Map of Makkah, c. 600 CE
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This is the first-ever geographically detailed map of Makkah as it was during the lifetime of Prophet Muḥammad (PBUH)!
While working on a new English-language biography of the Prophet (PBUH), the map’s creator (Abdulaziz Binimad Al-Ateeqi) became frustrated with the lack of visual aids depicting Makkah at the dawn of Islam. He thus embarked on a decade-long journey to create his own materials from scratch, consulting the earliest authentic sources and making several on-site visits to the ancient city itself, soon discovering that the oldest available sources can be quite challenging to “decode,” even for native speakers of Arabic. The result was his groundbreaking (2020) book, Makkah at the Time of Prophet Muḥammad (PBUH): An Illustrated Reference with Maps of Key Homes, Mountains, and Other Landmarks, now available for sale.
This map has 69 specifically labelled locations, including key homes, mountains, markets and more.
With the many expansion projects currently taking place in Makkah to accommodate the large influx of pilgrims and other visitors the city hosts each year, the geographic history of the area has already been partially lost and is becoming increasingly less visible. To that end, it was necessary to merge data from modern maps with that from several older maps, using the detailed descriptions in the oldest and best sources available to pinpoint the locations of Makkah’s homes and geographic features.
Maps and sketches used in this endeavor included the 1807 “Map of Makkah” and “al-Masjid al-Ḥarām Sketch,” by ʿAlī Bay al-ʿAbbāsī; the 1814 “Plan of Mekka” map, by John Lewis Burckhardt; the 1880 “Drawing of the Makkan Sanctuary Blueprint,” by Muḥammad Ṣādiq Pāshā; the 1880 “Makkah Map,” published by the Ottoman Empire’s Ministry of War; the 1872 “Sketch of the Great Kaʿbah and the Noble Sanctuary,” by Ayyūb Ṣabrī; the 1885 “Plan of Mekka” map and the 1888 “Grundriss der Moschee” and “Grundriss Von Mekka” sketches, by C. Snouck Hurgronje; the 1908 “Map of Makkah,” by Ibrāhīm Rifʿat; the 1909 “Sketch of the Homes of ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib and Khadījah,” by Muḥammad Labīb al-Batnūnī; the 1928 “Plan of Mekka” and “Plan of the Ḥaram of Mekka and the Masʿá” maps, by Eldon Rutter; the 1940 “Sketch of the Noble Makkan Sanctuary,” published by the Egyptian Survey Institute; the 1946 “Ḥaram of Mecca” and “Plan of Mecca” maps, published by the Great Britain Naval Intelligence Division; and the 1984 “Landsat Satellite Photo of Makkah (Orthophoto Map),” published by the Saudi Ministry of Oil and Precious Metals.
Descriptions of Makkah’s homes and topographical features were taken from several key sources, including the works of early scholars who lived in Makkah and wrote detailed descriptions of the city.
The most important of these sources included Tārīkh Makkah [The History of Makkah], by Abū al-Walīd Aḥmad al-Azraqī (d. 219 or 222 AH / 834 or 837 CE) and Abū al-Walīd Muḥammad b. ʿAbd Allāh al-Azraqī (d. 250 AH / 864 CE); Nasab Quraysh [The Lineage of the Quraysh], by Abī ʿAbd Allāh al-Muṣʿab b. ʿAbd Allāh b. al-Muṣʿab al-Zubayrī (d. 236 AH / 851 CE); al-Munammaq fī Akhbār Quraysh [The Perfected News of Quraysh], by Muḥammad b. Ḥabīb b. Umayyah b. ʿAmr al-Hāshimī (d. 245 AH / 859 CE); Akhbār Makkah fī Qadīm al-Dahr wa-Ḥadīthih [The News of Makkah from the Old Ages until Recent Times], by Muḥammad b. Isḥāq b. al-ʿAbbās al-Fākihī (d. 279 AH / 892 CE); al-ʿIqd al-Thamīn fī Tārīkh al-Balad al-Amīn and Shifāʾ al-Gharām bi-Akhbār al-Balad al-Ḥarām, by Imām Taqī al-Dīn Muḥammad al-Fāsī (d. 832 AH / 1428 CE); Aṭlas Kharāʾiṭ Makkah al-Mukarramah [An Atlas of Makkah’s Maps], by Miʿrāj b. Nawāb Mirzā (1426 AH / 2005 CE); and The House of Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (RA) in Makkah al-Mukarramah: A Historical Study of Its Location, Building and Architecture, by Ahmed Zaki Yamani (2014).
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Copyright © Abdulaziz (Binimad) Al-Ateeqi, 2019
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