About The al-Haram Mosque
The al-Haram Mosque, also known as the Holy Mosque or Al-Masjid al-Haram, is renowned as the world’s holiest mosque.
Located in the sacred city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, Muslim pilgrims from around the globe travel to the al-Haram Mosque during the last month of the Islamic calendar – Dhu al-Hijja – as the culmination of the Hajj pilgrimage. It is considered the duty of Muslims to undertake this pilgrimage at least once during their lifetime.
Initially constructed during the reign of Caliph Omar Ibn al-Khattab (634-644), the al-Haram Mosque has since undergone several renovations and has been expanded numerous times, notably in the eighth and fourteenth centuries. However, the current incarnation of the mosque mostly dates back to 1571, when Ottoman Sultan Selim II ordered that it be rebuilt.
The focal point of the al-Haram Mosque – and in fact the site it was built around – is the Ka’ba. Muslims believe that this structure, which predates Islam but has since been rebuilt on numerous occasions, was first built by the prophet Ibrahim and his son Ismail as a place of worship.
It came under the remit of the Prophet Muhammad and his tribe, at which time it was already attracting pilgrims from surrounding areas. It was also at this time that the Black Stone, still housed in the Ka’ba, became a holy Muslim relic.