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Monday 13 June 2016
JEDDAH: The social media is abuzz with a photo of an electric bulb used in the Holy Mosque in Madinah in 1325H, more than 100 years ago.
According to information inscribed on the bulb, the date of its installation was the same date when electricity entered the Arabian Peninsula, about 112 years ago.
According a Madinah Municipality website, the mosque’s construction and its expansion during the era of Ottoman ruler Sultan Abdul Majid took place between 1265 and 1277H. Oil lamps were used at that time. Electricity was introduced by Sultan Abdul Majid and the electric bulb was lit inside the Holy Mosque of Madinah for the first time on Shaban 25, 1326H.
The expansion work during King Abdul Aziz’s times took place between 1370H and 1375H. During this period, a special power station was established for lighting the Holy Mosque of Madinah when the number of bulbs or lamps reached 2,427.
Mohammad Al-Sayyid Al-Wakeel wrote in his book, “The Holy Mosque of Madinah,” that the mosque was originally lit by palm fronds. When Tameem Al-Dari came from Palestine in 9H, he changed to oil lamps as was narrated by Abu Nuaim referring to Abu Hurairah who said that the one who first lit a lamp in the mosque was Tameem Al-Dari.
Some historians say that the one who first lit lamps in the mosque was Caliph Omar bin Al-Khattab when people gathered there for Taraweeh prayer. The lamps were then lit by oil.
Sunday 25 September 2016
JEDDAH: Maqam-e-Ibrahim, also knows as the Station of Ibrahim, the rock on which Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) stood while building the upper walls of the Holy Kaaba, receives special attention by the authorities concerned — for cleanliness and as a sign of veneration for the place.
As Prophet Ibrahim, continued laying stones in place, the Maqam-e-Ibrahim miraculously rose as the walls rose.
Maqam-e-Ibrahim is cleaned and its brass fixtures are polished thrice a day, its surroundings are refreshed with oud and perfumed with amber, just like the Black Stone and the doorstep of the Kaaba.
The marble surrounding the structure is also polished once a year, according to the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque.
The old Maqam-e-Ibrahim structure, which was replaced during King Fahd’s reign, is currently on display at the Two Holy Mosques Museum in Makkah.
King Fahd ordered the replacement of the old metal structure with a brass structure, said the museum director Ahmed Al-Dakhil.
The old structure receives a lot of interest from museum visitors, with museum experts providing information to them.
The symbolic impression of Prophet Ibrahim’s feet on the brass case at Maqam-e-Ibrahim evokes keen interest of pilgrims and visitors.
The inscriptions on the covering
of the Kaaba's door
In an area that does not exceed 180 meters square, the Kaaba contains three wooden columns which hold the Kaaba's ceiling.
The wood used is one of the strongest types of wood and they were put by the prophet's companion Abdullah bin Zubair.
They are more than 1,350 years old and are dark brown. The perimeter of each column is around 150 centimeters while the diameter is 44 centimeters.
Each column has a squared wooden base. Between these three columns, there is a pillar from which the Kaaba's gifts are suspended. This pillar passes through all three columns and its sides extend to the northern and southern walls.
The presidency of the two holy mosques told Al-Arabiya that the Levantine corner on the right interior side of Kaaba includes an enclosed staircase that leads to a hatch, which resembles an enclosed rectangular structure without any windows and which has a door with a special lock leading to the ceiling. On the door, there is a beautiful silk curtain that has gold and silver engravings.
The presidency also said that the floor of Kaaba is made of marble. Most of the marble is white while some of it is colored. The walls of the Kaaba's interior are made of colorful and emblazoned marble. The Kaaba's interior is covered with a red silk curtain that has white-embroidered texts which includes some of God's names. This curtain also covers the Kaaba's ceiling.
Inside the Kaaba, there are eight stones decorated with Arabic calligraphy using Thuluth script and one stone decorated with Arabic calligraphy using Kufic script. The words on the stones are made of precious, colorful pieces of marble. These were written after the 6th century AH.
On the eastern wall and between the Kaaba's door and the Baabut Taubah (door of repentance), there is the document of King Fahd bin Abdulaziz al-Saud engraved on a marble board to indicate the date of renovations which the late king made to the Kaaba structure. The number of stones written on inside the Kaaba is thus a total of 10, all made of white marble.
Wednesday, 18 January 2017
Eight pieces of alabaster that can be perceived on the right door of al Kaaba’s gutter, so what is the story behind them?
It is one of the rarest types of marble in the world known as "Mary Stone," characterized by a yellowish brown color, and it is said to be 807 years old.
Mohi Eddine al Hashemi, a researcher in the affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, explained to Al Arabiya: “that the pieces are gifts from the Caliph Abu Jafar al-Mansur when he restored the circumambulation terrace of the Grand Mosque on the year 631; the date was transcribed under a blue colored stone beneath one of the rare pieces of Marble.
The pieces contain fascinating inscriptions. The largest is 33 cm long and 21 cm wide.
Eight marbles were put up in a low place away from the circumambulation terrace and opposite to the location of the eight marbles, where the angel Gabriel taught the prophet how to pray.
They were stolen in 1213 and later found in the heritage of a dead man. They were returned to their initial position in 1377.
Ottoman compass - Qibla indicator
Qibla indicator and sundial, Ottoman Turkey, 1582, Painted ivory,
11 cm diametre, British Museum, London. This instrument was used for finding
the directoion of Mecca (qibla). The smaller dial is a sundial to tell the time
for afternoon prayers.
An Ottoman compass designed to show the direction of Makkah
Monday, 23 January 2017
Mohi Eddine Hashemi, researcher in the affairs of the Two Holy Mosques in Saudi Arabia, explained that God brought down to Prophets Ishmael and Abraham the black stone and the shrine from paradise, after they were ordered to lift the foundations of the Kaaba.
Hashemi added that the shrine stone is marked by two foot prints on them. It is told that after finishing the construction of the old house, Prophet Abraham stood up on the stone; his foot dived into it to commemorate the construction of the sacred house.
Throughout history, it remained adjacent to the sacred Kaaba and one of the landmarks of Mecca.
Hashemi pointed out that the foot prints faded away and the toe marks almost disappeared because the stone was exposed to the public, in which large number of people touched it over the years.
According to historians, the first ruler to cover the shrine was the Abbasid Caliph al-Mahdi.
Caliph Al-Mutawakkil covered it with gold and silver to strengthen it.
In the Saudi era, specifically in the reign of King Faisal, expansion works were ordered and buildings were removed to facilitate the circumambulation rituals for better ease. A crystal glass and a silver cover were installed then installed.
It has been renovated after the restoration works that took place during the reign of King Fahd, heat resistant and shatter proof frosted glass has been placed above the shrine covered in copper encased in gold.
Feb 3, 2017
FOR anyone who has performed the Umrah or Haj pilgrimages, they will have probably noticed the coolness under foot when they stepped onto the marble floors of the Grand Mosque and around the Holy Kaaba in Makkah.
Many have debated the reason behind the cold feeling, given Saudi Arabia’s searing summer temperatures.
The office of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques told Al Arabiya that the main reason was behind the type of marble used.
Saudi Arabia imports rare Thassos marble flooring from Greece that reflects the sun’s rays and in turn the heat during the day.
Authorities have brushed off claims that the real reason behind the coolness was a series of cold water pipes laid beneath the marble floor.
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.