Makkah’s his­tor­i­cal moun­tains hold sto­ries of past and present

Arab News - - News Saudi Arabia - Tariq Al-Thaqafi Makkah

Makkah’s his­tor­i­cal moun­tains are a win­dow into the holy city’s beauty and grandeur as they over­look all as­pects of the Grand Mosque, while also pro­vid­ing per­fect lo­ca­tions for guides, pho­tog­ra­phers and re­searchers to doc­u­ment, present or learn more about Makkah’s sto­ries from Prophet Muham­mad’s era to the present day.

Saudi pho­to­jour­nal­ist Ab­dul­mohsen Do­man told Arab News that the me­dia and in­ter­na­tional agen­cies use the moun­tains’ van­tage points to get the best shots of Makkah, es­pe­cially dur­ing the Hajj sea­son, when mil­lions of Mus­lims from around the world visit the holy city to per­form the an­nual pil­grim­age.

Mahdi Nafaa Al-Qurashi, who is a Saudi his­tor­i­cal re­searcher and tour guide, said that Makkah is lo­cated in the Ara­bian Shield ge­o­log­i­cal for­ma­tion.

“It is one of the oldest for­ma­tions in the re­gion and is formed from gran­ite rocks in­ter­spersed with reefs and val­leys, the most im­por­tant of which is Ibrahim Al-Khalil Val­ley,” he told Arab News. Al-Qurashi said that the foun­da­tions of the Grand Mosque were built from these moun­tains, es­pe­cially Kaaba Moun­tain.

These moun­tains told sto­ries from his­tor­i­cal times and were as­so­ci­ated with many events, in ad­di­tion to their as­so­ci­a­tion with the Prophet’s his­tory, he ex­plained. He said that the Prophet an­nounced his prophet­hood from the tops of Al-Safa Hill and Mounts Abu Qubays and Quaiqian, which to­gether were re­ferred to as AlAkhshaba­yn.

The Prophet wor­shipped God in the cave of Hira in Ja­bal Al-Nour (Moun­tain of Light) and stayed in Thawr Moun­tain for three days. Khadija bint Khuwaylid was buried at the bot­tom of the Mount of Mercy (Ja­bal Al-Rahma).

All these moun­tains had great his­tor­i­cal sto­ries and con­no­ta­tions, added Al-Qurashi.

Man­sour Al-Da­jani, who is a re­searcher on the his­tory of Makkah, said that one of the most fa­mous moun­tains in Makkah was Abu

Qubays, which was one of the AlAkhshaba­yn and is re­ferred to in the Ha­dith.

“It is lo­cated east of the Grand Mosque and is said to have been the first moun­tain laid on earth,” he told Arab News.

“It over­looks the Kaaba and was known as Al-Amin in the Jahiliyyah (the pre-Is­lamic pe­riod also known as the age of ig­no­rance) be­cause the black cor­ner (the black stone in the Kaaba) was stored in it in the Year of the Flood.”

An­other fa­mous moun­tain was Mount Quaiqian, which is also one of the Al-Akhshabayn. It was known as Ja­bal Hindi.

It is lo­cated west of the Grand Mosque and was called Quaiqian due to the clat­ter­ing sound of weapons. Ja­bal Khen­dama is also one of Makkah’s most fa­mous moun­tains and is lo­cated be­hind Mount Abu Qubays.

Al-Da­jani said that other im­por­tant moun­tains in Makkah in­cluded Ja­bal Al-Nour, which is lo­cated in the north­east at the top of Makkah, to the left of the one lead­ing to Mina.

This is the moun­tain where the Prophet first re­ceived the rev­e­la­tion.

Thawr Moun­tain, lo­cated in the south, is about 3 km from the Grand Mosque.

“The Prophet and (his com­pan­ion) Abu Bakr Al-Sid­diq hid in this moun­tain when they mi­grated to Mad­i­nah,” he added.

Ja­bal Omar was also a fa­mous moun­tain, he said. It was lo­cated west of the Grand Mosque and ex­tended from Al-Shabika to Al-Mes­fala, both fa­mous ar­eas in Makkah. There was also Mount Thubair in the east, op­po­site Ja­bal Al-Nour.

It is where the an­i­mal that Abra­ham sac­ri­ficed in­stead of his son Is­mail is said to have landed. “There have been changes in our time to make things eas­ier for Mus­lims, and this in­cludes the ex­pan­sion of the Grand Mosque,” AlDa­jani said.

“Mount Quaiqian was re­moved for the sake of the Al-Shamiya Ex­pan­sion Pro­ject, the third Saudi ex­pan­sion. In ad­di­tion, Ja­bal Omar was re­placed by the Ja­bal Omar pro­ject. Abu Qubays now houses royal palaces, and tun­nels were es­tab­lished through Ja­bal Khen­dama to clear traf­fic jams, and a health, res­i­den­tial and ho­tel pro­ject will be es­tab­lished on it.” A cul­tural cen­ter will be set up at the bot­tom of Ja­bal Al-Nour so that vis­i­tors can ac­cess in­for­ma­tion about Makkah and Hira cave.

The site will also be pre­pared for the moun­tain to be re­stored as a nat­u­ral land­mark due to its his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance.

HIGH­LIGHTS

Saudi pho­to­jour­nal­ist Ab­dul­mohsen Do­man told

Arab News that the me­dia and in­ter­na­tional agen­cies use the moun­tains’ van­tage points to get the best shots of Makkah, es­pe­cially dur­ing the Hajj sea­son.

A cul­tural cen­ter will be set up at the bot­tom of Ja­bal Al-Nour so that vis­i­tors can ac­cess in­for­ma­tion about Makkah and Hira Cave.

AN photos by Ab­dul­mohsen Du­man

The moun­tains in the holy city of Makkah pro­vide per­fect lo­ca­tions for guides, tell sto­ries from his­tor­i­cal times and have been as­so­ci­ated with many events, in ad­di­tion to their men­tion in Prophet Muham­mad’s his­tory.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saudi Arabia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.