A lot of times we have heard about Muslim religious events in what they call “Mecca.” However, not many of us have knowledge about what Mecca is. In this article we will talk about Mecca, the meaning , the history and many other details regarding this focal point of muslim religion.
The Religious Significance of Mecca: In addition to prayer, a pilgrimage to Mecca is required of every Muslim who can afford it as one of the Five Pillars of the faith. Every year about three million gather for the major pilgrimage, or Hajj, during the Muslim month of Dhu’l-Hijja, and many more perform the minor pilgrimage, or Umrah, at various times throughout the year. Few non-Muslims have ever seen the rites and rituals of the Hajj, as non-Muslims are strictly prohibited from entering Mecca and Medina. Roadblocks are stationed along roads leading to the city. The most famous incident of a non-Muslim visiting Mecca was the visit by the British explorer Sir Richard Burton in 1853. Burton disguised himself as an Afghani Muslim to visit and write Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al Madinah and Mecca.
Mecca, [Arabic Makkah and ancient Bakkah], is a city in western Saudi Arabia, located in the Sirat Mountains, inland from the Red Sea coast. It is the holiest of Muslim cities. Muhammad, the founder of Islam, was born in Mecca, and it is toward this religious centre that Muslims turn five times daily in prayer. All devout and able Muslims attempt a hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca at least once in their lifetime. Because it is sacred, only Muslims are allowed to enter the city. Find more details on Mecca.
Millions of muslims congregate in Mecca during the last month of the Muslim lunar year. They come from diverse countries such as Indonesia, Russia, India, Cuba, Fiji, the United States, Nigeria and others. Afterwards, pilgrims move to Mina, also known as the Tent City, about five kilometers from the holy city of Mecca. Here, they reenact another part of the story of Ibrahim’s test of faith in the sacrifice of his son. They recall how Satan tried to tempt Ibrahim to disobey God’s call to sacrifice Ismail. Ibrahim, however, remained unmoved and informed Ismail, who was willing to be sacrificed. To reenact Ibrahim’s rebuff of Satan’s temptation, pilgrims throw small stones at a stone pillar.
Where to stay in Mecca ? Swissotel Makkah: Overlooking the entire Masjid and a 5-minute walk in the Abraj Al bait complex is the Swissotel Makkah featuring modern accommodation and a great selection of sumptuous local and international cuisine. It was renovated in 2012, and the hotel now houses a beauty salon, a wellness area, and a barbershop. All rooms are completed with a flat-screen TV, working desk, and a spacious bathroom with toiletries. Some of the restaurants to check out are the Al Ruwad and the Cafe Swiss. The hotel is mostly the top choice of some business travelers, because of its fully equipped business center with high-speed internet access.
Mecca pilgrimage fact of the day : There is no gender segregation while at the Grand Mosque during the hajj, unlike during many other Muslim rites. Men and women stand side by side in what some have said is meant to show everyone’s equality before God. However, after the hajj the gender segregation is again recognized. Muslims can visit Mecca and surrounding holy sites any time of the year, but the hajj falls during the eighth and the 12th of the month of Dhul Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar. The ritual at any other time of the year is called “umrah” Umrah means “to visit a populated place.” You can find many more information, facts and details on meccamedina.net Visit: https://meccamedina.net/.