I write this post in order to shed some insight in how to utilise the limited amount of days pilgrims stay in Makkah.
Umrah and Hajj are some of the best instances to become closer to Allah and become stronger in your faith by learning more about the religion of Islam in a practical manner, actually visiting, seeing and touching the places of great importance in Islam.
I outline potential places to visit whilst in Makkah, based on my own extensive research conducted whilst visiting with my family.
TIP : Local buses, taxis, and micro-buses are widely available in Mecca and are inexpensive. The 18 km (11 mi) Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Metro opened in November 2010. A total of 5 metro lines is planned to carry pilgrims to the religious sites.
The 18 km (11 mi) Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Metro opened in November 2010. A total of 5 metro lines is planned to carry pilgrims to the religious sites. This metro only operates for 7 days during Hajj.
NOTE: Taxis are the most recommended mode of transport, widely available near Masjid al-Haram. but pay particular attention to language barriers.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You will see many people carrier cars with men shouting “Ziyarat, Ziyarat, Ziyarat”- they operate in a taxi manner, however, be aware this will be a shared experience with those outside of your own family. Make sure to inquire in which language the trip will be conducted, fares and whether there are enough seats to accommodate your entire family. However, this is not always advisable as you lack control as an individual on aspects such as the itinerary and amount of time spent in individual locations.
Step by Step Guide on Completing Ziyarat with Taxis
Before Getting Into the Taxi
- When hiring a taxi make sure the taxi car is in a good condition with air conditioning.
- Enquire what the language of the driver is. The majority of taxi drivers are either Saudi Arabian or Pakistani (South Asian). Many are able to take you on a guided Ziyarat tour themselves with their own narrations. If you require a Ziyarat tour in a specific language with them narrating do not be afraid to turn a taxi driver down if you can not understand them. Taxis are in abundance and another will come along shortly. Though if you are unable to understand/speak Arabic, Urdu or Bengali (a few taxi drivers are Bangladeshi) you can not rely on a taxi driver to provide you with a narration and should take information to read with you.
- Present your ziyarat list to the taxi driver. Make sure they understand where each one is. Before leaving your hotel ask the receptionist to write the Arabic equivalent of all ziyarat to present to an Arabic speaking driver. They will be happy to help.
- Enquire how long they estimate the journey to take.
During Taxi Journey
- The best time to complete ziyarat is between Fajr and Dhuhr or Dhuhr and Asr allowing time for you to return to Masjid – Al – Haram for prayers if simply stopping for 5-10 mins at each ziyarat.
- If you wish to stop for longer make arrangements with the driver at mosques you can pray en route.
- If you wish to stay for longer periods at places of Ziyarat make arrangements for the driver to return at a specific time to pick you up.
Mufti Saeed – +966 54 295 9883 – charges 150 riyals
- Mina. The site of the symbolic stoning of the Devil.
- Muzdalifah The desert where the pilgrims spend the night.
- Hill of Arafat and Jabal Rahma. The site of Prophet Muhammad’s last sermon.
- Jabal Al Noor (lit. The Mountain of Light). While its not part of the Hajj ritual this is still an important site; since atop this mountain is the famous Her’aa grotto, where Muslims believe Muhammed first had the Quran revealed to him.
- Jabal Al Thur. This is the cave in which Prophet Muhammed hid in as he made Hijra to Yathrib (Medina) while being pursued by Meccans who were going to kill him. According to legend, the cave entrance was blocked by a spider which had cast a web to cover it.
- Masjid e Taneem. This is a mosque which acts as a Miqat (boundary for Umrah) for people who have already just been in Makkah.
- Masjid Hudaibiyah. It is situated on the old road connecting old Jeddah to Makkah. It’s currently known as al-Syumaisi. This is the place where the famous ‘Hudaibiyah Treaty’ took place between the Muslims from Madinah led by Prophet Muhammed and the Quraish from Makkah. There is new masjid built next to the ruins of the old masjid.
- Jannat ul Mualla. This is the cemetary in which companions during the time of Prophet Muhammed are buried.
- Masjid Jinn