The Importance and Virtues of Makkah and the Sacred Mosque
The Sacred Mosque (Al-Masjid Al-Haraam) is located in Makkah, a city on the western side of the Arabian Peninsula, and has numerous virtues including the following:
- It houses the Ka‛bah
The door of the Ka‛bah, lavishly inscribed with quotations from the Holy Qur’an
The Ka‛bah is a cube-shaped building located at the centre of the Sacred Mosque in Makkah.
It is the direction towards which Muslims turn in prayer as well as during some other acts of worship which Allah ﷻ commands them to do.
It was built by Prophet Abraham ﷺ and his son Ishmael ﷺ following Allah’s command to do so, and was rebuilt several times throughout history.
As the Qur’an states, “And when Abraham and Ishmael were raising the foundations of the House (the Ka‛bah), [they prayed:] ‘Our Lord, accept this from us, for You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.’” (Soorat Al-Baqarah, 2:127)
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ himself took part in laying the Black Stone in its proper place along with the various Makkan tribes when they rebuilt the Ka‛bah.
- It was the first mosque ever built on earth
Abu Dharr , one of the Prophet’s noble companions, once asked the Prophet ﷺ, “Messenger of Allah, which mosque was built first on earth?” “The Sacred Mosque [in Makkah], he replied. Abu Dharr again asked, “Which was next?” “Al-Aqsaa Mosque [in Jerusalem],” he replied. “How long was the period between them?” Abu Dharr further enquired, “Forty years,” the Prophet ﷺ replied. “Wherever you may be and the prayer time becomes due,” he continued, “offer the prayer there, for virtue lies in offering the prayers at their due times.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 3186, Saheeh Muslim: 520)
- The reward for offering prayers in it is multiplied many times over
The Prophet ﷺ said, “One prayer in this mosque of mine [in Madeenah] is better than a thousand prayers in any other, except the Sacred Mosque [in Makkah], and one prayer in the Sacred Mosque is better than one hundred thousand prayers anywhere else.” (Sunan Ibn Maajah: 1406; Musnad Ahmad: 14694)
- Allah ﷻ and His Messenger ﷺ have declared it sacred
As the Qur’an states, “I have been ordered to worship the Lord of this city which He has declared sacred; everything belongs to Him; and I have been ordered to be one of the Muslims.” (Soorat An-Naml, 27:91)
This verse makes it plain that Allah has declared Makkah a sanctuary and has thus forbidden people from committing injustices or shedding blood in it, chasing its game or cutting down its trees or grass.
The Prophet ﷺ once observed, “Allah, not the people, has made Makkah a sanctuary; therefore, any person who believes in Allah and the Last Day should neither shed blood in it nor cut down its trees.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 104; Saheeh Muslim: 1354)
- It is the dearest of all lands to Allah ﷻ and His Messenger ﷺ
One of the Prophet’s companions once said, “I saw Allah’s Messenger ﷺ sitting on his camel in the Al-Hazwarah market, addressing Makkah thus, “By Allah, you are the best and the dearest of all lands of Allah to Him. Had I not been driven out of you, I would have never left you.” (Sunan At-Tirmidhee: 3925; An-Nasaa’ee’s As-Sunan Al-Kubraa: 4252)
- Allah ﷻ has made pilgrimage to the Sacred House obligatory upon all those who are able to do so
Abraham ﷺ proclaimed pilgrimage to the people and they came to perform it from distant places. According to a Prophetic tradition, all the prophets performed hajj to the Sacred House. Regarding Allah’s command to Abraham ﷺ in this respect, the Qur’an states, “Announce hajj to mankind. They will come to you on foot and on every sort of lean animal, coming by every distant road.” (Soorat Al-Hajj, 22:27)