Skip to content

Makkah (Hejaz) 2015

Click here to read part one of the story.

Stage two of my first ever trip to Islam’s most revered cities (aka Muslim Disneyland) was the main event: the Umrah (i.e. pilgrimage) to Makkah – birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad, where the Quran was first revealed and (according to Muslims) the holiest place in the universe. There are very specific rituals involved in the pilgrimage, which first begin well before you reach Makkah itself…

Makkah weather forecast
God bless air conditioning!!
Journey to Makkah
On the way to Makkah for Umrah. For the pilgrimage, everyone has to dress in two large white sheets. Which is exactly what Muslims are also dressed in for their funerals…
Masjid at Dhu'l-Hulayfah
Masjid at Dhu’l-Hulayfah, meeqat point for people travelling to Makkah from Madinah. i.e. the place where the pilgrimage officially begins.
Masjid at Dhu'l-Hulayfah
Masjid at Dhu’l-Hulayfah, meeqat point for people travelling to Makkah from Madinah. i.e. the place where the pilgrimage officially begins.
Market at Dhu'l-Hulayfah
Market at Dhu’l-Hulayfah

Hilton Suites Makkah

What I cared about most, however, was making sure we were booked into the closest and classiest hotel our budget would allow. (Yes, I am a lazy, lazy man.) I hit the jackpot on discovering the Hilton Suites Makkah was literally across the road from the Grand Mosque. And as I had Gold status in their loyalty programme, I was entitled to a room upgrade and free breakfasts in their restaurant too. They were kind enough to give me a room with a direct view of the Kaaba. Score!!

Hilton Suites Makkah
Hilton Suites Makkah has a beautiful lobby.
Hilton Suites Makkah
Hilton Suites Makkah
Hilton Suites Makkah
Hilton Suites Makkah
View of Kaaba
View of Kaaba from my apartment in Makkah. Spoilt by construction chaos all around the Masjid al-Haram.
View of Kaaba
View of Kaaba from my apartment in Makkah. Spoilt by construction chaos all around the Masjid al-Haram.
View of The Kaaba
View of Kaaba from my apartment in Makkah. Spoilt by construction chaos all around the Masjid al-Haram.

Great Mosque of Makkah

Masjid Al-Haram
My first look inside Masjid Al-Haram…
Masjid Al-Haram
My first look inside Masjid Al-Haram…
Masjid Al-Haram
My first look inside Masjid Al-Haram…

The Kaaba

The Kaaba
The Kaaba
The Kaaba
The Kaaba
The Kaaba

Shameless selfies

If you ever needed proof of how pure and devout I am, here it is! Have you got a selfie of yourself standing in front of the holiest building in the universe? No? Well then obviously I’m better than you. And all I had to do was push a couple of children and a crippled woman out of the way to get the perfect angle. Well worth it when you see how nice the photos came out. 馃檪

Kaaba selfie
Kaaba selfie
Kaaba selfie
Kaaba selfie
Kaaba selfie
Kaaba selfie
Kaaba selfie
Post-Umrah seflie
Post-Umrah seflie. You have to shave your head (or at least trim it) as the last ritual of the pilgrimage.

Jabal Thawr

Jabal Thawr
Welcome to Jabal Thawr
Jabal Thawr
Jabal Thawr

Mount 士Araf膩t

Jabal Al Rahma (i.e. Mount 士Araf膩t)
Jabal Al Rahma (i.e. Mount 士Araf膩t)
Jabal Al Rahma (i.e. Mount 士Araf膩t)
Jabal Al Rahma (i.e. Mount 士Araf膩t)
Jabal Al Rahma (i.e. Mount 士Araf膩t)
The top of Jabal Al Rahma (i.e. Mount 士Araf膩t)
View towards Makkah from top of Jabal Al Rahma
View towards Makkah from top of Jabal Al Rahma

Masjid Nimrah

Masjid Nimrah
Masjid Nimrah
Masjid Nimrah
Masjid Nimrah
Masjid Nimrah
Masjid Nimrah

Masjid Aisha in Tan’eem

Masjid Aisha in Tan'eem
Masjid Aisha in Tan’eem
Masjid Aisha in Tan'eem
Masjid Aisha in Tan’eem
Masjid Aisha in Tan'eem
Inside Masjid Aisha in Tan’eem
Masjid Aisha in Tan'eem
Inside Masjid Aisha in Tan’eem
Masjid Aisha in Tan'eem
Masjid Aisha in Tan’eem

Abraj Al Bait (Makkah Clock Tower)

Abraj Al Bait
Abraj Al Bait
Abraj Al Bait
Abraj Al Bait
Abraj Al Bait
Abraj Al Bait
Abraj Al Bait
The Abraj Al Bait can be seen from well outside the city limits. Especially at night.

Jabal an-Nour

Jabal an-Nour, or “Mountain of the Light”, is a popular tourist attraction in Makkah. According to Islamic teaching, The Prophet Muhammad used to climb to the top and sit in a cave (Ghar-e-Hira) to meditate. This was the location where the angel Gabriel first brought the revelation of Quran to the Prophet.

Jabal an-Nur
View of Makkah from the top of Jabal an-Nur.
Jabal an-Nur
Monkeys living atop Jabal an-Nur
Jabal an-Nur
Monkeys living atop Jabal an-Nur
Jabal an-Nur
Monkeys living atop Jabal an-Nur
Jabal an-Nur.
View of Makkah from the top of Jabal an-Nur.
Ghar-e-Hira
Crowds of people worshipping Ghar-e-Hira
Ghar-e-Hira
Crowds of people worshipping Ghar-e-Hira

People often say the Saudis are racist or that Saudis hate foreigners. Having completed the Umrah I’ll admit I’d not be at all surprised if that were true. The way many pilgrims behave is downright atrocious. It’s bad enough how much littering takes place (at what are supposed to be sacred sites). But this (below) is one of the most egregious examples of the graffiti visitors leave behind. At least in this case, the vandal has let us know his name and the sh*thole country he’s come from.

Jabal an-Nur graffiti
Jabal an-Nur graffiti
Jabal an-Nur graffiti
Published inArabiaAsiaMuslim WorldTravels

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright 漏 2000-2020 Jay Shareef. All rights reserved.