For the first time in history, several high resolution images of the most important Islamic site — the Grand Mosque of Mecca, has been released by the authorities of Saudi Arabia. This is for the first time, the world can see such detailed images of the al-Hajar al-Aswad, or the ancient religious ‘Black Stone’, which is set into the eastern corner of the Kaaba by the Prophet Mohammed in 605 CE.
As per international media reports, the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosque took about 1,050 photographs of the Black Stone and the shrine of Ibrahim and the images are up to 49,000 megapixels in size. The specially processed image were taken over a period of seven hours and required a week to edit.
The pictures of the Black Stone were posted on social media and it took the internet by storm. Soon after, the hashtag #BlackStone also started trending on Twitter in Saudi Arabia and people shared the never-seen-before pictures of the stone crazily.
The specially processed images were taken over a period of seven hours and required a week to edit.
The Saudi Arabian authority told the media that a special technique called Fox Stack Panorama has been used, which combines multiple photos with different focus points to keep the finished product sharp, said a CNN report. The images Speaking to the media house, a fellow in Islamic studies at the University of Oxford, who wasn’t involved in the project, said, “It’s significant because in a sense this is unprecedented. One sees that it’s not actually black, for example… As I understand it, it’s the first time there is a magnified digital photo of the stone and one can see the stone up close and personal.”
“In the Muslim tradition, this is considered to be a holy relic, but reason plays a major role in the Muslim tradition… So while it is unprecedented to see a picture of the stone, I think Muslims are down to Earth and science plays a major role in the religion,” he added.