Welcome to the land of black gold, endless sand dunes and the famed Bedouin hospitality. The land of Saudi Arabia romanticized by Thesiger and Lawrence, is for the adventurous traveller who seeks to explore a wondrous land of secrets and magic hidden deep within the soft sand. As a Muslim country, thousands of devotees enter the kingdom annually to partake of the Mecca pilgrimage, the holiest city in Islam, where Prophet Muhammad avowed the religion of Islam. Millions of pilgrims visit the city as a fulfilment of a requirement in their religion that one must visit the holy city of Mecca at least once during their lifetime.
Al-Masjid al-Haram also known as the Scared Mosque is the largest mosque in the world able to hold up to four million believers at a time. This vast structure surrounds the Kaaba, a building shaped in the form of a cube to which millions of Muslims face while conducting their daily prayers. Approximately five miles from the Holy Kaaba and the Al-Masjid al-Haram is the Masjid Taneem. Situated in the area of Al-Hil, the Masjid Taneem mosque is the ideal halfway-house for Mecca devotees to rest.
Also referred to as Masjid-e-Ayesha as Ayesha, Prophet Mohammed’s wife, had put her Ihram at this place, the mosque is used as a place to perform Miqat, a place to put on ones pilgrim garments on the way to Mecca. As the prophet says, ‘Part of the worship of Hajj and Umra is to travel in the way of Allah and to go out of the city’; a person living in the city of Mecca wishing to partake in the Umra or the pilgrimage to Mecca must first travel to Masjid Taneem to enter into the state of Ihram and return to the city clad in pilgrim clothes. This journey also fulfils the condition of pilgrims travelling to the city. With modern day amenities to better assist those who visit, this large mosque has excellent bathing, changing and ablution facilities for the pilgrims as well as for those who use the mosque for regular prayers.
With a superb view of the holy Kaaba and mosque is Raffles Makkah Palace. This Makkah hotel situated directly opposite the mosque provides a calm oasis for pilgrims to reflect on their prayers and rites. It is also one of the most luxurious hotels in Mecca and offers a most comfortable stay.