Mecca, also spelled as Makkah, is a city in the Hejaz and the capital of Makkah Province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located 70 km (43 mi) inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of 277 m (909 ft) above sea level. It’s resident population in 2012 was 2 million, although visitors more than triple this number every year during Hajj period held in the twelfth Muslim lunar month of Dhu al-Hijjah.
As the birthplace of Muhammad and a site of the revelation of the Quran, Mecca is regarded as the holiest city in the religion of Islam and a pilgrimage to it known as the Hajj is obligatory for all able Muslims. The Hijaz was long ruled by Muhammad’s descendants, the sharifs, either as independent rulers or as vassals to larger empires. It was absorbed into Saudi Arabia in 1925. In its modern period, Mecca has seen tremendous expansion in size and infrastructure. Because of this, Mecca has lost many thousand-year-old buildings and archaeological sites. Today, more than 15 million Muslims visit Mecca annually, including several million during the few days of the Hajj. As a result, Mecca has become one of the most cosmopolitan and diverse cities in the Muslim world, although non-Muslims remain prohibited from entering the city.
1 Masjid al-Haraam
- The Holy Kaaba. The House of Allah and the birth place of Imam Ali Ben Abi Taalib (a.s.)
- Hajar al-Aswad (The Black Stone)
- Maqam Ibrahim
- Hijr Ismail. This was the location of the house of Prophet Ismael (a.s.). He and his mother are buried here. He denied access to anyone because he did not like it to be walked on. Other prophets are buried in this place also. According to Imam Baqir (a.s.), the place between Rukn and Maqam is full of graves of the Prophets. According to Imam Sadiq (a.s.), seventy prophets are buried between Rukn al-Aiman and Hajar al-Aswad
- Well of Zamzam
- Mizabe Rahmah: the golden trough (water channel) between Rukn Iraqi and Rukn Shami
- Mustajar: This is just before Rukn Yamani whilst walking from Rukn Shami to Rukn Yamani. It has also been defined as the area between the Black Stone (hajar al-aswad) and the door of the Kaaba
- Mutaawadh or Multazam: The place between Rukn Yamani and the Black Stone (hajar al-aswad)
- Hatwim: According to the book “Adabul Haramain”, this is the place between the door of the Kaaba and Hajar al-Aswad. It is called Hatwim “the smasher” because it smashes major and minor sins of one who seeks forgiveness here. It is said that this is the place where Adam (a.s.) was forgiven. According to the book “Umra & Ziyarat”, this is the place where Prophet Ismail, his mother and many other prophets are buried. See Hijr Ismail above.
- Rukn al-Aiman (the right-hand side corner of the Kaaba).This is opposite the Black Stone behind the House. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) said “Whenever I come at this point, I find Jibril is already there before me.” Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said: “Rukn al-Aiman is our gate to Paradise”. He also said: “In this place is one of the doors of Paradise that has never been closed since it was opened. There is a river from Paradise in which deeds of the servants are dropped.” Also called Rukn al-Junubi. It comes before the Black Stone corner.
- Rukn Shami/Gharbi: This is the corner of the Kaaba that comes after Hijr Ismail
- Rukn al-Sharqi: This is the corner where Hajar al-Aswad rests.
- Rukn al-Shimali / Iraqi: This is corner that comes after the Kaaba’s door before one reaches Hijr Ismail.
- Mount Safa: When going to Safa, use the same door that the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) used, which is Bab as-Safa, opposite the Black Stone.
- Mount Marwa
2 Jannat al-Mualla (Cemetery in Makkah)
Also known as Al-Hajun. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) used to visit it frequently. It is the 2nd holiest graveyard after Baqi. Those buried here include:
- Abd Manaf: Great, great-grandfather of the Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w.)
- Grave of Hashim: Great-grandfather of the Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w.)
- Grave of Abdul Muttalib: Grandfather of the Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w.)
- Grave of Amina: Mother of the Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w.)
- According to another source, Amina is buried in Abwa (between Makkah and Madina) – where the 7th Imam (a.s.) was born
- Grave of Abu Talib: Father of First Imam Ali (a.s.)
- Grave of Khadija: First wife of the Holy Prophet (a.s.) and mother of Sayyida Fatima (s.a.)
- Qasim: Son of the Holy Prophet [s.a.a.w.) who died in his infancy
Amongst the famous scholars buried in the graveyard of Hajun are:
- Marhum Agha Mirza Muhammad al-Istrabadi – author of Rijal al-Kabir wa Ayat al-Ahkam
- Sayyid Mir Muhammad Mu’min al-Istrabadi author of Al-Ruj’a. He lived near Makkah
- Sayyid al-Shahid Mir Zeinul Abideen al-Husseini al-Kashani. He was martyred in Makkah and buried in a grave he had chosen himself in the graveyard of Mu’alla. He was amongst those who laid the foundation of the House after it was demolished.
- Sheikh Muhammad son of the author of Al-Maalim. His grave lies near the grave of Khadija (a.s.)
- Ibn Sheikh Muhammad – buried beside his father. Used to take a lot of care in matters concerning Ihtiyat (caution) and fear of Allah
3 Jabal Nur. The mount on which the Cave of Hira is found
4 Cave (ghar) of Hira
The cave where the Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w.) used to meditate frequently during the first forty years of his life. This is also the place he received the first revelation
5 Cave of Thaur
The cave where the Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w.) hid from his enemies when migrating to Madina
6 Birth Place of the Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w.)
Situated near “Suq Lail”. Presently a library by the name of “Maktaba Makkah al-Mukarramah”
7 The house of Khadija (a.s.) and birth place of Fatima (a.s.)
This is where the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) lived until he migrated. It is where Khadija (a.s.) died and where Fatima (a.s.) was born. It is also the place where the Meccans had planned to kill the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) on the night of Hijrat and Imam Ali (a.s.) slept in his place. It is a place where Jibrail used to descend with revelations from Allah
8 House of Ibrahim (a.s.), the son of the Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w.) who died in infancy
9 House of Abu Talib (a.s.), father of Imam Ali (a.s.)
10 Masjid Jin
11 Masjid Bilal
12 Mount Abu Qubais
Near this is the place where the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) performed the miracle of splitting the moon in two
About two farsakhs from Makkah. Maimuna, wife of the Prophet (s.a.a.w.), is buried here
Near Makkah. Abdullah Ben Ismail Ben Badhee’s grave is at “Feel”. He was amongst the companions of the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Imams (a.s.)
Another place for ziyarat is the graveyard of the Martyrs of Fakh. Fakh is the name of a place which used to be Miqat-e-Swibyaan. In this place, about a hundred people from the descendants of Fatima (a.s.) lost their lives in the hands of the puppets of Musa al-Hadi al-Abbasi. Muhadith al-Qumi quotes the 9th Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) as having said that after Taf there had been no other fatal and destructive battle like the one of Fakh. Du’bal also mentions Fakh in one of his poems
Medina also officially spelled as Madinah on Saudi maps and in modern Islamic literature generally, is a modern city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabiaa, and serves as the capital of Al Madinah Provincee. An alternative name is Madinat Al-Nabi (“The City of the Prophet,” i.e. Muhammad). The Arabic word madinah simply means “city.” Before the advent of Islam, the city was known as Yathrib but was personally renamed by Muhammad.
It is the second holiest city in Islam after Mecca and the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.). Medina is critically significant in Islamic History for being where Muhammad’s (s.a.a.w.) final religious base was established after the Hijrah and where he died in 632 AD/11 AH. Medina was the power base of Islam in its first century, being where the early Muslim community (ummah) developed under the Prophet’s (s.a.a.w.) leadership.
In fact, Year 1 of the Islamic calendar is based on the year of the emigration (or Hijra) of Muhammad (s.a.a.w) and his original followers (Muhajirun) from Mecca to the city of Medina in 622 AD/1 AH.
Medina is home to the three oldest mosques in Islam, namely Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (The Prophet’s (s.a.a.w.) Mosque), Quba Mosque (the first mosque in Islam’s history), and Masjid al-Qiblatain (The Mosque of the Two Qiblahs – the mosque where the direction of Muslim prayer, or qiblah, was switched from Jerusalem to Mecca).
1 Masjid al-Nabawi
- Shrine of Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w.) of Islam, peace be upon him & his Household
- Grave of Sayyida Fatima al-Zahra (s.a.) Daughter of the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) and wife of Imam Ali (a.s.). According to some historians she is buried in Jannatul Baqi
- Room (hujra) of Sayyida Fatima al-Zahra (s.a.)
- Pulpit (mimbar) of the Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w.)
- Prayer niche (mihrab) of the Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w.)
- The Rawda
- The door (bab) of Archangel Jibrail (s.a.a.w.)
- Maqam of Archangel Jibrail (a.s.)
- Pillar of Abu Lubaba
2 Jannatul Baqi
- Graves of Imam Hasan (a.s.) (2nd Imam), Imam Zaynul Abidin (a.s.) (4th Imam), Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s.) (5th Imam), and Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.) (6th Imam)
- Grave of Sayyida Fatima (s.a.). Daughter of the Prophet (s.a.a.w) and wife of Imam Ali (a.s.). Location of her grave is unknown. According to some historians she was buried in her own room (now inside Masjid Nabawi) next to the Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w.)’s darih
- Grave of Abbas b. Abdul Muttalib (a.s.): Uncle of the Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w) and Imam Ali (a.s.)
- Grave of Fatima bint. Asad (a.s.), Mother of Imam Ali (a.s.)
- Grave of Jafar al-Tayyar (a.s.) – brother of Imam Ali (a.s.)
- Graves of Safiya and Aatika (a.s.), Aunts of the Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w.)
- Grave of Ummul Baneen (a.s.), Wife of Imam Ali (a.s.) and mother of Hadrat Abbas (a.s.) (Safiya, Aatika & Ummul Baneen)
- Grave of Ibrahim (a.s.), son of the Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w.)
- Grave of Haleema (a.s.), Nursing mother of the Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w.)
- Graves of the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.a.w.) wives (ummahat al-muminin)
- Graves of various companions (as-haab) of the Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w.)
3 Masjid Quba
First mosque of Islam. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) spent more than 20 nights here (after migrating) praying qasr while waiting for Imam Ali (a.s.). It is mentioned in the Qur’an as the mosque founded on piety and devoutness
4 Imam Ali (a.s.)’s house
Behind Masjid Quba is Imam Ali (a.s.)’s house
5 Well of the Prophet (s.a.a.w.)
In front of Masjid Quba, is a sweet-water well that is now closed. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.)’s ring fell into this well hence the name Bi’ru al-Khatam (khatam = ring). It is also called Biru Tufla because at first its water was salty but when the Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w.) spat into it, it changed to sweet refreshing water
6 Mashrabat Umm Ibrahim
Joined to Masjid Quba is “Mashrabat Ummu Ibrahim”. This is the room of the Prophet (s.a.a.w.)’s wife Mariah Qibtwiyya (Umm Ibrahim). The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) used to live and pray here
7 Masjid Fadhikh
It is situated in the eastern part of Masjid Quba. It is named after a palm tree that used to be at the place. It is also called Masjid Nakhl. Here is where the sun was brought back for Imam Ali’s to pray Asr which he missed because the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) was sleeping on his laps
8 Masjid Qiblatayn (i.e. the mosque of two qiblas)
The mosque where the Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w.) was commanded to change his qibla from Masjid al-Aqsa (Jerusalem) to the Holy Kaaba (Makkah)
9 Sab’a Masajid (lit. ‘The place of 7 mosques’).
There are now only five mosques – Masjid Ali, Masjid Fatima, Masjid Fath, Masjid Salman al-Farsi, & Masjid Umar.
Masjid Fath (lit. “mosque of victory”) is at the top of a mountain. This is named after the Muslims victory in the Battle of Khandaq when Imam Ali (a.s.) killed Amr bin Abd Wudd and the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) prayed here for the Muslims victory.
10 Masjid Ummul Mu’minin Mariyah Qibtiya (a.s.), wife of the Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w.) and mother of Ibrahim (a.s.). This could be one of the two demolished mosques at Sab’a Masajid (No. 9 above)
11 Masjid Raj’atu-Shams – now destroyed
12 The houses of Imam Zaynul Abidin (a.s.) and Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.)
13 Masjid Mubahala
14 Masjid Ghamamah.
Also called Masjid Eid. The Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w.) said his Eid prayers here
15 Well (bir) of Ali, peace be upon him
16 Masjid Shajarah
Also known as Masjid Ali (a.s.). This place is a miqat for those going for umra from Madina to Makkah. The place is also known amongst the locals as Abar Ali
Grave of Bibi Hawa (Eve), peace be upon her. First woman on earth and wife of Prophet Adam, peace be upon him. Jeddah is named after her. It’s the Arabic equivalent for “Grandmother”
1 Masjid Abdullah Ben Abbas (a.s.)
2 Grave of Abdullah Ben Abbas (a.s.)
Cousin and companion of Imam Ali (a.s.). Very often referred to by Imam Ali (a.s.) as “Ibn Abbas”. See Nahjul Balaagha
1 Birth place of the 7th Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.)
2 Grave of Amina, mother of the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him & his Household
According to some historians, she is buried in Jannat al-Mu’alla (Makkah)
1 Martyrs of Badr
Badr is a village between Makkah and Madina. 14 companions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w.) were martyred here in the Battle of Badr
2 Masjid al-Arish
Nearby the Martyrs of Badr is Masjid al-Arish where the Prophet (s.a.a.w) prayed during the battle
1 Grave of Hamza (a.s.), uncle of the Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w.) who was martyred at the Battle of Uhud
2 Graves of the other martyrs (shuhada) of Uhud
1 Jabal Rahmah
2 Masjid Numrah
1 Masjid Kheef
2 Masjid Kauthar
3 The Three Jamaraat: Jamaraat al-Ula, Jamaraat al-Wusta, and Jamaraat al-Uqba