Historical Places in Makkah – Part 2
Hajj is an annual obligatory Islamic pilgrimage that has to be performed by every Muslim (physically & financially capable) at least once in a life time. The days of hajj are fixed, 8th to 12th (or 13th as optional) of Dhul-hajj which is the last month of Islamic year. Each year, approximately two to three million Muslims come to Makkah during this short time period to perform hajj. This number could be much more but Saudi Arabia has a quota system for each country and it issues a definite number of Hajj visas to keep things at manageable level.
“Reward of an accepted Hajj is paradise.” A hadith (saying of prophet Muhammad PBUH).
Since Saudi Arabian government allocates (via agents) a specific place to each pilgrim to stay during hajj days as well as holy sites are often populated by large number of people, it’s usually not possible for a person to observe and visit complete area during Hajj days. Therefore in this post, I will try to cover those places which could be missed out by a pilgrim during Hajj days.
One thing to note that these sites are accessible to public throughout the year except few weeks before hajj when government barricade the area to make necessary arrangements for pilgrims. It was one of weekends when I visited these places on my own. I left Jeddah in morning and was back to home near evening. One day was more than enough to visit all of below places.
Jabal al Rehma (Mount of Mercy)
This small mountain is also known as Mount Arafat or Mount Arafah. Holy prophet Muhammad (PBUH) performed only one Hajj in his entire life and this hill was the place where he stood and delivered the Farewell Sermon to the Muslims who had accompanied him for the Hajj.
Jabal al Rehma reaches about 70 m in height.
A closer view. Stairs have been carved to reach the top of hill.
The level area surrounding the hill is called the Plain of Arafat. The pilgrims spend the whole day on Arafat supplicating to Allah and asking for forgiveness of their sins. Staying in plain of Arafat is an essential part of Hajj. Failing to do so invalidates the pilgrimage.
The Last Sermon of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
After praising, and thanking Allah he said:
“O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today.
O people, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that He will indeed reckon your deeds. Allah has forbidden you to take usury (interest), therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity. Allah has Judged that there shall be no interest and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn Abd Al-Muttalib (Prophet’s uncle) shall henceforth be waived…
Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.
O people, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah’s trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.
O people, listen to me in earnest, worship Allah, say your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Hajj if you can afford to.
All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety (taqwa) and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.
Remember, one day you will appear before Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.
O people, no prophet or apostle will come after me and no new faith will be born.
Reason well, therefore, O people, and understand words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Quran and my example (the Sunnah) and if you follow these you will never go astray.
All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O Allah, that I have conveyed your message to your people”.
(Reference: See Al-Bukhari, Hadith 1623, 1626, 6361) Sahih of Imam Muslim also refers to this sermon in Hadith number 98. Imam al-Tirmidhi has mentioned this sermon in Hadith nos. 1628, 2046, 2085. Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal has given us the longest and perhaps the most complete version of this sermon in his Masnud, Hadith no. 19774.)
It is located on the plain of Arafat. The holy prophet Muhammad (PBUH) camped here during his stay on Arafat. After midday he delivered his famous sermon (reproduced above). More than 100,000 Sahabah accompanied him on this Hajj.
Masjid Nimrah. It remains close throughout the year except for one day, 9th of Dhulhajj (Arafat Day) during Hajj.
I couldn’t pray inside the mosque. However I offered two nafal prayers in the outer yard of the mosque. That area was carpeted and dedicated for the same purpose.
A view of Masjid Nimrah from Jabal al rehmat. Masjid is located at boundary line of Arafat & Muzdalifah. Infact, small portion of Masjid is in Muzdalifah while remaining is in Arafat.
The Jamarat are three stone pillars which are pelted part of Hajj in emulation of the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham PBUH). They represent the three locations where prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) pelted the Shaitan (Satan) with stones when he tried to dissuade him from sacrificing his son Ismail (prophet Ishmael).
Saudi government has reconstructed and expanded the Jamarat pillars to some sort of wall so that more pilgrims can offer the ritual at same time. In addition, a huge Jamarat Birdge is constructed consisting of five level accommodating 300,000 pilgirms in an hour for stoning.
The word Mina means “to flow” as it’s the area where pilgrims sacrifice animals (as part of Hajj) on the day of Eid al Adha. A number of fire-proof tents have been established by Saudi government in Mina area. These tents remain vacant for whole of year except for three to four days (8th, 11th, 12th and/or 13th Dhulhajj) when pilgrims stay here during hajj.
Fireproof tents in Mina.
Location & Coordinates
Coordinates of Jabal al Rehmat : 21.353493, 39.982899
Coordinates of Masjid Nimrah : 21.353794, 39.968166
Coordinates of Jamarat: 21.420642, 39.873768
Coordinates of Mina: 21.410463, 39.892149
Coordinates of Muzdalfah : 21.380722, 39.916447