The Holy City of Makkah, which lies inland 73 kilometres east of Jeddah, is the place where the Prophet Muhammad , Peace Be Upon Him, was born – the place where God’s message was first revealed to him and the city to which he returned after the migration to Madinah in 622 AD.
Makkah is the holiest city on earth to Muslims. Five times each day, the world’s Muslims, wherever they may be, turn to the Holy City of Makkah to pray and at least once in their lives, all Muslims who are not prevented by personal circumstances perform the Hajj , the pilgrimage to Makkah. Thus each year the Holy City of Makkah is host to some three million hajjis (Pilgrims) from all over the world.
1. Ka’aba (Baitullah):
This is a somewhat cubic structure, which was built by Prophet Ibrahim and Ismail by Divine Command. Since then it has become the source of peace and blessings and guidance for all mankind and the Pilgrims circle around it with utmost enthusiasm and devotion. The mosque in which Ka’aba is situated is called Masjid Al-Haram.
2. Different corners of the Ka’aba:
Rukn-e-Yamaani is the south west corner towards the direction of Yemen and is highly sacred. The Holy Prophet has said:
“The one who touches Rukn-e-Yamaani and Hajar Al-Aswad, has his sins and errors removed.”(Al-Targhib)
Rukn-e-Iraqi is the corner towards the direction of Iraq.
Rukn-e-Shami is the corner towards the direction of Syria
3. Hajar Al-Aswad:
The sacred Black Stone fixed about breast high in the eastern corner of the Ka’aba was originally placed there by Prophet Ibrahim. Tawaf is started by kissing or touching or pointing towards the Black Stone and brought to completion at it, after seven circuits.
This is the wide, open pavement, oval in shape, around Ka’aba and Hateem, where pilgrims perform Tawaf with utmost devotion and enthusiasm day and night except prayer time.
This is the wall, five or six feet in length, between Hajar Al-Aswad and the door of the Ka’aba. This is a highly sacred place where prayers are accepted. The pilgrims cling to it pressing their chests and cheeks to it and pray humbly for the forgiveness of their sins and acceptance of their prayers.
This is a semi-circular half-built portion at North West which was part of the Ka’aba in the time of Prophet Ibrahim, but later could not be included in the main structure when the Quraish rebuilt it after its destruction by fire. To offer prayer in Hateem is just like praying inside the Ka’aba. The Tawaf around the Ka’aba covers Hateem as well.
7. Mizab Al-Rehmat:
The spot under the drain of the Ka’aba’s roof is called Mizab Al-Rehmat and is a place for acceptance of prayers.
8. Maqam-e-Ibrahim (Station of Ibrahim):
To the north-east of the Ka’aba, a little away from its door, stands a glass and metal structure which contains a sacred stone bearing the impressions of the foot-marks of Prophet Abraham who stood here during the construction of the Ka’aba.
This is one of the sacred places where prayers are accepted. After completing the Tawaf, the pilgrims offer two rakaats of prayers near it. If it is not possible to pray here, one can do so anywhere in Masjid Al-Haram.
This is the historical well, located to the east of the Ka’aba, which was provided by Allah for the sustenance of Prophet Ismail and his mother in the wilderness of Makkah. Zamzam water possesses great merits and benefits, and the pilgrims have been urged to drink Zamzam water to fill, because it is food for the hungry and cure for the sick.
10. Safa and Marwah:
Safa is a hill to the south of the Ka’aba, which has now been levelled down and remains only as a symbol. Opposite to it, to the north of the Ka’aba, there is the hill of Marwah. Performing Saie between these two spots is an important Hajj and Umrah Manasik (rite).