….whosoever enters it, he attains security (3:97)
Alhumdulillah, this humble speck, by the grace and bounty and generosity of Almighty Allah, completed the journey from the Enlightened City to the Honoured, Revered City of Makkah and back. Enabling the leaving to merge into returning; a minute circle within the huge cosmic circle. Alf Shukr, Alhumdulillah.
The majestic moon was our faithful companion throughout the night journey. Suspended as a glowing lamp for the wayfarer, casting a mysterious emanation on the awesome mountains along the way, while second by second waning closer and closer to announcing the Mubarak month of Ramadhan, Insha’Allah.
Makkah was not overly crowded. Apparently the week or so heralding Ramadhan is relatively quiet compared to the huge anticipated influx at the beginning of Ramadhan building up to the last ten days, and how the summer peak has just been. We were able to find a “room with a view” literally a few steps from Haram (aqua dot in the google image and the photo of the model), Alhumdulillah.
The pilgrims were about ten deep during Tawaf, which we began just before the Adhan for Tahajjud. I performed Saa’ee on the second floor, where there would have been only about one hundred retracing the anguished search of Hajar for water for her son, Ismail Alaihum asSalaam. How easy our Umrah has become. Flat smoothly polished marble, air conditioning, fans and Zamzam water all long the way. Such esteem Hajar Alaihas Salaam must have in the eyes of Allah Ta’ala, her struggle repeated over and over again by millions year after year. The effort she made, her trust knowing that it was the Will of Allah Ta’ala to be left in such harsh conditions should leave an indelible imprint on our hearts.
Insha’Allah the profound effect accompanying everyone after completing Umrah, this poignant ritual of worship, deepens our commitment to all aspects of our Deen, strengthens the collective Iman of the Ummah and is the means by which Allah Ta’ala draws us closer to His Habib SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. May it be accepted and blessed, and all Du’a answered in the best way for all of us as decided by Allah Ta’ala. Ameen
There were large areas sectioned off in the mataf (circumambulation area) and around the immediate first floor area, due to the marble flooring being renovated. The jarring sounds of jackhammering seems to have been a back ground sound for years now with all the renovations, maintenance and extensions; an endless, ongoing program, Alhumdulillah.
After all the media attention to the issue of women possibly being banned from joining in the Fardh Salat in this open Tawaf area, I was curious to see how the situation was. The enclosed section for women was not erected while I was there, and as I prayed my Fardh in one of the designated areas for women towards the back of the Masjid, I did not see if women were permitted to do their Salat in the mataf or not. However during the non-Fardh times the presence of women was throughout Haram, including many offering their Nawafil behind the men behind Makam Ibrahim. It was crowded around the Black Stone and Al-Multazam the times I went there harbouring the hope of kissing the Black Stone. But it was not meant to be this time, may Allah Ta’ala accept the attempts of all intending to offer this Sunnah from a distance.
Umar ibn Khattab RadhiAllahu anhu kissed the Black Stone and said: “I know that you are only a stone and can neither do harm nor bring benefit. Had I not seen Allah’s Messenger kissing you, I would not have kissed you.”
Ibn ‘Abbas RadhiAllahu anhu narrated that the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam said: “The Black Stone came down from Paradise and it was whiter than milk, but the sins of the sons of Adam turned it black.” He also heard the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam say: “By Allah, Allah will resurrect it on the Day of Resurrection with two eyes with which it will see and a tongue with which it will speak, and it will bear witness concerning those who touched it recognizing its virtue.”
Abdullah Ibn Umar RadhiAllahu anhu said: “Allah’s Messenger SallAllahu alaihi wasallam faced the Black Stone, touched it, and then placed his lips on it and wept for a long time.” Likewise Umar RadhiAllahu anhu also wept for a long time. The Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam said: ‘O Umar, this is the place where one should shed tears.”’
Abdullah Ibn Umar RadhiAllahu anhu used to struggle hard to get through the crowd in order to reach the Black Stone, so much so that sometimes he was hit on the face till his nose bled. The Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam said to Umar: “O Abu Hafs! You are a strong man. Do not crowd others around the Black Stone. You may hurt a weak person. But if you find an opportunity to reach it in order to kiss it or touch it, do it. If not, then say ‘Allahu-Akbar’ and continue your tawaf.’’
Al-Musafi bin Shaibah said that he heard Abdullah bin Amr bin Al’Aas saying: “As Allah is my witness,” –three times-placing his finders in his ears- then he told that he heard the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam saying: “The Black Stone and the Maqam are two precious stones of Paradise. Allah extinguished their light. If He had not extinguished their light, they would have illuminated everything between the east and the west.”
When Ibrahim alaihis Salaam was building the Ka’aba, one more stone was needed. Ismail alaihis Salaam wanted to go and get something, but Ibrahim alaihis Salaam said: “Help me find a stone as I told you to do.” So, Ismail alaihis Salaam set out looking for a stone, then he brought it to him and found that his father had set the Black Stone in place. He said: “O father, who brought you this stone?” He said: “It was brought to me by the one who is not relying on you to build it. It was brought to me by Jibreel alaihis Salaam from Jannah.” (part of a Hadith narrated by Ali RadhiAllahu anhu in Tafseer Ibn Kathir)
I thank sweet Maryam for the delightful drawing of her father with his Saudi headscarf at the Multazam, arms outstretched, fingers trying to reach to the Door of the Ka’aba, the Black Stone to his left. SubhanAllah, so expressive. Whoever calls upon Allah Ta’ala in Al-Multazam, Allah Ta’ala will answer his prayers. Ameen.
It is reported that Abdullah bin ‘Abbas RadhiAllahu anhu used to cling to (Yalzam) the space between the Rukn, the corner housing the Black Stone and the Door of the Ka’aba, saying that no one clings to it asking Allah Ta’ala for anything, but it will be given to him.
We had a clear view of the massive “devouring” of Jabal Umar (lime area) for the planned futuristic city, along with the gigantic King Abdullah tower project (red area). The model of the Jabal Omar project (below) does not include the King Abdullah towers, instead it shows the previous Ajyad Fort built by the Ottomans which, along with the mountain it was on was demolished to make way for the present complex. One of the five towers seems to have reached its designed height, peering over the Ka’aba.
From this great vantage point out of the hotel window (aqua) one could look across to the Intercontinental Hotel (blue) and the Makkah Towers (pink). In the past they seemed huge, but are now dwarfed by the King Abdullah structure.
The yellow area is another enormous project which has stripped the mountain top of the old style dwellings, preparing for yet another glitzy development.
The purple area is the Royal Palace built on Abu Qubais, which can be seen in many older photos. Like the Palace sitting atop the sliced off mountain in Madinah, and another overlooking Mina, they have replaced natural mountains with mountains of palace. The shame with this location is that Abu Qubais has such an important role in our history. It was the first mountain created by Allah Ta’ala, the Black Stone was protected in it when Allah Ta’ala sent the flood upon Nuh Alaihis Salaam, Darul Arqam, where the early Muslims would secretly meet with the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam was situated on it. Also it is where the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam stood when he split the moon and it is where Hajjaj fired the catapult into the Ka’aba, which resulted in the killing of Abdullah ibn Zubair RadhiAllahu anhu.
Now Abu Qubais has been reduced to being the foundations of a Palace. Ya Allah Ya Lateef.
As can be seen, the size of this development is maybe triple the width of Haram! It is referred to as the “giant” project! The committee overseeing this project have supposedly been studying the feasibility of such an undertaking for the past fourteen years, at a cost of multi million dollars, with the actual project in the billions of dollars. They have stated that this area will be considered to be within the Saf of Haram, and Allah the Almighty knows best. The residential districts of Makkah are being pushed further and further out, while the actual Ka’aba seems to be shrinking in relationship to all these endeavours.
Ya Allah, do not let our hearts shrink from Your Greatness. Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar.
All good is from Allah Ta’ala whereas mistakes are from this humble speck. May Allah Ta’ala Bless all readers, bringing you all closer to Him and His Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. Ameen.
To be continued, meeting at the green dot! Insha’Allah.