عنه)

5. Abdullah ibn Amr bin Aas (رضي الله عنه)

Great personalities buried there in recent times are Sayyid Muhammad Alawi Maliki (رحمة الله عليه) a famous scholar of Ahlu Sunnah wal Jamaa of recent times lived in Makkah and Muhammad Abdu Yamani (رحمة الله عليه) another great scholar died in November 2010.

People gather in groups to visit the past great personalities buried there offering them salam and praying for them. Many scholars assemble near Qabar of Khadeejathul Kubra (رضي الله عنها) after ‘Asr’ prayers on every Wednesday to recite verses from Quran and gift the thawab (reward) to those who are buried there. This is told by one of my friend staying in Makkah. Due to my busy schedule I missed that assembly last time while I was there.

السلام عليكم يا اهل المعلى و إنَا ان شاء الله بكم لاحقون

November 22, 2010 at 8:43 pm Leave a comment


November 19, 2010 at 11:47 am Leave a comment

Adventurer’s photos capture a bygone Mecca

Photos taken before 125 years, that too of the sacred city of Muslims! It will be a hit for sure. An exhibition in Dubai displays this rare collection of a Dutch explorer. The Dutchman ‘Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje’ along with a local physician ‘Al-Sayyid Abd al-Ghaffar’ snapped many images of Makkah in 1885 A.D. He also recorded some sound clips from Makkah.

Probably one of the earliest of photos taken on the sacred land shows mostly undeveloped Makkah with tents of pilgrims and their camels. One can make out the developments visible in and around Makkah came very recently. One should praise Allah for his mercy on his believers by providing much wealth to the rulers. They developed the city to accommodate a lot of pilgrims of modern generations.

Interestingly there are many other photographs displayed in Makkah museum. There is a footnote which states ‘Historical and rare photographs of Makkah, Holy places, and al-Madinah, have being taken between 1297-1298H by the photographer Sadiq Bik’. 1297H is before 134 hijri years that is approximately 130 Gregorian years ago. So both collections are taken almost at the same time.

A rare picture of the dome of the Prophet's honorable Chamber, shot from the courtyard of the Prophet's Mosque

A rare picture of the Holy Ka'aba, the Stance(Maqam) of Prophet Abraham(PBUH) and the Well Of Zamzam

A rare picture of old Mina

A rare picture of the Mount of Mercy in Arafat

A rare picture of part of Al-Ma'lah Graveyard

This news is reported by CNN as follows

(CNN) – He was an adventurer, a scholar, and possibly a spy — but as Dutchman Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje proved with his rare 1885 photographs and sound recordings of Mecca, he was also a pioneering multimedia journalist.

Snouck’s extraordinary collection of sepia-tinted images of Mecca in a bygone age have gone on display in Dubai ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage that originally drew him to the heart of Islam.

Accompanied by crackling, eerie soundscapes captured by Snouck using Thomas Edison’s newly-invented wax cylinders, the exhibition paints a very different picture from the ornate and built-up Mecca familiar to modern visitors.

Among the newly-restored platinum prints, one image taken from a nearby hillside shows the Kaaba, the instantly recognizable cubic building considered by Muslims to be the holiest place on the planet.

But though the galleried compound which surrounds it is echoed by Mecca’s contemporary architecture, the sparsely-built city of Snouck’s era bears only a passing resemblance, as do the rudimentary travelers’ tents on the dusty plains outside the city.

The images are all the more astounding, says Elie Domit — creative director of Dubai’s Empty Quarter gallery, which is hosting the exhibition — when one considers the lengths he went to to get them.

Can you just imagine going there and going through all the hardship to record that moment in history? It’s fascinating.
–Elie, Domit, Dubai’s Empty Quarter Gallery

“People tend to forget the situation because cameras today are so versatile and light,” he told CNN. “In Snouck’s day they probably weighed about 40 kilos, and he needed to take all the chemicals for developing, which he would have done on site.”

“And he not only took photographs, but also recorded sounds. Can you just imagine going there and going through all the hardship to record that moment in history? It’s fascinating.”

Also fascinating, says Domit, is the story of Snouck himself. A pioneering traveler, he was a rare Western presence in Mecca, but embraced the culture and religion of his hosts with passion, converting to Islam.

He stayed for five months, documenting the run-up to Hajj, but although he had intended to stay for the pilgrimage, he was forced to leave after unfounded accusations of his involvement in an attempt to steal a historical artifact.

“Being one of the first Europeans, people were suspicious of his agenda, particularly as he had gained the confidence of the Ottoman leader,” added Domit.

“So when they heard the rumor he was a thief, he had to escape — leaving his camera equipment behind.”

The equipment wasn’t wasted. After Snouck’s departure, Al-Sayyid Abd al-Ghaffar, a local physician that the Dutchman had worked alongside, began using the camera, possibly becoming Mecca’s first home-grown photographer.

Al-Ghaffar continued sending his images to Snouck in The Netherlands. Many of the photographs were originally credited solely to Snouck but they are now jointly credited, with experts unable to tell who shot what.

The images, archived by Leiden University Library, were published four years after Snouck’s trip. Original copies of the album now sell for about $45,000, according to the gallery.

There was, says Domit, more to Snouck than pictures and sound.

“He never said himself that he was a spy because there was no Hollywood to pay tons of money for his inside story, but there have been many documents and historians claiming this.

“Most likely he was working as an agent of espionage in order to furnish information to the Dutch who had an interest in finding out about Muslim insurgents trying to topple the colonialism of the Netherlands.

“But he was also very convinced about the state of Islam, very knowledgeable and very dedicated. He was a kind of dichotomy: Here was a guy sent on a mission, but after he arrived he was convinced by and converted to Islam.

“I’m sure in terms of his personality, it was quite difficult.”

According to Domit, Snouck also left behind a pregnant Ethiopian wife when he fled Mecca, but later married again while working in the what is now Indonesia. “He married several times, I believe. Very convenient when the Dutch government is paying your bill.”

Read it in CNN web site

The Empty Quarter gallery is in building 2 among Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) buildings at Trade Center II sector in Zaabeel area. It is almost a kilometer drive from Dubai World Trade Center well known for many exhibitions. I could see the photos displayed in the gallery.

Click to view web site of ‘The Empty Quarter’ which shows the photographs.

November 17, 2010 at 12:19 pm 4 comments

Holy Kaaba gets new kiswa

MAKKAH: The Holy Kaaba in Makkah was given a new kiswa, or covering, on Monday morning, a tradition that takes place on Dul Hijjah 9 every year. 

Officials from the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Affairs took down the old kiswa and replaced it with a new one, which is made from pure silk at Makkah’s Kiswa Factory.

Kiswa Factory

The ceremony was attended by representatives from the Presidency of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques and the Kiswa Factory. The changing of the kiswa is done in a particular way with the new kiswa hung over the old one from the top and then the old one removed from underneath.

The Kiswa Factory was built in Makkah about 74 years ago by the Kingdom’s founder King Abdul Aziz. A new kiswa is made every year by Saudis who work at the factory.

The black kiswa is made with 670 kg of pure silk, and 150 kg of gold and silver thread that is used for sewing the Qur’anic verses. It is 658 square meters in size and consists of 47 pieces, each 14 meters long and 95 cm wide. It costs about SR16.8 million ($4.5 million).

November 16, 2010 at 7:38 pm Leave a comment

Arafat (عرفات)

This undoubtedly great ground is a place where every Muslim keen to visit at least once in their lifetime. It is the land where father and mother of human race Abu Bashar Adam (آدم عليه السلام) and Ummul Bashar Hawwa (رضي الله عليها حواء) met for the first time after descending from the Paradise. It is the site where Allah declared conclusion of the mission endorsed to His beloved Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) to propagate the religion Islam.

It is the arena where Allah bestows his utmost Mercy to His devoted believers by forgiving their sins altogether on the day of Hajj pilgrimage on 9th of hijri month Dhul Hijjah. Upon seeing this Iblees (لعنة الله عليه) the proclaimed enemy of mankind will shrink and weep. By any means this is a great place.

It is mandatory for every Haji (pilgrim) to stay in Arafat on 9th of Dhul Hijja between Dhuhur (ظهر) and Maghrib (مغرب) prayers. In this day called day of Arafat at least 5 million people assemble there attired in same clad offering sincere worship to Allah. They have summoned from every part of the world having a common chant

لبيك اللهم لبيك، لبيك لا شريك لك لبيك، إن الحمد و النعمة لك و الملك لا شريك لك

Arafat is located 19 KM south east of Masjidul Haram towards Taif. It is a large plain away from hills surrounding Masjidul Haram approximately 5.2 KM in length and 4.2 KM in breadth. There are many roads to reach Arafat in which usual route is through Aziziyyah, Mina and Muzdalifah. Arafat can be reached through Makkah – Taif highway also. It is on left side of the road and so one traveling from Makkah need to cross the boundary of Haram (حرم) and take a u-turn, pass through the check point to enter Arafat.

The rulers of the blessed land have arranged plenty of facilities in Arafat to ease pilgrims. There are many water sprinklers which will be activated in day of Arafat. Tents are erected to shelter pilgrims. Sufficient wash basin and lavatory facilities are provided. One would wonder by seeing the services offered in Arafat to guest of Al Rahman. All those settings are for the use of one day in a year!

Mount of Mercy (جبل الرحمة) is a small hill within Arafat where Muhammad Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) stood and did his famous speech during his Hajj. Masjid Namirah (مسجد نمرة) is a vast Masjid at border of Arafat towards Muzdalifah. Front part of this Masjid is not in Arafat as clearly marked by the sign boards. On day of Arafat Dhuhur (ظهر) and Asr (عصر) prayers are prayed shortened and together (جمع و قصر).

People all over the world who couldn’t go for Hajj in the year take fast (صوم) on day of Arafat. It is a highly rewarded devotion and Allah is glorious to pardon those who fast in day of Arafat sins of past year and coming year. Verily Allah is the best who reward and the topmost of merciful.

November 14, 2010 at 10:35 pm Leave a comment

Jabal al Noor (جبل النور)

A mountain which the beloved of Allah choose for worshipping His Lord in solitude, a cave at which two Holiest creations of Allah met to commence a new era of life in earth, a place where Allah’s sacred commands revealed to the Last Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) for the first time. There is a lot if one wants to write on the importance of this place.

Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) used to be there for a many months praying to Allah in loneliness away from all interferences of this world. It was in a day in the month of Holy Ramadan in which Allah sent the Prime Angel Jibreel (عليه السلام) with His commands.

1 – Proclaim! (or Read!) In the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, who created

2 – Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood

3 – Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful

4 – He Who taught (the use of) the Pen

5 – Taught man that which he knew not.

It was the day which marked beginning of a new era when ignorance eclipsed the human society for many centuries bid farewell to the light of knowledge and wisdom. It was the day the earth and skies and all in them were waiting anxiously for a long time. It was the day when Mohammed (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was assigned the duty of preaching Allah’s orders to the entire Mankind and Jinnee.

Which is this place? No question, almost all Muslims know it. It is Jabal al Noor (Mount of Light) located in north of Makkah left of the way towards ‘Arafat’. It is a mountain with steep slope 200m tall. Cave of Hira (غار حراء) is some 50m away from peak of the mountain. Almost five persons can sit in it. One can see Kaa’ba straight and clear from this cave.

Devotees visiting Jabal al Noor from various part of the world walk a few steps in the plane and feel exhausted. A few people force their way up neglecting harsh desert climate conditions to see the place where their beloved Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) got His first heavenly command (وحي). We reached there around 11:00am amidst scorching heat of June. We didn’t risk climbing the mountain though we longed for it.

One would wonder how Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) climbed many times and stayed atop of the mountain for many days in succession with these unfavorable conditions. One would really feel and shed some tears on the sacrifice shown by Sayyidatuna Khadeejatul Kubra (رضي الله عنها) at the age of 55 who climbed up taking provisions to her husband Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) at least once in a day.

Reference: Fee Rihab al Bait al Haram authored by respected Shaikh Mohammed Alawi Al Maliki (رحمة الله عليه)

October 18, 2010 at 6:28 pm 1 comment

Makkah Metro


JEDDAH: The newly established Mashair Railway, which links the holy sites of Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifa with Makkah, will have a 30-day test run before opening to transport domestic and GCC pilgrims during the upcoming Haj season.

Municipal and Rural Affairs Minister Prince Mansour bin Miteb will inspect the railway (also known as the Makkah Metro) on Tuesday to make sure the facility is ready to transport the guests of God. The railway will bring about a dramatic change in pilgrim transportation between the holy sites.

Established at a cost of SR6.5 billion, the new railway will have a capacity to transport 72,000 pilgrims in an hour. Nine stations have been constructed in Arafat, Mina and Muzdalifa, each having three stations. This is the second largest project implemented by the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs after the SR4.5 billion high-tech Jamrat Bridge project in Mina.

Habib Zain Al-Abidine, deputy minister of municipal and rural affairs, said the railway will have 10 trains in the first phase, each with a length of 300 meters. “Each train will carry 3,000 passengers.”

He said Saudi authorities have not yet fixed the fare. “The matter is in the hands of Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Prince Naif, chairman of the Supreme Haj Committee. Once the prince gives his directives, we’ll announce the fare,” he said.

The time for transporting pilgrims from Arafat to Muzdalifa will be reduced to five minutes on the 9th of Dul Hijjah when the faithful will move together from the plain of Arafat to Muzdalifa. And another five minutes will take them from Muzdalifa to Mina on the 10th.

Zain Al-Abidine said the railway would operate throughout the year.

The second phase of the project will link Mashair Railway with the Grand Mosque in Makkah with a station on Umm Al-Qura Road. It will also be linked with the Haramain Railway that connects Makkah with Madinah and Jeddah.

The trains will have a test run covering 6,000 km each before starting regular operations. The first test run took place last Thursday. The railway will have 20 trains in the next stage, each with 12 carriages and each carriage holding 250 passengers. About 20 percent of passengers will be seated while 80 percent will be standing. Trains will have a speed of 80 to 120 km/hour.

September 21, 2010 at 3:39 am 4 comments

Islamic Museum in Makkah – Part 4

A brass crescent belonging to one of the minarets of the Holy Mosque dating back to 1299 H

Ash.0.0...-Shumaisi stone moldings dating back to tenth century of the Hijrah

Ash-Shumaisi moldings which used to be above one of the entrance of the Holy Mosque.

A marble arch facade of one of the doors to the holy Mosque dating back to 984 H

Two marble tiles:on one is engraved a cypress and on the other a palm-tree like shape dating back to 1201 H

A wooden door of the Holy Mosque Dating back to the early years of the fourteenthcentury of the Hijrah.

A pillar's base of granite from the twelve th century on Al Hijrah.

A copper pillar which used to be on of the pillars around the Mataf dating back to the First Saudi construction of the Holy Mosque.

A copper door of the Holy Mosque dating Back to First Saudi construction.

Four inscriptions on two stone pillars Recording the reconstruction of the Stance (Maqam) during the reign of the Mamluki Sultan Ashraf Abu An-Nasr Iinal H 858 and Sultan Gansoh Gowry H 915.

The circling nave before the First Saudi Expansion and you can see the wooden stairecase of Al Kaabah behind Zamzam building.

A copper-plated leaf of a door to the pulpit of Sultan Sulaymaan Bin Saliim Khan the Holy Mosque.He ordered it to b made in 966H.

weights made of led used to fix the Kiswa of the Holy Ka'ba dating back to the Saudi era

Copper rings used to fix the Kiswa of the Holy Ka'ba dating back to the Saudi era.

The curtain of the Holy Ka'aba door

A Golden board made of six pieces,on an iron base on which Quranic verses are engraved.This used to be on the Ka'ba wall.dated1119H

August 17, 2010 at 5:15 am 5 comments

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