A Holy Cyber Trip
By Monazza Anwar
is undoubtedly the fastest growing technology of the century.
Connecting people globally, it is rightly called the ‘information
highway’. On the Internet you can find information
related to all topics, just a mouse-click away from you.
It is through this medium that you can reach a greater number
of people than ever before.
There are a number of Islamic websites on the net and among
them an interesting one is ‘Ahlan’ - basically
a guide to those visiting Mecca and Madina. The website
explores the details of historic events and places in Mecca
and Madina, gives instructions on how to perform Hajj and
Umrah, presents recitation of the Holy Qu’ran by the
Imam of Ka’aba, list of hotels there with their addresses,
an Arabic-to-English dictionary and much related useful
The site was created by Mr Waseem Ahmad Siddiqui, a freelance
sports writer. Spotlighting the reason for putting up such
a site, Mr Siddiqui says: “I was planning to write
a book about all the places visited by the Holy Prophet
(PBUH) and when I searched the net for information, I could
not get all I wanted. So I decided to come up with a website
that will have details about the holy places in Mecca and
Not everyone gets a chance to visit these places but through
this website one can at least get a lot of information about
them and the photographs add to the visual experience. As
Internet can be accessed by people all over the world, this
site can help in learning a lot about these places as well
as about Hajj and Umrah.
There are two main sections of the site - Mecca and Madina.
Each one comprises more than 100 topics listed according
to their significance. The exact locations of important
places, normally not dealt in depth by books, have been
pinpointed. One such example is the Holy Prophet’s
(PBUH) place of birth. “But Haram-e-Ka’aba has
95 doors so where would it be?” I asked Mr. Siddiqui.
“I found out that if you stand with your back to Bab-e-Al-Marwah
(the place where the sayii ends), and walk straight a few
yards, you will come upon a white house with a green sign
that says ‘Maktabul-Mecca-al-Mukarrama’. This
is the Holy Prophet’s birthplace.”
Waseem Siddiqui has similarly given direction, on the website,
to other significant places. In addition, a section of the
site has a travel guide for people desiring to visit the
two holy cities, with details of the expenditure and costs
of the trip to Saudi Arabia.
Since Ahlan was launched a few months ago, more than one
lac seventy five thousand people have visited the site and
many emails have been received regarding the site. An Islamic
center in Chicago is using the site to give education on
Hajj and Umrah to its students.
Visually, Ahlan is also a treat with the picture gallery
section that contains more than 500 colored photographs.
These include an aerial shot, taken by a satellite, of Mecca
and sent by NASA, the place where the Treaty of Hudaibiya
took plqce, the battlefields of Badr, Uhad, Khandaq ,inside
view of holy kaba, grave of the Prophets' mother besides
Masjid-e-Nabwi and Ka’aba and other places. The website
also has audio video section and
hotels for stay in harmain. Those who wish to visit the
site can do so at http://