Photographs From Makkah, Part 1

The place is packed with people performing the tawaaf immediately after the Faj’r prayers.


Most people prefer to perform tawaaf before sunrise. The heat during daytime is almost unbearable. I say almost because thousands of people still circumambulate the ka’aba despite the harsh summer temperature. I see a man standing with a tray containing several plastic cups of water for the thirsty pilgrims, while another man stands with a box of tissue paper in each hand. People do whatever good they can to maximise their chances of reaping rewards and pleasing the Creator.

Shops open just when the sun begins to rise, and close down during prayers.


The city of Makkah wakes up just before dawn to offer prayers. The place is abuzz with people so that it feels like it’s 8 am and not 4:30 am. Almost every merchandise—prayer mats, beads, scarves, compass that shows direction of ka’aba, etc—is made in China, and is over-priced.

Jebel al Thawr: The mountain where the spider incident took place.


Jebel Thawr is the mountain that contains the cave in which the Prophet Mohammed (sallalahu alaihi wassalam) and Abu Bakr (razi allah taala anhu) sought refuge for three days and nights from the Quraysh, as they left Makkah and emigrated to Madina.

Train (Metro) in Makkah that will be a tremendous help to the pilgrims.


It’s called the Mashair Railway, but also known as Makkah Metro. The trains have the capacity to transport 72,000 pilgrims in an hour. Nine stations have been constructed in Arafat, Mina and Muzdalifa, each having three stations.



Built in the second century of Islam, this masjid is located in the plains of Arafat, at the same place where the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) delivered his last sermon. Shortly after the Prophet (peace be upon him) had finished addressing the people, he received a revelation from Allah:

“Today I have perfected your religion for you and completed My favor upon you, and I have chosen Islam as your religion.” [5:3]

PS: Notice the water sprinklers in the picture above. I am impressed to see these scattered all over Arafat so that the mist keep the pilgrims cool.

PPS: All photographs taken with Kodak point & shoot camera.


  1. awwww Nadoo. Ur pictures made me cry yaar. I miss that sunrise time when you’re leaving the masjid and people are setting their shops on streets… everything is so pretty!!!
    I miss those streets. I have spent so many rayals in the name of 5 rayal loot sale there..

    1. I agree with you, Pervisha; I also miss the mornings in both Makkah and Madina. We didn’t do much shopping though since I noticed that 90% of stuff being sold isn’t locally produced. We did but dates and it’r though.

  2. Like the idea of Mecca Metro, we are planning iA on Hajj sometime, so better facilities = good news.

    Do you know that part of the Masjid Nimarah lies outside the Arafah, the area you are supposed to stay in during Hajj, so people praying on Arafah during Hajj are warned not to be in that area! I wonder why they would build it like that.

  3. Assalaam Alaikum Nadia,

    Beautiful shots! MashaAllah. 🙂

    Thanks for posting a picture of Jabal Thawr. I’ve always wanted to see what it looks like. I’ve been to Umrah once when I was younger during the time we lived in Saudi Arabia, but I can’t wait to go for Hajj, Insha’Allah! It’s one thing to see these places in pictures, but really something else to visit them in person.

    1. Walaikum Assalam, Sara! You are most welcome. We hired a taxi to show us around these places. We also made sure the driver spoke Hindi/Urdu 😀 And yeah, the pictures don’t do justice to the place.

  4. Wonderful pics,Nadia! I thought the last pic of the water-sprinker, is a modernized lamp-post 😀

    The three stations you mentioned that the Metro will use,is that all part of the rites of pilgrimage? I know that modern conveniences help us a great deal,I don’t deny it.But do you feel the commercialization(like lots of shops,grand buildings etc) of the holy place a good idea? Sooner or later(which is here) the place will never look the same as 1400 centuries ago.Do you think it will help us reconnect to the experience of the prophet(saw) there? And Mezba’s input is interesting as well.Thanks for sharing part of your experience,Nadia.I appreciate it!

    1. Thank you, Lat! I actually scrolled back up to see why you thought they were lamp-posts 😀

      Yes, all stations are built in places that are part of the hajj rituals. It will ease the traffic and make traveling a lot easier and comfortable (considering how most people do hajj with children and older people).

      What I am not comfortable with is the fact that the ka’aba is surrounded by these imposing five-star hotels. I understand the need for hotels and all (they do need to open more restaurants, in my opinion), but they appear so imposing.

      However, I also don’t think that it is practical to *not* develop the place. Considering the growing number of Muslims pilgrims each year, they have to expand the place and facilities to accommodate everyone.

      1. Thanks Nadia for sharing some of your views.

        Frankly I don’t like too much modernization of the pilgrimage.For me I think the authentic feel of it will be gone if not many landscapes here have changed so drastically that I sometimes wonder if it was the place I grew up. Just like how you said about the impossing hotels,the kaaba is made small or in a way it is a distraction esp so as you have been there before.

        We must ask ourselves why we go for haj.Everything that holds deep meaning for us does not come easy.We must struggle and become able and that will make for more fulfilling achievement.The things I read how poeple struggle to go haj and all makes me sad.I can go on and on forever so I better stop here.Thanks again for your reply! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Misha! I’ve also heard that photography is prohibited in Haram, but no one actually checks, and lots of people take pictures. However, it’s very strict in the ladies’ section in Madina. Even with thousands of crowds coming in to pray, they check each bag.

    1. Thank you so much, dpsa. Masood and I are well by the Grace of Almighty; just a bit busy though. I have to visit so many blogs including yours. I miss reading your posts.

    1. Thank you, Jonathan. That place is one of the most photographed places by Muslims, but we still can’t seem to have enough of it.

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