Safa and Marwah are the two mountains between which Hajra (upon her be peace) rushed seven times to see if she could spot any water or anyone from whom she could get some in order to give to her infant Ismail (upon him be peace). This action is copied by all pilgrims performing Hajj or Umrah and is known as Sa’ee. The strip of ground between Safa and Marwah is referred to as the Mas’aa.
- Allah (Glorified and Exalted is He) makes mention of the Safa and Marwah mountains in the Quran in Surah Baqarah: “Verily Safa and Marwah are among the landmarks (distinctive signs) of (the Deen of) Allah.” [2:158]
- When Hajra (upon her be peace) was passing through the valley between Safa and Marwah in her search for water she kept her eye on her baby son, Ismail (upon him be peace). However, for part of the valley he was hidden from view and she ran this length. It is in emulation of this action that men are required to rush through the same section of the Mas’aa. The area where she ran is today clearly demarcated by green lighting.
- Abdullah bin Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) climbed up Mount Safa when Allah (Glorified and Exalted is He) revealed the verse in Surah Shu’ara: “And warn your tribe (O Muhammad) of near kindred.” [26:214]
- After ascending the Safa mountain he shouted: “Ya Sabahah!” (an Arabic expression when one appeals for help or draws the attention of others to some danger). When the people of Makkah had gathered around him the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said to them, “If I told you that horsemen were advancing to attack you from the valley on the other side of this mountain, will you believe me?”. “Yes”, they replied, “We have always found you truthful.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said, “I am a plain warner to you of a coming severe punishment.” After this vivid analogy the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) asked them to save themselves by declaring that Allah was one and that he, Muhammad, was his messenger. He tried to make them understand that if they clung to polytheism and rejected the message he had brought to them, they would face Allah’s punishment. Abu Lahab (his uncle) said, “May you perish! You gathered us only for this reason? “ Then Abu Lahab went away. Upon this ‘Surah al-Lahab’ (Perish the hands of Abu Lahab!) was revealed.
- After conquering Makkah, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) went to the Hajar al-Aswad and then started performing Tawaaf. After completing the Tawaf, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) climbed Mount Safa, faced towards the Ka’bah and after praising Allah, he started making du’aa. It was from here that he announced (to the local Makkans), “Whoever enters the house of Abu Sufyaan has amnesty and whoever closes the door of his house has amnesty.”
- Abu Sufyaan’s (may Allah be pleased with him) house was situated close to Marwah.
References: The History of Makkah Mukarramah – Dr Muhammad Ilyas Abdul Ghani, When the Moon Split – Shaikh Safiur-Rahman Mubarakpuri