Mecca, in a desert valley in western Saudi Arabia, is Islam’s holiest city, as it’s the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad and the faith itself. Only Muslims are allowed in the city, with millions arriving for the annual Hajj (pilgrimage). Dating from the 7th century, the central Masjid al-Haram (Sacred Mosque) surrounds the Kaaba, the cloth-covered cubic structure that’s Islam’s most sacred shrine.
Mecca or Makkah is a city in the Hejaz in Saudi Arabia,the capital of its Makkah Region. The city is located 70 km (43 mi) inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of 277 m (909 ft) above sea level. Its resident population in 2012 was roughly 2 million, although visitors more than triple this number every year during the hajj (“pilgrimage”) period held in the twelfth Muslim lunar month of Dhu al-Hijjah.
Medina or al-Madīnah/al-Munawwarah also transliterated as Madīnah, is a city in the Hejaz, and the capital of the Al Madinah Region of Saudi Arabia. The city contains al-Masjid an-Nabawi (“the Prophet’s Mosque”), which is the burial place of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and is the second-holiest city in Islam after Mecca.
15 Historical Photos of Mecca & Madina – Holiest Site In Islam
1. A busy street in Makkah. An Ottoman style minaret can be seen_c1953
2. A photograph showing buildings in Mecca, circa 1887, including the Hamīdijjah, a government building constructed during the reign of Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II, and the Jiyād fortress in the background
3. A Rare Picture of Kaaba
4. View of Markets and stalls near the Masjid Al Haram_c1953
5. The City of Medina the Radiant. This image shows the haram (sanctuary) of the Masjid al-Nabawi or Mosque of the Prophet at Medina from an elevated position_c1907
6. A view of the city of Mecca, circa 1887.
7. Khadija’s tomb at Jannat al-Mu’alla cemetery, before its destruction in 1925
8. Coaches and buses would be used to transport pilgrims from place to place_C1953
9. Worshippers also were able to enter the Ka’ba_c1953
10. Pilgrims in the eastern part of the Mina Valley, circa 1887
11. A photograph of the Kaaba (center of photo) in the city of Mecca circa 1887
12. Pilgrims keep themselves cool by drinking Coca-cola_c1953
13. Kaaba and Hateem, Early 20th century Picture. Hateem is enclosed in the crescent-shaped wall.
14. Door of Mdina al-Munawwarah
15. Pilgrims at a rest station near Mount Arafat, east of Mecca, during the Hajj, circa 1887
The beginnings of Mecca is attributed to Ishmael’s descendants. The Old Testament chapter Psalm 84:3–6, and a mention of a pilgrimage at the Valley of Baca, that Muslims see as referring to the mentioning of Mecca as Bakkah in Quran Surah 3:96. Also the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus who lived between 60 BCE and 30 BCE writes about the isolated region of Arabia in his work Bibliotheca historica describing a holy shrine that Muslims see as referring to the Kaaba at Mecca “And a temple has been set up there, which is very holy and exceedingly revered by all Arabians”.Ptolemy has sometimes been alleged to have called the Mecca “Macoraba”, though this identification is controversial
In 622 AD/1 AH, Muhammad and around 70 Meccan Muhajirun believers left Mecca for sanctuary in Yathrib, an event that transformed the religious and political landscape of the city completely; the longstanding enmity between the Aus and Khazraj tribes was dampened as many of the two Arab tribes and some local Jews embraced Islam. Muhammad, linked to the Khazraj through his great-grandmother, was agreed on as civic leader. The Muslim converts native to Yathrib of whatever background—pagan Arab or Jewish—were called Ansar (“the Patrons” or “the Helpers”).
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