Your gateway to the holy lands
The Sacred House of Allah
Makkah is the only place on the face of this earth that pilgrims go to and circumambulate the Sacred House, regardless of where they live, nearby or faraway from it. Pilgrims enter Makkah in humbleness and devotion, with their heads not covered. They wear the same clothes, the rich cannot be distinguished from the poor, the black stands besides the white, they all seek one thing, the pleasure of the Almighty Allah.
Allah The Elevated made Makkah a safe place. No blood should be shed, no tree should be cut, as Allah says in His Holy Book:
The reward for praying in the Sacred Mosque is equivalent to 100,000 times that for praying elsewhere, as Imam Ahmed, Tirmizi, and Nisa'ii narrated that Abdullah ibn Azubair reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "A prayer in my Mosque is better that one thousand prayers elsewhere except in the Sacred Mosque, and a prayer in the Sacred Mosque is better than praying in my Mosque by one hundred times
The Holy Kabbah: Focal point of Islam
The Holy Mosque in Makkah houses the kaaba.It is the Qibla towards which Muslims turn their faces in prayers.
Allah, the Supreme, says: "We see the turning of your face (for guidance), to the heavens: now shall we turn you to a Qibla that shall please you. Turn then your face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque: wherever you are, turn your faces in that direction. The people of the book know well that that is the truth from their Lord, nor is Allah unmindful of what they do." ( 2:144)
The Ka'bah, focal point of Muslims' prayers, highlights the unity of the believers. Symbol of the oneness and centrality of God.
The Kaaba is a large masonry structure roughly the shape of a cube. It is made of granite from the hills near Makkah, and stands upon a 25 cm (10 in) marble base, which projects outwards about 35 cm (1 ft). It is approximately 13.10 m (42.98 ft) high, with sides measuring 11.03 m (36.19 ft) by 12.86 m (42.19 ft). The four corners of the Kaaba roughly face the four cardinal directions of the compass. In the eastern corner of the Kaaba is the Ruknu l-Aswadv"the black stone" or al-Ħajaru l-Aswad, at the northern corner is the Ruknu l-ˤĪrāqī "The Iraqi corner". The western corner is the Ruknu sh-Shāmī "the Levantine corner" and the southern is Ruknu l-Yamanī "the Yemeni corner". The Kaaba is covered by a black silk and gold curtain known as the Kiswah, which is replaced yearly. About two-thirds of the way up runs a band of gold-embroidered calligraphy with Qur'anic text, including the Islamic declaration of faith, "the Shahadah".The Black stone marks the starting point for the seven circumambulations of the Holy Mosque. Every hajji or Matamer is obligqated to complete this ritual.
Kabbah in the eyes of The Islamic poet, Muhammad Iqbal (may his soul rest in peace),
"Thus is the norm of nation's birth, A centre where life runs. Verily, the spirit of the circle is the Centre, A tiny dot in its circumference. A system emerges from the centre, And the centre perpetuates the nation's life. The Sacred House is the nation's backbone; It is our melody and passions. A radiating breath in our chest, It is the precious soul of our body. From its dew our branches gained viridity, And our groves from its Holy Well gained life
Our very existence is evidence of its truthfulness, And our sense of belonging is a fulfillment of Abraham's Praycr. Our name ranks high amongst nations, Linking the past with the present. Circumambulation around it has the nation united, It is the heart the lamps envelop. In its sanctity our vastness has merged, Our strength, out of unity, has been cemented. It is only through unity that nations survive, This unity is verily the secret of the Sacred House."
Makkah is the holiest city on earth to Muslims. It is variously known as Makkah Al-Mukarramah, Umm Al-Qura (the origin of the Cities), Al Balad Al-Ameen (the Secure City), and Al-Balad Al-Haram (the Sacred City).
Five times each day, the world's more than one billion 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 circ Hajj, the pilgrimage to Makkah. Thus each year the Holy City of Makkah is host to some two million hajjis (pilgrims) from all over the world.
The Holy City of Madinah, which lies in the central Hijaz 447 kilometers north of the Holy City of Makkah, is 625 meters (2,050 feet) above sea level. Sited on a fertile oasis, it is bounded on three sides by hills which form part of the Hijaz mountain range. The highest of these hills, Mount Uhud, rises more than 2,000 meters above the oasis.
Madinah is the second holiest city in Islam. It was to Madinah that the prophet Muhammed(peace be upon him) and his followers, faced by the hostility and persecution of the Makkan merchants, departed in 622 CE . It was in Madinah that the Islamic era began.
Madinah is then the city of the Prophet. As the place in which the Holy Quran was compiled and from which the Prophet's companions administered the affairs of the Muslim community, it was the seat of the first Islamic state.
Madinah Al-Munawwarah means "Enlightened City". A visit to Madinah is not part of Umrah or Hajj but the deep affection in which the Prophet held the city and its intimate connection with the birth of Islam puts it on the itinerary of most pilgrims performing Hajj.