Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What do you usually do in a boring lecture?

a 10 minute portrait for Dr Salah .
24 Sept 2008 - class 201 - around 12 am.

It's not very accurate but it wasn't easy to capture his face while continuously talking and moving and using an 0.5 mm pencil but I sketched it. and I think it's not bad. Of course it's not complete. Needs more shading , more details and a better paper to be sketched on, but I was only wasting the time.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Makkah part II: What's going on in the sacred mosque?

People are wondering What's all the work going on inside and around the sacred mosque .Others don't even know there is something going on in the sacred mosque ,the dearest spot on earth to the heart of every Muslim. Maaany many buildings around the haram have been demolished leaving a vast empty area . Huge cranes working all day , a whole new four story Mas'a has been built (almost finished ) and people are performing sa'ay in it right now as you read. This post is mainly about the new extension project in the sacred mosque. Let's first see some photos and discuss the details of the project at the end

Click any photo to view in full size.

Work goes on day and night

This is how a demolished building looks like. Where did I see this before? lakomollah Ya ahla felasteen...

All this area was crowded with buildings.

You can see the two minarets at King Fahd gate, Dar al tawheed intercontinental and king Abdul Aziz Endowment project in the background.

The last three photos were taken from jabal-al-ka'ba street close to the Shamiya area where most of the extension will take place.

The New Mas'aa :

"Lo! (the mountains) As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the indications of Allah. It is therefore no sin for him who is on pilgrimage to the House (of Allah) or visiteth it, to go around them (as the pagan custom is). And he who doeth good of his own accord, (for him) lo! Allah is Responsive, Aware." Quran[2:158]

To know more about Safa and Marwa hills and their significance in Islam follow this link

The distance between Safa and Marwah hills is about 450 meters, so that seven trips between them back and forth would cover 3.15 kilometers. The two hills and the path between them are now inside a long gallery that forms a part of the sacred mosque called "the Mas'aa".

The extension project of the holy mosque included building a new four story Mas'aa beside the old one. The Mas'aa is almost finished now and it's opened for people to perform sa'ay.

From the safa hill, the beginning of Sa'ay.

From the Marwa hill.

The new Mas'aa from outside at the Marwa. still not finished.

same spot as the pervious photo.

Moving back further

Demolition work in the area aroung the Mas'aa

How it's supposed to be at the end.

This is the haram before extension

Is this how the Haram will be after the extension project?. It's a whole city.However the new Mas'aa doesn't appear in this model I wonder why.The sacred mosque currently has nine minarets. eight of them are in pairs .In this photo, three more minarets are added. All the minarets are in pairs except for two of them. The Mas'aa is between those two single minarets.

Another model for the finished project.But this photo is much different from the previous one. Here you can see the new Mas'aa and there is only one minaret standing alone at the Safa mountain and two new huge minarets are added.I wonder which of the two models are they working on. In any case, it's something that every Muslim should be proud of.

for more details about the extension project follow this link

I still have more photos but enough for this post.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


"And (remember) when Ibrahim (Abraham) said, "My Lord, make this city (Makkah) a place of security and provide its people with fruits, such of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day." He (Allah) answered: "As for him who disbelieves, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the torment of the Fire, and worst indeed is that destination!"

"O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Thy Sacred House; in order, O our Lord that they may establish regular prayer: so fill the hearts of some among men with love towards them, and feed them with Fruits: so that they may give thanks. (37) " Quran[14:37]

Muslims allover the world turn their faces to Makkah when they pray. As for the people of Makkah , they face the holy mosque and people in the holy mosque should turn to the Ka'ba. the cube shaped sanctuary that was built by Ibraheem peace be upon him.

Makkah is awesome. the first impression it gives you is that there is a struggle with the cruel nature. The rough surface makes it hard to construct roads or buildings. but those tall buildings everywhere and steep roads will tell you that technology is winning the battle. Long tunnels dug through mountains and hotels built on top of them, and construction work everywhere. God chose this spot for his holy mosque, and therefore all these buildings and roads will be constructed to serve the guests of Allah no matter how rough or hard the surface is. Muslims from all races ,with all colors and from all countries speaking all languages and wearing all costumes . Makkah doesn't manufacture or produce anything. Everything is transported to it. The whole city is centered around the sacred mosque. Indeed the prayers of Ibraheem have been answered.

I will not waste the time talking. Makkah cannot be described by words. not even by photos. But I will try. let's start by the center and heart of the holy city: the sacred mosque.

Note: click any photo to view in full size

First: the Ka'ba and the haram

Very close to the Ka'baThey work continuously to keep the haram shiny

Maqam Ibraheem a very close picture. The photo isn't very clear but you can see the foot print of Ibraheem peace be upon him left on the stone. Some say that Ibraheem used to stand on it while building the Ka'ba to be able to place stones higher, while others say he only stood over it to judge whether the building is upright and stable and this is why it's placed at a distance from the ka'ba.

The haram at night when it gets crowded (Of course it gets much more crowded in Ramadan and during hajj) picture taken from the second floor

People in Tawaf asking forgiveness

The Minarets and the mosque from outside:

One of the two minarets at king Fahd's gate in the early morning light

I failed to capture the two minarets and the gate together in one picture. a part of the minaret is missing. I needed to move further but it was immediately after noon and the sun was in my eye :)The last two pictures above show a bridge near King AbdulAziz gate that leads directly to second floor

The stunning interior:picture is taken from the second floor

picture taken from the same spot as the previous one but this time looking upwards. this is one of the three big domes.

I still have much more pictures to share. pictures of the great extension project carried on in the recent time and the huge demolitions made in many parts around the haram and the newly built Mas'a, other photos for the streets of Makkah. but those are enough for this post.