The most scared city for the Muslim’s is Mecca. No matter in which part of the earth the Muslim’s are, but they pray 5 times a day, facing the direction of the Mecca which is called kaaba. The direction for the prayer is also known as qibla. For every Muslim, a once-in-a-life-time pilgrimage to Mecca is mandatory provided they are able to afford it.
Mecca is one of the 5 pillars of faith for the Muslims. Hajj sees nearly three million visitors on a pilgrimage every year. Pilgrimage is carried out in the month of Dhu'l-Hijja of the Muslim calendar. Some people carry out a minor pilgrimage called Umrah during different times of the year.
Non Muslims are not allowed to carry out the pilgrimage to Hajj. Very rarely has a non Muslim visited Hajj. It is also not easy to enter the city of Mecca and Medina. There are several road blocks while entering these cities. The most famous person who visited Mecca was a British Explorer called Sir Richard Burton in the year 1853. Burton wore a disguise to make himself appear as an Arab Muslim, and this allowed him to visit the holy cities. After visiting these holy cities, he penned down a book called Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al Madinah and Mecca.
Kaaba or the House of God is the middle of Mecca, in Saudi Arabia. It is a mosque that was constructed by Abraham, as per the Muslim texts. It is completely built of black stone. Mecca was designated as the Holy city for Muslims by Prophet Mohammed. He also laid the rule that every Muslim should worship facing the direction of Mecca.
According to the Muslim scriptures, the kaaba was the first place to be built on earth. It is a place of immense power and where the heaven touches the earth. Mecca is situated in the western region of Saudi Arabia in a place called Hijaaz. It lies 73 kilometers to the east of Jeddah, in the Valley of Abraham. Mecca is situated 277 meters above the sea.
As a part of the pilgrimage, every pilgrim circles the Kaaba 7 times. They also try to touch and kiss the corner stone. ZamZam is the holy well and people drink water from here. It is considered to have medicinal and curative properties. They also carry the water in bottles. Pilgrims also travel to Mina, a place where the devil has been symbolized in stones.
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Religion Facts: Mecca: The Holiest City In Islam