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The hills of Safa and Marwah (الصفا و المروة) are two peaks in the Sacred Mosque Complex between which Muslims travel back and forth seven times during the ritual pilgrimages of Hajj and Umrah.
In Islamic tradition, Ibrahim (Abraham) was commanded by God to leave his wife Hajara (Hagar) and their infant son alone in the desert between al-Safa and al-Marwah with only basic provisions to test their faith. When their provisions were exhausted, Hagar went in search of help or water. To make her search easier and faster, she went alone, leaving the infant Ismail (Ishmael) on the ground.
She first climbed the nearest hill, al-Safa, to look over the surrounding area. When she saw nothing, she then went to the other hill, al-Marwah, to look around. While Hagar was on either hillside, she was able to see Ismael and know he was safe. However, when she was in the valley between the hills she was unable to see her son, and would thus run whilst in the valley and walk at a normal pace when on the hillsides. Hagar travelled back and forth between the hills seven times in the scorching heat before returning to her son. When she arrived, she found that a spring had broken forth from where the Angel Jibreel hit the ground with his wing. This spring is now known as the Zamzam Well, and was revealed by the angel of God as both sustenance and a reward for Hagar's patience.
circa 100 CE
Jabl al-Safa, from which the ritual walking or Sa'i begins, is the first hill Hajrah climbed in search of water for Ishmael. Another tradition relates that the prohet Muhammad proclaimed his prophethood from this peak, when the following commandment was revealed to him "...and warn your tribe of near kindred." (Surah Shu’ara [26:214]). After the conquest of Mecca, the amnesty for the abu Sufyan and others was declared from this hill as well. An oral confrontation between prophet Muhammad and abu Lahab also took place at this approximate site, after which the Surah Lahab was revealed. It is the closest of the both hills to the Kabah, Hajr e Aswad and Zam Zam well.
circa 100 CE
Jabl al-Marwah is the turning point of Sa'i from which pilgrims return to the mount Safa and come back for the next round. It is the farthest of the two hills from Kabah, Hajr e Aswad and Zamzam.
circa 100 CE
General view of al-Masa'a (Sa'yee Gallery, المسعى) as pilgrims leave towards al-Safa hill at the start of Sa'yee. According to the Islamic tradition Hagar (Hajara), went back and forth between the two hills of Safa and Marwah in search of water or help, once the provisions were exhausted after Ibrahim (biblical Abraham) left Hajrah and Ismael. Hagar travelled between the two hills seven times in search of water before returning to her son. When she arrived, she found that a spring had broken forth from where the Angel Jibreel hit the ground with his wing. This spring is now known as the Zamzam Well.