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#361 [Permalink] Posted on 6th November 2015 11:57

9 Things You Didn’t Know About The Prophet’s Mosque

Seeing a scene of impeccable beauty, we often hear the term “Heaven on Earth!” But there is only one place that literally has the right to proclaim itself as such. There, deep in the mosque of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) (masjid Nabawi), covered by green carpets and the tears of millions, lies a “garden from the gardens of paradise.” [1] It is a place known to every Muslim who has ever lived, yet there's still much we don't know about it. Here are just some of the interesting facts and mysteries of the Prophet's ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) Mosque:

9. The first place in the Arabian Peninsula to have electricity

When the Ottomans introduced electricity to the Arabian Peninsula, the first place to be lit up was the mosque of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). [2] By some accounts, it would be a few more years before the Sultan himself had full electricity in his own palace in Istanbul. [3]

first place to get electricity in arabia

8. The current mosque is larger than the old city

The current mosque is more than 100 times the size of the original building. [4] [5] This means that the current mosque covers almost the entire area of the old city itself. [6] [7] This is evident from the fact that whereas Jannat Al-Baqi cemetery was on the outskirts of the city during the time of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), [8] it now borders the precincts of the current mosque grounds.

current mosque is larger than the entire city

7. There's an empty grave in the Prophet's ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) room

It has long been the stuff of legend that there is an “empty grave” next to where the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) and Umar raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) are buried. [9] [10] [11] This was confirmed, however, when the individuals who went in to change the coverings in the hujrah* in the 1970s noted the presence of an empty space. [12] Whether or not it is meant for Isa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) when he returns is a matter of debate. [13]

*Note from author: What is meant by “hujrah” in this case is not the actual burial chamber / original room of Aisha (Ra.) This is enclosed in a pentagonal structure with no doors or windows and has not been visible for centuries. The area meant is the entire grilled area encompassing the chamber and area of other rooms.

6. It was destroyed by fire

The majority of the old mosque, including the original mimbar of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), was destroyed in a fire that swept through the mosque centuries after the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) died. The fire was so extensive that the roof and even some of the walls of the room of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) collapsed, revealing his resting place for the first time in 600 years. [14]

5. There was no dome before, now there are two!

For more than 650 years after the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) passed away, there was no dome over his ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) grave. [15] The first one was built in 1279 by a Mamluk sultan and was made of wood. [16] The green dome that we see today is actually the outer dome over the room of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). There is an inner dome that is much smaller and has the name of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) and Umar raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) inscribed on the inside. [17]

4. The dome used to be purple!

Yup – purple. It turns out that the dome has been through various colors and renovations before it reached its current form and colour about 150 years ago. [18]  At one point it used to be white and for the longest period it was a purple-blue colour that the Arabs of Hijaz were particularly fond of. [19] [20]

Purple Dome

3. It has 3 mihrabs

Most mosques only have one mihrab, but the Prophet's ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) mosque has three. The current mihrab is the one used nowadays for the imam to lead prayers. The next mihrab is set back and is called the Suleymaniye or Ahnaf mihrab. [21] It was made on the orders of the Sultan Suleyman the magnificent for the Hanafi imam to lead prayers whilst the Maliki imam lead prayers from the Prophetic mihrab. The Prophetic mihrab completely covers the area that the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) used to lead prayers from except where he placed his feet. [22]

2. What lies in the room of Fatima raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her)?

Items belonging to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) were housed in his room or the room of Fatima raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) which was incorporated into his room after a major expansion. [23] When Madinah was under siege during World War I, the Ottoman commander had many priceless artifacts evacuated to Istanbul, hidden in the clothes of women and children. [24] [25] They can now be seen in the Topkapi Palace. However, intriguingly, some items still remain but are undocumented. [26]

1. It is FULL of secret signs

Yes, the mosque of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is covered with so many subtle signs and secrets that it makes the DaVinci Code look like a cheap puzzle for pre-schoolers. Each pillar, each dome, each window carries a story and indicates the location of events that carry historical and spiritual significance. The people who constructed the Prophet's Mosque realized that it would be impossible to put up signs everywhere as it would distract from the main purpose of prayers. Therefore, they came up with an ingenious way of indicating a location of importance through minor changes in the design of surrounding objects. What are the secrets? Well, that is a story for another day insha'Allah.

secret signs in the mosque

The mosque of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was never just a mosque. It was the center of the first Islamic community and nation. It was the scene of our greatest triumphs and tragedies. It was a community center, homeless refuge, university and mosque all rolled into one.

Like the Muslim community, it has grown over the years and become more modern with each passing generation. But despite the exponential growth and changes from the simple Hijazi date palm trunk interior to the marble and gold clad structure we have today – the inner core remains the same. Perhaps there's a lesson in there for us all.

 

References

1. Sahih Bukhari – Book 30, Hadith 112
2. The holy cities, the pilgrimage and the world of Islam. Sultan Ghalib Al Quaiti, Page 439
4. History of Al Madinah Al Munawarah. Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri. Pg 68 
7. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and the urbanization of Madinah. Assoc Prof Dr Spahic Omer. Research paper. Pages 89-90 
8. Sabiq Al-Sayyid. Fiqh al Sunnah (Kitab Al-'Ibadat) volume 2. Page 148. 
9. Sahih Bukhari. Chapter 23, Hadith 474
11. Sultan Ghalib Al Quaiti, Op Cit. Page 144
14. Sultan Ghalib Al Quaiti, Op Cit. Pages 124-125
15. Ibid Pages 125-127
16. Wafa Al-Wafa, Al Samhudi Pages 608-609
17. Ibid Pages 633 – 636
18. Fusul Min Tarikh Al-Madinah Al Munawarrah. Ali Hafiz. Pg 127 
19. Diaries of Rifat Pasha, Vol 1, Page 464- 465 
20. Sultan Ghalib Al Quaiti, Op Cit. Page 148
21. Ibid Page 144
22. Ibid Page 146 
23. Ibid Page 125 
24. Ibid Page 497
25. The Sacred Trusts: Topkapi Palace Museum. Hilmi Aydin

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#362 [Permalink] Posted on 13th January 2016 10:20
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#363 [Permalink] Posted on 19th February 2016 11:43

Secrets of the Prophet’s Masjid – The Pillars

There are certain pillars in the Prophet’s masjid  in Madinah which have a special significance. Alhamdulillah, the locations of these pillars have been preserved till today. Signs were placed to indicate the names of these pillars known as ‘Ustuwaanah’ in Arabic.

Many people who visit the Prophet’s masjid are oblivious to these pillars or are unaware of the history behind them so in this article, I will illustrate the location of each pillar and tell you the story behind them which took place during the time of the Prophet ﷺ. If you are fortunate enough to visit the Prophet’s ﷺ masjid, try to visit these locations. Mulla Ali Qaari writes:

“Those pillars of the Masjid, which are of special virtue and blessed should be visited by the visitor of Madinah. There he should keep himself busy with optional prayers and supplication.”

1. Ustuwaanah Hannaanah

ustuwanah hannanahThis pillar is located behind the mihrab of the Prophet ﷺ on its right hand side and is the most blessed of the pillars for this was the Prophet’s  place of prayer. On this spot there once used to grow a date palm. The Prophet used to lean on it while delivering the khutbah (sermon). When a minbar was made, the Prophet ﷺ began delivering his sermon from there. When this happened, the sound of crying was heard from the tree and it could be heard around the whole masjid. The Prophet then went to the tree, placed his hand on it and the crying stopped. He then said:

“The tree cries because the remembrance of Allah was near it, and now that the minbar is built it has been deprived of this remembrance in its immediate vicinity. If I did not place my hand on it, it would have cried till the Day of Judgement.”

The pillar which has been placed in its place is called Ustuwanah Hannanah because the word ‘hannaanah’ is used to describe a crying camel.

2. Ustuwaanah A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her)

ustuwanah aisha

This is also called the Ustuwaanah Muhajireen because the Muhajireen (emigrants from Makkah to Madinah) used to sit near this spot. The Prophet  used to offer his prayers at this place before he moved to the place at Ustuwaanah Hannanah. It is also called the Ustuwaanah Qur’ah. The reason for this is that A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that the messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“In this Masjid is one such spot that if people knew the true blessed nature thereof, they would flock towards it in such that to pray there they would cast lots (Qur’ah).”

aisha

People asked her to point out the exact spot which she refused to do. Later on, after Abdullah Ibn Zubair (may Allah be pleased with him) persisted, she pointed to this spot. It is called Ustuwaanah A’ishah because the Hadeeth is reported by her and the exact spot was shown by her.

3. Ustuwaanah Tawbah / Abu Lubabah

ustuwanah abu lubabah

During the battle of Banu Quraydhah, after the enemies had been surrounded by the Muslims, the besieged tribe called on Abu Lubabah (may Allah be pleased with him) to tell them what the Muslims were planning to do with them. Abu Lubabah had previously had dealings with the Banu Quraydhah and after seeing their crying and wailing, he told them what the Muslims were planning to do.

He wasn’t suppose to reveal anything to the enemy and realising his mistake, he became grieved and proceeded to go to the Masjid. He came to a date tree and tied himself to it saying:

“As long as my repentance is not accepted by Allah, I shall not untie myself from here. And the Prophet  himself must undo my bonds.”

When the Prophet ﷺ heard this, he said:

“If he had come to me I would have begged forgiveness on his behalf. Now he had acted on his own initiative, so how can I untie him until such a time that his repentance has been accepted.”

abu lubabah tawbah

For many days he remained tied there without food and water, except for prayers and when he had to answer the call of nature. Then one morning, after a few days, he received the good news that his repentance (tawbah) had been accepted. The companions conveyed the news to him and wanted to untie him but he refused, saying:

“As long as the Prophet  does not untie me with his blessed hands, I shall not allow anyone else to do so.”

When the Prophet  entered for Fajr prayers, he untied him. The pillar is called Ustuwaanah Tawbah (repentance) or Abu Lubabah as it was this very spot in which Abu Lubabah tied himself seeking repentance.

4. Ustuwaanah Sareer

sareer

‘Sareer’ means sleeping place. It is reported that the Prophet ﷺ used to make i‘tikaaf here (seclude himself in the Masjid) and used to sleep here while in i‘tikaaf. A platform of wood used to be put here for him to sleep on.

5. Ustuwaanah Hars / ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him).

‘Hars’ means to watch or protect. This used to be the place where some of the companions (may Allah be pleased with them) used to sit when keeping watch or acting as gatekeepers. ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) used to be the one who would do this often due to which it is also known as Ustuwaanah Ali.

When the following verse was revealed, the Prophet  told his companions that he no longer needed people to keep watch as Allah had promised to protect him.

“..And Allah will protect you from the people..” Surah Al Ma’idah, Verse 67

6.  Ustuwaanah Wufood

‘Wufood’ means delegations, whenever a delegation arrived to meet the Prophet  on behalf of their tribes, they would be met at this place where he used to meet them, converse with them and teach them about Islam.

ustuwanah 3 pillarsilmfeed.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/ustuwanah-3-pillar... 800w" style="margin: 1em 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; max-width: 100%; height: auto !important; display: block; clear: both;" width="800" />

Left: Ustuwaanah Wufud, Middle: Ustuwanah Ali/Haras, Right: Ustuwanah Sareer

7. Ustuwaanah Tahajjud

mihrab tahajjud location

It is reported that this was the spot where late at night a carpet was spread for the Prophet  to perform tahajjud prayer after the people had left. There used to be a niche at this place to indicate the Prophet’s ﷺ place of performing Tahajjud but it has now been hidden with a bookcase as you can see above.

These historical photos show what is hidden behind the bookcase:

mihrab tahajjud old

mihrab tahajjud old 2

8. Ustuwaanah Jibra’eel

This was the usual place where the angel Jibra’eel used to enter to visit the Prophet . Today it cannot be seen as it lies inside the sacred room of the Prophet .

These eight places are special but so is the entire Masjid and the city of Madinah. You cannot take a step except imagine that the Prophet ﷺ or his companions must have tread on that exact space many years ago. 

There are also pillars which indicate the boundary of the original masjid as it was at the time of the Prophet ﷺ. Written on the top of each pillar is ‘this is the Masjid of the Prophet ﷺ’

this is masjid of prophet

The orange circles indicate some of these pillars found in the masjid:

masjid nabi boundary pillars

masjid nabi boundary pillars 2

By: Rafiq ibn Jubair
Info: Adapted from How to Perform Ziyarah by Shaykh Saleem Dhorat

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#364 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd March 2016 09:56
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#365 [Permalink] Posted on 15th June 2016 09:03
100 years old bulb at Prophet’s Mosque
creates online buzz 

 

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.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/938741/saudi-arabia

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#366 [Permalink] Posted on 26th September 2016 09:18
Maqam-e-Ibrahim shines ...
like visitors’ faith

 

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.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/989361/saudi-arabia

 
 
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#367 [Permalink] Posted on 18th October 2016 09:47

Restoration of Fort Quba in Madinah

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#368 [Permalink] Posted on 24th November 2016 09:11
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#369 [Permalink] Posted on 19th December 2016 14:37
What the Kaaba’s interior looks like


 



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.
 



Inside Kaaba






 


Baabut Taubah (door of repentance)



https://www.alarabiya.net/ar/saudi-t...%AE%D9%84.html




360 Inside Kaaba


360 kaaba https://www.facebook.com/ISSA3D/phot...type=3&theater 

 
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#370 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd January 2017 17:42
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#371 [Permalink] Posted on 20th January 2017 09:12
5 things to know about Al Kaaba’s Alabaster

Eight pieces of alabaster that can be perceived on the right door
of al Kaaba’s gutter, so what is the story behind them?

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. 

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/var...Alabaster.html

arabic: https://www.alarabiya.net/ar/saudi-t...%A8%D8%A9.html

 
 
 
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#372 [Permalink] Posted on 23rd January 2017 09:22

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

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#373 [Permalink] Posted on 27th January 2017 12:42
The story behind Abraham’s shrine at the Kaaba
 

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.

When Prophet Mohamed conquered Mecca, he and his companions decided to transport the stone from its original location near the Kaaba to its current location at a distance of more than 10 meters, in order to facilitate the circumambulation ritual and to enable worshipers to pray behind the shrine as described in the Koran.


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.


 


https://english.alarabiya.net/en/fea...the-Kaaba.html



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#374 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2017 09:20
Why Makkah’s marble flooring
is cool to touch



Authorities have brushed off claims that the real reason behind the coolness
was a series of cold water pipes laid beneath the marble floor.

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.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/saudi-ara...ng-cool-touch/

 
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#375 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd February 2017 16:50
Jazakallah for the information. We were also believing that there is an Air/water cooling plant below the floor.
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