Masjid ul Haram is one of the iconic mosques of Islam as it is situated in Makkah the purest land of the universe. History of Masjid ul Haram is long and fascinating as it has many twists and interesting facts. As we all know this mosque was built by the two Prophets i.e Hazrat Ibrahim (as) and Hazrat Ismail (as) on the command of ALLAH ALMIGHTY.
They built this Mosque with full devotion and dedication, they built it to enclose the Holy KAABA. As it is the center of prayers, millions of worshipers visit every year to perform their religious rituals.
WHY THIS MOSQUE IS CALLED MASJID UL HARAM:
Haram means forbidden so haram actions and things are not allowed there. The masjid is located in the harbor called The Haram. It is called so as brutality and killing of human beings is not allowed/ forbidden by the Quran. Every inhuman act is strictly forbidden, is it? Cutting trees and the polluting environment is also not allowed in the mosque as it is also a crime.
WHO BUILT IT AGAIN:
It was again Built during the reign of Caliph Omar ibn Al-Khattab (634-644), the mosque has been through many renovations and expansions, especially from 8th to 14th centuries.
The capacity of Masjid ul Haram:
The mosque can comfortably host up to 770,000 worshipers, with a total area of 356,000 square meters (3,831,952 square feet). One of the five pillars of Islam states that every Muslim is obligated to perform Hajj once in their lifetime if they have the strength to take up the expense.
OVERVIEW OF THE HISTORY OF MASJID UL HARAM:
The Mosque, which contains a rectangular central courtyard surrounded by prayer areas, is the place of many pilgrimage rituals. Pilgrims use this courtyard to perform the rituals to move around KA’BAH this is also known as “tawaf”.
Two more scared sites located in the courtyard: the station of Abraham, a stone which Islamic tradition associates with Quranic account of the rebuilding 0f the KA’BAH by Abraham and Ismail and the Zamzam well, a sacred spring.
Immediately to the east and north of the courtyard are Al-Safa and Al-Marwah, two small hills in which pilgrims must run or walk between in a ritual known as the say. In the 20th century, the mosque was adjoined by an elevated passageway between the two hills.
The new architecture is the result of the construction centuries ago. In the pre-Islamic era, the KA’BAH, then a shrine for Arab polytheists, stood in an open space where worshippers gathered to pray and perform rituals. Successive caliphs added partial walls, columns, and ornamental ornamentation.
A more extensive renovation took place under the Abbasid caliph al-Mahdi (775-785), who rebuilt and expanded the structure, relocating the outer walls so that the KA’BAH stood in the center of the courtyard. The mosque was rebuilt again in the 14th century after it was damaged by fire and flooding.
Another mosque reconstruction was performed in 1571 when the Ottoman sultan Selim II ordered the building to be strengthened. Sinan replaced small domes with a flat roof. The Ottoman additions are the oldest remaining parts of the modern structure.
The mosque was modernized and enlarged several times in the 20th century. The first electric lighting system was installed during the region of Hussain ibn Ali (as). An electric public address system was first used in the mosque in 1948. The most drastic changes to the mosque came in the second half of the 20th century when the rise of commercial air travel increased the number of pilgrims to Mecca and Saudi Arabia’s new oil wealth enabled its rulers to fund massive construction projects.
The first Saudi enlargement of the mosque begins in 1955 during the reign of King Saud. The passageway between al-Safa and Al-Marwah was expended and integrated into the structure of the mosque.
Another expansion of the mosque was initiated by King Fahd in 1984 to accommodate the increasing numbers of hajj pilgrims, which rose to more than one million per year in the 1980s. building around the mosque was razed to make room for the expansion and the construction of a wide paved area around the mosque. To ease congestion during the hajj, the building was fitted with escalators, and pedestrian tunnels and passageways were built.
We can say that Masjid ul Haram has a beautiful history and its transitions are marvelous and outstanding one should get lost in its glory when they read about renovations and history of Masjid ul Haram.