Since long Makkah was ruled by the Sharifs, the descendants of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Down the years, Makkah has always witnessed tremendous growth in size and infrastructure and you can experience it too while visiting the place.
The History of the Holy City – Mecca
Being a sacred city, Makkah has gone through the thick and thin and still today it stands as the holiest city on the planet.
The history and the establishment of Makkah are linked to Prophet Ibrahim (AS) as he was the first to settle along with his family. Makkah was an oasis located on the ancient caravan route that connected the Mediterranean world with South Arabia, Asia, and Africa.
According to Islamic history, Prophet Ibrahim (A.S) and his son Prophet Ismael (A.S) built the Sacred Kaaba as “The House of Allah” and the central pilgrimage point. The city’s religious significance came more into the limelight with the birth of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in 570 BC. He was forced to flee from Makkah but he returned after 8 years, taking full control of the city. He cleared the city of any idols declaring it as the centre for Islamic world.
Makkah: The Source Of Holy Water “Zam Zam”
History also tells us that during those days, Makkah had no water and the place was isolated. Prophet Ibrahim (A.S) and his wife Hajrah were traveling from Syria to Makkah along with their son Ismael. Prophet Ibrahim left them under a tree and was heading back to Syria. Hajrah shouted out to him and asked why he was leaving them there. Ibrahim said that Allah commanded and He will never forsake us.
In that desert, Allah blessed Hajrah and her son with the well of Zam Zam. Upon seeing the source of water, people from all over came and made their dwelling in Makkah.
Later, Ibrahim visited Makkah many times to meet his wife and son and to check on their condition. He was directed by Allah to build the Ka’bah – Allah says (what means): “And [mention] when Ibraaheem (Abraham) was raising the foundations of the House and [with him] Ismaa’eel (Ishmael), [saying]: ‘Our Lord! Accept [this] from us. Indeed, You are the Hearing, the Knowing.’” [Quran 2:127]
Therefore, it becomes evident that the first thing to be established in Makkah was the Sacred place (i.e. the Ka’bah), and that the first water to gush forth from it was Zam Zam.
The Final Restoration of The City
The offspring of Prophet Ismael (AS) spread and grew in the Hijaaz province and families succeeded in taking care of the Sacred House.
Several wars took place over the city. Tribes made their settlements and got uprooted. Ultimately, Qusay bin Kilaab, a great-grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) took over the city and pledged to care for the Sacred House. Qusay brought all the families together, relocated them in the holy city of Makkah and restored the purity of the city.
This marked the beginning of an authority that glorified Makkah and paved the way for Hajj, which offered all types of services to its visitors, such as food, water and the cleaning and maintaining of the Ka’bah.
Hence, Muslim pilgrims are privileged to perform Hajj and Umrah in Makkah and connect to their spiritual roots.
Today, apart from the holy sites, the city is home to grand structures such as Abraj Al Bait or the Clock Royal Tower, historical sites such as Ajyad Fortress and many more.