‘Surely he beheld Him (Gibril) on the clear horizon’ [Qur'an 81:23]
This is the place where it all began. Where Hidaya descended from the Heavens. Where the first revelations came down to a trembling man in awe of what had befallen him (SAW).
‘Read: In the name of thy Lord Who createth, Createth man from a clot. Read: And thy Lord is the Most Bounteous, Who teacheth by the pen, Teacheth man that which he knew not.’ [Qur'an 96: 1-5]
How must it have felt that night when the Angel came down in all his glory? A moment in time that was to be the beginning of something so great that it would conquer the hearts and minds of billions of people around the globe.
To this day people come here to experience the climb and see for themselves the tiny cave in which the Prophet (SAW) sojourned himself, and, to where his blessed wife regularly brought him food and drink.
May our footsteps fall on the blessed earth on which the Prophet (SAW) walked and may the barakah of such a place bring untold blessings in our life.
‘Who gives his wealth (in charity) to become purified,while no one has conferred any favour on him for which he would give a return, but (he gave his wealth in charity) only to seek the Countenance of his Lord, the Most High.’
[Qur'an 98:18-20 *This verse was revealed in relation to Abu Bakr (RA) freeing Bilal (RA) as a slave in Makkah ]
This is the approximate location of the house of Abu Bakr (RA) in Makkah. This is the blessed house that the Prophet (SAW) would have frequented regularly. It was here that Abu Bakr (RA) lived with his family and it is from here that the blessed Hijrah to Madinah was commenced.
The approximate location is in the current Makkah Towers Hotel where a Masjid in the name of Abu Bakr (RA) has been built on the 4th floor.
More info available from the Islamic Landmarks website here:
The House of Umm Hani (aka Fakhita bint Abu Talib)
‘Glorious is He Who made his servant travel by night from Al-Masjid-ul-Harām to Al-Masjid-ul-AqSā whose environs We have blessed, so that We let him see some of Our signs. Surely, He is the All-Hearing, the All- Seeing.’ [Qur’an 17:01]
Umm Hani was the cousin of the Prophet (SAW) and the daughter of his uncle Abu Talib. The Prophet (SAW) grew up at the same time as her and would visit her house often. According to some sources, it is from here that the Prophet (SAW) commenced his Night Journey of Al Isra’ wal Mi’raj.
The house of Umm Hani, like many of the other historical houses in the area, has been eaten up by the current Mosque Complex. Umm Hani’s house was located near by the current Bab Malik Abdul Aziz Gate.
The house of Khadija (RA) also used to be in the Banu Hashim district near to the house where the Prophet (SAW) was born.
It was here where the Prophet (SAW) received some of the first revelations, it was here that most of his children were born, it was here that he spent some of his most difficult years whilst living in Makkah under the persecution of the Quraysh following the advent of Islam.
The house that was there was demolished to make way for the expansion of the existing Mosque. It is not clearly known any longer as to exactly where the house sat, but it was near about where the current ablution areas are behind the Marwah gates.
It would have been nice if the authorities had at least placed a plaque where the old house stood so that people could at least see where it was and where some of the early events of Islam unfolded.
‘Indeed Safā and Marwah are among the marks of Allah. So whoever comes to the House for Hajj or performs ‘Umrah, there is no sin for him if he makes rounds between them; whoever comes up with good on his own, then Allah is Appreciating, All-Knowing.’ [Qur'an 2:158]
Safa and Marwah are two small mountains near the Ka’bah. It was these two mountains that Hagar (AS) had ran between in search of water when the baby Isma’il (AS) was crying out of hunger and thirst.
She started with mount Safa, climbed on top to see if she could locate any water or any persons that could assist her, she found nothing and then descended and went to mount Marwah and did the same. She did this seven times before the Angel came and uncovered for her the well of Zam Zam.
There was a section of the valley between the two mountains from where she could not see Isma’il (AS) and she would sprint this section to get to the other side. This is currently demarcated by the green lights that show the area which she ran.
The pilgrims complete the seven circuits of Safa and Marwah and the running between the green lights as part of the ritual of Sa’i when completing the Hajj or Umrah.
There are only two corners of the Ka’bah that are still in the same place as they were from the time of Adam (AS) to Ibrahim (AS) to our Prophet Muhammad (SAW). They are the Black Stone corner and the Yemeni Corner.
The Prophet (SAW) would touch and kiss the Yemeni Corner when passing it during the Tawaf. The Yemeni Corner is on the southern side of the Ka’bah, the last corner before the Black Stone.
Between the Yemeni Corner and the Black Stone Corner the Prophet ( SAW) would make the following Du’a “Rabbana Atina, Fid Dunya Hasanah, wa Fil Akhirati Hasanah, wa Qina ‘Azab Al-Nar” – “Oh Lord, Grant us the Good of this World, and the Good of the Next World, and Save us from the Punishment of the Fire”.
The Bible makes a reference of the miracle of Zamzam when it talks about the passing through of Ismail (upon him be peace) and his mother through the valley: “Blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee; in whose heart are the ways of them who passing through the valley of Bacca make it a well.” [Psalm 84:5-6. Note that the Quran also refers to Makkah as Bakkah]*
The well of Zam Zam is no longer accessible to the pilgrims. It used to be situated between the Maqam of Ibrahim and the beginning of Mount Safa.
The well of Zam Zam was discovered by the babe Isma’il (AS) and his mother Hagar (AS) whilst she was running between Mount Safa and Marwa looking for water as he, Isma’il (AS), was crying out of hunger and thirst.
They were left there by Prophet Ibrahim (AS) on the command of Allah (SWT). After Hagar (AS) ran seven circuits of Safa and Marwa an Angel appeared by the place where Zam Zam was and started to dig until water appeared. Hagar (AS) continued digging around the well and took the water that she needed for herself and Isma’il (AS).
Due to this new source of water, peoples and tribes started to settle around Isma’il (AS) and Hagar (AS) and around the Zam Zam well. This formed the early Makkan community.
Zam Zam stayed with the tribes of Makkah until it was buried by the tribe of Jurhum upon their expulsion from Makkah. Several hundred years later, the well was rediscovered by ‘Abdul Muttalib, the Prophet’s grandfather, through a series of dreams in which he was directed to dig back up the well of Zam Zam.
It has been with us since then and continues to quench the thirst of millions of pilgrims every year that attend the Minor (Umrah) and Major (Hajj) Pilgrimage.
‘When We made the House (Ka‘bah of Makkah) a frequented place for men, and a place of peace! Make from the Station of Ibrāhīm a place of prayer. We gave the (following directive) to Ibrāhīm and Ismā‘īl (Ishmael): “Purify My House for those who are to circumambulate (make Tawāf) and those who stay in I‘tikāf, and those who bow down or prostrate themselves (in prayers).’ [Qur'an 2:125]
The Maqam of Ibrahim (AS) is the stone on which the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) stood when building the Ka’bah. He stood on it and worked his way around the Ka’bah whilst Isma’il (AS) passed him the stones for the walls of the Ka’bah.
Out of deference to Ibrahim (AS) and the task that he was undertaking, the stone became soft for him and Ibrahim’s (AS) footprint was engraved on the stone.
The stone now sits in a golden enclosure a couple of meters away from the Ka’bah. Pilgrims are required to pray behind the Maqam of Ibrahim once they have completed the Tawaf (Circumambulation) of the Ka’bah.
Al Hijr Isma’il (AS) – Sometimes Also Known as Hateem
Aisha (RA) narrated: “I wanted to enter the House (i.e. Ka’bah) and pray inside. Allah’s Messenger (SAW) took my by the hand and led me inside the Hijr and said: ‘If you want to go inside the House then pray here, for it is part of the House, but your people reduced its area when they rebuilt it.’” [Al-Nasa'i]
This area is the semi circular area outside of the Ka’bah located under the Mizab (the Golden Gutter of the Ka’bah). It forms part of the Ka’bah, however, was excluded from the Ka’bah when the Quraish rebuilt the Ka’bah during the time of the Prophet (SAW).
This was because they had run out of sufficient acceptable funds from good sourced to be able to complete the full building. Therefore they built as much as they were able to with the funds available and built a semi circular wall to surround the part that they had missed.
If one prays in this area it is as if you have prayed inside the Ka’bah itself.
It’s a Mercy from Allah that the Hijr was not included in the building because it now means that ordinary pilgrims such as ourselves can pray inside the Ka’bah by praying inside of the Hijr.
May Allah grant everyone Tawfiq to be able to pray in the Hijr Isma’il.