Saudi Arabia: What is Makkah Like?

A non-Muslim will not be allowed to go inside the Haram boundaries of Makkah.  Therefore I’ve put together some videos that can give readers a glimpse of inside Makkah.

The first video is an individual driving around Makkah.  The video starts with the outskirts of Makkah which brought back many personal memories for me as I have family who live in one of the neighborhoods passed.  The driver then arrives into the city of Makkah.  The large busses which are seen are all busses for transporting pilgrims.

I’d also like to point out that one can clearly see from the video that Makkah is not a flat city built upon the desert.  Instead the area is quite hilly and mountainous in places.

The next video gives readers a tour of the malls of Makkah.  Not all of the malls are shown in this video but it gives an indication of the wide selection of shops and variety that is available in Makkah.  This video was taken during Hajj and readers will see many pilgrims with their shaved heads and wearing the traditional dress for hajj in this video.

This next video was taken last year during Ramadan at the Haram.  In addition to excellent footage of the Haram it also shows the Makkah clock tower.

During Ramadan Muslims observe the Taraweeh prayer.  This video is the Taraweeh prayer which was said at the Haram on the first night of Ramadan.  In Saudi Arabia if a Muslim is not in Makkah or does not go to a local mosque for the Taraweeh prayer, the prayer will be observed on television where it is broadcast live on Saudi Arabian television.  During Ramadan and especially the Taraweeh prayer more women will come to local mosques.

Taraweeh prayers are prayed in pairs of two and can be prayed in at least 20 raka‘āt according to the two major schools (Hanafis, Shafi’i) of Islam. Some believe that 8, 12 or 20 can be read. Malikis say that it is 36. Due to varying numbers, the number of prayers performed is broad in scope. This prayer is performed only during Ramadan of the Islamic calendar after Salāt of Isha’a. Muslims believe it is customary to attempt a khatm “complete recitation” of the Qur’an in Ramadan by reciting at least one juz’ per night in tarawih. Tarawih prayers are considered optional, not mandatory.

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9 Responses

  1. Hi! I’ve been following your blog for a while now, and I still find it just so incredibly interesting! I also appreciate how you update it so often (I know it must not be easy), I visit almost everyday! 😛
    I was curious, though, have you ever entered the city yourself? If so, did you have to convert or did they just not notice?

  2. Wow great videos bro. As you mentioned, as a non-muslim, at least I get to see what’s going on there.

  3. Im curious what Muslims think will happen if nonMuslims actually entered the “holy sanctum” of the two holy mosques? I also find it incredibly hypocritical that of all the things the quran (or god) forbids…as in dont allow this to happen etc….nonMuslims entering those areas is at the top of the list.

    Ive been to both areas and the only special thing about them is that you know that everyone around you is a Muslim…or at least a pretend Muslim. Besides having a spiritual air to them based on their position in the muslim psyche…they are surrounded by shopping malls with muslims scurrying over to shop themselves to death after prayers, intolerant police who ignore the beggars but rush over to confiscate camera phones (no pics, haram), and muslim (have to be muslim in that area) men who are still quite happy grabbing your butt or copping a feel of your breast if given the chance. Same o same o all over the world….just here you know that those doing it are ONLY muslims.

  4. Hmm nice to see in a video, I’ve never been inside , Although i could have gone i guess, since Husband was going.
    I think it gives a lot of people peace and calm. If ine has faith it’s an oasis i guess, else just a tourist spot 🙂

  5. Coolred38: “I also find it incredibly hypocritical that of all the things the quran (or god) forbids…as in dont allow this to happen etc….nonMuslims entering those areas is at the top of the list.”

    Can Only Muslims Visit The Holy Kaaba and Mecca? I used to have the same question until the imam of a local very “progressive” mosque (www.mpvusa.com) answered it for me. Here is part of his email response which makes perfect sense to me:

    O ye who believe! Surely, the idolaters are unclean. So they shall not approach the Sacred Mosque after this year of theirs. And if you fear poverty, Allāh will enrich you out of His bounty, if He pleases. Surely, Allāh is All-Knowing, Wise. (9:28)

    Islām is a universal religion and invites everyone to its fold. There is no discrimination on the basis of religion, race, or culture. However, based on a wrong interpretation of the above verse of the Holy Qur’ān, by most imams and so-called Muslim scholars (employing creative bracketeering/footnoting and hadith), they erroneously claim that non-Muslims cannot visit the Holy Ka`aba or even enter in the two holy cities Mecca and Medina. However, a simple study of the above verse and the perfect and sublime example of the Holy Prophet shows that the above interpretation is incorrect.

    First of all, we need to understand that apparently, only those who associate others with God, I’ll call them idolaters, are declared unclean and prohibited to approach the Sacred Mosque. Their uncleanness or impurity is not physical but spiritual, based on their belief in other gods beside God, their old rituals during Hajj and Umra of naked circling around Ka`aba and having their idols with them. According to Abu Hanifā and certain other Hanafī scholars, these idolaters can enter any mosque, even the Sacred Mosque. However, they are not allowed to perform Hajj and Umra with their idolatrous rituals.

    A scholar, Wahbā Al-Zahīlī, teacher of fiqh and head of department of Islāmic Shari`a in Damascus university, has explained in Vol.6, pg. 434-435 of his “The Islāmic Fiqh and its Arguments”, published by Dar-ul-Fikr: That it is not the meaning of the verse (surely, the idolaters are unclean; so they shall not approach the Sacred Mosque) these people are prohibited to enter Sacred Mosque. The meaning is that they do not perform Hajj or Umra as they used to do in the time of ignorance.

    Secondly, the above verse explicitly declares the idolaters ‘unclean’ and specifically forbids only them to enter the Sacred Mosque and perform idolatrous rituals. Consequently, the followers of monotheistic religions, e.g., Jews, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, etc are not prohibited to visit the Holy Ka`aba and enter in the two holy cities, i.e. Mecca and Medina.

    Another argument in favor of this explanation is that this House of Allāh has been declared in the Holy Qur’ān to be made not only for Muslims but for all of humanity. It is like the annual conference of united nations for ALL humanity. Therefore, a place, founded for all of humanity from day one, cannot be limited to one particular section of people. Surely, the first House founded for mankind is that at Becca, abounding in blessings and a guidance for all peoples. (3:97).

    It is very well known fact that the Mosque of the Holy Prophet in Medina is also a Sacred Mosque. During the life-time of the Holy Prophet, a group of Christian priests visited Medina. This group was not only allowed to enter in the Mosque of the Holy Prophet but also allowed to worship there according to their faith.

    Damn these so-called imams and islamic scholars who have prostituted the pristine message of Islam!

  6. Harry….I agree but my comment was more tongue in cheeck (no idea how to make tongue in cheek smiley 🙂 ) . Muslims make lots of things haram that arent and halal what arent and turn a blind eye to things that need an open eye on them…so this is just another one of those things in my opinon. Who cares if nonMuslims enter these two “holy” sites…whats the worse that could happen? Tolerance and acceptance? OMG call the haya!!

  7. enjoyed this, thanks!

  8. Harry Guggen, Please stop using paste-copy, you over use it, restrain yourself or your future comments will be edited.
    Moderator

  9. coolred38 and harry guggen !!!
    simple question with fair simple answer !!!
    watch this :

    and seriously if you want to see a comparison between islam and christianity ( a fair comparison ) search on youtube about Ahmad deedat !!!

    with my full thanx to Americanbedu site 🙂 !!

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