Masjid al-Haram is one of Islam's most important mosques; it is located in the heart of Mecca, towards the west of Saudi Arabia, and it is also in the centre of the Kaaba; the first home built for mankind on Earth, for people to worship God, according to Islamic religious teaching.
This area is one of the greatest and holiest spots on Earth for Muslims, as the Great Mosque is the Muslims' most important destination (Qibla) for prayers and they go to it for The Hajj as well. It was named Masjid al-Haram (The Inviolable Mosque) and this is because fighting is forbidden in it, and this has been since our Holy Prophet Muhammad entered Mecca victorious, and Muslims fully believe that praying in the Grand Mosque is equal to a hundred thousand years of praying.
It is also mentioned in the Quran: ( The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakka: Full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings (Surah Al-Imran, verse 96).
Masjid al-Haram is one of the first three mosques that attract travellers, as the Prophet Muhammad mentioned : ( Travellers are only drawn to three mosques: The Holy Mosque, my mosque (The Prophet's mosque), and the Al-Aqsa Mosque ).
Masjid al-Haram through the ages
The history of the Grand Mosque dates back to the construction time of the Holy Kaaba, which was built before Adam (peace be upon him) by the Angels, and it was made of red sapphire, and then this building was raised to heaven, and this in the days of the flood, and then after the flood, the Prophet Abraham decided with the help of his son Ismail (peace upon them) decided to rebuild the Kaaba, and this is after God showed Abraham (peace be upon him) the place of the Kaaba in his almighty saying ( Behold! We gave the site, to Abraham, of the (Sacred) House, "Associate not anything (in worship) with Me; and sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or stand up, or bow, or prostrate themselves (therein in prayer).) (Surah Hajj verse 26).
Thus, he was inspired by Allah and ordered to rebuild the sacred house, and the story of our Lord Abraham with his son Ismail building the Kaaba was also mentioned in the Qur'an, as they cleansed the space surrounding it, and then he came to our Lord Abraham (peace be upon him) our Lord Gabriel with the black stone, but It was white, shimmering from the strength of its whiteness, and so the Prophet Mohammad(May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) said: (The black stone of Paradise was whiter than snow until it was darkened by the sins of the polytheists).
So the Kaaba remained the same since our Lord Abraham rebuilt it until it was rebuilt again by the Quraysh, and this was in the days of pre-Islamic times, thirty years after the year of the elephant, a huge fire occurred in the Kaaba, and it happened as an accident when a woman from the people of the Quraysh was steaming the Kaaba and it caught fire, and then the building became weak and some parts of it were destroyed.
Therefore, the Quraysh rebuilt the Kaaba again, and the Prophet attended its reconstruction, he was about 35 years old and helped his uncles in the rebuilding process, and when the time came to choose the place of the Black Stone in which it should be lifted, there were disagreements that almost amounted to war, then they decided to let the messenger of Allah choose its place to be in a Murat, then the Tribes leaders with the messenger of Allah raised it to its place.
Also, Qusayy ibn Kilab, one of the ancestors of the messenger of Allah Muhammad, made the roof of the Kaaba, as he was the first one to do this, and he used palm wood and leaves to complete the roof, and this was done a long time before the Quraysh rebuilt the Kaaba, and for this reason, the Kaaba is a special sacred place for all Muslims.