Mecca

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Mecca

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Makkah
The Holy City of Mecca
Masjid al-Haram and the center of Mecca
Masjid al-Haram and the center of Mecca
Nickname(s): 
Umm al-Qura ("Mother of All Settlements")
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Country25px Saudi Arabia
ProvinceMakkah Province
Founded byProphet Ismā'īl
(Islamic Tradition)
Government
 • MayorOsama al-Bar
 • Provincial GovernorKhalid al-Faisal
Area
 • CityTemplate:Infobox settlement/metric
 • Urban
Template:Infobox settlement/metric
 • Metro
Template:Infobox settlement/metric
Elevation
Template:Infobox settlement/metric
Population
 (2012)[source?]
 • City2,000,000
 • DensityTemplate:Infobox settlement/metric
 • Urban
2,353,912
 • Metro
2,900,000
 Mecca Municipality estimate
Time zoneUTC+3 (AST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (AST)
Postal Code
(5 digits)
Area code(s)+966-2
Websitewww.holymakkah.gov.sa
File:Day of Hajj. Mecca, Saudi Arabia.jpg
A view of Makkah during the Hajj, with Mt. Arafat in the distance.

Mecca or Makkah (called Mecca in older texts, officially: Makkah al-Mukarramah; Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Language/data/iana scripts' not found.) is a city in Saudi Arabia. As of the 2004 census, 1,294,169 people lived there. The city is 73 kilometres (45 mi) inland from Jeddah, in the narrow sandy Valley of Abraham. It is 277 metres (909 ft) above sea level. It is 81 kilometres (50 mi) from the Red Sea.

Mecca is the holiest city in the Islamic world. Every year, millions of Muslims take a pilgrimage to Mecca, called the Hajj. They follow in the footsteps of Muhammad. All Muslims who are able to perform the Hajj are expected to do so at least once in their life. The Kaaba and Masjid al-Haram, are the holiest mosques in Islam. Mecca is closed to non-Muslims except for some journalists reporting on the Hajj.

History

The Kaaba, the small cubical building which Muslims pray towards is believed to have been built by Ibrahim and has been a religious center ever since. Muslims believed that God commanded Ibrahim to send his second wife Hajar and her son Ismail there.[2] They found the Zamzam Well which led to people settling nearby, and thus Makkah was born. When Ismail was big enough, he helped his father to build the Kaaba. The Kaaba is the place towards which Muslims turn in prayer. This is known as the Qibla .[3]

References

  1. Mecca Municipality. Holymakkah.gov.sa. Retrieved on 2013-02-03.
  2. The Qur'an 14:37
  3. The Qur'an 2:217

Other websites