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History of Muslims in Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Makkah holds great importance in Islam and Muslims all over the world love Makkah and are devoted to visiting the holy land once in a lifetime for sure. The Holy city is mentioned in the Quran, so you can imagine how worth mentioning the city would be. The city is mentioned in the Holy Quran-the last scripture, with various names by name sometimes metaphorically, as Makkah, Bakkah, Um Al-Qura, This city and this secure trustworthy city. The word Makkah is used to refer to the city in the chapter Al-Fatah in the Holy Quran. The city houses the Holy House of Allah the Kaaba and many other significant places. Makkah is one of the most visited cities and the greatest annual gathering of Hajj and voluntary Umrah takes place in Makkah. Muslim pilgrims visit Makkah to perform Umrah via Umrah packages.

However, if you are looking for Umrah packages 2023 we inform you that you can utilize the availability of Umrah packages. Ramadan Umrah packages are also available, so those who are eager to perform Umrah in the holy month of Ramadan make sure to book Ramadan Umrah packages ahead of time to avoid any inconveniences.

History of Muslims in Makkah

The history of Muslims in Makkah is associated with the birth of the religion Islam. Before the arrival of Islam, in pre-Islamic Arabia, was a mixture of different religions. The followers of polytheism, Christianity, Judaism, and Iranian religions used to live in Makkah. Arab polytheism, the dominant faith system was based on the belief in deities and other supernatural beings such as Djinn. The Arab polytheists had filled the Kaaba with idols of God and goddesses and they used to worship them.

With the beginning of Prophethood, Islam took birth in Makkah. So it is said that Makkah is the origin of Islam and most of its natives are adherents of the majority Sunni branch. Makkah is one of the ancient cities and it was inhabited by the Prophet Ibrahim AS who was commanded to come to Makkah with his wife Hager AS and his son Ismail AS.

Islam and its importance greatly increased with the birth of the Last Islamic Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in 570 AH. The Holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ took the control of Makkah after the conquest of Makkah when he returned eight years later and took the charge. He ﷺ purged Mecca of idols, dedicated it to Allah and declared it a centre of Muslim pilgrimage.

Typically scholars date the creation of Islam and Muslims to the 7th century, considering it the youngest of the major world religions. Islam and Muslim civic started in Makkah, in modern-day Saudi Arabia with the beginning of the divine commands of Allah, when it was declared that Muhammad ﷺ is the last Prophet of Allah.

Islam originated in Makkah

The journey of Muhammad ﷺ as a Prophet of Allah was an initiative of the religion Islam in Makkah. Muhammad ﷺ used to retire often in the cave of Hira on the mountain of light, for meditation in Makkah. He ﷺ was staying in the cave in the month of Ramadan one night when Archangel Gabriel AS appeared and revealed the first message of Allah to him when he ﷺ was forty years old. People can know more through Ramadan Umrah packages.

The cave Hira’ in the Mountain of Light (Jabal Al-Noor) He went out of the cave onto the hillside and heard the same awe-inspiring voice say: “O Muhammad! Allah’s Messenger I am Gabriel. Muhammad ﷺ raised his eyes and saw the angel who was standing in the sky above the horizon in the image of a man. And again the voice said: “O Muhammad! Thou art Allah’s messenger and I am Gabriel.” Muhammad (PBUH) stood still, turning away his face from the brightness of the vision, but wherever he ﷺ turned his face, there stood the angel confronting him.

He ﷺ remained thus a long while till at length the angel disappeared when he ﷺ returned in great distress of mind to his wife Khadija. She did her best to comfort him, saying that his demeanour had been such that Allah would not let a harmful spirit come to him and that she hoped that he ﷺ was to become the Prophet of his people.

On their return to Makkah, she took him to her cousin Waraqa ibn Nawfal, a very old man, “who knew the Scriptures of the Jews and Christians,” he declared his belief that the heavenly messenger who came to Moses of old had come to Muhammad, and that he was chosen as the Prophet of his people. Muhammad ﷺ ultimately believed the tremendous task was imposed on him, becoming filled with the keenness of obedience to His Distress, to understand the reason for the Prophet’s diffidence and his extreme distress of mind after the vision of Hira’, it must have reminisced that the Hunafa, of whom he had been one, sought true religion in the natural world and regarded with distrust the intercourse with spirits of which men “avid of the Unseen” sorcerers and soothsayers and even poets, boasted in those days.

Muhammad ﷺ was a man of humble and sincere intelligence, a lover of quiet and solitude and the very thought of being selected out of all mankind to face mankind, alone, with such a message, appalled him at the first. Recognition of the Divine nature of the call he had received involved a change in his whole mental outlook sufficiently disturbing to a sensitive and honest mind, and also the forsaking of his quiet, honoured way of life. The early biographers tell how his wife Khadija “tested the spirit” which came to him and attested it to be good, and how, with the persistence of the revelations and the conviction that they brought.

Initially, Muhammad ﷺ invited his family to embrace Islam. He ﷺ was preaching to his family and his intimate friends secretly. The first covert from ladies was his wife Khadija RA, the first converts from kids were Ali RA, and the first converts from men were Abu Bakr RA and his servant Zayd RA.

The Quraysh Opposed Muhammad ﷺ and persecuted Muslim

The history of Muslims in Makkah is heart-wrenching as they have gone through the worst torment by the Quraysh and Jews. The new Muslims subjected to oppression and abuse by non-Muslims in the early days of Islam at Makkah. The persecution persisted for twelve years and began from the arrival of Islam which compelled Muhammad ﷺ and Muslims to leave Makkah and migrate to Medina. In the early three years, Muhammad ﷺ preached Islam on the sly. Muhammad ﷺ started preaching Islam openly; as a result, the Arabs started public prosecutions. The Prophet ﷺ and the new Muslims were first disparaged and ridiculed; later the non-believers persecuted and physically attacked them and compelled them to leave Makkah in traditional Mecca’s tribal ways.

Muslims were vulnerable at that time because they were small in strength. When Islam began to spread, the Meccans asked Abu Talib (the uncle and guardian to Muhammad) to stop him or otherwise hand him over to them but he constantly refused to do so.

Abu Talib acted debauched and called on the members of Banu Hashim and Banu al-Muttalib to meet at the Kaaba and persuaded them to recruit that they would protect their clansman, Muhammad. Abu Lahab, another of the Prophet’s uncles and opponent, snubbed to take the pledge and stated he was on the side of the Quraysh.

Valley of Abu Talib—She’eb Abi Talib

After Abu Talib’s rejection, they (Quraysh of Makkah) join together to discuss and decided to draw up a manuscript in which they commenced not to marry women from the Banu Hashim and the Banu al-Muttalib, or to give them women in marriage, or to sell anything to them or buy anything from them (until the Prophet was given up to them to be executed). They drew up a written contract to that consequence and solemnly pledged themselves to observe it. The event enforced Abu Talib to move the clans to a valley called Shi’bi of Abu Talib. This boycott continued for three years and finished when relatives of the clans interfered.

In the next year when Abu Talib, his uncle who supported him in this trial died, Muhammad ﷺ left with no shelter. The aftermaths of the death of Abu Talib were in the political sphere. His successor as chief of the Banu Hashim appears to have been his brother, Abu Lahab. Although Abu Lahab had joine the ‘grand alliance’ against Hashim during the boycott, he said at first to have promised to protect Muhammad in the same way as Abu Talib had done. After a time, however, Abu Lahab formally rejected protection to Muhammad ﷺ because Muhammad alleged Abd al-Muttalib to be in Hell. The loss of security was on the shallow a great disaster for Muhammad and the cause of Islam.

In 622, Muhammad ﷺ and his few hundred followers left Makkah and travelled to Medina, knowing that Quraysh was conspiring to kill Muhammad and put an end to his teachings.

The horrendous tortures upon Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and Muslims

During the stay in Makkah, Muhammad ﷺ his Muslim fellows faced dreadful cruelty and distress by the Quraysh. Yasir a slave and his wife Summayyah bint khabbat (among the first converts) were tortured to death by their master Abu Jahl. Though Muhammad ﷺ was protected by the influence of his family the oppressors didn’t refrain from teasing Muhammad ﷺ and tortured him in the worst ways. Umm Jamil wife of Abu Lahab would dump filth outside Muhammad’s door regularly. An onlooker even mentione that a man from the Quraysh tribe was clutching Muhammad ﷺ’s cloth, this was one of the worst things he ever witnesse the Quraysh doing to Muhammad ﷺ.

It narrated by Abdullah RA that a group of people from Quraysh pagans surrounded Muhammad ﷺ in the state of prostration, Uqbah bin Abi Muait came forward and he was carrying the intestines of a camel. He threw the intestines of a camel on the back of Muhammad ﷺ he didn’t raise his head from prostration until his daughter Fatima RA came and removed the intestines from his back.

Abu Lahab used to hurl stones at Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Two daughters of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ Hazrat Ruqqaiya RA and Umme Khlthum RA were marry to his two sons. To hurt Prophet Muhammad ﷺ’s emotionally he forced both of his sons to divorce Prophet’s daughters.

The companions of Muhammad ﷺ faced barbaric torture and were toldd to leave the true path of Islam. Umayya was the slave master. He was one of the chief opponents of Muhammad ﷺ and Muslims. When Bilal RA attained the honour of embracing Islam by the means of Abu Bakar (RA) while he was enslave to Ummaya Ibn Khalaf, upon knowing about his conversion Umayya Bin Khalf brutally tortured him, Umayya would put a rope around Bilal’s neck and then drag him in the streets of Makkah. He used to wrap Bilal RA in a cow’s hide in the burning hot desert. Bilal would find it challenging to breathe due to the great stench of the contaminated hide. He further put Bilal in chains heavily, lay him on the hot sand and put heavy stones on him.

The slaves were often torture by their masters for apostasy, but the Muslims stood firmly and didn’t step back from the path of Allah. Uqbah ibn Amir hailed from the Juhayna tribe. He embraced Islam and he was one of the principal adversaries of Islam. The Meccan polytheists used to grab his hair and twist his neck.

Muslims Left Makkah & Migrated to Medina

The people of Makkah made it a challenge for Muslims to stay in the city peacefully, so this was the time when Prophet Muhammad ﷺ decided to migrate to Medina from Makkah.

In 622 AH, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ migrated to Medina with his followers to escape persecution. This move was necessary to make the Muslim community stronger. The Holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ set about the first building in Medina, his house and the Prophet’s mosque and the Ansar helped Muslims to settle down in Medina. The building of Islam flourished as the city and its people welcomed Muslims and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ with great love. The Holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ lived for 10 years in Medina, this was the time when Muslims out into an organized community and Arabian power. The Holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ built a theocratic state at Medina and led raids on trading caravans from Makkah.

The Meccan armies attempted several times to defeat the Muslim forces but they failed and a great number of leading Meccans immigrated to Medina and embraced Islam. This was the turning point for Muslims and they emerged more powerfully.

The Conquest of Makkah- A victorious comeback to Makkah

The Conquest of Makkah was a gateway for Muslims coming back to Makkah triumphantly. The Holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ ordered Muslims not to cause any harm unless anyone try to stop them from entering Makkah. He ﷺ instructed his Commanders only to fight those who resist them and make sure not to harm Abdullah Ibn Saad Abi Sarh, Abdullah ibn Khadl and Al-Huwairth ibn Naqid. There were four entryways to Makkah through passing in the hills. The Messenger of Allah divided the Muslim army into four groups, one to go through each way.

On the 18th of Ramadan, the Muslim army entered Makkah. They entered peacefully and shed no blood on the three routes to Makkah apart from that of a group of Muslim Army commanded by Khalid Ibn Al-Walid RA. The rigid anti-Muslims like Abu Sufyan and Ikrimah (Son of Abu Jahl) gathered fighters from the infields of Quraysh and faced Khalid bin Walid’s group of Muslim Army. The Quraysh lifted their swords and bows and attacked the Muslims, however after a petite battle, after losing twelve men the Quraysh left the ground; on the contrary, Muslims lost two of their warriors.

Muhammad ﷺ Entered the Kaaba

Abdullah bin Umar RA narrated, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ arrived at Makkah in the year of Conquest, while Usama RA was riding behind him on his camel, Al-Qaswa, and Bilal RA, Othman bin Talha were accompanying the Prophet, when he ﷺ made his she-camel knelt down near the Kaaba, Muhammad ﷺ said to Othman RA, “Get us the keys of Kaaba”. He RA brought the keys to Muhammad ﷺ and opened the gate of the Kaaba for him. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ along with Usama RA, Bilal RA and Othman RA entered the Kaaba and closed the gate from inside.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ stayed inside the Kaaba for a long period and then came out. The people hurried to get in, but I (ibn Umar) went in before them and found Bilal standing behind the gate and I said to him, “where did He ﷺ pray”? Bilal RA said, “Muhammad ﷺ prayer between those two front pillars.” There was a red piece of marble at the place where the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ offered the prayer.

Muhammad ﷺ Cleansed the Kaaba from the Idols

Inside the Kaaba, the idolater had collected 360 idols representing the different pagan Arab gods; they had posted pictures of Prophet Ibrahim AS and his son Ismail AS and pictures of angels on the wall of Kaaba. The Holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ obliterated all those pictures and broke all idols. Not a single person from Makkah dared to come forward to stop Muhammad ﷺ from breaking their gods.

Abu Sufyan who was the biggest enemy of Islam saw the idols are powerless. He was sure; he will not forgiven, but the prophet Muhammad ﷺ forgave him. The prophet Muhammad ﷺ asked him, “why you embraced Islam”? He said, I saw how these idols were powerless when you broke them and there was indeed no god but Allah.

The Conquest of Makkah opened the gate for Muslims to preach openly, to embrace Islam fearlessly. No one was force to embrace Islam forcefully; the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ allowed everyone to live freely and those who wanted to embrace Islam were welcome. Muslims’ history in Makkah puts the light on the difficulties, challenges and problems they faced in the pre-conquest era and how the polytheists made it worse for Muslims to live in Makkah peacefully, they tried their best to eradicate Islam. They lived a miserable life in Makkah before the conquest of Makkah. Muslims were afflict and oppressed by the opponents of Islam. The Meccan period was a challenging and painful era for Muslims of Makkah and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

The steadiness of Muslims in Makkah shows that even the worse difficulties, the shoddier behaviours and backbreaking experiences didn’t push Muslims to turn their ways from the teachings of Muhammad ﷺ. Muslims of Makkah who have embraced Islam, stood firmly with their Prophet Muhammad ﷺ faced every hardship with him. So Allah granted them the reward of their selflessness and sheer love for Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and blessed them with the conquest of Makkah, the same people who made their lives wretched, were not able to do anything when the Muslims came back to Makkah victoriously. That is how Allah rewards his servants who stick to their paves and don’t turn their back on Islam.

The Conquest of Makkah was a gateway for Muslims to flourish in Islam and to grow the Muslim community without any fear. It helped Muslims to evolve in Makkah and played a vital role in setting down in Makkah.

The Current Population of Makkah Saudi Arabia

The Population of Makkah last recorded in 2015, the number of which was1, 578,722. Its predicted metro population is 2.042 million in 2020. The current rate of area population of Makkah is 2,115,000 in 2022, a 1.73% increase from 2021. This makes it the third most populated city in Saudi Arabia after Riyadh and Jeddah.
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