Makkah the Sacred City

Heidi Mahmoud Kheyamy

08 Feb 2018

Makkah, the sacred city, is the best spot in the world. As ‘Abdullah bin ‘Adiy bin Hamra’ said:

“I saw the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), standing in Al-Hazwarah* (A place in Makkah) saying: ‘By Allah, you are the best land of Allah, and the dearest of the land of Allah to me. By Allah, had I not been expelled from you I would never have left.’” [Sahih, Al-Tirmidhi, page: 3925]. There are many examples of its superiority to other lands, some of them were mentioned in the Holy Quran and the others were reported by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

The Ka'bah, the first House of worship, was founded in Makkah as Allah said: “Indeed, the first House [of worship] established for mankind was that at Makkah - blessed and a guidance for the worlds.” [Ali ‘Imran, 96]. In addition to this, it is the destination of Muslims during the first days of Dhu al-Hijjah – the last month of the Arabic calendar – to perform Pilgrimage (Hajj), one of the five pillars of Islam, as the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Islam has been built on five [pillars]: testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the salah (prayer), paying the zakat (obligatory charity), making the hajj (pilgrimage) to the House, and fasting in Ramadhan." [Sahih, Bukhari & Muslim].  Muslims also travel to the Holy land Makkah Al Mukaramah at any time of the year to perform lesser pilgrimage (Umrah).

As for praying, there is a great connection between the prayers Muslims perform every day and the location of the Ka’abah. The direction of the prayer must be calculated according to the direction of the Ka’bah, otherwise the prayer will not be valid. Allah said in the Holy Quran: “We have certainly seen the turning of your face, [O Muhammad], toward the heaven, and We will surely turn you to a qiblah with which you will be pleased. So turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Haram. And wherever you [believers] are, turn your faces toward it [in prayer]. Indeed, those who have been given the Scripture well know that it is the truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do.” [Al-Baqarah, 144]

Adding to this, praying in the Ka’bah area is far better than praying in any other mosque according to the saying of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):“Prayer in this mosque of mine is better than a thousand prayers (observed in other mosque.) besides it, except that of Masjid al-Haram. [Sahih Muslim 1395 a, Book 15, Hadith 583]     

One of many privileges of the city of Makkah is being the place of security and safety as it is mentioned in the Quran: “And [by] this secure city [Makkah]” [At-Tin, 3]

It is well known that Ibrahim, the Messenger of Allah, (PBUH) escorted his wife Hagar and his newborn baby Ismael (PBUH) to Makkah where he left them with a limited supply of water and dates. When they ran out of sustenance, Hagar ran between Safa and Marwa until the water flew from the well of Zamzam. Then she was able to feed her baby and quench her thirst. The story was mentioned in the verse of the Holy Quran: “Our Lord, I have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley near Your sacred House, our Lord, that they may establish prayer. So make hearts among the people incline toward them and provide for them from the fruits that they might be grateful.” [Ibrahim, 37]

 Allah mentioned Makkah in the Holy Quran by calling it Makkah, Bakkah and many other names. It is also known as Om Alqura (the Mother of the cities) as Allah said: “And this is a Book which We have sent down, blessed and confirming what was before it, that you may warn the Mother of Cities and those around it. Those who believe in the Hereafter believe in it, and they are maintaining their prayers.” [Al-An’am, 92].  Furthermore, Allah honored the Sacred City by swearing by its name in the Holy Quran “I swear by this city, (meaning Makkah).” [Al-Balad, 1]. Due to the holiness of the Ka’bah, people are not allowed to hunt birds or remove trees or plants there. Moreover, the disbelievers are prohibited to enter the Ka’bah since the conquest of Makkah in the eighth year of Hijrah as it is mentioned in the Holy Quran: “O you who have believed, indeed the polytheists are unclean, so let them not approach al-Masjid al-Haram after this, their [final] year. And if you fear privation, Allah will enrich you from His bounty if He wills. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Wise.” [At-Tawbah, 28]


Innocence and Patience Are a Saving Grace: The Story of Prophet Yusuf (Joseph)

Prophet Yusuf, son of Yacoub (Jacob), had ten half-brothers. Yusuf was said to have been his father’s most loved son, which ignited jealousy among his brothers. At the age of seventeen, Yusuf had a dream that Yacoub warned Yusuf not tell his brothers lest they try to harm him.


The Well of Zamzam II

During the period of ignorance which preceded Islam, providing the pilgrims, who came from all over the Arab Peninsula to Makkah, with water, was the job of Quraish until Abdul Mutalib – the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) grandfather – took the charge of providing pilgrims with water. At that time Makkah suffered little rain and the water supply there was rare.


The Well of Zamzam I

Ibn 'Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: Ibrahim (PBUH) brought his wife and her son Isma'il (PBUH), while she was suckling him, to a place near the Ka'bah under a tree on the spot of Zamzam, at the highest place in the mosque. In those days, there was no human being in Makkah, nor was there any water. So he made them sit over there and placed near them a leather bag containing some dates, and a small water-skin containing some water, and set out homeward.