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Mecca travel guide — Mecca tourism and travel information

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about Mecca

Mecca or Makkah (in full: Makkah al-Mukkaramah; Arabic مكة المكرمة) is a city in the Hijaz region of western Saudi Arabia. It is revered as the holiest site of the Islamic religion, and a pilgrimage to it is required of all Muslims who can afford the trip. The term Mecca has come to be commonly used metaphorically to mean any all-important site for any particular group of people.

In the 1980s the government of Saudi Arabia changed the official transliteration of the city's name from Mecca, as it had been known to Westerners for centuries, to Makkah. for the reasons.

Mecca history

Mecca was already an important trading city for the Arabian tribes by the time Muhammad was born there in about 570 CE. He soon lost both father and mother, and was raised by his grandfather and, later, by his uncle, Abu Talib. At the age of 25, he married a rich widow, Khadijah. When he was forty years old, in the year 610, Muslims believe, he was visited by the angel Gabriel while meditating in a cave on Mount Hira outside of Mecca and told, "Recite! In the name of your Lord who created, Created man from a clot. Recite, and your Lord is most honorable, who taught how to write with the pen, taught man what he did not know," which now forms the beginning of Sura 96 of the Qur'an, or Koran.

Muhammad preached the religious doctrines of one God and the threat of the Day of Judgment. (Muslims worship a single God, whom they call Allah, which is simply the Arabic word for God). Muhammad did not have much success at first. His tribe, the Quraysh, which was in charge of the Kaaba (a shrine to the varying gods worshipped By Arabs), persecuted and harassed him continuously. He and his followers emigrated to the city of Yathrib, later called Medina (al-Madinah in Arabic, alternatively transliterated as Madinah), in 622. This event, known as the hijra (or hegira in Latin), marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar (1 AH, anno hegirae, or "in the year of the hijra").

Muhammad and his followers clashed off and on with the Quraysh, steadily gaining in numbers and power. Finally Muhammad entered Mecca,without a battle in 630, and cleared the Kaaba of its idols. After this Islam spread rapidly throughout Arabia and areas beyond. The Black Stone at Kabba remains, however, as this was by tradition believed to be the last stone to be installed by Prophet Ibraham (Abraham) when building Kabbah. When the kabbah was repaired after a flood, it was installed using a system designed by Muhammad to resolve disputes between the tribes. His ingenious method of installation, which allowed each of the leaders of the Tribes an equal privilege during the installation, granted him the title of 'The Wise'. Many non-Muslims believe that this stone is to be prayed to, but that is not true. This can be seen in one of the traditions (Sunnah/Hadees) which states that Umar, one of the closest companions of Muhammad has stated :-

The Black Stone is not be worshipped or regarded as anything but a marker and as sentiment to the link between the people now with Muhammad.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mecca".

This city is also known as: Mecca (Makkah).

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