Masjid - Al Haram, Mecca
There are many gates to the Holy Mosque,I believe more than 100 gate.
This is a picture of AL Umra gate,though you can start your Umra from any gate you shall enter.
There is security at each gate to ensure the safety of the people.they check your bags.
No food is allowed to the holy Mosque exept at the time of Ramadan you can bring your dates and drinks to break your fasting after preforming the Maghrib prayers(sun set prayers).
Not many Muslims know that there are many gates at the grand mosque,
my relative from Australia was one of them,she decided one year to visit Makkah for the Hajj(spiritual visit done once in a life time,if a person can afford it),her sister who lives in Paris also decided to do Hajj in the same year,so they called each other,and decided to meet at the gate!
not realising that there are so many gates and there will be more than 2-3 million people preforming Hajj at the same time....
luckly,they did meet at the same time,at the same gate!!
This was way back before mobiles were invented!
this is the most important mosque for moslem because this is where we headed when we pray.
in the inner courtyard, you can find kabah, the black box bulding.
this is the reason most of moslem go to mecca, to visit this mosque. here also you can find zam zam well which is never dry since hundred of years ago...
With an area of some 26 square Km, Makkah is in Sirat Moutains. It is 70 Kms from the port city of Jeddah. The city center of Makkah is the Al-Haram which has got the Holy Ka'aba as well as the Aab-e-Zamzam (The Holy Water).
Saudi government has renewed Al-Haram many times to facilitate as many visitors as possible. In summer time when the tmeperature reaches around 45 C it use to be very difficult to perform Umrah and Hajj but not Al-Haram is fully airconditioned and there is floor cooling system as well. Now Al-Haram is one of the most modern and cleanest Masjid of the World.
According to tradition, the Holy Ka'aba was orginally built by Adam (Hazart A'adam in Arabic and Urdu) and it was rebuilt by Abraham (Hazart Ebrahim) and his son Ishmael (Harat Ismaeel) Now It is the center of Makkah and due to this Makkah is the holiest city of Islam. All Muslims pray in the direction of Ka'aba in Makkah. Al-Haram is the Grand Masjid (Mosque) which has the Ka'aba in its center.
The most famous non-Muslim who somehow managed to visit Makkah and participate in the Hajj in 1853, was the famous British explorer Richard Burton. He distinguished himself as an Afghan Muslim and entered Makkah. I do not know what Saudi Government did with him after that but he came here this is what i know. If you are a non-muslim, i would request you to never try something like this. Saudi's are not bad people at all but do not push them to exercise their laws.
I have no words to explain you my feelings when i was standing there. It was magical. Simply unexplainable. I'll just tell you anything from my experience that i have visited lots and lots of cities and countries but there is nothing in this world which can be even slightly equvilent of Al-Haram in Makkah. If you are a Muslim then u are allowed to visit the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. Please leave everything and come here first ! this is my heartly request to you all. Even if you are plunged in your private business of personal life, just leave everything as it is and visit Al-Haram, beleive in Allah everything will be okay and you'll never regret your decision.
This is The Most Sacred and Holy place in the whole universe for a muslim. People wish for just having a glimpse of it in their whole life. Some blessed ones wish is granted and they visit Al-Haram and the others die with the wish buried in their hearts.
Allah Thanks to Al-Mighty Allah who blessed me and gave me any opportunity to visit Al-Haram.
Makkah is a small city,the Grand mosque is almost the only must see activity in it for muslims,with all due respect to all other reliogions but Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the holy city.
This picture was taken from the second floor of the Holy Mosque,though photography is strickly prohibited,,but I managed to take a shot or two ;-)
It was right after the afternoon prayers(Asr Prayers).