If we take a look at the two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah located in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it can be safely said that the two cities hold the utmost importance in the revival of Islam in the time of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and also the spread of Islam to every corner of the world. Even though the people of the Kingdom at that time gave their complete support and devotion to the Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) there were also those who opposed him from the same land and made life very hard during several stages of life. After all these years have passed and the Saudi Arabia that existed at the time of the Holy Prophet has been now transformed into one of the biggest metropolis’ in the world, however there are still those who consider the land of Saudi Arabia to be the same centuries old land and do their best to preserve whatever they can.
One of these men are Sami Angawi who has simply refused to call Makkah a city because for him Makkah can never be turned into the Metropolis despite the extensive drilling or the immense battle between the clouds and the huge skyscrapers. He says that Makkah is a sanctuary, adding that it is Gods House and the refuge of all Humans, while it is also the birthplace of the revival of Islam. For this animated and highly passionate Saudi architect, it is also the place of the object and roots of his love. Angawis father had been a Mutawef i.e. a guide for the Hajj Pilgrims. As a young boy, he would often help out in carrying the shoes of the pilgrims so that they wouldn’t get lost.
The family home had been located in the Shaab Ali neighborhood which is also told to be home to the Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in 600s AD. The neighborhood was a busy market place hosting one of the largest night markets “Souq Al Leil”. However soon after, in the 1950s, The Al Sauds started demolishing the neighborhood in order to expand the Grand Mosque in order to accommodate more pilgrims each year. This forever changed the neighborhood that he had once called home.
The Saudi architect caused quite a debate because of the statement he made on TV while saying that where there were once historical sites such as the house of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and also the oldest Islamic school, the Dar Al Arkam, there are now public facilities and roads. He added that these locations had been knowledge of old Makkah and now he himself is using both modern and old maps in order to find the historical sites.
He stated that he has had a chance to excavate and locate the house of the first wife of the Holy Prophet, Sayyida Khadija and also discovered the remains of some buildings from the Abbasid era of the 8th century.
Source: Al Jazeera
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