Editor’s Note: Rare black & white photos of Mecca dating back to 1850 are in the last portion of this page.
Brief History: Makkah (Mecca) is located 70 km from Jeddah, a seaport and international airport where all Hajis (Pilgrims) disembark. It is the holiest city in Islam and a pilgrimage (Hajj) to Makkah is obligatory upon all able Muslims. Mecca is also the birthplace of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Like Medina, entry to Makkah is also prohibited for all non-Muslims.
The landmarks of Makkah (Mecca) are Masjid al-Haram, the largest mosque in the world. This mosque is also known as the Haram or the Grand Mosque. The mosque surrounds the Kaaba, towards which Muslims turn while offering daily prayers. Another prominent place of Makkah is Hira, a cave on the Jabal al-Nur (‘The Mountain of Light’), where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) received his first revelation from Allah through the angel Jabreel. Another landmark is Zamzam Well, a miraculous water spring running since the times of Hazrat Ibrahim and has not dried up. It caters for the needs of ever-increasing number of Hajis. Newly built, 1,972 feet tall building Abraj Al Bait Towers (also called Makkah Tower) with a big clock, is another prominent object of Mecca.
Entrance of Makkah -Makkah Gate on Jeddah-Makkah Highway
Birth Place of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Mecca
Mecca at Night. 1,972 feet (601 metres) tall building Abraj Al Bait Towers with a big clock is visible at the background. This tall building is across the street from the Masjid al-Haram.The Towers are the 2nd tallest building in the world.
An Aerial View of Mecca
Satellite Picture of Kaaba and Mecca City
A Classic View of Masjid al-Haram at Night
A Heavenly View of Masjid al-Haram at Night
Muslims are Ready for Iftar during Ramzan in Masjid-al-Haram, Mecca
A Superb View of Kaaba with Abraj Al Bait Towers at the Background
Abraj Al Bait Towers & the Clock
A Pigeon sitting in Mataf area in Masjid al-Haram
Kaaba in the Centre. Is this heavy contingent of police for some royal visit?
Holy Kaaba’s Cover is Being Changed
A Splendid Closeup View of Holy Kaaba while Tawaf in Progress
Kaaba at Night
A Majestic View of Kaaba while the Pilgrims are Busy in Tawaf
An Exquisite Photo of Kaaba, with Two Elderly Women in Foreground
Kaaba During Rain
Dead Bodies Awaiting Namaz-e-Janaza at Masjid al-Haram
A Rare Scene of Kaaba
Aerial Photo of Kaaba
Kaaba in Heavy Rain
Kaaba During Downpour
A Man Praying in Masjid Al Haram
The Valley of Mina. Mina (Also known as the Tent City) is situated 5 km to the east of Mecca. There are more than 100,000 air-conditioned tents which provide temporary accommodation to pilgrims. In the Valley of Mina is the Jamarat Bridge, the location of the Stoning of the Devil ritual. At the start of Hajj, pilgrims go to Mina on 8th of Zilhija and spend their first night there. Their next night stay is at Muzdalfa and then next two nights stay is again in Mina.
Another Photo of Tents at Mina
People Relaxing Inside a Tent at Mina
Masjid Al Khaif at Mina
Another Photo of Masjid Al Khaif, Mina. Photo by Irfan Hashmi at flickr (from Yahoo).
The Plain of Arfat. Arfat is a vast open ground where the largest gathering of Muslims takes place every year on 9th of Zilhija. It is called “Waqoof -e- Arfat” (stay in Arfat). Muslims offer two combined prayers here under one Azan on Hajj Day. The qasar (shortened) prayers of Zuhar and Asar are offered here jointly just after concluding Khtuba-e-Hajj. Hajj is actually the name of Waqoof-e-Arfat and there is no substitute or penalty (damm) if someone does not attend the stay of Arfat. Penalty(damm) may be given against other Hajj elements but Waqoof-e-Arfat is essential. At Arfat pilgrims spend their time glorifying Allah, repeating the supplication, repenting to Allah and asking Him for forgiveness.
Masjid e Nimra at Arfat. Masjid e Nimra is situated in Arfat. Here Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) delivered the last historic sermon (Khutba) of Hajj. Every year on 9th Zihija, Hajj Khutba is delivered from this mosque. Only two salat (Prayers) are offered in this mosque during a year. On Haj day ( the 9th Zilhija) Zuhar and Asar prayers are offered jointly by pilgrims. During Hajj it is very difficult for every pilgrim to reach here but in other days, the mosque remains empty and might be seen easily. It’s courtyard area remains open for nawafil prayers but inner hall remains closed.
Hajis Busy in Dua at Arfat Before Sunset
Waqoof-e-Muzdalifah. Muzdalifah (مزدلفة) is an open, level area near Mecca associated with the Hajj. It lies just southeast of Mina on the route between Mina and Arafat. Each year on the 9th day of the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah, after the waqoof-e-Arafat, pilgrims leave for Muzdalifah after sunset. They offer Mughrib and Isha prayers together at Muzdalifah. At Muzdalifah they collect pebbles which will be thrown in the Stoning of the Devil ritual in Mina during the next three or four days. The pilgrims spend the night at Muzdalifah, praying and sleeping in the open. They leave for Mina the next morning. The Wuqoof of Muzdalifah is Wajib and missing it makes a penalty (damm) compulsory.
Hajis Going Towards Jamarat at Mina for Stoning the Devils. From Muzdalifah, the pilgrims come to Mina for Stoning of the Jamarāt or Stoning of the Devil. They fling pebbles at three walls, called Jamarāt. The stoning is performed on the day of Eid al-Adha, and two or three days after. Until 2004 the three Jamarāt were tall pillars. After the 2004 Hajj, Saudi authorities replaced the pillars with 26 m (85 ft) long walls for safety. The names of three jamarāt are: the smallest jamrah (aj-jamrah aṣ-ṣughrā), the middle jamrah (aj-jamrah al-wusṭā), and the largest jamrah or Jamrah of Aqaba (aj-jamrah al-kubrā ).
Stoning of the Jamarat at Mina
Pilgrims Coming out of Jamarat After Stoning the Devils
Shaving off the Head during Hajj
Entrance of the Cave of Hira (Ghar-e-Hira). The Cave of Hira (غار حراء) is located about 2 miles (3.2 km) from Mecca, on the mountain named Jabal al-Noor (‘The Mountain of Light’). Our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) received his first revelation from Allah through the angel Jabareel (Jabriel) while he was in the Cave of Hira. Photo by Yasir Ahmed (April 11, 2014).
Another view of the Entrance of the Cave of Hira.
Pilgrims Line up for entering the Cave of Hira. Photo by Yasir Ahmed (April 11, 2014).
Jabal-al-Noor where Cave of Hira is Located. Pilgrims are visiting Hira Cave.
Cave of Hira in Relation to Kaaba. Photo taken from Jabal-al Noor near the Cave of Hira (Ghaar-e-Hira). Hazy picture of Kaaba, Masjid al Haram is also seen.
Masjid-e-Ayesha (Masjid-e-Taneem). Masjid-e-Ayesha (Masjid-e-Taneem) is a mosque about 5 miles away from the Holy Kaaba in an area called Taneem. This place acts as Miqat (a station for putting on ihram) for people living in Mecca.This mosque is also known as Masjid-e-Ayesha because Prophet Mohammed ‘s (PBUH) wife Ayesha had put her Ihram from this place once. If someone is living in Mecca and wants to perform Umra then he should go to this place, enter into the state of Ihram and then return to Mecca so that the condition of traveling for the pilgrims is also fulfilled.
Photos of Makkah and Hajj – 1953
Photo of Kaaba in 1953
Kaaba During Heavy Floods of 1941. The water was more than 5 feet in Mataaf area.
Masjid-al-Haram and Kaaba during 1941 Floods
An Old Photo of Kaaba and Masjid al-Haram
A Rare Black & White Photo of Kaaba and Masjid al-Haram During Heavy Rain
An Old Picture of Kaaba During Change of Ghilaf-e-Kaaba (Kiswah)
A Rare Picture of Kaaba
Kaaba in Old Days
Old Picture of Kaaba
Old Photo of Kaaba during Ottoman Empire Period
An Old Picture of Kaaba, 1917
An Old Photo of Kaaba, with Pigeons in the Compound
Kaaba and its Surroundings in 1925
Drawing of Kaaba as it Looked in 1911
Kaaba in the Early 1900s
Kaaba and Hateem, Early 20th century Picture. Hateem is enclosed in the crescent-shaped wall. A half circled place adjacent to Kaaba is called “HATEEM”. It is originally the inner side of Kaaba but in the times of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.), it could not be built completely due to non availability of funds. It means Kaaba was initially in slight rectangular shape not as squared as we see today.
A Rare Photo of Mecca City in 1910. Kaaba and Masjid al-Haram are in foreground.
An Extremely Rare Sketch Showing Mecca City in 1850
An Old Sketch of Kaaba, Mecca. This sketch probably shows how Kaaba and the surrounding area looked like before the advent of Islam, when there were idols in the mosque. After the conquest of Makkah by the Prophet Muhammad SAWS all the idols were removed.
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