Uzair Ali points out some
exceptionally alluring sites
Attractions of Makkah have very strong spiritual hold over Muslims all over the globe. Being the most sacred city of Islam, Makkah has been a highly venerated destination for Muslims who long to visit it, and once there, their lives are rejuvenated. Makkah houses Kaaba that is an integral part of the belief system of Muslims and is the central figure of lives of Muslims. Located in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Makkah is the administrative centre of the Makkah province of the country and is 70 kilometers from Jeddah on the Red Sea, in a narrow valley 277 meter above sea level. Its last recorded population was 1,578,722 in 2015 and its metro population in 2020 of 2.042 million makes it the third-most populated city in Saudi Arabia after Riyadh and Jeddah. During the annual pilgrimage more than times the population comes to perform Hajj. There are a number of venerated sites in the city that attract attentions of pilgrims.
The most venerated place is Kaaba, located in the mosque, Masjid-al-Haram in Makkah. It is an ancient stone structure believed to be built and re-built by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Muslims worldwide go on a pilgrimage to look at the Kaaba during their prayers. The other site is Al Masjid Al Haram that is 356,800 square meters in size and can accommodate a million people. It was first constructed under the command of the Caliph and has since been altered by many Muslim rulers. In Makkah, Muslims can circumnavigate the Holy Kaaba, which is shrouded in black and gold cloth, at any time of day or night. The mosque is the world’s largest of its kind.
Jabal al-Nour, a mountain in Makkah that is famous for its religious significance. It is famously known as “The Mountain of Light,” and is considered one of their most significant pilgrimage sites. The devotees believe that the archangel, Gabriel, gave the Prophet (PBUH) his first revelation on this mountain. Jabal Al Nour is a mountain that features a unique terrain. Another extremely significant site is the Cave of Thor holds a significant historical meaning to all Islamic followers as the Prophet (PBUH) once stayed with his close friend and flower during his migration to Medina.
The Jamaraat Bridge is used by Muslim pilgrims during the Hajj ritual stoning of the devil. People walk on the bridge and throw stones at the three jamrah pillars that extend up through three openings in the bridge. The stones can be thrown from the ground level or the top of the bridge. The current edifice was re-constructed in 1963 and has been expanded several times since then.
The Al-Khayf Mosque is a major attraction in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, especially during Hajj. One of Hajjat al-Wada’s addresses was delivered at the Al-Khayf Mosque. In Arabic, the term “Al-Khayf” refers to what has risen over the stream of water and sloped the breadth of the mountain. It is also known as the Mosque of Prophets because several prophets, including Prophet Musa (AS), are supposed to have worshipped there. The mosque marks the site of the peace treaty between Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the Quraysh tribe of Makkah. Al Taneeam Mosque is yet another alluring site and it covers over 88.2 acres and can accommodate up to 1.2 million devotees. Visitors can see hundreds of thousands of worshippers offering their prayer at the largest mosque in Saudi Arabia. TW