Souk Okaz (Okaz market)

Souk Okaz (Okaz market)

AL-Taif AL-Taif

About :

Since pre-Islamic times, Souk Okaz has been one of the three most prominent markets in the Arabian Peninsula. In addition to the establishment of important markets in Majna and Dhu Al-Majaz, the origins and emergence of Souk Okaz date back to 501 AD, when Arabs used to visit it during the first 20 days of the month of Dhu al-Qadah.

They would sell their goods in it as they used to do on the 20th of the month of Dhu al-Qadah, then they move to the Majna market to spend the last 10 days of the month, then they switch to Dhu Al-Majaz market to spend the first 8 days of the month of Dhu al-Hijja, and then people walk to their Hajj.

 The original inhabitants of Souk Okaz were from the Adwan tribe and the Hawazin tribe of Qais Aylan, and they were Adnan Arabs, and the activity of Souk Okaz was completely stopped for more than 1300 years, only to be revived again during the reign of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud in 1428 Hijri.

to be one of the landmarks of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it was revived again in the same old place where the antique Souk Okaz was located, and so it is visited by many tourists from all over the world, in addition to being one of the most important meeting places for artists, poets, writers and all those interested in ancient Arab history.

The market delivers significant knowledge value through educational seminars, literary and poetic evenings, and the organisation of a number of literary and poetry events and competitions, not only locally, but also at the Arab world level.

The events include vernacular and eloquent poetry, short stories, painting, handicrafts, and photography. Souk Okaz has also contributed significantly to the revival of the Arab diwan of poetry and all its belongings by imitating the old outstanding poets.

And now, the Ministry of Tourism oversees the Souk Okaz area, after it was supervised by the emirate of Mecca for 10 years.

The Souk Okaz name origin

The market was named Okaz because Arabs used to assemble in it every year to boast and anthem about each other, and Al-Laith bin Al-Muzaffar al-Kinani claimed that the market was named Okaz because Arabs used to meet in it to boast "Okaz" to each other).

Location of Souk Okaz

Okaz market is about 40 kilometres from the north of the city of Taif, to the east of the city of Riyadh, and the ancient people thought that the exact location of the Okaz market was on top of Najd area, which is the land of Qais bin Aylan bin mudar, where it was located between Wādī Nakhlah and Hadera Al-Taif before As Sayl al Kabir village, about 24 miles, that is, about one night on the traveller's road from Mecca to Yemen, or you can say that the market is about 10 miles : about 12 miles from Al-Taif.

The distance between Souk Okaz and Al-Taif is supposed to be approximately one night, 24 miles, while the distance between Souk Okaz and Mecca is said to be around three nights, and the market was conducted in a spot called the Al-Adidas'. Souk Okaz was a well-known market in the Arab world, where many people visited on a regular basis to purchase and sell.

The Duration of the Souk Okaz

The scholars discovered that the Okaz market begins every year on the first of the month of Dhu al-Qaida and lasts for twenty continuous days, and Ibn Asaker's mentioned what Hakim Ibn Hizam said, that the Okaz market begins on the morning of the crescent of the month of Dhu al-Qaida and lasts for twenty days.