Sunday, 8 July 2012

Signs of the Last Hour " The Belly of Makkah "

The Saudis have spoiled Mecca – but the British Museum doesn’t want you to know
Go to the British Museum’s Hajj exhibition if you want a close-up look at Egyptian textiles and medieval Turkish manuscripts.

But if you want to find out the truth about Mecca, and specifically how the Saudis have destroyed and spoiled some of the holiest sites in the Islamic world, you’d be better off staying at home to read this jaw-dropping article in the New Yorker by Basharat Peer. (Below)

Here’s what the British Museum didn’t let on in its blockbuster exhibition, which I visited last month.
Looming large over the Grand Mosque and the Kaaba (the black cube-shaped building that is the holiest site in Islam) is the largest and second tallest building in the world, called the Royal Mecca Clock Tower complex.

You can’t miss it (see pic above) – unless, it seems, you’re a British Museum curator. The 2,000-foot hotel certainly didn’t feature in the exhibition.

Peer, a recent pilgrim to Mecca himself, writes with disdain:

 “When I walked along the western wall of the Kaaba, the Clock Tower felt like a concrete djinn staring down at me, dwarfing the mosque. Filled with resentment, I lowered my head in anticipation on each circumambulation.”

When he enters the Clock Tower complex, he discovers it has the feel of “the duty-free section of the Dubai airport”.

“The ground floor is devoted to retailers: stores that sell alcohol-free perfume, prayer mats, and Hajj memorabilia, British and Italian clothing boutiques; luggage shops filled with Samsonite travel bags and Prada totes…”

No wonder some Muslims feel so at home in Harrods.
And the situation in Mecca is worsening: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah plans to redevelop the centre of the holy city into “high-rises and shopping malls”. Mecca's mayor, Osama al-Bar, justifies all this by saying that “a tower is very much like a mountain in its height”.

Never before have "mountains" looked so garish and distressingly ugly.

The most shocking details – which Nick Cohen and Mehdi Hasan have also written about – are to do with the destruction of sites that were once considered extremely holy by many Muslims. 

They were razed because the Wahhabis, who conquered Mecca in 1924, believe that “revering structures with ties to the Prophet can lead to idolatrous practices”. To that end, the house of Mohammed’s wife, Khadijah, was destroyed – and in its place now is a “complex of hundreds of bathrooms”.
The prophet’s own birthplace was first turned into a cattle market, then a public library.

Call me naive, but I trusted the British Museum (of which, by the way, I’m a paid-up member) to give me the full, uncensored picture.

I should have paid more attention to the ominous note at the entrance:

In partnership with King Abdulaziz Public Library, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.”

By Will Heaven : April 12th, 2012
The Daily Telegraph


Modern Mecca

ABSTRACT: A REPORTER AT LARGE about the hajj and the transformation of Mecca. The hajj pilgrimage, which draws between two million and three million people every year, has become a modern spectacle: it has been described by a Saudi Arabian Minister of Hajj as resembling “twenty Super Bowls in one stadium, when two million will come, and ... these two million people will actually be taking part in playing the game.”

The Saudi government controls the flow of visitors through quotas, allowing each country one pilgrim for every thousand Muslim citizens. Five hills used to form a rim around central Mecca, but since 1944, when one was razed to build a palace for royal guests, they have gradually been covered or diminished by development.

 In medieval times, Mecca was a small, elegant town, its streets lined with traditional houses. The oil boom of the second half of the twentieth century brought modern technology to Saudi Arabia, but the aesthetic refinement of classical Islamic architecture began to disappear.

Starting in the mid-seventies, the old houses were replaced with drab towers. Modern Mecca feels as if it were built by a people without history or tradition—a sprawling imitation of modernist architecture.

Before he died, in 1953, King Abdul Aziz ordered the first expansion of the Grand Mosque since the seventeenth century. A Yemeni migrant, Mohammad bin Laden, who had impressed the King with his skill and diligence, was given the contract. Work began in 1955, and most of the historic marble columns were replaced with artificial stone; three three-hundred-foot minarets and two gates were rebuilt.
In early 2002, King Fahd demolished an ochre-colored Ottoman fortress that had been built in 1781 on Mt. Bulbul, one of the five hills that overlooked the Kaaba, to guard Mecca from tribal raids.
On the site, King Abdullah started building the Abraj al-Bait tower complex, also known as the Royal Mecca Clock Tower complex. Constructed, at a cost of two billion dollars, by the Binladin Group, it is a cluster of connected towers housing a multistory shopping mall, food courts, a hospital, luxury hotels, prayer rooms, parking lots, and helipads. At almost two thousand feet, the Clock Tower is seven times the height of the minarets of the Grand Mosque. It is the largest, and second-tallest, building in the world.
The transformation of a holy city.
by Basharat Peer April 16, 2012


The Belly of Makkah


The incident occurred inside a 600-yard-long and 35-foot-wide pedestrian tunnel (Al-Ma'aisim tunnel) leading out from Mecca towards Mina and the Plains of Arafat. The tunnel had been worked on as part of a $15 billion project around Mecca's holy sites started two years earlier by the Saudi government


Time to Move The Mountains


At-Tabarani narrated  from Anas,
 “So the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Every building,’ and he gestured with his hand like this above his head, ‘which is more than this is unwholesome.’”

It is narrated from ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, that he wrote,

 “Do not make your buildings tall, because it is the worst of your days.”


The Abraj Al-Bait Towers, also known as the Mecca Royal Hotel Clock Tower, is a building complex in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The complex holds several world records, such as the tallest hotel in the world, the tallest clock tower in the world, the world's largest clock face and the building with the world's largest floor area. The complex's hotel tower has become the second tallest building in the world in 2012, surpassed only by Dubai's Burj Khalifa.

Clock Tower 


The Prophet(s) said:
"When you see tunnels/canals being dug in Makkah
then know that the day of judgement is close."

(Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah)

It is narrated by Sayyidina Abdullah bin Umar that:
"When the belly of Makkah will be cleft open and through it will be dug out river-like passage (i.e. tunnels) and the buildings of the Holy City of Makkah will rise higher than its mountains when you observe these signs, then understand that the time of trial is near at hand"
[ (Kitab al-Fitan (1:43 no. 59) and Fath al-Bari (Kitab al-Hajj)]

Sayyiduna 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr (RA) is reported to have said: "...When you see tunnels/canals being dug in Makkah Mukarramah and the buildings (of Makkah Mukarramah) higher than the peak of the mountains then know that Qiyamah is close." [Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah, hadith: 14306]




Abu’z-Zinad narrated from al-A’raj that Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
 “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,
 ‘The Hour will not arise until people compete with each in making tall buildings.’” 

Burj Khalifa:

 known as Burj Dubai prior to its inauguration, is a skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and is the tallest manmade structure in the world.

Kingdom Centre:
also called Kingdom Tower is a skyscraper located in the city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It is the second tallest skyscraper in Saudi Arabia with a height of 302.3 m (992 ft).

Kingdom Tower:

Arabic: برج المملكة Burj al Mamlakah), previously known as Mile-High Tower Arabic: برج الميل‎‎), is a supertall skyscraper approved for construction in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia at a preliminary cost of SR4.6 billion (US$1.23 billion). It will be the centerpiece and first phase of a SR75 billion (US$20 billion) proposed development known as Kingdom City that will be located along the Red Sea on the north side of Jeddah.

Kingdom Tower, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia :

Worlds Tallest Tower

China To Build Tallest Skyscraper 
In 90 Days

Sky City in Changsha- south-east China- will be a 220-storey structure standing at an incredible 2,749ft (838m)

Sky City is expected to cost around £400 million, significantly less than the £940 million Burj Khalifa which took more than five-years to build.
Broad is still awaiting final approval from the Chinese government, but it is hoping the project will get off the ground towards the end of December 2012 and be completed before April 2013.

Building the World's Tallest Structure 

Dubai Creek Tower

Signs of the Last Hour

Signs of the Last Hour - Tall Buildings

In the famous Hadith of Jibril which we often hear, what we don't usually know is that in the same hadith the Prophet actually prophesied about the appearance of tall buildings at the end of time.  

`Umar ibn Khattab (Allah be well pleased with him) said: "As we were sitting one day before the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), a man suddenly appeared. He wore pure white clothes and his hair was dark black—yet there were no signs of travel on him, and none of us knew him. He came and sat down in front of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), placing his knees against his, and his hands on his thighs. He said, "O Muhammad! Tell me about Islam." 

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, "Islam is to bear witness that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God; and to perform the prayer; pay zakat; fast Ramadan; and to perform Hajj to the House if you are able." The man said, "You have spoken the truth," and we were surprised that he asked and then confirmed the answer. Then, he asked, "Tell me about belief (iman)."
 The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, "It is to believe in Allah; His Angels; His Books; His Messengers; the Last Day; and in destiny—its good and bad."
The man said, "You have spoken the truth. Now, tell me about spiritual excellence (ihsan)."
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, "It is to serve Allah as though you behold Him; and if you don't behold him, (know that) He surely sees you."

"Now, tell me of the Last Hour," asked the man.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, "The one asked knows no more of it than the one asking."

"Then tell me about its signs," said the man.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, "That slave women give birth to their mistresses; and that you see barefoot, unclothed, beginning shepherds competing in the construction of tall buildings."

Then the visitor left, and I waited a long time. Then the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked me, "Do you know, Umar, who the questioner was?" I replied, "Allah and His Messenger know best."He said (Allah bless him and give him peace), "It was Jibril. He came to you to teach you your religion." [Sahih Muslim]

Among the signs of the Hour mentioned by the Noble Messenger of Allah - Allah bless and greet him and his Family and Companions - in Sahih al-Bukhari is "when the destitute (al-buhm) camelherds compete in building tall structures."

Another version in al-Bukhari has: "when the barefoot and the naked are the top leaders (lit. "heads") of the people."

In Sahih Muslim: "you shall see the barefoot, naked, indigent (al-`âla) shepherds compete in building tall structures."

Another version in Muslim states: "when the naked and barefoot are the top leaders of the people."

A third version in Muslim has: "when you see that the barefoot and naked, the deaf and dumb are the kings of the earth." 

Ibn Hajar said in commenting this passage of the hadith in Fath al-Bari: 
It was said that "bear-foot and naked," "deaf and dumb" are their attributes by way of hyperbole, showing how coarse they are. That is, they did not use their hearing or sight in anything concerning their Religion even though they are of perfectly sound senses. The Prophet's (PBUH) words: "The heads of the people" means the kings of the earth.

Abu Farwas' narration names the kings explicitly. What is meant by them is the people of the desert country, as was made explicit in Sulayman al-Taymi's and other narrations: "Who are the barefoot and naked?"
 He answered: "The Bedouin Arabs." 

Al-Tabarani relates through Abu Hamza, on the authority of Ibn `Abbas from the Prophet Muhammad, sallahu alayhi wa sallam, that "one of the signs of the change of the Religion is the affectation of eloquence by the rabble and their betaking to palaces in big cities." 

Al-Qurtubi said: "What is meant here is the prediction of a reversal in society whereby the people of the desert country will take over the conduct of affairs and rule every region by force. They will become extremely rich and their primary concern will be to erect tall building and take pride in them. We have witnessed this in our time as well as the import of the hadith: "The hour will not rise until the happiest man will be the depraved son of a depraved father (lukka` ibn lukka`)," and also "if the leadership is entrusted to those unfit for it, then expect the hour," both found in the authentic collections.


The End is Closer Than You Think


The End is Closer Than You Think