Masjid al-Haram

Masjid al-Haram

Overview
Al-Masjid al-Ḥarām is the largest mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

 in the world. Located in the city of Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

, it surrounds the Kaaba
Kaaba
The Kaaba is a cuboid-shaped building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and is the most sacred site in Islam. The Qur'an states that the Kaaba was constructed by Abraham, or Ibraheem, in Arabic, and his son Ishmael, or Ismaeel, as said in Arabic, after he had settled in Arabia. The building has a mosque...

, the place which Muslims worldwide turn towards while performing daily prayer
Salat
Salah is the practice of formal prayer in Islam. Its importance for Muslims is indicated by its status as one of the Five Pillars of Sunni Islam, of the Ten Practices of the Religion of Twelver Islam and of the 7 pillars of Musta'lī Ismailis...

s and is Islam's holiest place. The mosque is also known as the Grand Mosque.

The current structure covers an area of 356800 square metres (88.2 acre) including the outdoor and indoor praying spaces and can accommodate up to four million Muslim worshipers during the Hajj
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

 period, one of the largest annual gatherings of people in the world.

Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic tradition holds that the Mosque was first built by the angels before the creation of mankind, when God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 ordained a place of worship on Earth to reflect the house in heaven called al-Baytu l-Ma'mur (Arabic: البيت المعمور, "The Worship Place of Angels").
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Encyclopedia
Al-Masjid al-Ḥarām is the largest mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

 in the world. Located in the city of Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

, it surrounds the Kaaba
Kaaba
The Kaaba is a cuboid-shaped building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and is the most sacred site in Islam. The Qur'an states that the Kaaba was constructed by Abraham, or Ibraheem, in Arabic, and his son Ishmael, or Ismaeel, as said in Arabic, after he had settled in Arabia. The building has a mosque...

, the place which Muslims worldwide turn towards while performing daily prayer
Salat
Salah is the practice of formal prayer in Islam. Its importance for Muslims is indicated by its status as one of the Five Pillars of Sunni Islam, of the Ten Practices of the Religion of Twelver Islam and of the 7 pillars of Musta'lī Ismailis...

s and is Islam's holiest place. The mosque is also known as the Grand Mosque.

The current structure covers an area of 356800 square metres (88.2 acre) including the outdoor and indoor praying spaces and can accommodate up to four million Muslim worshipers during the Hajj
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

 period, one of the largest annual gatherings of people in the world.

History


Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic tradition holds that the Mosque was first built by the angels before the creation of mankind, when God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 ordained a place of worship on Earth to reflect the house in heaven called al-Baytu l-Ma'mur (Arabic: البيت المعمور, "The Worship Place of Angels"). From time to time, the Mosque was damaged by a storm (flood) and was rebuilt anew. According to Islamic belief it was rebuilt by Ibrahim
Abraham
Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

, with the help of his son Ismail
Ishmael
Ishmael is a figure in the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an, and was Abraham's first born child according to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Ishmael was born of Abraham's marriage to Sarah's handmaiden Hagar...

. They were ordered by God to build the mosque, and the Kaaba
Kaaba
The Kaaba is a cuboid-shaped building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and is the most sacred site in Islam. The Qur'an states that the Kaaba was constructed by Abraham, or Ibraheem, in Arabic, and his son Ishmael, or Ismaeel, as said in Arabic, after he had settled in Arabia. The building has a mosque...

. The Black Stone
Black Stone
The Black Stone is the eastern cornerstone of the Kaaba, the ancient stone building towards which Muslims pray, in the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is revered by Muslims as an Islamic relic, which according to Muslim tradition dates back to the time of Adam and Eve.The...

 (Hajar-ul-aswad) is situated on the lower side of the eastern corner of the Kaaba, believed to be the only remnant of the original structure made by Ibrahim. The Kaaba is the direction for all the Muslims to pray across the globe thus signifying unity among all. The Islamic teaching specifically mentions that nothing is miraculous about the Grand Mosque except for the oasis Zamzam
Zamzam Well
The Well of Zamzam is a well located within the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, east of the Kaaba, the holiest place in Islam...

which has purportedly never dried since it was revealed.
Muslim belief places the story of Ismael and his mother's search for water in the general vicinity of the mosque. In the story, Hagar
Hagar
-People:* Hagar , handmaid of Sarah and mother of Abraham's son Ishmael* Hagar Finer, Israeli WIBF bantamweight champion* Albert Hagar, Canadian politician* Mandy Hagar, New Zealand children's author...

 runs between the hills of Safa and Marwah
Al-Safa and Al-Marwah
Al-Safa and Al-Marwah are two small mountains now located in the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia between which Muslims travel back and forth seven times during the ritual pilgrimages of Hajj and Umrah.-History:...

 looking for water for her infant son, until God eventually reveals to her the Zamzam Well
Zamzam Well
The Well of Zamzam is a well located within the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, east of the Kaaba, the holiest place in Islam...

, from where water continues to flow to this day.

After the Hijra
Hijra (Islam)
The Hijra is the migration or journey of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE. Alternate spellings of this Arabic word are Hijrah, Hijrat or Hegira, the latter following the spelling rules of Latin.- Hijra of Muhammad :In September 622, warned of a plot to...

, upon Muhammed's victorious return to Mecca, Muhammad and his son-in-law, Ali ibn Abi Talib, removed all the idols in and around the Kaaba and cleansed it. This began the Islamic rule over the Kaaba, and the building of a mosque around it.

The first major renovation to the Mosque took place in 692. Before this renovation, which included the mosque's outer walls being raised and decoration added to the ceiling, the Mosque was a small open area with the Kaaba at the centre. By the end of the 700s, the Mosque's old wooden columns had been replaced with marble columns and the wings of the prayer hall had been extended on both sides along with the addition of a minaret
Minaret
A minaret مناره , sometimes مئذنه) is a distinctive architectural feature of Islamic mosques, generally a tall spire with an onion-shaped or conical crown, usually either free standing or taller than any associated support structure. The basic form of a minaret includes a base, shaft, and gallery....

. The spread of Islam in the Middle East and the influx of pilgrims required an almost complete rebuilding of the site which included adding more marble and three more minarets.

The mosque was renovated in 1570 by Sultan Selim II
Selim II
Selim II Sarkhosh Hashoink , also known as "Selim the Sot " or "Selim the Drunkard"; and as "Sarı Selim" or "Selim the Blond", was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1566 until his death in 1574.-Early years:He was born in Constantinople a son of Suleiman the...

's private architect and it resulted in the replacement of the flat roof with domes decorated with calligraphy internally and the placement of new support columns. These features (still present at the Mosque) are the oldest surviving parts of the building and are in fact older than the Kaaba itself (discounting the black stone
Black Stone
The Black Stone is the eastern cornerstone of the Kaaba, the ancient stone building towards which Muslims pray, in the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is revered by Muslims as an Islamic relic, which according to Muslim tradition dates back to the time of Adam and Eve.The...

) which is currently in its fourth incarnation made in 1629. The Saudi government acknowledges 1570 as the earliest date for architectural features of the present Mosque.

Following further damaging rain in the 1620s, the Mosque was renovated yet again: a new stone arcade was added, three more minarets were built and the marble flooring was retiled. This was the unaltered state of the Mosque for nearly three centuries.

Saudi Development



The most significant architectural and structural changes came, and continue to come, from the Saudi status of Guardian of the Holy Places and the honorific title of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (the other being the Mosque of the Prophet in Medina
Medina
Medina , or ; also transliterated as Madinah, or madinat al-nabi "the city of the prophet") is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, and serves as the capital of the Al Madinah Province. It is the second holiest city in Islam, and the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and...

) been afforded to King Abdul Aziz
Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia
King Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia was the first monarch of the Third Saudi State known as Saudi Arabia. He was commonly referred to as Ibn Saud....

. Many of the previously mentioned features, particularly the support columns, were destroyed in spite of their historical value. In their place came artificial stone and marble, the ceiling was refurnished and the floor was replaced. The Al-Safa and Al-Marwah
Al-Safa and Al-Marwah
Al-Safa and Al-Marwah are two small mountains now located in the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia between which Muslims travel back and forth seven times during the ritual pilgrimages of Hajj and Umrah.-History:...

, an important part of both Hajj and Umrah
Umrah
The Umrah or is a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year. In Arabic, Umrah means "to visit a populated place"...

, came to be included in the Mosque itself during this time via roofing and enclosement. Also during this first Saudi renovation four minarets were added.
The second Saudi renovations, this time under King Fahd, added a new wing and an outdoor prayer area to the Mosque. The new wing which is also for prayers is accessed through the King Fahd Gate. This extension is considered to have been from 1982-1988.

The third Saudi extension (1988–2005) saw the building of more minarets, the erecting of a King's residence overlooking the Mosque and more prayer area in and around the mosque itself. These developments have taken place simultaneously with those in Arafat
Mount Arafat
Mount Arafat or Mount Arafah is a granite hill east of Mecca. It is also known as the Mount of Mercy . The hill is the place Muslims believe the Islamic prophet Muhammad stood and delivered the Farewell Sermon to the Muslims who had accompanied him for the Hajj towards the end of his life...

, Mina
Mina, Saudi Arabia
Mina is a location situated some 5 kilometres to the east of the Islamic holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. It stands on the road from Mecca's city centre to the Hill of Arafat....

 and Muzdalifah
Muzdalifah
Muzdalifah is an open, level area near Mecca in Saudi Arabia associated with the Hajj. It lies just southeast of Mina on the route between Mina and Arafat. Each year on the 9th day of the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah, after an afternoon of prayer at Arafat , Muslim pilgrims visit Muzdalifah in...

. This third extension has also resulted in 18 more gates being built, three domes corresponding in position to each gate and the installation of nearly 500 marble columns. Other modern developments include the addition of heated floors, air conditioning, escalators and a drainage system.

After the death of King Fahd, the Mosque is went under a fourth extension which began in 2007 and is projected to last until 2020. King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz
Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, is the King of Saudi Arabia. He succeeded to the throne on 1 August 2005 upon the death of his half-brother, King Fahd. When Crown Prince, he governed Saudi Arabia as regent from 1998 to 2005...

 plans to increase the capacity of the mosque by 35% from its current maximum capacity of 800,000 with 1,120,000 outside the Mosque. Right next to the mosque is the Abraj Al Bait Towers
Abraj Al Bait Towers
The Abraj Al-Bait Towers, also known as the Mecca Royal Hotel Clock Tower, is a building complex in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The complex holds several world records, including the tallest hotel in the world, the tallest clock tower in the world, the world's largest clock face, and the world's largest...

 which were completed in 2011 and stand as the largest, and second tallest building in the world.

Northern expansion of the mosque began in August 2011 and is expected to be completed in 1.5 years. The area of the mosque will be expanded from the current 356000 square metre to 400000 square metre. A new gate named after King Abdullah will be built together with two new minaret
Minaret
A minaret مناره , sometimes مئذنه) is a distinctive architectural feature of Islamic mosques, generally a tall spire with an onion-shaped or conical crown, usually either free standing or taller than any associated support structure. The basic form of a minaret includes a base, shaft, and gallery....

s, bringing their total to 11. The cost of the project is $10.6-billion and after completion the mosque will house over 2.5 million worshipers. The mataf (the circumambulation areas around the Kaaba
Kaaba
The Kaaba is a cuboid-shaped building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and is the most sacred site in Islam. The Qur'an states that the Kaaba was constructed by Abraham, or Ibraheem, in Arabic, and his son Ishmael, or Ismaeel, as said in Arabic, after he had settled in Arabia. The building has a mosque...

) will also see expansion and all closed spaces will be airconditioned.

Controversies on expansion


It has been a strong controversy that, expansion of the city Mecca is causing harm to archaeological sites. Many millennium old buildings have been demolished. Here are some examples:
  • The house where the prophet Muhammad was born, has possibly been demolished and turned into a library.
  • The house of Abu jahal has been demolished and replaced by public toilet.

Religious significance


The importance of the mosque is twofold. It not only serves as the common direction towards which Muslims pray, but is also the main location for pilgrimages.

Qibla


The Qibla—the direction that Muslims turn to in their prayers (salah)—is toward the Kaaba and symbolizes unity in worshiping one Allah (God). At one point the direction of the Qibla was toward Bayt al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) (and is therefore called the First of the Two Qiblas), however, this only lasted for seventeen months, after which the Qibla became oriented towards the Kaaba in Mecca. According to accounts from Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

's companions, the change happened very suddenly during the noon prayer at Medina in the Masjid al-Qiblatain
Masjid al-Qiblatain
Masjid al-Qiblatain is a mosque in Medina that is historically important for Muslims as the place where the Islamic prophet Muhammad, leading the prayer, is said to have been commanded to change the direction of prayer from Jerusalem to Mecca. Thus it uniquely contained two prayer niches...

.

Pilgrimage




The Haram is the focal point of the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages that occur in the month of Dhu al-Hijjah
Dhu al-Hijjah
Dhu al-Ḥijjah is the twelfth and final month in the Islamic calendar.This is a very sacred month in the Islamic calendar, marking the end of the year. It is in this month in which the Hajj takes place....

 in the Islamic calendar
Islamic calendar
The Hijri calendar , also known as the Muslim calendar or Islamic calendar , is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. It is used to date events in many Muslim countries , and used by Muslims everywhere to determine the proper day on which to celebrate Islamic...

 and at any time of the year, respectively. The Hajj pilgrimage is one of the Five Pillars of Islam
Five Pillars of Islam
The Pillars of Islam are basic concepts and duties for accepting the religion for the Muslims.The Shi'i and Sunni both agree on the essential details for the performance of these acts, but the Shi'a do not refer to them by the same name .-Pillars of Shia:According to Shia Islam, the...

, required of all able-bodied Muslims who can afford the trip. In recent times, about 3 million Muslims perform the Hajj every year.

Some of the rituals performed by pilgrims are symbolic of historical incidents. For example, the episode of Hagar's search for water is emulated by Muslims as they run between the two hills of Safa and Marwah whenever they visit Mecca.

The Hajj
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

 is associated with the life of the Islamic prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 from the 7th century, but the ritual of pilgrimage to Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 is considered by Muslims to stretch back thousands of years to the time of Ibrahim (Abraham).

Unlike Hajj
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

, the Umrah
Umrah
The Umrah or is a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year. In Arabic, Umrah means "to visit a populated place"...

 or (Arabic: عمرة‎) is a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year.

Kaaba


Literally, Kaaba in Arabic means square house. The word Kaaba may also be derivative of a word meaning a cube.
Some of these other names include:
  • Al-Bait ul Ateeq which, according to one interpretation, means the earliest and ancient. According to another interpretation, it means independent and liberating.
  • Al-Bayt ul Haram which may be translated as the honorable or holy house.

The whole building is constructed out of the layers of grey blue stone from the hills surrounding Mecca. The four corners roughly face the four points of the compass. In the eastern corner is the Hajr-al-Aswad (the Black Stone
Black Stone
The Black Stone is the eastern cornerstone of the Kaaba, the ancient stone building towards which Muslims pray, in the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is revered by Muslims as an Islamic relic, which according to Muslim tradition dates back to the time of Adam and Eve.The...

), at the northern corner lies the Rukn-al-Iraqi (The Iraqi corner), at the west lies Rukn-al-Shami (The Levantine corner) and at the south Rukn-al-Yamani (The Yemeni corner). The four walls are covered with a curtain (Kiswah
Kiswah
Kiswah is the cloth that covers the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is draped annually on the 9th day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, the day pilgrims leave for the plains of Mount Arafat during the Hajj...

). The Kiswa is usually of black brocade with the Shahada
Shahada
The Shahada , means "to know and believe without suspicion, as if witnessed"/testification; it is the name of the Islamic creed. The shahada is the Muslim declaration of belief in the oneness of God and acceptance of Muhammad as God's prophet...

outlined in the weave of the fabric. About three quarters of the way up runs a gold embroidered band covered with Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

ic text.

Imams



Imam
Imam
An imam is an Islamic leadership position, often the worship leader of a mosque and the Muslim community. Similar to spiritual leaders, the imam is the one who leads Islamic worship services. More often, the community turns to the mosque imam if they have a religious question...

s at the Masjid Al-Haram are:
  • Sheikh Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais
    Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais
    Abdul Rahman Ibn Abdul Aziz as-Sudais is the imam of the Grand mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and the "Islamic Personality Of the Year" 2005. In some of his sermons, al-Sudais has vilified non-Muslims and has called for the annihilation of Jews.-Life:Al-Sudais comes from the Anza clan...

     (Arabic: عبد الرحمن السديس). Leading imam; Chief of imams at Masjid Al Haram
  • Sheikh Dr. Saud Al-Shuraim
    Saud Al-Shuraim
    Abu Ibrahim Sa'ud ibn Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ash-Shuraim An-Najdi Ph.d is one of the Imams of the Grand Mosque in Makkah. His family is from the Haraqees of the Banu Zayd tribe of Saudi Arabia....

     (Arabic: سعود بن إبراهيم الشريم). Judge in Mecca High Court; Deputy Chief of imams Mecca.
  • Sheikh Abdullah Awad Al Juhany (Arabic: عبدالله عواد الجهني) (From 2005 during Ramadhan for taraweeh prayers. Appointed as full Imam of Kaabah in July 2007. Ex-Imaam of Al-Masjid(u) 'n-Nabawiy
    Al-Masjid al-Nabawi
    Al-Masjid al-Nabawi , often called the Prophet's Mosque, is a mosque situated in the city of Medina. As the final resting place of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, it is considered the second holiest site in Islam by Muslims and is one of the largest mosques in the world...

    )
  • Sheikh Dr. Maher Al Mueaqly (Arabic: ماهر المعيقلي) Appointed in July 2007 (has led taraweeh in Al-Masjid(u) 'n-Nabawiy
    Al-Masjid al-Nabawi
    Al-Masjid al-Nabawi , often called the Prophet's Mosque, is a mosque situated in the city of Medina. As the final resting place of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, it is considered the second holiest site in Islam by Muslims and is one of the largest mosques in the world...

    in Ramadhan 2005 and 2006)
  • Sheikh Dr. Khaled Al Ghamdi (Arabic: خالد الغامدي) (Appointed after Hajj
    Hajj
    The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

     2008)
  • Sheikh Dr. Salih bin Abdullah al Humaid
    Salih bin Abdullah al Humaid
    Dr. Salih Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah Bin Humaid is the President of Saudi Majlis al Shura .- References :...

     (Arabic: صالح بن حميد). Chairman Saudi Majlis al Shura
    Majlis al Shura
    Majlis al Shura is a transliteration of the Arabicمجلس الشورىwhich means approximately "consultative council", although it has been co-opted as a term for Parliament or Advisory Council. Its pronunciation is approximately "majlis ash-shura"....

  • Sheikh Dr. Usaama bin Abdullah al Khayyat
    Usaama bin Abdullah al Khayyat
    Usaama bin Abdullah al Khayyat, whose full name is Usaamah Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulghani bin muhammad bin Abdel Ghani bin Ibrahim Khayyaat, was born in Mecca in 1951 and memorized the Qur’an at the hands of his father. He took knowledge from many of the scholars of hadith and received from...

     (Arabic: أسامة بن عبدالله خياط).
  • Sheikh Dr.Salih Al-Talib
    Salih Al-Talib
    Saleh bin Muhammed bin Ibrahim Al-Talib is a judge of the high court in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. He became an Imam in the year 1423 AH . Saleh is a sheikh from the Tayy tribe.- Early life and ancestry:...

     (Arabic: صالح ال طالب). Judge in Mecca High Court; appointed in 2003.
  • Sheikh Faisal Al Ghazzawi (Arabic: فيصل غزاوي) (Appointed after Hajj
    Hajj
    The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

     2008)


Former Imams include:
  • The Late Sheikh Abdullah Al-Khulaifi (Arabic: عبد الله الخليفي).
  • The Late Sheikh Ali Jaber
    Ali Jaber
    Sheikh Ali Jaber, ', born Ali ibn Abdullah ibn Ali Jabber ', was born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1951 or 1952...

     (Arabic: على بن عبد الله جابر).
  • The Late Sheikh Umar Al-Subayyil (Arabic: عمر السبيل) (son of Muhummad Al-Subayyil).
  • The Late Sheikh Abdullah Al Humaid (Arabic: عبد الله الحميد). Chief Justice of Saudi Arabia.
  • The Late Sheikh Abdullah Al-Harazi (Arabic: عبدالله الحرازي). Chairman Saudi Majlis al Shura.
  • The Late Great Sheikh Abdullah Khayyat (Arabic: عبدالله خياط).
  • Sheikh Ali Bin Abdur Rahman Al Hudhaify. Now Leading imam; Chief of imams of Al-Masjid(u) 'n-Nabawiy
    Al-Masjid al-Nabawi
    Al-Masjid al-Nabawi , often called the Prophet's Mosque, is a mosque situated in the city of Medina. As the final resting place of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, it is considered the second holiest site in Islam by Muslims and is one of the largest mosques in the world...

  • Sheikh Dr. Salah Ibn Muhammad Al Budair. Lead Taraweeh in 2005–2006; now in Al-Masjid(u) 'n-Nabawiy
    Al-Masjid al-Nabawi
    Al-Masjid al-Nabawi , often called the Prophet's Mosque, is a mosque situated in the city of Medina. As the final resting place of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, it is considered the second holiest site in Islam by Muslims and is one of the largest mosques in the world...

  • Sheikh Muhammed Al-Subayyil (Arabic:
    Arabic language
    Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

     محمد السبيل)
  • Sheikh Adil Kalbani (Led taraweeh 12 A.H)


The imams have a set rota to decide who leads which prayer in Mecca. The rota is decided in advance and the imams' duties change as per the rota.

Muadhins


Nowadays, several families are sharing adhan
Adhan
The adhān is the Islamic call to prayer, recited by the muezzin at prescribed times of the day. The root of the word is meaning "to permit"; another derivative of this word is , meaning "ear"....

 duty in the Masjid Al-Haram. Mulla, Shaker, Rayes, Al-AlAbbas, Hadrawi, Basnawi, Khouj, Marouf and Feedah. Some of these families have been holding this position for hundreds of years like AlAbbas family who are generated from ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib.

Old Muadhins:
  • Ahmad Mohammad Al-AlAbbas (Arabic: أحمد بن محمد بن أمين آل العباس) died in 1924 .
  • Mohammed Hassan Al-AlAbbas (Arabic: محمد حسن بن أحمد آل العباس) died in 1971 .
  • ِAbdulHafith Khoj (Arabic: عبد الحفيظ خوج) .
  • AbdulRahman Shaker (Arabic: عبد الرحمن شاكر) .
  • Ahmad Shahhat (Arabic: أحمد شحات) .
  • Mohammad Ramul (Arabic: محمد رمل) .
  • Hassan Zabidi (Arabic: حسان زبيدي) .


Today, The Mosque has 13 Muezzins :
  • Ali Ahmed Mulla
    Ali Ahmed Mulla
    Sheikh Ali Abdul Rahman Ahmed Mulla is the veteran muezzin at the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Ali Ahmed is up to date the longest serving muezzin for the Masjid al-Haram and has been following his family tradition in this profession for over 31 years...

     (Arabic: على أحمد ملا) (Longest serving Muezzin
    Muezzin
    A muezzin , or muzim, is the chosen person at a mosque who leads the call to prayer at Friday services and the five daily times for prayer from one of the mosque's minarets; in most modern mosques, electronic amplification aids the muezzin in his task.The professional muezzin is chosen for his...

    ).
  • Abdullah Asad Reyes (Arabic: عبدالله أسعد ريس).
  • Abdulaziz Asad Reyes (Arabic: عبدالعزيز أسعد ريس). - Muadhin Passes Away November 2011
  • Mohammed Ali Shaker (Arabic: محمد علي شاكر).
  • Mohammed Yousif Shaker (Arabic: محمد يوسف شاكر).
  • Ibrahim Mohammed Hassan Al-AlAbbas (Arabic: ابراهيم محمد حسن آل العباس).
  • Majid Ibrahim Al-AlAbbas (Arabic: ماجد ابراهيم آل العباس).
  • Farouk Abdulrahman Hadrawi (Arabic: فاروق عبد الرحمن حضراوى).
  • Sheikh Naif bin Salih Wa'dhudeen (Arabic: نايف فيدة). Appointed Chief Of Muadhins 2010 October
  • Ahmed Abdullah Basnawi (Arabic: أحمد عبدالله بصنوي).
  • Ali Mohammed Moammar (Arabic: علي محمد معمر).
  • Toufik Khouj (Arabic: توفيق خوج).
  • Mohammed Siraj Marouf (Arabic:‫محمد سراج معروف ‬).

There are 16 muezzin
Muezzin
A muezzin , or muzim, is the chosen person at a mosque who leads the call to prayer at Friday services and the five daily times for prayer from one of the mosque's minarets; in most modern mosques, electronic amplification aids the muezzin in his task.The professional muezzin is chosen for his...

s at the mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

 now, and during Ramadan
Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and...

 an additional six are appointed. Apart from adhan
Adhan
The adhān is the Islamic call to prayer, recited by the muezzin at prescribed times of the day. The root of the word is meaning "to permit"; another derivative of this word is , meaning "ear"....

, a muezzin
Muezzin
A muezzin , or muzim, is the chosen person at a mosque who leads the call to prayer at Friday services and the five daily times for prayer from one of the mosque's minarets; in most modern mosques, electronic amplification aids the muezzin in his task.The professional muezzin is chosen for his...

 also supports imam
Imam
An imam is an Islamic leadership position, often the worship leader of a mosque and the Muslim community. Similar to spiritual leaders, the imam is the one who leads Islamic worship services. More often, the community turns to the mosque imam if they have a religious question...

s by repeating what they say in a loud voice
Voice
Voice may refer to:* Human voice* Voice control or voice activation* Writer's voice* Voice acting* Voice vote* Voice message-In film:* Voice , a 2005 South Korean film* The Voice , a 2010 Turkish horror film directed by Ümit Ünal...

. This is important, especially during Ramadan
Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and...

, when a large number of worshipers throng the mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

.

1979 Grand Mosque Seizure



The Grand Mosque Seizure on November 20, 1979, was an armed attack and takeover by armed Islamic fundamentalist
Islamism
Islamism also , lit., "Political Islam" is set of ideologies holding that Islam is not only a religion but also a political system. Islamism is a controversial term, and definitions of it sometimes vary...

 dissidents of the Al-Masjid al-Haram. The insurgents declared that the Mahdi
Mahdi
In Islamic eschatology, the Mahdi is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will stay on Earth for seven, nine or nineteen years- before the Day of Judgment and, alongside Jesus, will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice and tyranny.In Shia Islam, the belief in the Mahdi is a "central religious...

, or redeemer of Islam, had arrived in the form of one of the insurgents' leaders, Abdullah Hamid Mohammed Al-Qahtani and called on Muslims to obey him.

The seizure shook the Islamic world as hundreds of pilgrims present for the annual Hajj
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

 were taken hostage, and hundreds of militants, security forces and hostages caught in crossfire were killed in the ensuing battles for control of the site. The siege ended two weeks after the takeover began with militants cleared from the mosque.

1987 riots



On July 31, 1987, Iranian pilgrims staged a demonstration in the city of Mecca. Following the intervention of the Saudi security forces 402 people were killed (275 Iranians, 85 Saudis including policemen, and 42 pilgrims from other countries) and 649 wounded (303 Iranians, 145 Saudis and 201 other nationals).

See also


  • Ḥ-R-M
  • Incidents during the Hajj
    Incidents during the Hajj
    There have been many serious incidents during the Hajj that in total have caused the loss of thousands of lives. Every follower of Islam is requested to visit Mecca during the Hajj at least once in his or her lifetime, but only if they can afford or able to do so...

  • Islamic architecture
    Islamic architecture
    Islamic architecture encompasses a wide range of both secular and religious styles from the foundation of Islam to the present day, influencing the design and construction of buildings and structures in Islamic culture....

  • List of buildings
  • List of famous mosques
  • Masjid al-Aqsa
  • Masjid al-Nabawi
  • Mecca
    Mecca
    Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

  • Medina
    Medina
    Medina , or ; also transliterated as Madinah, or madinat al-nabi "the city of the prophet") is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, and serves as the capital of the Al Madinah Province. It is the second holiest city in Islam, and the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and...


External links