Al-Haram Mosque, Saudi Arabia: photos and description
On Earth there are two holy Muslim cities - Mecca and Medina. They are both located in Saudi Arabia. The Al-Haram Mosque is located in Mecca - this is the Hajj site. After all, there is the main shrine of Muslims - the Kaaba.
It was here in 571 that the great Prophet Mohammed, the founder of Islam, was born and brought up. On the outskirts of Mecca in the cave of Hir, he received the first revelation that brought him the Archangel Gabriel. It was this city that he and his supporters won in 630 in order to free the Kaaba - the sacred place of first worship. Here at the end of his life the prophet made the last hajj, anticipating a quick death.
Each year, Mecca must provide hospitality to thousands of pilgrims who come to the Forbidden Mosque of Al-Haram. It is a cosmopolitan and modern city, comfortable to visit.
The history of the construction of the Al-Haram mosque
The first construction began around the Kaaba, lasted from 634 to 644 years.and fell on the reign of Caliph Umar ibn Al-Khattab - an associate of Mohammed, father of Hasph, the third wife of the Prophet.
The current incarnation of the mosque mainly dates back to 1571, when the Ottoman Sultan Selim II ordered it to be rebuilt.
Due to rivalry with Al-Haram of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, built by 1616, the Imam of Mecca persuaded the Caliph to add one more to the six minarets already in existence. He explained this by saying that there is no greater mosque in the world, and it should have the largest number of minarets.
Further, already in 1980, a large building and two minarets were added, which marked another new entrance - at that time it became one of the four main and 44 secondary ones. In the second decade of the 21st century, another restructuring of the mosque is underway. She adds two more minarets to the nine available (they reach 95 meters in height).
Expansion of the mosque
Since 1571, the architecture of the mosque has changed little, but the building has expanded significantly. Since 2007, there has been an astonishing reconstruction of the building. According to its results, it will be able to accommodate more than one million pilgrims over an area of 400 thousand square meters. m. Al-Haram grows in breadth and up. The location of the construction cranes in the photos shows that a huge six-story wing is attached to the mosque.Also, there is a process of simultaneous reconstruction of the old part of the building.
Kaaba is the heart of the Al-Haram mosque, the direction of the Qiblah. It is in this direction that Muslims offer prayer when they prayed five times a day.
This structure is almost the right cube with a height of 14 m. There are no windows, there is a single entrance that opens twice a year. The keys to him are with the family of Bani Shayba, the forefather of whom Muhammad chose for this case. The Prophet commanded them to be guardians, receiving payment for their food. Since then, for centuries, descendants have been giving each other a sacred mission. In the eastern corner is stored black stone.
According to the story of Muhammad, Allah ordered Ibrahim (the biblical Abraham, father of Ishmael) to build a sacred house (the Kaaba). He asked his son to help. During construction, Ishmael and Ibrahim lacked a single stone. The father sent his son to look for a suitable one. Ishmael returned with nothing, but Ibrahim had a white stone to complete the construction. He said that the Archangel Gabriel brought him a shrine from paradise. The stone eventually turned black from the sins of people, was kidnapped, returned split, therefore, since then in a silver shell.During the Hajj, it is a guideline - from what angle to begin the tawaf, a sevenfold round of the Kaaba.
From the wall that the forefather Ishmael built, there was only one meter left, because the Kaaba was rebuilt more than once. Covers the construction of a black silk fabric called Kiswa. Its length is 41 meters, a hole is provided for the door. On it, the ayahs (verses, structural units of the Quran) are embroidered with gold threads. A new bedspread is woven once a year before the hajj.
Kaaba is the starting point, the initial coordinate of the history of Islam itself, which existed even before the birth of this religion. Stood in the literal and figurative sense at its origins Ishmael, father of twelve Arab princes-forefathers. After all, it was here that God saved Ishmael and his mother from thirst, opening the source of water.
The birth of Ishmael
The heroes of the Old Testament is the forerunner of Ishmael. Despite the fact that we are talking about Islam, this story tells the Bible. Ishmael's father is Abraham, and the mother is the Egyptian slave of his wife Sarah, Hagar.
According to the book of Genesis, Abraham lived in the pagan city of Ur the Chaldean. (Then his name was Abram, much later God would rename him "the father of nations"). He took Sarah's wife, Lot's nephew, and went on a life-long journey. So God commanded him.Abraham and Sarah moved from place to place until the end of their days, traveling the future promised land. And they waited for God to fulfill his promise - he would give them a heir who would become the great father of the chosen people. As God said: "I will multiply you as the sand of the sea, and you will have descendants, how many stars in the sky." But Sarah was barren.
Leaving Egypt, one of the points of their endless journey, Sarah took the slave Hagar with her. According to Jewish custom, she gave it to the bed of Abraham, so that she gave birth to her lap, as if Sarah herself became pregnant and carried the child from her husband. But Hagar, when she conceived a child, rebelled against the mistress. When she began to oppress her for her arrogant behavior, she fled into the desert. But under the influence of God, she humbled herself and returned, gave birth to a child - Ishmael, but it was not he who was chosen by God. After all, Sarah finally gave birth to Isaac, the expected heir, and Hagar and Ishmael were driven away a few years later.
Ishmael and Hagar in the wilderness
It is difficult to judge whether exile was fair. Some biblical scholars believe that Sarah, in a bold, clever and clever Ismail, saw a dangerous opponent for Isaac.Others suggest that she was simply afraid of his evil influence. Anyway, so young Ishmael found himself in the future of Saudi Arabia, in the rocky desert, dying with his mother from thirst. God heard his crying. He sent an angel who touched a stone, and from it hammered a water source - Zamzam. Thanks to him, Arab tribes began to settle in this place and later Mecca grew up - a large city at the crossroads of trade routes.
Kaaba stands where Adam himself lived, as Muslims believe. This is Masjid Al-Haram - the sacred house, the first building for the worship of God, which, according to the traditions of Muhammad, was built by Ibrahim (Abraham) and Ishmael. It has now grown, become a huge Forbidden Mosque, but continues to expand. After the conquest of Mecca by the faithful Muslims in 630, it was rebuilt, and now it is a sacred place for the Hajj.
Hadith - a life story and a collection of instructions of the prophet Muhammad. According to them, Namaz in Masjid Al-Haram is the same as a hundred thousand prayers in any other place.
Hajj is an important rite, one of the five pillars of Islam. This is a pilgrimage to Mecca, which every faithful Muslim must make at least once in his life, having the physical and financial capabilities.Therefore, every year in the last month of the Islamic calendar of Zul-Hija, a huge number of pilgrims rush to the Kaaba in Al-Haram. The photo clearly shows how many people annually attract this huge in size, sacred place for Muslims. Kaaba in the very center of the worship of many thousands of crowds every Muslim who arrives on the hajj, must be bypassed seven times, moving clockwise. This should be done immediately upon arrival at worship, with a sense of awe and reverence in the heart, with thoughts of the highest.
This is an amazing spectacle of the unity of hundreds of thousands of people for the holy rite in the Al-Haram mosque in Mecca!