Thursday, December 27, 2007

The gates of holy Kaba Haram Sharif

by A.Z.M. Shamsul Alam

Holy Kaba Haram Sharif Mosque surrounding Kaba has more than 95 numbered gates. Most of these gates have names as well as numbers. There are also additional gates without numbers. There are gates which are permanently closed at some stage. Subsequent serial nmbers of the gates have not been adjusted or changed. In some cases even three gates have the same (one) number. Numbers and names of the gates are written in Arabic. Hajjis can conveniently identify these gates by Arabic names (if one can read) and also by Arabic number of the gates. It is easier to pick up Arabic numbers than learning to read Arabic names of gates.

Getting lost inside holy Haram sorrounding Kaba during Tawwaf, Sayee and otherwise is very common. It takes long time to find out the companions lost. It is convenient to find but the lost companions if it is agreed among them that they would get together in front of a particular and specified gate in case anybody gets lost.

In the past Bangladeshi Hajjis used to get together at Umme Hani gate. This gate is now closed from outside. Still many Bengali Hajjis take rest at the inner side of Umme Hani gate. It is easy to meet some Bangladeshi Hajies at this place. This gate is located to the north of famous Abdul Aziz Gate.

All gates are more or less uniform in pattern. Sizes differ. It is easier to find out the gates by number. Hajies should try to know the names and at least number of gates.

King Abdul Aziz gates (three) are the most prominent gates of the Haram Sharif. The numbers and names of the gates of Holy Kaba Haram Sharif are narrated below.

Names and numbers: Western gates

Gate No.-l. King Abdul Aziz (three) gates. Out of three gates under the name of King Abdul Aziz, one is reserved for women. Gate No.- 2. King Abdul Aziz stairs. This door leads to the stairs for the upper floors. Gate No.-3. Ajiad basement. Gate No. 4. Ajiad basement. (These two gates i.e. No 3 and 4 lead to basement floors). Gate No. 5. Ajiad gate.

Gate No.-6. Belal gate. (Reserved for women). Gate No.-7. Ajiad escalator for going up. Gate No.-8. The writer of this note could not locate any gate with no 8.

Gate No.-9. Hunain gate (Reserved for women). Gate No.-IO. Prophet Ismail (AS) gate (Reserved for women). Gate No.-11. Safa Hill gate. Gate No.-12. Library gate. (West South corner of Holy Kaba).

Gate No.-13 leads to Abu Qubais stairs for going up. Here is a room for information of "Lost and Found" of materials and children.

Names and numbers: Southern gates

Gate No.-14. Al-Arkan Escalator. Gate No.-17. Bani Hashim gate. Gate No.-19. Hazrat Ali (R.) gate. Gate No.-20. Hazrat Abbas (R.) gate. Gate No.-21. Nabi (S) gate (The home where our Prophet (SM) was born is close and visible from this gate.) Gate No.-22. This Gate is not seen. Gate No.-23. Nabi gate fly over.

Gate No.-24. As Salam gate. Gate No.-25. Salam fly over. Gate No.-26. Bani Shaiba gate. Gate No.-27. Al-Huzun gate.

Gate No.-28. Fly over. Gate No.-29. AI-Ma'ala gate. Gate No. 30. AI-Modda'y gate. Gate No.-31. Al-Marwa gate. Gate No.-32-35. Could not locate the number or location of gates 32-35.

Names and numbers : Eastern gates

Gate No.-36 leads to Murad escalator. Gate No.-37-40. Names and numbers could not be traced by the writer.

Gate No.-41. Kararah escalator. Gate No.-42. Kararah escalator. Gate Number 43. Kararah gate. Gate No.-44. No gate could be found with Gate no. 44.

Gate No.-45. Al-Fath gate. Gate No.-46. Umar Bin Khattab (R) basement. Gate No.-47. Umar Bin Khattab (R) gate for women. Gate No.-48. No gate could be found.

Gate No.-49. Al-Nadwa gate. Gate No.-50. No gate could be found. Gate No.-51. Shameah gate. Gate No.-52. Shameah Escalator. Gate No.-53-55. These Nos could not be found. Gate No.-55. All-Quds gate.

Names and numbers : Northern gates

Gate No.-56. Al-Madina gate. Gate No.-57. Gate could not be seen. Gate No.-58. Hudaibiah gate. No.-59-61. Gates could not be identified.

Gate No.-62. Al-Umra gate. Gate No.-63. Gate could not be identified. Gate No.-64. No name. No.-65. Al-Shabika escalator. Gate No.-66. Not seen. Gate No.-67. No name.

Gate No.-68. No name : Reserved for women. Gate No. 69. No name : Reserved for women. Gate No.-70. No name: Reserved for women.

Gate No.-71. No name. Gate No.-72. No name. Gate No.-73. No name. Gate No.-74. No name. Gate No.-75. Not seen.

Names and numbers : Western gates

In the newly constructed King Fahd mosque first 8 gates are in the name of late King Fahd.

Gate No.-76. King Fahd gate. Gate No.-77. King Fahd Gate. Gate No. 78. King Fahd stairs. Gate No.-79. King Fahd gate. Gate No.-80. King Fahd stairs. Gate no.-81. King Fahd gate. Gate No.-82. King Fahd gate. Gate No.-83. King Fahd gate. Gate No.-84. No name as yet Gate. No.-85. No name as yet. Gate No.-86. No name. Gate no.-87. No name: Reserved for woman. Gate No.-88. No name.

Gate No.-89. No name: Reserved for women. Gate No.-90. No name. Gate No.-93. No name. Reserved for women. Gate No.-94. No name. Gate No.-95. Abdul Aziz stairs.

Bangladeshi Hajjies generally live in Mesfalah area of Holy Makkah city. The magnificent gate of Holy Kaba facing Mesfalah area is King Abdul Aziz (large) gate. Without any effort a Hajji coming from Mesfalah finds Abdul Aziz gate. The birth house of Our Holy Prophet (S) is located in the south of Holy Kaba Gate No. 21 which is named as NABI (S) gate.

(The writer is ex-Secretary, government of Bangladesh).

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