Masjid al-Haram (Masjidil Haram / Al-Masjid al-Haram) is the most important place for Muslims. It is the largest mosque in the world and also known as the Grand Mosque. The second largest mosque is Masjid al-Nabawi and it is located in Medina. Masjid al-Haram is located in the city of Mecca (Makkah) Al Mukharamah, Saudi Arabia. Makkah is a Haram area, where the non-Muslims are not allowed to enter this area. Masjid al-Haram was built surrounds the Kaaba (Kaabah). Kaaba is a Qiblat (Qibla or Kiblah) for Muslims. The Qiblat is a center point of direction for Muslims. All Muslims around the world must facing toward Qiblat during the Solat (prayer). The Grand Mosque can accommodate up to four million people at one time.
Lately, the demand was increasing drastically because Islamic population getting bigger. The current size is very limited and not enough to fulfill the current demand. That’s why there is a quota to control the number of travelers from every country especially during the Hajj season and Ramadan season. The Saudi government is doing something to solve the problem.
Currently there is a mega construction to extend the mosque. This is a fourth extension which began in 2007. In the future, Masjid al-Haram can support more people from all around the world. The overcrowded problem is very dangerous to the travelers. According to the statistic, at least 2400 Muslim pilgrims have been killed in stampede since 1990. I hope with a bigger mosque, it can solve many problems.
Few days before we leave Medina, we also grab the chance to visit other places of interest apart from al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina such as Uhud and al-Qiblatain mosque.
Uhud was located about 5km from Medina. The battle between the Muslims and the Meccans (Quraysh) was happened here at the valley that located in front of the mount Uhud on year 625. The Muslim army was lead by Prophet Muhammad, Saidina Hamza ibn Talib and Saidina Ali. There are about 70 Muslims died in this battle. The enemies are outnumbered about three times more than the Muslim army. The victory goes to Quraysh.
After that, we went to Masjid al-Qiblatain (Mosque of the two Qiblas). The historical event was held at this mosque where in the past the Muslims have been commanded to change the Qibla (the direction of prayer) about 180 degrees turn from Jerusalem to Makkah (Mecca).
Few days later, we left Medina and move forward to Makkah. I love al-Masjid al-Nabawi. I cannot wait to visit that place again in the future.
Al-Qiblatain mosque (Mosque two Qiblas) seen from outside. Architectural design which greatly good!
On last year, my family and I went to Saudi Arabia to do the Umrah. Before we do the Umrah at Makkah, we have visited Medina. We took Saudi Arabian Airlines. We arrived at Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport (IATA:MED – ICAO:OEMA) around 03:00 on April 18. This airport is the fourth busiest airport in Saudi Arabia and located in the western city of Medina.