This French train station is located in a town renamed after the famed writer Marcel Proust's fictional name for the village.
Within the galleries of the Dhu al-Hulayfah Mosque, beautiful curves of its many archways converge in a continuum of architectural elegance. Apart from its beauty, the mosque is a historic site and believed to be where prophet Muhammed entered the state of ihram after the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, the agreement that led to the formation of the pilgrimage to Mecca.
In the Islam faith, ihram is a sacred state that Muslims must embody before peforming pilgrimage – known as Hajj, which is major pilgrimage or as ‘Umrah, which is minor pilgrimage. The Mosque is believed to have been the site where the prophet Muhammed entered ihram before performing ‘Umrah, following the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah.
The significance of Muhammed’s ihram at the Mosque is reinforced by an important Treaty. At the time, the cities of Medina and Mecca had great tension with each other, as the Qurayshi tribe native to Mecca resisted Muhammed and his followers’ advances into their home city. Determined not to enter into war, the two cities began negotiations, and emerged with an affirmation of peace. They agreed to peace for 10 years, and the Treaty authorized Muhammed and his followers to return to Mecca in peaceful pilgrimage.
The first ancient iteration of the Mosque was built during the rule of Umar ibn ‘Abdulaziz, the governor of Medina. The Mosque was later reconstructed in 961, when a great wall was built around it which stood until the Ottoman Era. The Mosque was again renovated and expanded by King Fahd, considered the founder of modern Saudi Arabia.
With so much historical significance tied to its origins, it seems only fitting that the Mosque should bear such a beautiful design.
Written by: Kelly Murray
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