Mataf

The Mataf (المطاف) is the open area around the Kaaba, where pilgrims and Muslims circumbulate around Ka'bah.

circa 2000 BCE

Total area of current Mataf's ground floor is about 14,000 square meters. The Ka'ba (الكعبة) is located in the center of Mataf area, along with Hateem (Hajr Ismaeel) and Maqam Ibrahim. The Mataf area was originally just sands, and was first plastered by 'Abdullah ibn Zubayr, since then Mataaf has seen countless, building and rebuilding developments. Current Mataf floor is paved with Carrara marble.

circa 1930 CE

Previously the Mataf area had several structures built within, including Zam Zam building, Bab Bani Shaybah (باب بني شيبة), an Ottoman era pulpit (minbar), Mukkabariya (Adhan platform). Some of the these were removed during the first Saudi expansion of Masjid al-Haram and some were removed late on to allow the Hajis (pilgrims) perform Tawaf with ease.

circa 1254 CE
(631 Hj.)

Inscription on marble slab, from the Exhibition of the Two Holy Mosques' Architecture (معرض عمارة الحرمين الشريفين), marking the date for the construction of the Mataf during the reign of Abbaid caliph abi Ja'far al-Mansur al-Muntasir Billah in the year 611 Hj. The Mataf area has been rebuilt, redeveloped and expanded over the centuries. Several

circa 2020 CE

After the King 'Abdullah Expansion the Mataf area is at its largest in its over 1500 year history. Performing tawaf closest to the Kaba constitutes about 75-80 meters per tawaf. And a total seven tawafs around Kaabah would make about 525-600 meter (about half a kilo meter). The circle of tawaf begins and ends at the Black Stone (al-Ḥajar al-'Aswad) on the corner of the Kaaba. If possible, Muslims are to kiss or touch it, but this is often not possible because of the large crowds, so it is acceptable for them to simply point or hold up their hand to the Stone on each circuit.

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