My outfit for dinner with my in-laws:
Dress – Global Desi
Shoes – Payless, Medina
Bag – Hyderabad, India
Scarf – India
When I went on my Hajj pilgrimage, the tour group that I went with also organized mini activities for some of the extra days we had in Makkah and Medina. Many might not know of its existence but my group and I were taken to visit the exhibition of the two holy mosques’ architecture while we were in Makkah.
Located about an hour’s bus ride away from the main city, this exhibition museum is in the Umm Al-Jude area. This is also the area in which the Kiswa factory exists. This is where the black cloth that is draped over the Kaa’ba is stitched and put together. Private taxis can be hired to visit this place and probably cost less that 200 Saudi riyals both ways.
This museum is home to a large selection of items that date back to the 10th Hijri (in the Islamic calendar) and that were part of the holy mosque in Makkah (the Haram) and Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) mosque in Medina.
It is obvious that some parts of the two mosques like its doors and windows would have been replaced over the years. Its olden parts and inventory are some of what can be seen in this museum today. I personally do not know if there is a certain time period during which this museum is open and closed to the public but if you wish to visit it while you are in Makkah, do be sure to check before driving for over an hour to get there and for it all to be in vain.
The museum includes a main hall which contains the two models of the two holy mosques. Next is the Hall of the Kaa’ba, which contains the models of the Kiswa (covering of Kaa’ba), the old door of Kaa’ba, the weaving machines for the manufacture of the Kiswa and other collectibles. The Hall of Photography includes rare photographs of the two holy mosques. Models of calligraphy in the two Holy Mosques, and a copy of the Holy Qur’an illustrated by Osman bin Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) can be found in the Hall of Manuscripts. The Hall of Zam-Zam includes the general framework of Zam-Zam well prepared in the early 14th Century Hijri and old inscriptions and photographs of the old and new wells of Zam-Zam. And lastly, the Hall of the Prophet’s (PBUH) Mosque includes rare artefacts, in addition to photographs.
The Haram and the Kaa’ba
Two Ka’aba doors were said to have been made during the Saudi rule. The first one was at the time of King Abdul Aziz’s rule in 1363H (1944). It was made of aluminium, buttressed by iron bars and was 2.5 centimetres thick and 3.1 metres high. The front side of the door was covered with silver sheets coated with gold and decorated with inscriptions of Allah’s attributes. While King Khalid bin Abdul Aziz was praying in the Ka’aba in 1393H, he saw some scratches on the door and issued a directive to make the second door, the Bab Al-Tawba, from pure gold. The old door is exhibited at the museum.
Zam-Zam water is freely available around the Haram today. Multiple tabs and bottled containers make this possible. But in the past, the water could only be accessed from the original Zam-Zam well. This well covering and brass bucket is also one of the exhibits of the museum.
All who visit the Haram would notice stone, granite and marble pillars carved with Islamic inscriptions. These too are replaced over the years. Keep in mind that the Haram is rebuilt and reconstructed almost every single year and hence, there are many old parts and items that are replaced and renewed. These include marbled doors, wooden stairways, the old keys and locks of the Kaa’ba, copper fences and so on.
The Prophet’s (PBUH) mosque
This mosque too has undergone changes over the years. Today, it can accommodate over a million worshippers inside its walls as well as outside in its courtyard. Brass, copper and marble are common features once again in many of the items that can be seen in the mosque and in this museum.
Large brass windows with beautiful floral designs stand tall on one side of the wall at the museum of architecture. Next to it, marble pillars gleam in white. An old minaret and brass crescent can also be viewed.
The photographic hall is of great interest. It is a lovely sight to see old images of the two mosques. The Haram has undergone too many changes and looks almost unrecognizable whereas the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) mosque is somewhat similar still today.
Many of the items at the Museum of Architecture are enclosed in glass boxes and behind closed off sections. This is because many Muslims visit from around the world and almost always love to touch and feel these artefacts and items. It might be a tight walk around the entire museum because of the crowd of Muslims that throng inside, but it is definitely worth the while because it is an eye-opener to what used to be and how different they are today.
**As published in the Ceylon Today newspaper**
My first weekly snap after coming back from Saudi Arabia is this picture I took when in Medina. This city is known to be the second most holiest city in Islam after Makkah. Devout Muslims around the world would be able to easily identify the mosque I have captured in this picture. It is Masjid Al Nawabi (the Mosque of Prophet Muhammad PBUH – Peace Be Upon Him) in Medina. I will go into detail about this mosque and the city when I post about my stay there. This picture shows a side view of one minaret of the mosque and also a partial view of the beautiful umbrellas on the outside.
Which girl can go shopping and not end up with a pair of shoes? I certainly can’t! When I found out that Medina had a Payless store, I immediately wanted to go there and have a look at the new styles and designs. Not only were there adorable flats but everything in the store was on sale for SAR50! Now that’s what I call an awesome bargain!
I had a good look around and I ended up with two pairs of flats – one grey pair and another cobalt blue pair.
I love that they are just as much casual pairs as they are dressy in their own way. I already paired the grey one with grey skinny jeans and a printed top the other day when I casually went out with my husband but I know I can pair with a dressier look as well and it would still look great. The same goes for the cobalt blue one. This one I really loved because of the unique style. It’s super comfortable on my feet as well and I can’t wait to wear it out soon.
What are your latest shoe splurges? Comment below and let me know!