Introduction of Islam
Intrduction of Hajj
Places of Hajj inside Mecca
The focus of the pilgrimage is Ka�ba which was rebuilt by Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) some 4000 years ago. Today, Ka�ba stands in the middle of a large courtyard of Masjid-el-Haram or the sacred Mosque. The courtyard of Masjid-el-Haram contains, besides Ka�ba, the Muqam-e-Ibrahim (place of Ibrahim) and the fountain of Zumzum.
Ka�ba is the first house ever that was built for the worship of One and Only God, Allah. It is also called �Bait-Ullah� (House of Allah), �Bait-ul-Ateeq� (the Oldest House), and Baitul Ma�amoor (Inhabited House).
Muslims, all over the world, face towards Ka�ba to offer their prayers. This house and the places around it have several signs that have been manifested by Allah. Every inch of this land testifies to the fact that Allah never destroys those who offer sacrifices. To commemorate Allah�s signs and to enhance their faith that Allah truly fulfils His promise, Muslims have been ordered to pay homage to the Ka�ba and these other Signs of Allah. Allah the Exalted, says in the Holy Quran:
�Surely, the first House founded for mankind is that at Becca (the valley of Mecca), abounding in blessings and a guidance for all peoples. In it are manifest signs; it is the place of Abraham; and whoso enters it, enters peace� (3:96-97)
Hadrat Ibrahim (peace be upon him) laid a foundation stone for a community in a deserted place by the order of All-Mighty Allah. The he settled his wife, Hajira, and his son, Ishmael, at this place. There was no water at this place and it was not a part of any thoroughfare. The ultimate goal of this unparalleled sacrifice was that his place should serve as a center of universal guidance; that from the progeny of Hadrat Ishmael living in this area would come the greatest prophet whose advent marked the sole cause for the creation of this universe and who would be a mercy for all mankind. The teaching that he brought down would be for the entire world and for all times. In spite of having no sign of any provisions at this place, Hadrat Ibrahim�s (peace be upon him) expectations were superceded. Allah made provisions for water at that place. Slowly the place became populated and was called Becca or Mecca. This was the place where Hadrat Ibrahim (peace be upon him) found lost signs of the first House of Allah that was built for His worship and re-built this house with the help of his son. He fervently prayed to Allah to make this house the �Place for Humanity�.
B. Hajr-e-Aswad (The Black Stone)
There is a black stone in the north-eastern corner of the Ka�ba. This stone is called Hajr-e-Aswad (Black Stone). This stone was probably part of a meteoroid that fell near Mecca on a mountain called Abu Qubais. At the time of construction of Ka�ba, Hadrat Ibrahim brought it down and placed in the corner of the Ka�ba as a great sign and a monument. Anyone who performs pilgrimage is expected to kiss this memorial stone. This stone is part of Allah�s mark and is a sign of Him being the Supreme Being. One loves things that belong to one�s beloved. The same philosophy exists behind kissing the stone. This stone has no power and it provides neither benefit nor harm to anyone.
A short distance away from Ka�ba towards North there is an open space.The place has small walls around it but there is no ceiling.There is a tradition of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) that suggests that this place was left without a roof because not enough wood was available to cover the entire building.A pilgrim should keep this place inside the Tawaaf but it is not right to face towards this place when offering prayers.
The southern part of the wall between the door of the Ka�ba and the black stone is called Multazam. At the completion of the pilgrimage the pilgrims embrace this part of the wall. This is one way of saying good-bye and a way of expression of extreme love for the House of Allah.
The north-western corner of the Ka�ba faces towards Yemen and this is why it is called Rukun-e-Yemeni (Yemen�s Pillar). It is not appropriate to touch or kiss this part during making a circuit of the Holy Ka�ba.
There is a circle of white stone around the Ka�ba. This is the place where the circuit of the Holy Ka�ba is performed during the pilgrimage. The circuit of the Holy Ka�ba is an integral part of the worship offered seven times during Hajj.
G. Muqam-e-Ibrahim (Place of Ibrahim)
There is a small round-shaped building in front of the door of the Ka�ba and the Multazam. This building has a stone that was used by Hadrat Ibrahim to stand on to complete the walls of the Ka�ba. This is called Muqam-Ibrahim (Place of Ibrahim). After completing the seventh circuit during the pilgrimage, two Raka�t of prayer are offered. One gets more blessings if these Raka�ts are offered at the Place of Ibrahim.
A small well is present on the left side of the Place of Ibrahim and to the east of the Ka�ba. This well appeared as a sign when the child Ishmael rubbed his heels on the ground due to his thirst. One drinks water from this well facing the Ka�ba to get blessings.
Around the Ka�ba is a mosque that has a rectangular shape with rounded corners. Pilgrims offer prayers in this mosque by making circular rows and face towards the Ka�ba.
J. Al-Safa and Al-Marwa
Two small hills in Mecca were located in the north of Masjid-el-Haram. Now these hills have been flattened. Hadrat Hajirah ran seven times between these two hills in search of food and water. Pilgrims are ordained to follow her footsteps and go to these hills seven times.