Ramadan also known as Ramzan is a sacred month. It is a time for devotion, spiritual reflection, and self-reformation. During this month, Muslims across the globe observe fasting which is one of the five pillars of Islam. The holy book of Muslims, the Quran Shareef was revealed to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) during this month in the cave of Hira, located near Makkah. The modern-day Makkah city has been known with different names throughout history. Allah also has mentioned about Makkah with names Bakkah, Al-Balad, Al-Qaryah, and Ummul-Qura in the holy Quran. Makkah is the site where the holy site of Kaaba is located. Makkah is also the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and thus witnesses millions of pilgrims during the auspicious month of Ramadan. The city is surrounded by areas that are unmatched in its historical and religious significance.
Places To Visit in Makkah During Ramadan
During the month of Ramadan, the sacred destination of Makkah is beautifully decorated, and it is an absolute delight to experience the celebrations. Tourists can visit local bazaars set up for Ramadan and can be part of the Qiamullail prayers that begin before Sahur. There are many sites that are a must for visiting while observing Ramadan in Makkah.
- Al-Masjid al-Haram
While spending Ramadan in Makkah, Al-Masjid al-Haram is a significant place to visit. It is also called the Great Mosque of Mecca and encloses the holy Kaaba. Millions of pilgrims visit this mosque and offer prayer during Ramadan as it is an ideal place for different pilgrimage rituals.
- Cave of Hira
Situated around 10 km from the holy Kaaba, the Cave of Hira was the place where Prophet Muhammad secluded for the entire month of Ramadan. It is during the last 10 days month of Ramadan, that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was visited by the angel Gabriel and the holy Quran was revealed to him.
- Mount Arafat
Mount Arafat also known as Jabal-Ar-Rahmah is amongst the holy places to visit in Makkah during Ramadan. It is the place from where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) delivered his Farwell Sermon to his companions. It is also believed by some that it is at this place Adam and Eve were pardoned after which they reunited. That’s the reason it is also known as Jabal ar-Rahmah, meaning ‘Mountain of Mercy’.
- Hijr al-Aswad
Hijr al-Aswad is a black stone which is located in the eastern corner of the Kaaba. This stone is of great significance as per the Islamic tradition it was set into the wall of Kaaba by the Prophet himself. People visiting the Great Mosque of Mecca during holy pilgrimages perform the act of kissing this stone while circumambulating the Kaaba known as the ritual of Istilam.
- 5. Jabal al-Thawr
As believed by the Islamic traditions, Jabal al-Thawr is the place where Prophet Muhammad and along with his companion took refuge from a trader of Arab tribe (Quraysh) on the way to Medina.
- 6. Safa and Marwa
Near to the holy Kaaba, there are the small historical hills of Safa and Marwa. While performing the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages, pilgrims perform Saee by going back and forth the hills of Safa and Marwa seven times. This act is performed in remembrance of the mother of Prophet Ismail and her struggle to quench the thirst of her infant child. Pilgrims also rest at these hills inside the Haram to say prayers and offer duas.
Things to do During Ramadan in Makkah
The holiest city of Islam Makkah has a lot to offer to the pilgrims during the holy month of Ramadan. From offering prayers at historic sites of religious importance to exploring the malls, there are a lot of things that pilgrims can do during their visit to Makkah in Ramadan.
- Offering prayers at the Grand Mosque
Offering prayer at the one of the holiest sites in the city i.e. Al-Masjid al-Haram is considered to be one of the most important things to do in Makkah during Ramadan.
- Visiting the Abraj Al-Bait Towers
This government-owned complex that comprises seven hotels is located in the center of Makkah and stands in close proximity to the Great Mosque of Mecca. Abraj Al-Bait Towers comprise two huge prayer rooms in order to accommodate pilgrims visiting the Kaaba. It also comprises an observation center for the moon sighting and a museum of Islamic Art. These towers also comprise supermarkets, food courts, pharmacies, and shopping malls, from where pilgrims can buy souvenirs for their loved ones during Ramadan. Once can even enjoy picturesque views of the Grand Mosque from the Abraj Al-Bait Towers
- Exploring Al-Zaher Palace Museum
This museum is a must visit for those who are fond of Islamic history. Accentuating important archaeological discoveries of Saudi Arabia and pre-Islamic history exhibits, one can revisit Islamic history at this museum in Makkah.
- Shopping at the beautiful Makkah Mall
Makkah Mall is a huge shopping center displaying a large number of entertainment areas and shopping brands. Ramadan month is the best time to visit this shopping mall to gain the benefit of attractive marketing schemes and lucrative discounts which are introduced to gain customers’ attention.
- Enjoy iftar in Makkah
Dates and Saudi coffee are allowed during Iftar in the Grand Mosque. People also distribute dates with the intention of earning extra rewards. Pilgrims can offer prayers at the religious site as well as eat iftar served in the mosques in Makkah. The Ramadan month witnesses dramatic changes along with eating habits, and some common dishes are replaced with special Ramadan dishes. There are many eating joints in Makkah which offer delicious special meals for Iftar during Ramadan.
Visiting Makkah during Ramadan pilgrims can be part of great celebration and devotion. All the alluring and divine holy sites just add a whole aura of celebrating Ramadan in Makkah.