Mecca and its most prominent landmarks

Mecca and its most prominent landmarks

Table of contents

  1. History of Mecca
  2. Most prominent landmarks of Mecca

History of Mecca

When was it established:

According to Islamic religious references, the History Of Building The Kaaba is shared below: –

  • In the past, Mecca was a small city inhabited by the sons of Adam until it was destroyed by the flood during the time of the Prophet Noah, peace be upon him.
  • It was established before the birth of the Prophet Ismail and before helping his father, the Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, to build the Kaaba.

Origin of Mecca’s name:

There are many assumptions about the reason behind giving Mecca that name, but the real reason is still unknown until now, among these assumptions are:

  • It is said that Mecca was given that name due to the crowding of people in the area.
  • It was also said that when the Arabs used to come to it during the pre-Islamic era, they would whistle like the greater hoopoe-lark, which is a bird that lives in gardens.
  • Another assumption says it is because it destroys anyone who oppresses people.
  • Or because it was a sanctuary intended by people from all over to worship.

The eras of Mecca:

Early era:

  • After the establishment of the Kaaba by the Prophet Ismail and his father, the Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon them both, people began to come in and settle there.
  • The first people to inhabit and rule Mecca were the “Jarham” tribe, during their rule they robbed the money that was gifted to the Kaaba and buried the Zamzam well, they ruled Mecca until the end of the third century AD, until they were expelled by the Khuza’a tribe and took control of Mecca.
  • After the Khuza’a tribe took control of Mecca, they worshiped idols there, they were the first to change the religion of the Prophet of Allah, Ibrahim, this was led by the chief of the tribe, Amr ibn Luhay, and they ruled Mecca for about 300 years.
  • Following the Khuza’a tribe, the rule of Mecca went to the Quraysh tribe, it was led by Qusay bin Kilab, who is the grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. Many leaders came after until Abraha Al-Habashi came out with his army of elephants, desiring to destroy the Kaaba in order to force people to perform Hajj in the church that he built.
  • Abd al-Muttalib bin Hashim asked Abraha al-Habashi to leave Mecca, but he refused, so the people fled, and at that point the elephants refused to approach the Kaaba when God the Almighty sent Ababil birds to throw Sejil stones to destroy Abraha and his army. This year was named the year of the elephant in which Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was born.

The Prophet’s era:

  • Following the birth of the Prophet Muhammad in the year of the elephant, Islam was discovered though him in Mecca in the seventh century AD, after the Arabian Peninsula was full of tribes who converted to paganism, Judaism and Christianity.
  • The Islamic Dawa began in secret for three years, until God commanded Prophet Muhammad to preach Islam publicly, so the Quraysh leaders got angry and they harmed the Muslims and the Prophet by all means.
  • When the polytheists’ harm to the Muslims intensified, the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, ordered them to migrate to Abyssinia, so some of them migrated, and welcomed by the Negus, King of Abyssinia.
  • With the increasing harm to the Muslims, the Prophet ordered them to go to Yathrib (the former name of Medina), and the Prophet made an agreement with the Aws and Khazraj tribes to protect him, then he migrated too.
  • After the migration of the Prophet to Yathrib (Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah), the battles took place between the Muslims and the Quraysh, starting with the Battle of Badr, then the Battle of Uhud, then the Battle of the Trench.
  • In Shawwal, the sixth year of the Hijrah, the Prophet and some Muslims approached Mecca to perform Umrah, but the Quraysh refused to let him and the Muslims enter Mecca when they reached the Hudaybiyah region.
  • After that, they concluded the Hudaybiyah Treaty, which was a ten-year truce between the Muslims and the Quraysh, but the truce was broken due to the attack of Bani Bakr bin Abd Manat against Bani Khuza’a.
  • When the Prophet learned, he ordered to prepare for the conquest of Mecca, and when he arrived with his army, he entered it without a fight and demolished the idols and pardoned the polytheists of Mecca. This occurred in the eighth year of the Hijrah, then the Prophet appointed Atab bin Usayd as Mecca’s ruler, and went to Medina after staying in Mecca for nineteen days only.

Middle era:

  • Mecca went through a period of stability with the succession of Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq and Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, until it was ended with the assassination of Othman Ibn Affan in the thirty-fifth year of Hijrah.
  • Then the Islamic State witnessed many wars during the era of Ali Ibn Abi Talib’s caliphate; some of the battles that took place were: the Battle of the Camel, and the Battle of Siffin, after that, Ali Ibn Abi Talib was assassinated.
  • Muawiyah Ibn Abi Sufyan, the founder of the Umayyad dynasty, took over the caliphate in the forty-first year of the Hijrah until he died, who, upon his death, opposition against the Umayyads appeared.
  • The opposition ended with the killing of Al-Hussein Ibn Ali in the Battle of Karbala, and the death of Abdullah Ibn Al-Zubayr after the attack and siege of Mecca by Al-Hajjaj Ibn Yusuf Al-Thaqafi in the seventy-third year of the Hijrah.
  • During their rule of Mecca, the Umayyads carried out many reforms, most notably the expansion of the Great Mosque of Mecca and the ceiling of its corridors in the ninety-first year of the Hijrah.
  • The Umayyad caliphate of Mecca continued to 132 AH, until the Abbasid caliphate was established.
  • During the Abbasid Caliphate, the Great Mosque of Mecca was expanded during the reign of the twentieth caliph, Abu Jaafar al-Mansur.
  • At that time, the Qarmatians stole the Black Stone in 317 AH, and it was returned again in 330 AH.
  • Following that, Mecca was subject to the control of other countries, including the Ikhshidid state, the Fatimids, the Ayyubids, and the Ottoman Empire, which established the Hejaz Railway.
  • Then the Hashemites ruled the Hijaz until Al Ashraf tribe expelled them in 597 AH to rule instead.
  • Al Ashraf tribe ruled the Hijaz until the establishment of the third Saudi state in 1351 AH.

Modern era :

  • During World War I, the Great Arab Revolt took place in 1334 AH against the Ottoman Empire, which controlled the Hijaz with the help of Britain.
  • The tribes that joined the revolution managed to blow up the Hijaz railway which led to the expulsion of the Ottoman army from the Hijaz.
  • Then Sharif Hussein Ibn Ali announced the establishment of the Kingdom of Hijaz, which lasted until 1343 AH when King Abdul Aziz Al Saud entered Mecca with his army and his allies from the Brotherhood under the leadership of Sultan bin Bijad.
  • After that, Sharif Ali Ibn Al-Hussein ruled Mecca for only a year, then Faisal bin Abdul Aziz succeeded him as the first prince of the Al Saud family.
  • Since then, Saudi leaders paid attention to the development and expansion of the Great Mosque of Mecca.
  • In 1400 AH, the incident of the Great Mosque of Mecca took place, led by a person named Juhayman Al-Otaibi, when he broke into the Great Mosque with 200 people in an attempt to overthrow the regime in Saudi Arabia, this siege lasted two weeks, until the Saudi security forces, with the help of a Pakistani special forces squad and a French advisory team, managed to break into the Great Mosque and take control.
  • In 1407 AH, violent clashes took place, by Iranian pilgrims, known as the events of Mecca, denouncing the United States of America, until the Saudi security forces intervened and ended those demonstrations.

Most prominent landmarks of Mecca

The Great Mosque: located in the heart of Mecca, in the west of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It was given that name due to the inviolability of fighting therein, and prayers performed in it are equal to one hundred thousand prayers. It includes:

  • Holy Kaaba .
  • Ismail Stone.
  • Black Stone .
  • Safa and Marwa .
  • The Mataf and Al-Mas’a
  • Maqam Ibrahim.
  • Zamzam Well .
  • Sanctuary Gates.

Mount Arafat: a flat plain in the form of an arc surrounded by a series of mountains, located on the road between Mecca and Taif.

Jabal Al Nour: also known as the Mountain of Islam, one of the most important historical religious monuments in Mecca, as it is the same cave that witnessed the first revelation.

Jamaraat Bridge: several overlapping bridges, designated for the walking of pilgrims to stone the Jamarat during the Hajj, located in the Mina area.

Cave of Hira: witnessed the descent of the first revelation, it is located at the top of Jabal Al-Nour at an altitude of 634 meters.

Cave of Thowr: the cave in which the Prophet hid with Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq, while the Quraysh were chasing them on their way to Medina, the cave is located in Thowr Mountain.

Abraj Al-Bait Towers: one of the largest architectural projects in the world. It was implemented by the Saudi Bin Laden Company, the project area exceeds 1.4 million square meters, which was built on the ruins of an ancient castle called Ajyad Castle. The main gate of the towers is about 500 meters away from the Kaaba. The project consists of seven towers:

  • The Clock Tower: The largest of the project towers, consisting of 60 floors, topped by the Mecca Clock, the largest and tallest clock in the world.
  • Al-Maqam Tower: 48 floors.
  • Al Qibla Tower: 45 floors.
  • Hajar Tower: 37 floors.
  • Zamzam Tower: 35 floors.
  • Al-Marwa Tower: 29 floors.
  • Al-Safa Tower: 28 floors

The Two Holy Mosques Architecture Exhibition: includes collections and art pieces that tell the history of architecture in the Two Holy Mosques since the Umayyad era, and displays models for Kaaba cover and parts of the columns and doors, some of which date back to the first century AH.

Mecca Museum: includes artifacts dating back to prehistoric times up to the modern era, galleries for the geological and natural history of Holy Mecca, galleries for the biography of the Prophet, and others.

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