Masjid Al-Haram or the Forbidden mosque is one of the oldest mosques built in the history of Islam. It is so-called because the doors are open to Muslims all over the world but with no offense, non-Muslims are not allowed. It is also called The Great Mosque of Makkah. Muslims from all over the world go to this mosque to pray and perform Hajj. The mosque surrounds the Black Stone of Kaaba, which is looked forward to by Muslims all over the world. This signifies unity among everybody. In this blog, we look at the Masjid Al-Haram’s history and interesting facts about it.
Masjid al-haram is called the grand mosque as it is the largest mosque in the world covering an area of 88.2 acres of land (originally). The house of worship has been built and rebuilt after getting destroyed by natural calamities. Today, the pillars stand tall protecting the Great Black Stone standing in all its glory. Masjid al-haram is the single holiest site in Islam, the holiest place for Muslims to exist on the face of the earth.
The Grand Mosque of Makkah is a Beauty to behold
The Forbidden Mosque or the Masjid al-haram is the most beautiful. It is a sight to behold. You can feel the presence of Allah when you are between the pillars. It is said that the mosque never sleeps. Millions of Muslims go there to repent, ask for forgiveness, and worship the Almighty.
You can see the holy Kaaba in the center of the masjid standing tall and beautiful. Surrounding the Kaaba or the house of Allah, people perform the Tawaf or the circling ritual which is a part of the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages. Muslims wear special Ihram clothing to adhere to the fifth pillar of Islam. When the sun is out, the gleaming marbles reflect the holiness of the people and during the night, millions of lights flood the grand mosque in the most magnificent way to throw light on the minarets who watch over the gate.
Many Muslims are seen to be overwhelmed by their repentance and by being among so many people who have the same holy intention at heart. The aura of the mosque is such that it will make your faith stronger as you witness everything that you learned in the holy book, the Quran.
Masjid al-Haram History
The history of the Al-Haram mosque begins before the beginning of the earth. The book of the Quran says that the mosque was built even before the creation of mankind. It is supposed to mirror the place of Worship for the angels from the heavens. The mosque is a reflection of ‘The Worship Place for Angels’ or al-Baytu l-Ma’mur.
According to the Gregorian calendar, the construction of this mosque began in the 7th century by Caliph Omar Ibn al-Khattab. The number of pilgrims was increasing hence the walls were reconstructed further around the Kaaba. In 777, Abbasid Caliph Al Mahdi demolished the original mosque and came out with a grid plan. He then built a larger mosque around the Kaaba. There are many buildings in that mosque that date back to 1571.
The mosque was renovated to be expanded from 1950 to accommodate more people into its sanctuary. The most recent construction was done in 2018. After this, it became the world’s largest mosque set to be home to 2.5 million worshippers in a land of 187 acres.
Important structures in Masjid Al-Haram
Even though there are so many sites to behold in the grand mosque, here are some important structures that hold significance in the heart of every Muslim.
- The holy Kaaba is a cuboid-shaped structure, located at the center of the mosque. It is in the direction where all Muslims direct their prayers.
- The Black Stone, located on the eastern corner of the holy Kaaba.
- The Station of Ibrahim, a rock situated next to Kaaba, known to have the footprint of Ibrahim (SAW)
- Safa and Marwah, the two hills located inside the mosque. Between this, Ibrahim’s(SAW) wife Hagar, ran in search of water for her infant son. This event is commemorated as a ritual of Hajj.
- The ZamZam well, which has a constant flow of water, spurted up miraculously when Hagar was unable to find any water.
The History of the Kaaba
We understood that the mosque is of great importance and there have been many floods and natural calamities that have destroyed multiple areas of the mosque. However, the spellbound fact is, even after the destruction of many areas of the mosque, nothing happened to the Black Stone of Kaaba.
Kaaba was built by Prophet Ibrahim (SAW) even before Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was born. Before the Prophet influenced most people to take up Islam, there were idols kept inside the Kaaba. As we know, idol worship is forbidden in Islam and thus resulted in a lot of conflicts. After the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, escaped to Madinah, his followers also traced his steps. Subsequently, following a lot of conflicts and battles, our Prophet finally returned to his home (Mecca) and Azaan was sung on the holy Kaaba.
Even though there have been a lot of constructions and a reconstruction of the mosque, Kaaba is the only structure that has maintained originality that was built by Prophet Ibrahim (SAW). Allah ordained the black stone to be the direction of worship.
5 Facts about Masjid Al-Haram
- Masjid Al-Haram is the eighth largest building in the world.
- It is not the oldest mosque known to mankind. The Mosque of the Companions in the Eritrean city of Massawa and Mosque Quba are the oldest mosques.
- The mosque was severely damaged in the year 1629 due to heavy rains and floods. It was rebuilt by Sultan Murad IV.
- In 930 AD, the black stone of the Kabbah was broken to pieces during the Qarmatian raid.
- The mosque is spread over an area of 356,800 sq metres.
Islam has a very rich history and Masjid Al-Haram is a very important part of it. Ever since Prophet Muhammad (SAW) became enlightened, the world has seen a lot of people overnight turning towards Islam. This is because the idea of Islam is based on having one true God and that is Allah. Although, the beginning of Islam was well before Prophet Muhammad (SAW). History suggests that there have been many prophets who have spread their knowledge and fought their share of battles in order to embed the idea of Islam and protect the Religion in the hearts of the followers. Masjid Al-Haram unites Muslims as they perform prayers in congregation during Hajj and Umrah, and takes forward the tradition and faith of Islam.
Who built Masjid Al-Haram of Makkah?
Masjid Al-Haram of Makkah was built by Prophet Ibrahim, peace and blessings be upon him, along with his son Ismail. Allah ordered the Prophet to build the holy Kaaba, and then the Grand Mosque around it. There are many remnants of the original structure that have been carefully maintained by various leaders.
Is Masjid al-haram the largest mosque in the world?
Yes, the Great Mosque situated in Makkah is the largest mosque in the world. It is also the holiest site of Muslims all over the world.
Can non-Muslims enter the Al-Haram mosque?
No. Non muslims are not allowed inside the mosque premises.
What is the Kaaba?
The holy Kaaba is the house of Allah, located within the premises of Masjid al-Haram. Muslims walk around the Kaaba seven times while performing the ritual of Tawaf.
What are the popular structures within the Great Mosque of Makkah?
Some of the notable structures within the mosque are Maqam-e-Ibrahim, the Zamzam well, the Hijr Ismail wall structure, and Meezab-e-Rehmat.