Makkah museum is a haven for holy artifacts

Makkah museum is a haven for holy artifacts
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Makkah museum is a haven for holy artifacts
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Makkah museum is a haven for holy artifacts
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Updated 14 July 2013

Makkah museum is a haven for holy artifacts

Makkah museum is a haven for holy artifacts

An exhibition of the Two Holy Mosques’ architecture and relics, in a museum nestled amid the hills of Makkah’s Umm Al-Joud area, not far from the Kiswa factory, has a treasure trove of items dating back hundreds of years.
Some of the most venerable pieces are doors of the Kaaba replaced during various renovations.
According to various sources, the first person to make the Kaaba door was a Yemeni King Tubba the Third, who ruled long before Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
Two Kaaba doors were made during early Saudi rule. The first one, displayed in the museum, was at the time of King Abdul Aziz’s rule in 1363H (1944). It was made of aluminum, buttressed by iron bars, 2.5 cm thick and 3.1 meters high. The front side of the door is covered with silver sheets coated with gold, and decorated with inscriptions of Allah’s attributes.
While King Khaled prayed at the Kaaba in 1393H (1973), he noticed the door was old. He issued directives to make a second door and Bab Al-Tawba from pure gold. Bab Al-Tawba is at the northern side of the Kaaba, used to gain access to the rooftop.
The two doors cost SR 13.4 million, not including 280 kg of gold supplied by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency. The work began in 1398H (1978) and was finished in about a year.
The various items at the exhibition include:
• The door of the Holy Kaaba 1045H (1636) made in Sultan Murad Khan’s era;
• A copper door of the Holy Mosque dating to the first Saudi era;
• A wooden door of the Holy Mosque dating to the early 14th century;
• A door of the Prophet’s Mosque from the reign of King Abdul Aziz;
• A copper-plated leaf of a door from the pulpit of Sultan Sulaiman bin Salim Khan in the Holy Mosque, which he ordered made in 966H (1559);
• A copper pillar, which used to be one of the pillars around the mataf, removed during the first Saudi era of the Holy Mosque;
• A marble arch facade of one of the doors to the Holy Mosque 984H (1576);
• Lock and key of the Holy Kaaba 1309H (1892) made during the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II;
• The door of the Ottoman pulpit in the Prophet’s Mosque which was made at the order of Sultan Murad III in 998H (1590); and
• An inscription on marble marking the date of the construction of the door and parts of the Holy Mosque that were damaged by fire during the reign of the Mamluk Sultan An-Nasir Faraj bin Bargog in 804H (1402).
Established in 1999 by the late Prince Abdul Majeed, governor of Makkah, the museum project cost more than SR 15 million. Some photographs, given as a gift by the late Crown Prince Sultan, are worth SR 10 million.
The exhibition is divided into seven sections. At the entrance is a model of the Holy Mosque in Makkah and huge photographs of the Makkah and Madinah mosques on the walls. Just a few feet away is an imposing masterpiece — the teak staircase of the Holy Kaaba, manufactured in 1240H (1825).
Next to the staircase is the brass head of the pulpit made in the era of Sultan Sulaiman Al-Qanoony in the 16th century.
Also on view are one of the pillars of the Holy Kaaba with its wooden base and crown dating back to the construction by Abdullah ibn Az-Zubair in 65H (685), a rocky base that was holding the pillar, a brass crescent 1299H (1882), the crescent of the main minaret of the Prophet’s Mosque from the early 14th century Hijrah, and a copper fence which used to be on one of the windows of the Prophet’s Mosque dating back to the Saudi era.
The library section has some rare Qur’an copies and manuscripts.
In the Zamzam section are displayed the old railing of the Zamzam well with a brass bucket dated to 1299H (1882) used to draw water.
Other pieces in the exhibition include the case which was used to cover the Maqaam-e-Ibrahim before its replacement in the reign of King Fahd, and two brass crescents of a minaret of the Holy Mosque 1299H (1882).
A beautiful and intricately carved gypsum window of the Prophet’s Mosque from the first Saudi extension is also exhibited.
One can see inscriptions on stone recording the contributions of the Mamluk Sultan Abu Said Jaqmaq 852H (1448) and a marble slab engraved with the name of the Ottoman Sultan Murad III 983H (1575).
The exhibition is open from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on all weekdays. During Haj it is open all days of the week.