Makkah Al Mukarramah – Meaning, history and more
The birthplace of the beloved (ﷺ), the land where the Qur’an was first revealed, and where prophethood was given to Muhammad (ﷺ). Makkah holds great significance in the hearts of billions and maintains its status as the holiest place in the world. Its status is so high that Allah even swears by it in Surah Balad whilst referring to it as the Mother of Cities in Surah An’am. Both a place of sanctuary and blessing, Allah mentions the land itself in Surah Ale-Imran: “إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِّلْعَالَمِينَ” “The first House [of worship] to be established for people was the one at Bakkah (Makkah). It is a blessed place; a source of guidance for all people” (3:96).
Sheikh Ibn Uthaymin explains the status of Makkah as a sanctuary stating that no Muslim can come to the city from outside the boundaries of the Haram, except in ihram. The animals are protected as hunting game is prohibited whilst even trees are safe in the city’s bounds. In addition to this, even Dajjal, the Anti-Christ, will be unable to enter the city with Angels guarding it.
Furthermore Makkah is the only land in the world where the fifth pillar of Islam can be performed, Hajj, whilst it is the Qibla for all Muslims who observe Salah, the second pillar. The reward for good deeds are multiplies whilst a single prayer therein is better than one hundred thousand prayers elsewhere! This excludes Masjid Nabawi and Masjid al-Aqsa which carries great reward although not above that of the sanctuary in Makkah.
At the epicentre of this blessed city is the Ka’aba, originally contructed by Adam (as) and rebuilt by Ibrahim (as) and his son Ismail (as). It has been rebuilt and fortified many times but did not always look like the black cube we see today. In fact in the past it has been multicoloured and had two doors and a window!
Furthermore these doors were previously open for anyone to walk inside and pray, however this is now no longer the case. One thing that still remains is the keys of the Ka’aba being entrusted to one family, Bani Shaiba, who were entrusted with the responsibility before the prophet (ﷺ) conquered the city, whilst their role was reconfirmed by him (ﷺ) upon conquest. One of the most significant parts of the Ka’aba is the black stone,which came from Paradise itself! Originally the stone was white but the sins of mankind led to its colour changing to black (Tirmidhi 877).
This is a blessed land, and it’s significance should remain etched in our hearts. To summarise, the prophet (ﷺ) said:
“By Allah, you are the best and most beloved land to Allah. Had I not been driven away from you, I would not have left you.” Tirmidhi 3925
May Allah make this land beloved to us, as it is beloved to Him, and forbid the love of the city to ever leave our hearts!