5 Historical Mosques to Visit in Makkah

Other than Masjid al-Haram, explore lesser-known mosques in Makkah.
by Ustaz Muhammad Fizar Zainal 2019-12-03 • 10 min read
Ustaz Fizar is part of the Asatizah Youth Network (AYN). He spent two years at Rubat Tareem Asy-Syatiri, Yemen studying traditional Islamic learning and holds a Diploma in Arabic Language and a Graduate Diploma in Dialogue of Civilizations from the Syeikh Ahmed Kuftaro Foundation, Damascus.
2019-12-03 • 10 min read

5 Historical Mosques to Visit in Makkah

List of famous mosques in Makkah

Praise be to Allah.

We travel thousands of miles from Singapore to Makkah just so that we can be up close and personal with Kaabah, our direction of Qiblah, and topping it off with our prayers and worship in the beautiful spiritual sanctuary of Makkah. 

As a Believer, nothing in this world beats the front row seat and view of the elegant Kaabah standing in all its majesty in the world’s biggest mosque, Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah. 

kaaba makkah saudi arabia

While performing a single congregational prayer within the compounds of Masjid Al-Haram promises great bountiful rewards by Allah and is highly preferred, Masjid Al-Haram isn’t the only Mosque in Makkah. There are a couple of mosques in Makkah that are rich with history, even dating back to the times of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. 

Definitely, you shouldn’t give these following mosques a miss while you are there. Here’s a list of some of the historical mosques in Makkah that you might wish to explore by yourself during your next Umrah trip or with the Saudi Arabia tourist visa: 

1) Ar-Rayah Mosque 

Masjid Ra'yah Masjid al-Rayah

Image source: Hajj and Umrah Planner

You would definitely see Ar-Rayah Mosque while on your way to Jannat Al-Ma’la. It is located in Al-Hujun, approximately 1 kilometre away from Masjid Al-Haram, along Al-Masjid Al-Haram Road. 

‘Ar-Rayah’ means ‘flag’ in English. Imam Bukhari recorded that our Beloved Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. placed a flag on this very location in Al-Hujun upon entering Makkah during the Conquest of Makkah. 

Following this incident, the companion Abdullah Ibn Abbas built a mosque over it as a monument to commemorate the prophetic act mentioned earlier. 

Amongst the South East Asian pilgrims, this mosque is also known as Masjid Kucing or Cat Mosque, though no further information on this name can be founded and justified till this present day. 

2) Al-Jinn Mosque 

Masjid al-Jinn, Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Image source: Islamic Landmarks

The next mosque you would definitely see after passing by Ar-Rayah Mosque is the Al-Jinn Mosque, approximately just 300 metres away. This mosque is also known as the Al-Harras Mosque, but with the former name being more known and widely accepted. 

This mosque was erected to commemorate the Prophet’s dakwah (missionary work) to a group of Jinn. The Prophet s.a.w. went to this particular location in Al-Hujun with a companion by the name of Abdullah bin Mas’ud. Upon arriving at this location, the Prophet recited verses from The Holy Qur’an and even brought them food, in the form of bones. 

Unlike how the name might suggest, this mosque doesn’t promise any paranormal or mystical experience to the one visiting it. So if you are thinking of gaining some kind of extraterrestrial encounter in Al-Jinn Mosque, just forget about it. 

3) Asy-Syajarah Mosque 

Asy-Syajarah Mosque in Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Just opposite of Al-Jinn Mosque, you will find Asy-Syajarah Mosque. This mosque was erected to commemorate one of the Prophet’s great miracles. 

Sayyidina Umar Al-Khattab mentioned that Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. was performing dakwah in Al-Hujun one day when he was rejected by the non-believers. And with that, the Prophet s.a.w. made dua, “Ya Allah, show me a sign of Your Greatness now, and I will no longer care for the rejection of the disbelievers.” Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. was then asked to signal to a nearby tree to move towards him. 

By the Will of Allah, it came closer to Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. and gave salutations to him. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. then asked the tree to return to its initial position. So what used to be a small commemorative dome is now a mosque in its present location. 

4) Bai’ah Ar-Ridhwan Mosque or Hudaibiyyah Mosque

Bai’ah Ar-Ridhwan Mosque or Hudaibiyyah Mosque, Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Image source: I’timaar

The next two mosques that I will be mentioning are the usual destinations for pilgrims to perform their miqat, or an assigned area for pilgrims to place their intentions of Umrah. 

The first mosque is the Hudaibiyyah Mosque, also known as Bai’ah Ar-Ridhwan Mosque. This mosque is located in the township of Syumaisi, approximately 24 kilometres away from Masjid AlHaram, and approximately 2 kilometres outside the border of Makkah. 

This historical mosque witnessed the companions’ allegiance to Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. This allegiance was later known as Bai’ah Ar-Ridhwan. 

During the 6th year of Hijrah, the Prophet s.a.w. along with a huge company of his companions travelled from Madinah to Makkah in a bid to perform Umrah but the group was stopped by the Quraish army at the border of Makkah. In an attempted move to gain their entry permit into Makkah, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. sent Sayyidina Othman bin Affan alone into Makkah to strike a deal via some form of negotiations with the Quraish. 

But what was supposed to be swift negotiations took days. There was no news from Sayyidina Othman nor were there any updates given by the Quraish. Rumours later spread stating that Othman had been killed. 

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. got really sad and the companions got angry upon hearing this news. That led them to make a pact of allegiance to the Prophet s.a.w. and promised to avenge the death of Sayyidina Othman immediately. 

Upon witnessing this amazing feat, the Quraish guards got scared and immediately released Sayyidina Othman bin Affan back to the Muslims in a bid to avoid any form of confrontation or unprecedented attack. 

It was mentioned that while making the allegiance, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. was standing under a tree while holding on to the hands of Sayyidina Umar Al-Khattab, and with another companion, by the name of Ma’qail bin Yassar, holding on to the branches of the tree to stop it from hitting the Prophet. 

The tree is no longer available now as it has been removed during the Caliphate period of Sayyidina Umar Al-Khattab. But in its place now is a mosque where you can visit and perform your miqat before proceeding to perform your Umrah in Masjid Al-Haram. 

5) Sayyidah Aishah Mosque 

Sayyidah Aishah Mosque, Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Image source: Rabetah

This mosque is not only known as a place to perform miqat but it is also regarded as the iconic gateway of entering into Makkah. 

Being the closest Mosque to the border of Makkah, just approximately 7.5 kilometres north of Masjid Al-Haram, most of the pilgrims coming in from the direction of Madinah will definitely pass by this unique and huge mosque. 

This mosque is also known by the name of Masjid Tan’im. Should you wish to perform additional acts of Umrah alone, outside of the pre-arranged Umrah sessions with your tour group, this is definitely the nearest mosque or miqat area for you to place your intentions to perform your Umrah. 

There are definitely many other historical mosques within Makkah, like the Mosque of Sayyidina Hamzah and Sayyidina Umar Al-Khattab, but their authenticity still remains to be discovered till today. 

The 5 mosques mentioned above are some of the interesting mosques you might want to visit and discover while performing your next Umrah or Hajj! May you be granted an accepted and blessed Umrah insyaAllah! 

And Allah knows best.

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