After 24 hours in Makkah Mukarramah, with Umrah completed, Alhamdulillah, and some much needed shut-eye. Relaxing past Isha on the roof top has always been a memorable experience. These days it affords an ideal vantage point to observe the ever changing topography of Makkah. Having come as a young adult, a truly nostalgic experience for myself was visiting the now demolished Ajyad Castle or as the Uthmani Turks called it “Ecyad Kalesi”.
Entering the Abrajul Bait or “ Clock Tower” I sometimes recall the famous castle sitting on top of Bulbul Hill. Built in 1780 to house the Uthmani (Ottoman) garrison, it served as a fortress, protecting the Hujjaj from marauding bandits and invaders. I can remember the arrowslits that lined the walls and lookout towers once occupied by Ottoman defenders.
When the castle was ordered demolished in the late 90’s along with the flattening of Bulbul Hill, the Turkish government threatened to boycott Hajj in protest. Sadly for the lovers of “old is gold” like myself, the castle made way for one the largest multi story constructions in history. a was built in Istanbul which one day I intend to visit. InshaAllah. For now the focus is Hajj 1439. May Allah Ta’ala accept from those that have embarked on the journey. Hajj Mabroor. Ameen.
Moulana Junaid Kharsany