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Makkah The Holy Mosque







The haram, or holy area of Makkah, is a sanctuary in which violence is not permitted. The word haram carries the dual meaning of forbidden and sacred. As a symbol of ritual purification and is the main Muslim shrine.

Characteristic Marks in the Holy Mosque

Many characteristic marks at 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. The marks date back to the original building of the holy Kabah as translated from the Quran:

  “ Behold! We gave the site, To Ibrahim, of the (Sacred) House”, Al Hajj, 26

The Holy Kabah

The Quran refers to Makkah and the Holy Mosque in the translation:

 “The first sanctuary appointed for mankind was that at Bakka a blessed place, a guidance to the peoples” Ali’Imran, 96

Accordingly, Ibrahim and his son Ismail built the Kabah. Later through the decades the Kabah was rebuilt various times through history but always by maintaining the original stonework and dimensions. The Kabah has a great role in Islam, being the vocal point of all prayers as well as a destination for worship and devotion. As translated from the Quran:

 “Allah hath appointed the Kabah, the Sacred House, a standard for mankind”  Al maidah, 97

The Kabah is nearly in the middle of the Holy Mosque as it was built through the centuries around this most holy of sites, in 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 is made of solid gold but has changed throughout history. The four corners of Kabah 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

located at the southeastern part of Kabah, a sign of divine grace. 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 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". He also said, "when the black stone was lowered from paradise, it was whiter than milk, but the sins of humans made it black".

Station of Ibrahim (Maqam lbrahim)

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. Allah says in the Quran (translated):

“And take ye the Station Of Ibrahim as a place Of prayer” Al Baqarah

Stone of Ishmail
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 originally 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.

AI Multazem
It is between the black stone and the door of Kabah. AI Multzem, the Arabic word, means the thing at which people attach and supplicate. Ibn Abbas told that he heard Messenger (peace of Allah be up upon him) saying, "Any, who ask Allah at AI Multazem, Allah would reward him".


Historically Ibrahim was ordered to leave his wife Hajer 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 Hajer 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 know as the well of Zamzam. ZamZam well is located under the Tawaf area. Many prophetic traditions (Hadeeths) referred to the superiority of Zamzam water, such as:

" The best water on the earth is Zamzam".
" It is blessed, for drinking and for curing".
"It is a cure for what it is drunk for".

It is told that Abdulallah Bin Abbas, when drinking from Zamzam, used to say,
"O Allah, I ask you a useful knowledge, a Luxurious living, and a cure for all diseases".

Safa, Marwah and saiy

As stated in the former section the origin of this Muslim ritual called “Saiy” was based on Ismail’s mothers search for water for her son. Safa is the rocky hill from which “Saiy” starts, and Marwah is the rocky hill at which “Saiy” ends. It is mentioned in Holy Quran that they are of Allah's rituals; accordingly, they have a great importance to Muslims. It is translated that Allah, says in the Quran:

  “Lo! (the mountains) As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the indications of Allah. It is therefore no sin for him who is on pilgrimage to the House (of God) or visited it, to go around them” Al Baqarah, 158

Previously, Safa and Marwah were out of the Holy Mosque, when the Saudi expansion began, the path of saiy 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.

Yemeni Corner (AI Rukn AI Yamani)
It is one of the Holy Kabah's corners, towards southwest direction. It is the corner that is parallel the eastern corner, in which the black stone is located. The Yemeni corner is touched but not kissed. It called by this name because it's faces towards the south towards Yemen.

  New Pictures of Kiswah Process

                              A Historical Look at the Kiswah (the Kabah Drapes or covering)

The Kiswah  has a interesting history through different eras. Some scholars argue that the first Kiswa was made by the Prophet Ismail. It is mentioned by others that the first Kiswa was made by Adnan bin Ad, a great great- grandfather of the Prophet Mohamed (peace be upon him). But, most sources agree that Tub'a. King of Humayyur in Yemen was the first to start this tradition. After that, many others draped the Kabah during the pre-Islam period.
It is told, in the pre-Islam period, that Abu Rabia'h Bin Amro AI Makhzoumi was a very rich man, and he said to Quraish (the ruling tribe of Makkah) that he would drape the Kabah one year, and Quraish would drape it in the next year. Quraish agreed, and the story says that he continued to drape the Kabah until his death.

Kiswah in the reign of Messenger (peace of Allah be upon him) and orthodox caliphs
The Messenger (peace of Allah be upon him) and Muslims did not participate in draping the Kabah before taking of Makkah, as Quraish did not allow them to do so. When Makkah was taken, The Messenger (Peace of Allah be upon him) left the Kiswa as it is, until it was burned accidentally when a women was fumigating the Kabah. Messenger then draped the Kabah with Yemeni cloth. After him, the orthodox caliphs draped it.

Kiswah after the Orthodox caliphs until the Saudi reign
Caliph Muawiyah used to dress the Kabah twice a year, then Yazid Bin Muawiyah, Ibn AI Zubair, and Abd AI Malik Bin Murwan all dressed is with silk covering. At one time, it had become a custom that the old Kiswah was not removed, the new one being put on top of the old. This continued until the reign of Mahdi, the Abbasid Caliph. When he performed Hajj in 160 AH, he saw that the accumulated Kiswah could cause damage to Kabah itself. He therefore decreed that only one Kiswah should drape the Kabah at any one time, and this had been observed ever since.
The Caliph AI Mamoon, dressed the Kabah three times a year, with a red braced Kiswah on the eighth of Zu AI Hijjah, with white gabati on the first of Rajab, and with red brocade Kiswah on the twenty-ninth of Ramadan. After that, AI Nasir the Abbaside, dressed the Kabah in green. Caliph AI Nasir decided after that to change the color into black, and black it remains to this day
The variegated drape (sitarah), which is hanged on the front side of the kaabah, was introduced in 810 AH. Between 816 and 818, this hanging drape was stopped, then it began again in 819 AH, and it is still being hanged until now.

Kiswah in the Saudi Reign
His highness, King Abd AI Aziz Bin Saud, with concern for the custody of the two holy Mosques, ordered the building of a special factoy for manufacturing the Kiswah, and in the same year, the Holy Kabah Kiswah factory was founded, and the first Kiswah was produced.
The Kiswah continued to be made in Makkah for the next ten years. In order to make this work better, King Faisal ordered in the year 1382 AH the renewal of the Kiswah factory, and in the year 1397 AH, the new building was opened at Um AI Joud.

Description of the Kiswah of the Holy Kabah
The Kiswah is woven from pure natural silk, which is dyed black. The sentences "La Ilah Ila Allah , Mohamed Rasoul Allah". "Allah Jala Jalal'h", "Subhan Allah wa bihamdih", "Subhan Allah A1 Azeem", "Ya hanan", "Ya Manan" are improdered on the black silk in thread of gold. The Kiswah is made up of 41 pieces. Each piece is 14 meters long and 95 cm wide. The wide belt, 45 meters long and 95 cm wide, comprises 16 parts.
The "Ikhlas Sura" from the Holy Quran is embroidered in gold as circles on the four corners.
These circles are surrounded with squares of Islamic decorations. Under the belt, there are also 6 verses of Holy Quran, each of them inside a separated form.
The drapes (Sitara) of the Kaabah door, which is called the Burqu'a, is made of the same black silk material, and it is 6.5 meter in height and 3.5 meters in width. The border and drapes are embroidered with silver threads covered with gold. The whole Kiswah is lined with a thick material of cotton.

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