Gates of Masjid al-Haram

By the Editors of the Madain Project

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This article attempts to enlists all the Gates of Masjid al-Haram (أبواب المسجد الحرام). After the most recent King 'Abdullah expansion, of the Great Mosque of Mecca, the total number of gates is about 262, 13 of these gates are designated or reserved for the people with disabilities and special needs.

Five major gates lead entry into the modern Sacred Mosque, along these five major gates there are several other minor gates as well. The gates bear the name of significant people, incidents and places throughout history, a few gates are named after political individuals as well. Originally there were no actual architectural installations as "gates" merely the passages to the area of al-Haram, and these passages were named after tribes living near by


The Masjid al-Haram, also known as the Great Mosque of Mecca, has evolved and expanded over time, and the number of gates and their location has changed extensively. The gates of the mosque complex differ in size and are named after notable people, places and in some cases events as well. The gates are used to regulate foot-traffic of pilgrims.

Historically the Masjid al-Haram had no gates in the conventional sense of the term, because the area around the Kabah (i.e. Mataf) was simply left open. When prophet Muhammad conquered Mecca, he built a very modest plaza enlosed by a low wall as the first "Masjid al-Haram", which covered an area of some 560 square meters. This low wall may not be more than a few inches tall.

Though, a free standing arch stood east of the Kabah, known as the Bab Bani Shaiba. al-Maqdisi, writing in late 10th century CE, mentions that the mosque has 19 gates, of which the Bab Bani Shaybah is the most notable. Over time as the mosque complex expanded gates were added to allow access to the prayer areas.

List of Gates

Bab Malik 'Abdulaziz (Gate no. 1)
The latest reconstruction of Malik abd ul-Aziz Gate (باب عبدالعزيز), is located at the Yemenite corner of the Masjid al-Haram complex, opposite Ajyad Street. The recent reconstruction of the gate is a drastic deviation from the typical architecture of the Masjid al-Haram, and incorporates more modern architectural elements. The gate has distintly square-features as compared to it's predecessor, and displays a more modern look rathern than familiar Saudi architecture which evolved from the Ottoman architecture of the Great Mosque. This gate provides direct access to the outer Mataf area for the people with disabilities, and wheelchair usage.

Bab Ajyad (Gate no. 5)
The Bab Ajyad (باب أجياد), is named after the two valleys of Ajyad, situated south-east of the Masjid al-Haram. It is one of the smaller, single portal gates of the mosque complex. Gates no. 7 and 8 are also part of the same group, providing electrical escalator facilities to access the upper part of the Haram. Built as part of the first Saudi expansion, it is located on the south-eastern side of the main Mataf-area.


Bab Bilal (Gate no. 6)
The Bab Bilal (Gate of Bilal, باب بلال) is located on the southern flank of Masjid al-Haram. It is named after the nobel companion and Muazzin of Prophet Muhammad Bilal ibn Rabaha, also known as the Bilal al-Habashi, referring to his origins of Habashah. Located on the south-eastern side, it was built in its current form as part of the first Saudi expansion and renovation program of the Haram.

Bab Hunain (Gate no. 9)
The Bab Hunain (باب حنين), Gate of Hunain, is located in the southern facade of the Masjid al-Haram. It is named after the town of Hunayn, which is located close to the city of Tai'f in modern day Saudi Arabia. The Bab Hunayn is located between Bab Bilal and Bab Ismael. Today it is only partially visible since, the Bab Ajyad escalators are located directly in front of it.

Bab Ismail (Gate no. 10)
The Bab Ism'ail (Gate of Ishmael, باب إسماعيل) is named after prophet Ismail the son of prophet Ibrahim. It is a smaller gate located on the southern flank of Masjid al-Haram between the Bab Hunain and Bab Hamzah. It is also one of the smaller gates of the mosque.

Bab Safa, Masjid al-Haram

Bab Safa (Gate no. 12)
The Bab Safa (باب الصفا), Safa Gate, is on of the five major Gates of Masjid al-Haram. It is located on the northern side of the Masjid Haram complex. Modern day Bab e Safa provides direct access to the start of the Masa'a area. Modern day bab e Safa also provides access to upper floors of the Masa'a starting point. Close to the starting point of Jabl e Safa, a scooter service is also available for the elderly who cannot perform Sai on foot.

Bab an-Nabi (Gate no. 14)
The Bab an-Nabi (باب النبي), Gate of the Prophet, is named for Prophet Muhammad. The gate of the prophet is located on the eastern flank of the great mosque of Mecca, between the Bab Abi Qubais and Bab 'Ali. It is located close to the al-Safa area. Bab an-Nabi Bridge (باب الجسر للنبي), the gate no 15, which is located south of the lower Bab Nabi provides access to the upper floors.

Bab Dar ul-Arqam (Gate no. 16)
The Bab Dar ul-Arqam (باب دار الارقم), Gate of the Arqam's House, the small portal to the right is the Bab e 'Ali. The Gate of Dar ul-Arqam is also located east of al-Masa'a, and also provides access to the upper levels of the Sa'i Gallery via electric escalators. It is named after Arqam ibn Abi'l-Arqam (circa 597-675 CE), a companion of prophet Muhammad. He was the owner of the house where the early Muslim community held its meetings.

Bab Ali (Gate no. 17)
The Bab 'Ali (بوابة علي), Gate of 'Ali, located in the eastern facade of the Sayee Gallery, is used for the funerals as well. It is named after Ali ibn abi Talib, first of the Muslims to accept Islam and son-in-law of prophet Muhammad. The Bab Ali is located on the eastern flank of the mosque between the Bab Nabi (the Prophet's Gate) and Bab 'Abbas. It provides direct access to the Ramal area of Mas'a. This gate, historically located elsewhere, has also been called the Gate of Bani Hashim or the Bab Bat'ha.

Bab Abbas (Gate no. 20)
The Bab 'Abbas, Gate of 'Abbas (باب عباس), located on the eastern flank of the Masjid Haram, is named after the paternal uncle and companion of prophet Muhammad, Abbas ibn Abdul Muttalib. It is located on the eastern flank of the Masjid Haram, between the Bab 'Ali and the newer Bab Bani Shaibah (gate no. 22), and provides direct access to the Mas'sa. It is a three potal gate, with the large one in the middle flanked by two smaller portals on each side.


Bab Bani Hashim (Gate no. 21)
The Bab Bani Hashim (باب بني هاشم), the Gate of Bani Hashim, is naed after the tribe of prophet Muhammad, the Banu Hashim. It is a bridge gate (باب جسر بني هاشم).

Bab Bani Shaibah (Gate no. 22)
It is a newer gate that provides access to the Masa'a gallery. It is named after the historic bab Bani Shaybah, which once stood in the form of an arch near the Kabah (marking the site where once the tribe of Shaybah lived). Today is it located near the al-Marwah area, on the eastern side of the al-Masa'a. Originally this gate was located close to Kaba as a free standing arch. Bab Bani Sheiba is named after the Banu Shaiba tribe of Mecca, who are the key bearers of Ka'ba.

Looking towards Safa from outside Marwah Gate

Bab Marwah (Gate no. 23)
The Bab al-Marwah (al-Marwah Gate, باب المروة), is one of the largest gates of the mosque complex. It provides electric escalator facilities to access the upper areas of the Masjid al-Haram. Being located closest to the Mount al-Marwah, it is named after the historic peak, and allows direct access to the Marwah area of Mas'a. Its architecture combines the traditional Arab elements with modern aesthetics.

Bab Muda'a (Gate no. 25)
The Bab al-Muda'a (باب المدعي), provides access to Massa (Say'ee, المسعى) ground floor.


Bab Arafat (Gate no. 35)
The Bab 'Arafah (باب عرفات), 'Arafat Gate,


Bab Umar (Gate no. 49)
The Bab Umar (باب عمر), Omer Gate,

Bab Umrah, Masjid al-Haram

Bab Umrah (Gate no. 63)
The old Bab al-Umrah (Umrah Gate, باب العمرة) of Masjid al-Haram, according to a tradition prophet Muhammad entered into Mecca for the purpose of Umrah (his last Umrah), in April of year 629 CE. During the Malik 'Abdullah Expansion of the mosque it is one of the gates to be renovated, on the pattern of Bab Malik. It allows direct access to the Mataf area from north-west.

Bab Madinah
Bab Medina (Medina Gate, باب المدينة) is named after the city of Medina as it is located in the same direction.

Bab al-Quds
Bab ul-Quds (باب القدس)


Bab Shamiyah
Bab al-Shamiyah (باب الشامية)

Bab Nidwah
The Bab al-Nidwah (باب الندوة), also spelled as Nadwah is named after a house, where Quraish used to hold "congress" meetings. This was where all the nobelmen would meet and major decisions were made.

Bab Quraish
Bab Qureysh (Quraish Gate, بوابة قريش) is named after the Quraish tribe of Mecca, the tribe of prophet Muhammad. It is located on the northern end of the Masa'a, and provides access to the al-Marwah area.


Bab Mina
Bab Mina (Mina Gate, باب منى)


Bab Muhassib
Bab al-Muhassib (Muhassib Gate, باب المحسب)


Bab Murad
Bab al-Murad (باب المراد)


Bab Mualah
Bab al-Mu'alah (Mu'alah Gate, باب المعلى)


Bab Hujoon
Bab al-Hujoon (al-Hujoon Gate, باب الحجون) is named after the Wadi al-Hujoon.

Bab as-Salam
The Baab-as-Salaam (Arabic: باب السلام), pronounced as "bāb assalām", is one of the most notable and historic gates at the Masjid-al-Haram at Makkah-al-Mukkarammah. This phrase in Arabic when literally translated into English means "Gate of Peace". This gate is located in the stretch between Mount Safa and Marwaah, closer to Mount Marwah. Also called the door of the sons of Sheybah (Bani Sheiba) in relation to Shaybah bin Othman, who lived near the Kaaba and was next to his house. This gate is not to be confused with the original Bab bani Shaybah which was located much closer to Kaaba.

Bab Aiesha, Bab Asma, Bab Shabeikah and Bab Yarmouk (Gate no. 70, 71, 72 and 73)
There are four gates on the smaller facade facing the west direction. The first one, gate no. 70 is named after one of the wives of prophet Muhammad and daughter of first caliph of Islam Abu Bakr, Aiesha. Second, gate no. 71, is named after the elder daughter of Abu Bakr, Asma. The fourth one, gate no. 73, is named after; either the Battle of Yarmouk or the area of Yarmouk. These four gates belong to the second Saudi expansion of the Masjid al-Haram.

Bab Abu Bakr and Bab Malik Fahad Stairs (Gate no. 74 and 78)
The single portal gate no. 74 is named after the first caliph of Muslims Abu Bakr, who was also one of the closest companions of the Prophet Muhammad and father of Aiesha, the wife of of prophet Muhammad. Gate no. 78 provides stairs' access to the upper floors of the great mosque and is named after the Saudi monarch of Arabia, King Fahad.

Bab Fahad, Masjid al-Haram

Bab Malik Fahad (Gate no. 79)
The Bab al-Fahad (King Fahad Gate, باب الملك فهد), is located on the eastern edge of the al-Haram Complex and provides access to the eastern outer prayer area of the mosque. It was installed during the second Saudi expansion project carried out between 1982-1988 CE. Two minarets were constructed on either sides of the three portal gate.

Bab Jabir bin 'Abdullah (Gate no. 84)
The Bab Jabir bin 'Abdullah (باب جابر بن عبد الله) is located on the south-western side of the Second Saudi Expansion under the auspices of King Fahad. This gate was part of the expansion program (circa 1982-1988 CE) to enlarge the Masjid al-Haram's capacity to serve the pilgrims. This gate is exclusively used by women to access/exit the mosque complex. The gate is named after one of the most notable companions of Prophet Muhammad, Jabir bin 'Abdullah.

Bab Saeed bin Zaid and Bab Zayd bin Thabit (Gate no. 85 and 86)
The twin gates are located on the south-western edge of the great mosque of Mecca. The first of the two gates, gate no. 85, is named after one of the notable companions and military leaders (cavalry commander) during the lifetime of prophet Muhammad, Saeed bin Zaid. The second, gate no. 86, is named after Zayd bin Thabit; the personal scribe of prophet Muhammad who served as the primary recorder of the Quran text.

Bab Umm Hani and Bab Maimouna (Gate no. 87 and 88)
The gate no. 87 is named after Umm Hani, who was one of the prominent Sahabiyyahs. Her given name was Fakhitah, and was the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad's uncle, Abu Talib. She was a very staunch supporters of the prophet Muhammad. The second of the two gates (gate no. 88), is named after one of the wives of the prophet Muhammad, Maimouna. It is part of the group of gates located on the southern edge of the Masjid al-Haram complex.

Bab Hijlah and Bab Hafsah (Gate no. 89 and 90)
The Bab Hijlah (باب الهجلة) on the left and the partially visible Bab Hafsah (باب حفصة) on the right, are loccated on the souther-corner of the Masjid al-Haram complex. On October 31, 2020 CE a man rammed his car in to the gate no. 89, al-Hijlah Gate, as news reported. The gate to the right, Bab Hafsah, is most likely named after one of the wives of prophet Muhammad.

Bab Malik 'Abdullah
The Bab 'Abdullah (باب عبد الله), literally meaning the gate of 'Abdullah, is the central entrance gate to the King 'Abdullah Extension, situated towards the north-western end of the mosque's newly covered area. The gate is a scaled up version of gates from previous King Fahad expansion of Masjid al-Haram. The tripple arched gate has two minarets. It is flanked by two tetra arched smaller gates on each side. It is part of the north-plaza-expansion, the largest expansion plan in the history of the mosque.

Bab Fatah, Masjid al-Haram

Bab al-Fatah
The Bab al-Fatah is one of the historic gates of the Haram, literally meaning the gate of victory (باب الفتح), it is located on the southern side of the Haram Complex. According to an unverified tradition this gate marks the site from where prophet Muhammad entered the city of Mecca on the day of Meccan Conquest, hence the name "Gate of Victory". The gate has recently been renovated among four other major gates.

Historic Gates and Entrances

Bab Bani Shaybah
The original Bab Bani Shaybah (باب بني شيبه), was a free standing arch marking the site (access) where once the houses of the tribe of Shaybah stood in antiquity. This arch stood in the Mataf area well in to the Saudi era when it was removed along other above ground structures to make more space for the circumbulation.

See Also


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