Mecca Things to Do Tips by Muarrij Top 5 Page for this destination
Mecca Things to Do: 55 reviews and 70 photos
Shaved head on completion of Hajj
One of the requirements for the Hajj or Umrah is to shave your hair. Depending on how much you have, you can sometimes get away with a trim.
Each time you perform the ritual of Hajj and Umrah you must cut some hair.
There are hundreds of barbers in and around the harem area and they are mostly very good.
Just make sure you agree the price up front for the shave.
I found the best ones are those that are directly outside the small hill of Marwah.
Shaving off the hair, apart from losing your pride, pretty much makes you feel reborn. (like a baby!).
Just make sure you read about the ritual rights before you get your head shaved! There are certain conditions and if you are unsure talk to one fo the barbers!
Address: Barbers, near the Marwah hill, in Makkah.
Abrahams Station near the Qiblah
One of the requiremets during Hajj and Umrah, the religious rituals, is to pray behind or near the station of Abraham.
This is a gold cage type looking monument that has been built to house the foot imprints of Abraham, which were left whilst he built the Kaabah with his son Ishmail.
However a point of interest, the imprints you see in the caged area are actually replicas of the originals which are now being kept , I believe in a museum and out of direct sunlight due to degredation.
Nevertheless the imprints give you an idea of the importance of the site and the station. They also give you an idea of the size of Prophet Abrahams feet.
Be careful in this area, as this like the Black stone area can be extremely busy during peak times and there is usually a bottle neck of human traffic.
Address: Near the Door of the Kaabah in Makkah.
Two friendly Chinese muslims in Makkah
Truely one thing that will surely amaze anyone is how the locals can accomodate and sustain well over 2 million people during the Hajj time. The logistics alone must be difficult enough.
The good thing for anyone visiting the mosque, especially during Hajj or Ramadan (the two busiest periods) is the fact that you will find representatives from every country in the world there. Some even display their countries flag, to show their representation and also to avoid getting broken up from their group.
Basically 2% of the worlds Muslim population is on the Hajj pilgrimage alone, every year. (Stats based on 2005 estimates of Muslim population of 1.1 Billion).
The locals become the minority during peak seasons, as they are known to leave during these time. So you will find mostly ex-pats from the Indo Sub Continent or Egyptians/Palestians etc who are usually there working within the shops or as care takers of the Mosque it self.
If you can speak Arabic thats certainly a plus; But if you dont then the two most used languages aside from this are Urdu and Hindi, which can be very useful as most of the labour there is from the indian Subcontinent.
The people, locals and pilgrims are very friendly and its not uncommon to make friends easily here. You may also find youre exchanging contact details quite often. Communication however can be a problem so be ready to resort to sign language.
You will find most shop attendants do speak at least a little english, but its best to learn the basic arabic if you can.
Regardless of this and the fact that I can usually understand most european and asian languages I still had difficulties!
These two Chinese muslims were very friendly, when they notices I had a sore throat they offered me some traditional chinese herbal medicine! Thanks! :)
Address: Makkah , Central
The black stone, Hajara Aswad.
This stone is thought to have come down from Heaven. Scientifically it would be classed as a meteorite.
Some traditions claim that Prophet Adam, the first person on earth, brought down this stone from Heaven when he was expelled from Heaven for disobeying.
The stone itself in its current state was placed by the four tribes of the Quraish, around 1400 years ago, this arrangement was directed by the Prophet Muhammed PBUH., as at the time the tribes quarelled who would set the stone into the Corner wall of the Kaabah.
It is also said that the stone is God's right hand on the world.
This in itself is truly an amazing site and a wonder with regard to the amount of people eager to see or touch it.
Address: On the corner near the door to the Kaabah itself
One of the Basement doors
If you have time between prayers you can certainly sit down and listen to one of the many lecturers in the vast airconditioned basements of the mosque.
Especially during Hajj and Ramadan time there are scholars of Islam that give lectures in a range of languages, everything from Arabic, English, French to Urdu , Hindi or Farsi.
To enter directly into the basement can be tricky as its not always open during off peak times.
There are obviously Friday Sermons too, but these are always in Arabic.
Address: Makkah , Central
The entire area around the Mosque and the the two hills of Safa and Marwah now contain a few hundred outlets where you can obtain the water of Zam Zam.
Originally there was a well, however the King Fahd moved this during the restoration and modernisation of the Mosque. You will now find hundreds of cooler tanks dotted on all floors all over the mosque, as well as taps, and drinking fountains around the mosque which all pump out billions of litres of Zam Zam every year.
Zam Zam water is also provided in the mosque of Medina now too. ( The prophets mosque).
Zam Zam, according to tradition of the Prophet (PBUH), is the best water on both heaven and earth. So its extremely significant to Muslims.
If you research enough you will also find some more amazing facts about the Zam Zam water on the net.
The picture shows one of the main halls from one of the main wings of the mosque. The coloums used to support the structure, are where the cooler tanks are kept., full of Zam Zam water.
Address: Around the Great Mosques in Makkah and in Medina.
The enclosed Safa Marwah walkway.
Now within the compound of the Harem (Mosque), are the Hills of Safa and Marwa. These are the two small hills that Hagar, the wife of Prophet Abraham ran in between, whilst she was alone in the desert with her baby son Ishmail. Ishmail cried for water as Hagar ran between the two sites looking around for water; or for someone that could help her. She ran seven times before water suddenly appeared near Ishmail's feet, where he lay kicking. This area is marked with Green lights.
The water was from an underground spring, now commonly known as Zam Zam.
It is by far, scientifically proven in Europe and USA, the most pure water to be found anywhere.
There is also an abundance of this water as millions and billions of litres of Zam Zam are drunk by millions of Muslims every year that visit and live in Makkah and now also in Medina.
The Saei area, the two hills and the area in between is now covered and has 3 levels. Just like the mosque it self it is airconditioned and there are special facilities and walk ways for disabled people or those within wheel chairs.
To perform this ritual takes about 30-40 minutes normally.
Address: Makkah, Central.
Directions: Within the compound of the Kaabah Mosque.
Main Gate for the Kaabah
This is by far the largest mosque in the world and as far as I know the largest religious place of worship.
There are approximately 2.5 million muslims in the days of Hajj alone who go and visit the holy site.
Apart from the obvious prayers and rituals. It would take you a good few days just to go around the whole structure and admire the intrciate and beautiful Mosque. The whole place is adorned in expensive marble, shipped in from Italy, Spain, Greece etc. There are many carvings, designs and Calligraphy to be found all around the mosque area.
Makkah has the worlds largest Air conditioning system as well as the largest P.A amplifier system.
Note the impressive architecture of the gate and minarets. There are well over 50 entrances to the Kaabah Mosque. About 7 are grand entrances like in the picture.
Directions: Makkah , Central.
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