MAKKAH, THE MOTHER OF CITIES, AND THE HOLY SITE OF THE KAABA


MAKKAH, THE MOTHER OF CITIES, AND THE HOLY SITE OF THE KAABA 

Makkah ...

This is the holy city where our beloved Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and grant him peace) was born and raised, and the centre of Islam for hundreds of years...

And the place to which all Muslims in that city turn:

The Kaaba...

The Kaaba, described by Almighty God as “His House” in verses, and the Masjid Al-Haram outside it, is a sacred site where millions of Muslims of different colours, speaking different tongues, come together. In the Qur’an it is revealed that: 

The first House established for humanity was that at Bakka [Makkah], a place of blessing and a guidance for all beings. (Qur’an, 3:96)

Before the revelation of Islam, Makkah, known as Ummul Qur’a, or the Mother of Cities, had always been of considerable commercial and strategic importance due to its position, even though the region was covered by deserts. 

For that reason, the emperors of Rome and Byzantium, and the kings of Persia and Abyssinia had sought to add it to their own territories. 

Yet Makkah had never fallen to any external assault or invasion.

Almighty God at all times protected this holy city from its enemies.

He made the Kaaba a place of security, from its construction by Prophet Abraham and his son Prophet Ishmael, right up to the present day: 

And when We made the House a place of return, a sanctuary for humanity: They took the standing place of Abraham as a place of prayer. We contracted with Abraham and Ishmael: “Purify My House for those who circle it, and those who stay there, and those who bow and who prostrate.” (Qur’an, 2:125)

PROPHET ABRAHAM (PBUH) BUILDS THE KAABA

The Kaaba, the most holy site on Earth for Muslims, was constructed after Prophet Abraham and his son Prophet Ishmael were commanded by God to do so. 

In the Qur’an, God imparts the tidings of His revelation to Prophet Abraham: 

And We located the position of the House for Abraham: “Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for those who circle it, and those who stand and bow and prostrate. Announce the Hajj to humanity. They will come to you on foot and on every sort of lean animal, coming by every distant road.” (Qur’an, 22:26-27)

God has revealed that in the Kaaba, the first house of humanity that has been visited by Muslims ever since the day it was built, is the “standing place of Abraham:” 

In it are Clear Signs—the standing place of Abraham. All who enter it are safe. Hajj to the House is a duty owed to God by all humanity—those who can find a way to do it. But if anyone does not believe, God is Rich Beyond Need of any being. (Qur’an, 3:97)

God commanded Prophet Abraham to call people to come to the Kaaba for the hajj. This is revealed thus in the Qur’an: 

Announce the Hajj to humanity. They will come to you on foot and on every sort of lean animal, coming by every distant road so that they can be present at what will profit them and invoke God’s name on specific days over livestock He has provided for them. Eat of them and feed those who are poor and in need. (Qur’an, 22:27-28)

After that time people began flooding to the Kaaba to encircle the House and fulfil their hajj obligations there.

As time passed, however, the peoples living in Makkah moved away from the monotheistic belief communicated by Prophet Abraham, and became caught up in pagan beliefs instead.

The idolaters there continued to live by their superstitious, pagan beliefs right up until the time of the conquest of Makkah by our Prophet.

MAKKAH IN THE TIME OF OUR PROPHET (MAY GOD BLESS HIM AND GRANT HIM PEACE)

In the time of our Prophet various ignorant beliefs reigned largely amongst the inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula.

A large part of Arabia consisted of tribes who worshipped various idols.

Some of these tribes were the desert nomads known as the Bedouins, whereas others were city-dwellers.

The city-dwellers possessed a more advanced level of culture and civilisation than the Bedouin, who generally knew nothing more than raising livestock. 

The inhabitants of Makkah in particular, the most important city in the Arabian Peninsula, represented one of the most advanced civilisations in the world at that time.

The city of Makkah was an important religious and mercantile centre in the region.

Therefore, a great many caravans arrived there from distant lands, bringing with them to the city elements of the advanced culture and civilisation of the time.

However, Arabia in those days, and Makkah in particular, was the scene of intense tribal strife.

A cruel social order prevailed in which the strong were regarded as being right, women were despised because of their physical characteristics, and newborn baby girls were even buried alive since they were regarded as a mark of shame. 

The Kaaba, constructed by Prophet Abraham and dedicated to God, had become the centre for pagan beliefs. 

Many people came to Makkah from outside to worship these idols.

They ignorantly presented a variety of gifts to these idols.

Some made sacrifices to these idols, and clapped and whistled in a so-called form of religious observance. There can be no doubt but that these people had clearly strayed into error. 

Their situation is revealed in the Qur’an: 

Their prayer at the House is nothing but whistling and clapping… (Qur’an, 8:35)

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad wished his people to abandon these twisted beliefs and called them to the path of God. For that reason, the Makkan elite targeted Prophet Muhammad and the Muslims who heeded his call.

They sought to turn Muslims away from the path of God, and to frighten and even kill them.

At a time when Muslims were exposed to severe oppression, our Prophet and the believers who followed him migrated to Madinah.

Over the next five years there were three wars between the Muslims of Madinah and the pagans of Makkah.

The aim of the pagans of Makkah was to defeat the believers and to slay all the Muslims.

However, they suffered terrible defeats at the hands of the army made up of believers who sought only the approval of God and who had devoted their lives and belongings to His path.

Finally, the Muslim army, which had reached an irresistible level of strength, marched on Makkah in the year 630 and captured this holy city without having to fight for it. 

As a requirement of the moral values of the Qur’an, our Prophet had a proclamation issued that no revenge would be taken against any citizen of Makkah and that nobody would be forced to convert to Islam. 

The conquest of Makkah put an end to the polytheistic pagan system that had lasted for hundreds of years, and proclaimed the absolute superiority and hegemony of Islam. 

The Muslims who took the city headed straight for the Kaaba.

Our Prophet then entered the Kaaba and smashed the idols within it. 

With the breaking of the idols all the injustices, exploitation and superstition of the age of ignorance in Arabia came to an end. 

This fact is revealed in the Qur’an: 

Truth has come and falsehood has vanished. Falsehood is always bound to vanish. (Qur’an, 17:81)

Ever since then the Kaaba has continued to be a sacred mosque at which millions of Muslims congregate every year.

THE KAABA: THE MOST SUPERIOR OF HOUSES

In the Qur’an, the Kaaba is referred to by various names.

One of these is the “Bayt al ‘Atiq,” meaning the ancient house. One of the verses in which this name appears reads: 

Then they should end their state of self-neglect and fulfil their vows and circle the Ancient House [Bayt al ‘Atiq]. (Qur’an, 22:29)

“Bayt al Haram” is another name by which the Kaaba is referred to in the Qur’an. This means “Sacred House.” One verse in which the Kaaba is referred to by this title reads: 

God has made the Kaaba, the Sacred House, a special institution for humanity, and also the sacred months and the sacrificial animals and the ritual garlands. That is so you will know that God knows what is in the heavens and in the Earth and that God has knowledge of all things. (Qur’an, 5:97)

The structure of the Kaaba is plain, but impressive. It was built in the form of a cube, 13 metres high with walls 11 to 12 metres long.

It stands on a marble plinth 25 centimetres high and extending out 30 centimetres. The walls of the Kaaba were made from black stones laid one on top of the other.

The walls are covered with a black cloth called the Kiswa that extends down to the ground and is joined to the plinth by copper rings.

The Kiswa consists of a single piece and is replaced every year. The part covering the door is covered separately leaving an opening for the black stone. 

The Kiswa is woven from pure natural silk and has the “confession of faith” embroidered upon it. A belt-like strip embroidered with gold runs around the section near the roof, on which are written verses from the Qur’an.

The north-west wall of the Kaaba contains a door, 2.5 metres high, covered with silver and gold leaf.

The door is approached by means of a specially constructed staircase, which is how the door is opened.

Inside the Kaaba is a staircase by which to ascend to the roof, and three wooden columns. The interior walls and floor are covered in marble. Gold and silver oil lamps hang suspended from the ceiling. 

The large mosque surrounding the area in which the Kaaba stands is known as the Masjid al-Haram. This expression, meaning “Holy Mosque,” appears in 16 verses in the Qur’an. One of these verses reads: 

Wherever you come from, turn your face to the Masjid al-Haram. This is certainly the truth from your Lord. God is not unaware of what you do. (Qur’an, 2:149)

Inside the Masjid al-Haram, also known as the Haram al-Sharif, is the “standing place al-Abraham” and the “Well of Zamzam,” in addition to the Kaaba itself.

In the time of our Prophet, Masjid al-Haram consisted of a small area around the Kaaba. It was first widened by Caliph Omar and surrounded with a wall. The Masjid al-Haram was subsequently widened a great many more times right up to the present day. Today, Masjid al-Haram is sufficiently large to permit hundreds of thousands of people to pray inside it. 

On the eastern corner of the structure stands the Hajar al-Aswad, a marked stone with a different colour and feature, surrounded by a silver frame.

“Hajar al-Aswad” means black stone.

This stone is regarded as a legacy that has come down from the time of Prophet Abraham to the present day. It is therefore exceedingly valuable to all Muslims. 

In the present day this stone is taken as the starting point for the circumbulation of the Kaaba. 

Immediately opposite the Hajar al-Aswad is the edifice containing the Well of Zamzam. The mouth of the well has been drawn down and lowered beneath the circumbulatory area. 

Descent to the Well of Zamzam is by means of steps. 

The Kaaba underwent many changes after the days of Prophets Abraham and Ishmael. 

It attained its present state by being completely or partially rebuilt many times in various periods. 

At the moment, the Kaaba building has an area of 145 square metres. Together with the Masjid al-Haram it covers 361,000 square metres. Around a million people can pray here at the same time during the Hajj.

HAJJ (PILGRIMAGE TO MAKKAH)

Every year millions of Muslims come together to fulfil their hajj obligations at the sacred site of the Kaaba. 

The hajj is an obligation imposed by God on all Muslims who are able to perform it.

People who have performed this obligation are known as hajjis. 

In the Qur’an, it is revealed that the performance of the hajj by those Muslims who are able to perform this sacred duty is an obligation owed by them to God: 

In it are Clear Signs—the standing place of Abraham. All who enter it are safe. Hajj to the House is a duty owed to God by all humanity—those who can find a way to do it. But if anyone does not believe, God is Rich Beyond Need of any being. (Qur’an, 3:97)

The word “hajj” means “turning towards, to refer to, to visit someone or somewhere many times.” 

There are several verses in the Qur’an describing the obligation of the hajj.  

By means of these verses God has revealed actions either made obligatory or unlawful during the course of the hajj. One of these verses reads: 

The hajj takes place during certain well-known months. If anyone undertakes the obligation of hajj in them, there must be no sexual intercourse, no wrongdoing, nor any quarrelling during hajj. Whatever good you do, God knows it. Take provision; but the best provision is fear [and respect] of God. So have fear [and respect] of Me, people of intelligence! (Qur’an, 2:197)

One of the actions made unlawful during the hajj is the hunting of game. God reveals that this is a test for believers: 

You who believe! God will test you with game animals which come within the reach of your hands and spears, so that God will know those who fear Him in the Unseen. Anyone who oversteps the limits after this will have a painful punishment. You who believe! Do not kill game while you are in the state of pilgrimage. If one of you kills any deliberately, the reprisal for it is a livestock animal equivalent to what he killed, as judged by two just men among you, a sacrifice to reach the Kaaba, or expiation by feeding the poor, or fasting commensurate with that, so that he may taste the evil consequences of what he did. God has pardoned all that took place in the past; but if anyone does it again God will take revenge on him. God is Almighty, Exactor of Revenge. (Qur’an, 5:94-95)

For believers, the obligation of the hajj is an opportunity to express their submission and devotion to Almighty God, the All-Powerful, and to gain an enhanced consciousness of their own helplessness. 

A Muslim who goes on the hajj rids himself of all worldly matters and concerns such as property, rank and status, and turns entirely to God.

The millions of Muslims who congregate together for the same purpose during the hajj pay no heed to differences of colour, language, race or class, and form a living tableau of equality and brotherhood. 

All hajjis, rich or poor, strong or weak, wear the same clothing, abide by the same rules, fulfil the same obligations, and act under exactly the same conditions, thus reinforcing their feelings of brotherhood. 

Believers who come together at Arafat and encircle the Kaaba shoulder to shoulder with this noble state of mind distance themselves entirely from detrimental qualities such as boastfulness, pride, jealousy, envy and dispute. 

They bond together in a spirit of Islamic brotherhood.

They constantly consider how the life of this world is but transitory, and that the true home of the faithful is the Hereafter.

They fear the suffering of the “Day of Judgement,” when all people will be gathered together, and which will inevitably come to pass.

They constantly bear in mind that their greatest aim is to attain the good pleasure of God. 

Seeing these lands, where Islam was born and spread, where the Qur’an was revealed, and where the Prophet and his companions struggled against various troubles and difficulties, strengthens believers’ feelings of zeal and increases their joy and enthusiasm. 

Thousands of Muslims from all over the world, with their different skin colours, languages, nations and cultures, but with the same objective and energy, are thus able to bond and meet together. 

Muslims who have been on the hajj exhibit such moral virtues as patience, trust in God, stoicism, mutual assistance and solidarity.

God has commanded in verses: 

…When you pour down from Arafat, remember God at the Sacred Landmark. Remember Him because He has guided you, even though before this you were astray. Then press on from where the people press on and ask God’s forgiveness. God is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. When you have completed your rites, remember God as you used to remember your forefathers—or even more. There are some people who say, “Our Lord, give us good in this world.” They will have no share in the Hereafter. (Qur’an, 2:198-200)

The Hajj Obligation through Western Eyes
 
The way that the Kaaba brings all Muslims together and the manner in which millions of people bond together for the same purpose in this holy site attracts considerable interest in Western societies. This bonding is a means whereby a great many people come to develop an interest in Islamic moral values, some of whom seek to acquire a better knowledge of Islam and eventually go on to become Muslims.

Michael Wolfe who, despite having a Christian mother and a Jewish father and being brought up rather far removed from Islamic moral values, is one of those who has converted to Islam. Wolfe, an American writer and television reporter, describes his feelings during the hajj: 
This is also a chance for everyone who comes to Makkah, who can manage to make the journey, a chance to get back to basics. It’s a chance to remember that we have things to be grateful for, beginning with the air, and the water, and the food that we consume and the natural world that supports us. And it’s quite extraordinary to see two million people in this frame of mind all at once...

Another American Muslim is Fidelma O’Leary, a professor of neurological sciences at St. Edwards University in Texas. Despite having been born and raised in a Catholic family, she converted to Islam and went on the hajj to gain a better knowledge of Islamic moral values and of Muslims themselves. 

O’Leary soon bonded with the Muslims from different cultures, speaking different languages, whom she saw there for the first time, and states that after the hajj her faith and devotion to God increased.

Furthermore, the joy and honour she feels from being a Muslim is reflected in her words as she describes a conversation with a Muslim she encountered there: 
 A very happy moment for me was when this large African man helped me find a space and when he looked at me and said, “American?” And I said, “Yes.” He said, “You’re Muslim?” I said, “Yes.” And he said, “Alhamdulillah. Praise be to God.” And I really felt welcomed. 

Fidelma O’Leary expresses the unifying effect that the Kaaba and the hajj have on Muslims in these terms: 
All races, all nationalities, all people in one place, concentrated all in one direction, worshipping the one God. This has to be very powerful.


A CALL TO ALL MUSLIMS

Makkah is described in the Qur’an as the mother of cities, and the Kaaba, the holiest site for all Muslims …

This sacred spot has been bringing Muslims together throughout the history of Islam.

And is still doing so today.

The way that every year millions of Muslims congregate at the Kaaba and perform their obligations is a valuable source of joy and enthusiasm for all Muslims.

That is because all Muslims in the world believe in God and abide by the Qur’an, follow in the path of our Prophet, turn in the same direction when praying, and hope for the same reward in the Hereafter.

All Muslims share the same God and prophets, and face in the same direction when praying. No matter what their race, tongue, nationality or sect, all Muslims are brothers.

Muslims must spread the feelings of tolerance and unity they feel through the hajj at every moment of their lives, draw close to God in a spirit of submission and tolerance, and seek to be of even greater service to His religion.

By the will of God, a bright and happy future awaits the Islamic world.

In order for that bright future to be built without loss of time, the consolidation of a spirit of alliance, unity and brotherhood is of the utmost importance. 

Through the words “I bequeath you two things, and as long as you cling tightly to these you will never fall or deviate into error: the Qur’an and my Sunnah,” our beloved Prophet showed the way to which all Muslims must adhere. 

Our duty is to cling to that path and never forget this commandment bestowed upon us by Almighty God: 

Hold fast to the rope of God all together, and do not separate. Remember God’s blessing to you when you were enemies and He joined your hearts together so that you became brothers by His blessing. You were on the very brink of a pit of the Fire and He rescued you from it. In this way God makes His Signs clear to you, so that hopefully you will be guided. (Qur’an, 3:103)

SCREEN TEXTS

00.29-00.41
ŞEHİRLERİN ANASI MEKKKE VE KUTSAL MEKAN KABE
MAKKAH , THE MOTHER OF CITIES, AND THE HOLY SITE OF THE KAABA

02.01-02.12
The first House established for humanity was that at Bakka [Makkah], a place of blessing and a guidance for all beings. (Qur’an, 3:96)

02.30-02.33
THE MOTHER OF CITIES

02.34-02.37
Map showing the location of Makkah 

03.43-04.02
And when We made the House a place of return, a sanctuary for humanity: They took the standing place of Abraham as a place of prayer. We contracted with Abraham and Ishmael: “Purify My House for those who circle it, and those who stay there, and those who bow and who prostrate.” (Qur’an, 2:125)

04.23-04.31
PROPHET ABRAHAM (PBUH) BUILDS THE KAABA

05.14-05.43
And We located the position of the House for Abraham: “Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for those who circle it, and those who stand and bow and prostrate. Announce the Hajj to humanity. They will come to you on foot and on every sort of lean animal, coming by every distant road.” (Qur’an, 22:26-27)

06.12-06.35

In it are Clear Signs—the standing place of Abraham. All who enter it are safe. Hajj to the House is a duty owed to God by all humanity—those who can find a way to do it. But if anyone does not believe, God is Rich Beyond Need of any being. (Qur’an, 3:97)

07.01-07.32
Announce the Hajj to humanity. They will come to you on foot and on every sort of lean animal, coming by every distant road so that they can be present at what will profit them and invoke God’s name on specific days over livestock He has provided for them. Eat of them and feed those who are poor and in need. (Qur’an, 22:27-28)

08.53-09.01
MAKKAH IN THE TIME OF OUR PROPHET (MAY GOD BLESS HIM AND GRANT HIM PEACE)

09.05-09.17
This film is based on the works of Harun Yahya. 
www.harunyahya.com  

10.05-10.08
ARABIA 
Mecca

12.15-12.25
Their prayer at the House is nothing but whistling and clapping…(Qur’an, 8:35)

13.57-14.03
Map showing the location of Makkah 

15.22-15.30
Truth has come and falsehood has vanished. Falsehood is always bound to vanish. (Qur’an, 17:81)

16.14-16.22
THE KAABA: THE MOST SUPERIOR OF HOUSES

16.51-16.56
BAYT AL-ATIQ

17.04-17.13
Then they should end their state of self-neglect and fulfil their vows and circle the Ancient House [Bayt al ‘Atiq]. (Qur’an, 22:29)

17.25-17.28
BAYT AL-HARAM

17.48-18.09
God has made the Kaaba, the Sacred House, a special institution for humanity, and also the sacred months and the sacrificial animals and the ritual garlands. That is so you will know that God knows what is in the heavens and in the Earth and that God has knowledge of all things. (Qur’an, 5:97)

20.20-20.24
THE MASJID AL-HARAM

20.44-20.57
Wherever you come from, turn your face to the Masjid al-Haram. This is certainly the truth from your Lord. God is not unaware of what you do. (Qur’an, 2:149)

21.49-21.59
This film is based on the works of Harun Yahya. www.harunyahya.com

24.15-24.22
HAJJ (PILGRIMAGE TO MAKKAH) 

25.23-25.44
In it are Clear Signs—the standing place of Abraham. All who enter it are safe. Hajj to the House is a duty owed to God by all humanity—those who can find a way to do it. But if anyone does not believe, God is Rich Beyond Need of any being. (Qur’an, 3:97)

26.68-26.55
The hajj takes place during certain well-known months. If anyone undertakes the obligation of hajj in them, there must be no sexual intercourse, no wrongdoing, nor any quarrelling during hajj. Whatever good you do, God knows it. Take provision; but the best provision is fear [and respect] of God. So have fear [and respect] of Me, people of intelligence! (Qur’an, 2:197)

27.19-28.21
You who believe! God will test you with game animals which come within the reach of your hands and spears, so that God will know those who fear Him in the Unseen. Anyone who oversteps the limits after this will have a painful punishment. You who believe! Do not kill game while you are in the state of pilgrimage. If one of you kills any deliberately, the reprisal for it is a livestock animal equivalent to what he killed, as judged by two just men among you, a sacrifice to reach the Kaaba, or expiation by feeding the poor, or fasting commensurate with that, so that he may taste the evil consequences of what he did. God has pardoned all that took place in the past; but if anyone does it again God will take revenge on him. God is Almighty, Exactor of Revenge. (Qur’an, 5:94-95)


31.55-32.25
…When you pour down from Arafat, remember God at the Sacred Landmark. Remember Him because He has guided you, even though before this you were astray. Then press on from where the people press on and ask God’s forgiveness. God is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. When you have completed your rites, remember God as you used to remember your forefathers—or even more. There are some people who say, “Our Lord, give us good in this world.” They will have no share in the Hereafter. (Qur’an, 2:198-200)

32.54-33.02
THE HAJJ OBLIGATION THROUGH WESTERN EYES

33.04-33.15
This film is based on the works of Harun Yahya. 
www.harunyahya.com 

33.38-33.44
The American Kyle was influenced by a picture of the Kaaba, converted to Islam and went on the hajj.

34.14-34.44
This is also a chance for everyone who comes to Makkah, who can manage to make the journey, a chance to get back to basics. It’s a chance to remember that we have things to be grateful for, beginning with the air, and the water, and the food that we consume and the natural world that supports us. And it’s quite extraordinary to see two million people in this frame of mind all at once...

35.14-35.16
I can’t believe that I am here. 

35.44-35.59

A very happy moment for me was when this large African man helped me find a space and when he looked at me and said, “American?” And I said, “Yes.” He said, “You’re Muslim?” I said, “Yes.” And he said, “Alhamdulillah. Praise be to God.” And I really felt welcomed. 

36.16
All races, all nationalities, all people in one place, concentrated all in one direction, worshipping the one God. This has to be very powerful.

36.53-37.00
A CALL TO ALL MUSLIMS

39.24-39.35
I bequeath you two things, and as long as you cling tightly to these you will never fall or deviate into error: the Qur’an and my Sunnah.

40.01-40.33
Hold fast to the rope of God all together, and do not separate. Remember God’s blessing to you when you were enemies and He joined your hearts together so that you became brothers by His blessing. You were on the very brink of a pit of the Fire and He rescued you from it. In this way God makes His Signs clear to you, so that hopefully you will be guided. (Qur’an, 3:103)