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Al-Azraqi was a 9th-century Islamic commentator and historian, and author of the Kitab Akhbar Makka (Book of reports about Makka).[1][2] He is from a family who lived in Makka for hundreds of years. He gave information on the design and layout of the pre-Islamic Ka'aba at Makka after its rebuilding following a fire in 603 AD until its possession by Mohammed in 630 AD. The contents included a statue of Hubal, the principal male deity of Makka, and a number of other pagan items, which were destroyed in 630 as idolatrous. They also included a pair of ram’s horns said to have belonged to the ram sacrificed by the Prophet Abraham in place of his son, the Prophet Ismail, and a painting (probably a fresco) of Jesus and Mary. According to Al-Azraqi, Mohammed spared these items, which survived until the destruction by the Umayyads in 683 AD. Al-Azraqi is silent on the fate of the images of trees that are known also to have decorated the interior of the Ka'aba, pictures of which formed part of the mosaic decoration on the walls of the cathedral of al-Qalis in Sana'a, and were later to emerge in the Umayyad mosaics in the Dome of the Rock, the Mosque of the Prophet in Medina, and the Great Mosque of Damascus.[3]

The key manuscript of Akhbar Makka is Leiden, University Library, Or.424.[2] The 19th-century edition remains the only printed text.[4]


  1. ^ Al-Azraqi. Akhbar Makka: History of Makka. p. 262. ISBN 9773411273. 
  2. ^ a b Andrew Marsham (2010). "al-Azraqī". In Graeme Dunphy. Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle. Leiden: Brill. p. 138. ISBN 90 04 18464 3. 
  3. ^ King, G. R. D. 2004. The Paintings of the Pre-Islamic Ka'ba. In Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Culture of the Islamic World, XXI, 219-230
  4. ^ F. Wüstenfeld, Chroniken der Stadt Mekka, 1858.