Acording to Islam, Mecca
was founded by Ibrahim
The well of zamzam
exploded under the infant Ismael's feet who was crying while his mother Hajar was searching for water and walking after a mirage
between two hills called Al Safa wa Al Marwa. Meaning: The Pure & The Quench, thinking it is an oasis of water because of the mirage effect, Muslim
s perform the safa and marwa tawaf in memoration of hajar.
Ibrahim and Ismael later Rebuilt the Kaba
literaly meaning: The cube. According to Islam, The Kaba is the first place of worship to God on earth and Jerusalem was the second.
Mecca is mentioned in the old & new testament as paran
Brief history on the expansion of the holy mosque
After the peaceful conquest of Mecca
by prophet Mohammed
, the Kabba (Arabic for cube) had a circular area for worship estimated at 2,000 square meters. The Kabba is located at the center of the city of Mecca
Floods spread through the Holy Mosque in Mecaa. Calpih Omar bin Al-Khattab
supervised the repair of the damage and enclosed the courtyard, adding 500 square meters to the older circular plaza
Caliph Uthman Bin Affan
extended the plaza by an estimated 1,700 square meters and enclosed it.
Abdullah Bin Al-Zubar
increased the area by 3,300 square meters.
Abu Jafar Al-Mansour
added 5,300 square meters.
increased the area by 15,000 square meters.
added another 1,300 square meters.
added 950 square meter entrance hall. The total size of the mosque was 30,200 square meters. This stayed unchanged for over 1,000 years, partially because successive Muslim states neglected the mosque.
King Abdul Aziz Al-Saud
, founder of Saudi Arabia
in 1932, wanted to expand the mosque but never lived to see it. The project began in 1955 after Abdul Aziz's death, it enclosed mount Safa and Marwa
track, the track is called al Mas'a (closest related translation is hunt or seek, since Islamic tradition hold that Haggar
walked between these two mountains thinking that the mirrage
she saw was water), al mas'a was to be enclosed and incorporated into the mosque. Construction was slow paced and lasted for 20 year, by 1976, 300,000 worshipers can perform Hajj
King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz
made further expansions and gave the mosque its current look. The expansion project took 4 years and ended in 1992. The prayer area inside the mosque was 76,000 square meters by now, a basement was built, including ground and first floor as well as a roof. Al Mas'a was incorporated into the Mosque by 1992. An open area surrounding the Mosque was built and measured at 10,000 square meters, the covered combined area is 86,800 square meters. The extension included seven 89 meter minaret
s (towers where prayer calls are made from, the word is Arabic for light, as in guidance, derived from the 3 letter root noun Noon Wow Ra). Additionally, escalators were also added coupled with air conditioning to provide cooling for the worshipers.