Makkah Gate

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Makkah Gate at the Jeddah-Makkah Highway in Saudi Arabia

I had been waiting for this gate from the moment we got into the car heading towards Jeddah, after our Umrah three months ago.  This gate signifies the boundary of the haram area of the city of Makkah, where non-Muslims are prohibited to enter.  But long before this gate arrives, people coming into Makkah from Jeddah have already undergone the necessary checking of passports and other documents.  The structure is that of a huge book, representing the Qur’an, sitting on a rehal, or book stand.

And it looks even more beautiful at night …

makkah-gate1

The gate at night (Googled image)

Our driver, for this Makkah to Jeddah trip, was a local and didn’t speak English at all.  I was actually surprised since back home in the U.A.E.,  I never saw a local drive a taxi. But then, this car wasn’t a regular, registered taxi;  this was his own private vehicle.  However, buses take a long time, as per our  Madinah to Makkah experience, we had a plane to catch in four hours, and besides, everywhere we looked, people were taking these private taxis.  Therefore Masood, his friend and this local guy negotiated the fare in sign language, and we hopped in.

Before we entered the highway, our driver stopped briefly at a gas station.  He asked if it was okay with us if he made ablution and prayed 2 rakats first.  It wasn’t time for the regular prayer, so we assumed he prayed nafl.  We waited for him in the car.

Our adventure began when he returned, fixed his head gear, smiled, and started the engine.

He didn’t drive the car;  he flew it!  And when one is flying, one doesn’t feel a need for indicator lamps.  So he just changed lanes as he wished, abruptly.

And since driving can get so boring, and such a waste of precious time as well, he decided to multi-task.  He made/attended phone calls, sent text messages, cleaned his ears with cotton buds, searched for the tissue box, and counted his money – all the time maintaining a speed of 120 km/hour.

“We should’ve prayed a few rakats ourselves,” I told Masood.

We reached Jeddah airport an hour earlier than we were supposed to, in one piece.  Alhumdulillah.

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38 Responses to Makkah Gate

  1. This is superb piece of construction, very nice…

    Yes, it is beautiful.

  2. Pingback: Makkah Gate | Tea Break

  3. aaah, really awesome
    worth watching
    may be i’ll be there soon, insha’Allah 🙂

    InshaAllah

  4. Amir says:

    haha, interesting. Now…you say 120 km/h, but I’m sure the roads play a big picture in this context. That speed is a general driving speed (at least its mine 😛 ) on our highways, but it must be a totally different experience there. Glad you made it one piece, if not in peace 😉

    It’s not just the speed, Amir, it’s what you actually do in your car while driving at such a speed, not to mention changing lanes abruptly. I don’t think I’d want to ride with a local again.

  5. Abid says:

    Now you know why he prayed 2 rakaat. lol

    LOL … yeah

  6. Alhamdulillah … LOL … dats really dangerous … Lucky no police caught him … may b dats why he prayed 2 rakahs … I know these saudi guys especially young ones are really crazy here … the way they drive! … just last friday khutbah was on this topic of youngsters rough driving by Sheikh Sudais …

    SubhanAllah, they should give that kind of khutbah every other Friday! Now that I think about it, I didn’t saw any police that day, and I don’t think I saw any cameras or radars as well. Maybe I was too busy holding onto my seat to notice, lol

  7. masood says:

    LOL and thanks to Allah we all reached safely though we escaped an accident on the flyover and with no surprise the driver was clapping to say we are all alive. May Allah protect everyone from these senseless drivers, Aameen.

    Ameen!

  8. meow says:

    I didn’t see this!!!! And I’ve been twice already! I’ll make sure the next time I go!

    lol … and I thought nobody ever misses this gate. InshaAllah, next time 🙂

  9. Humaira says:

    Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog.

    Also, this story made me laugh, especially the taxi driver. I think taxi drivers everywhere disregard the speed limit and multi task!

    Welcome, Humaira! He’s not a real ‘taxi’ driver, so Allah forbid if an accident would’ve happened, we can’t even complain to the authorities. I think we’ll take the bus next time 🙂

  10. nor says:

    thanks for dropping by my blog 🙂

    Welcome to the blog, Nor! 🙂

  11. Nisa AK says:

    mashaAllah, what a beautiful sight the gate is!

  12. Gemma says:

    Incredible story and love the design of that entrance! Very impressive!

  13. Indrani says:

    Great architecture.

  14. Wolynski says:

    That’s a fantastic structure – stunning. And non-Muslims can’t pass through? Good job you survived your cab ride.

    Wolynski, Makkah, specially the mosque, is the most sacred place for us Muslims. We follow a strict rule to maintain physical cleanliness, and try to spend most of our time in worship and reflecting/repenting our sins and trying to improve ourselves to be a better person.

    Non-Muslims are welcome in any other mosque. But the mosque of Makkah is where Muslims perform the pilgrimage, it’s something extremely important for us. Hence, it wouldn’t be appropriate to have tourists walking around the place during such an important event.

    And yes, we survived the crazy ride that day, lol 😀

  15. Shahrazad says:

    Mashallah Majestic entrance!

    LOL… Yah Saudis are rough on the roads! A car with bumps and dents all around is the norm there. Well that’s a male-only driving country for you! Now they can’t say females are bad drivers..

    LOL 😀

  16. bettyl says:

    Great photo and great narrative! Thanks.

  17. bozo says:

    wow! that is a beautifully designed gate and the ride, well! the driver will surely cement his place in heaven as he would have made so many people pray!

  18. Snap says:

    Wonderful post. The gate is gorgeous and loved your story about getting to the airport on time! Wild ride!

  19. Sailor Girl says:

    AWESOME!!! I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS!!!!!

  20. Erin says:

    enjoyed your trek to the airport…the gate is an interesting architectural design and your commentary about it very insightful.
    have a most wonderful week.

  21. Rajesh says:

    Very interesting and I am glad you are still one piece. The night snap is truly beautiful.

  22. um almujahid says:

    assalamu alaykum

    masha’Allah it must have been a beautiful experience 🙂

    Walaikum Assalam. The most beautiful and memorable experience overall, alhumdulillah.

  23. Karen says:

    That gate is spectacular !!

    Certainly sounds like an interesting drive 🙂

  24. Beautiful gate. LOVE the photos. Scary driver!

  25. Glennis says:

    That must be one of the most impressive bridges around, and all lit up at night its at its best.

  26. Thank you for this wonderful post. The gate is absolutely stunning and your photo of it is beautiful. Thank you for sharing some of your precious culture with us. Have a wonderful week and thanks for stopping by my blog.
    Smiles

  27. Nurulain says:

    Hi Nadia nice blog.

    The image of the gate is truly fascinating Ma’sha allah. My mum had told me about it but this is the first time I get to see it thanks to you! 🙂

  28. soulbrush says:

    what an amazing gate. really modern.

  29. Haleem says:

    the gate looks really great mA. I wonder if it’s open to some real Ayat.

    I don’t think it is; it shouldn’t actually.

  30. Haris Gulzar says:

    You say that this is the maximum limit from where onwards non-muslims are prohibited to enter. Isn’t that place even before Jeddah. I’m not sure but I think that place is called the meeqa’at and the pilgrims also put on their ehraam from that place onwards. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    Muslims coming into Jeddah from another country assume their ihram prior to arriving in Jeddah, and not at the Makkah gate (which is beyond the meeqat boundary already). Non-Muslims are allowed to roam around Jeddah and even up to a certain part of Makkah … the gate’s their limit.

  31. I remember seeing this gate when I did Umrah a few months ago, it was really beautiful. This post brought back so many nice memories 🙂

  32. Hajar Alwi says:

    Must have been one heck of a ride! Fortunately nothing bad happened along the way.

    Odd … I don’t remember seeing that gate. Or I might be sleeping when we passed through it. 😦

  33. Yogi says:

    Very spectacular structure. Great description of a wild taxi ride. Thanks for explaining a little of your religion also, I find it fascinating.

  34. Shabeertherambath says:

    wow………..really wonderfull

  35. M. A. Qadir says:

    That’s very beautiful, Any person who’ll read my comments then pls pray for my to visit & pray at makkah in haram
    regards

    Qadir – Karachi (Pakistan)

  36. Azhar says:

    this construction shows the sign of pried that v r muslims alhamdullilah and shukrallah

  37. AHMED FAIZ UDDIN says:

    AS SALAM ALAIKUM ALL MUSLIMS MI HAMESHA DUWA KAROUNGA KI ALLAHA SOB KI HIFAZAT
    KARE AUR ALLAHA SOB KA SAFAR HAMESHA KAMIYAB KARE SOB KO HAJ NASEEB KARE AMEEN SUMMA AMEEN

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