Mecca is a city in Hejaz, Saudi Arabia. The city is at an altitude of 277 meters above sea level and is about 70 km inland from Jeddah. Millions of people visit this place every year during the twelfth Muslim lunar month of Dhu al-Hijjah. Mecca is considered a holy city in Islam and Hajj is mandatory for all able-bodied Muslims. Mecca is the birthplace of Muhammad and the home of the Kaaba. Mecca has an important place in the Muslim world and is one of the most cosmopolitan cities, despite the fact that non-Muslims are also prohibited from entering the city.
Mecca is one of the two holiest and holiest cities for Islam – a land blessed by the divine, thronged by millions of people every year, and a place, which is virtually no other place in the world. is not the opposite.
It is most popular for the Kaaba – a 4-walled building covered with black cloth with gold embroidered. Mecca is at the center of a holy pilgrimage for religious Muslims, which is infinitely important for religion and faith.
Located 73 kilometers east of Jeddah—a popular port city in the Hijaz district of Saudi Arabia, Mecca is a pilgrimage destination for believers of Islam.
The importance of Mecca
Mecca is the birth city of the Prophet Muhammad. Its centrality in Islam is clear and absolute. It is recognized as the place from where Islam originated and spread. The city is closely associated with sites of religious and historical importance.
Mount Safa, Mount Marwa, Land of Mina, Hill of Arafat, Land of Muzdalifa are some of the sites that are relevant to the Muslim pilgrimage – Hajj – and are located in and around the city.
Additionally, Mecca is fast becoming one of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring cities in the world. The grand mosque complex that surrounds the Kaaba is called Masjid-al-Haram or the ‘Forbidden Mosque’.
Importance of Hajj in Islam
It is important for every Muslim man or woman to travel at least once in a lifetime if they have the means and are able to go there. It is considered one of the five pillars of Islam and should be performed during particular seasons. According to the Muslim holy book Quran, the founder of this pilgrimage was Abraham. The main point is the Kaaba, a 15-foot-high stone that stands in the middle of the Grand Mosque of Mecca.
The pilgrimage consists of several stages such as walking around the Kaaba, sacrificing a ram, bull or camel, gathering at the Mount of Mercy, and standing before the Lord from noon to sunset, throwing pebbles at the three pillars in Mina which are the seductive Abraham of Satan. represent. For not sacrificing his son. Every year around 2 million or more Muslims participate in the rituals of this pilgrimage and this is the reason why Saudi Arabia is exploring new ways to freeze and preserve the meat produced by the thousands of sacrifices.
Many people are also killed during the stampede and at the end of this pilgrimage, it is mandatory to visit the tomb of Muhammad in Medina before returning home. The people returning from Hajj wear a green dupatta of Hajj. Usually, the homes of the pilgrims were decorated with lights and palm branches and then a feast was followed by the reception ending with the reception.
Symbols in the Great Mosque
There are some symbols and some customs which every pilgrim performs while visiting the holy mosque.
Ihram is the garment of the pilgrim. It is important that pilgrims enter Mecca in a state of purity, so it is necessary to stop about six miles outside the city and begin the purification process. Pilgrims wear a certain type of cloth after taking a religious bath and it is important that a female pilgrim is covered from head to ankle and that even the face is hidden and the head of a male pilgrim is covered.
This is done so that everything is left to Allah (God) even when Muslims die they leave all their belongings and clothes and wear simple short clothes and ihram is the same. equals which is actually a symbol of Muslim equality in the eyes of Allah. . Even if the pilgrims are arriving by air, most pilgrims wear white robes in miqat, several miles from Mecca. Those who are coming by air change into ihram on the plane so that they do not reach Miqat wearing the wrong clothes.
It is a 15 feet stone high square granite temple with black stone. It is believed that it was bought by Adam from the Garden of Eden. It is placed in the eastern corner of the dargah by Ibrahim on the orders of Allah. It is said that the footprints of Abraham can still be seen in the stone.
Tawaf means circumambulation in the courtyard of the Great Mosque. As the pilgrims enter the courtyard, they move towards the black stone and with the Kaaba on their left, they circumambulate the temple seven times. The first three rounds are done at a brisk pace and the last is done a little more comfortably and after the seventh, the pilgrims press their bodies against a space between the eastern corner of the door which is considered sacred and in doing so they expect Let’s absorb some of the blessings of virtue.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mecca
Q. Can a Hindu go to Mecca?
A – In Mecca, only Muslims are allowed, while non-Muslims cannot enter or leave. Attempting to enter Mecca as a non-Muslim can result in penalties such as fines; Being in Mecca as a non-Muslim could result in deportation.
Q. Can non-Muslims go to Mecca?
A – Non-Muslims are prohibited from visiting Mecca and are advised not to enter parts of central Medina, where the mosque is located.
Q. What is the black box in Mecca for?
A – The pre-Islamic Kaaba had black stones and idols of pagan gods. Muhammad reportedly cleared the Kaaba of idols upon his triumphant return to Mecca, returning the temple to Ibrahim’s monotheism. The black stone is believed to have been given to Ibrahim by the angel Gabriel and is revered by Muslims.
Q. Why is Mecca so important?
A – Mecca is the place where the Islamic religion originated. It is the place where Prophet Muhammad was born and received the first revelation from Allah (Allah is the Arabic word for God) which became the Quran – the holy book read by Muslims.
Q. Can a woman go to Mecca alone?
A – The Hajj ministry officially allows women of all ages to perform the pilgrimage without a male relative, known as a “mehram”, on the condition that they go in a group. … Hajj, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, is a requirement for able-bodied Muslims to perform it at least once in their lifetime.
Q. Who is buried next to the Prophet Muhammad?
A – The first Rashidun Caliph, Abu Bakr, is buried next to Muhammad and Umar.
Q. What do you call a woman who performs Hajj?
A – A man who has completed Hajj is called a Hajji, and a woman is called a Hajjah.
Q. What is hanging inside the Kaaba?
A – Various sculptures and paintings were placed inside the Kaaba. An idol of Hubble (the principal idol of Mecca) and statues of other pagan deities are placed in or around the Kaaba. There were pictures of sculptures adorning the walls.
Q. What is a black stone made of?
A – Depending on the color of the Kaaba (dark reddish-brown with some black) it is probably composed of a combination of magnetite and basalt (igneous rock). The black stone, or Kaaba Stone, installed outside a corner of the Kaaba, is kissed by all the pilgrims who may have access to it.
Q. Why do Muslims perform Hajj?
A – Hajj is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people and their submission to God (Allah). Hajj is associated with the life of the Islamic prophet Muhammad from the 7th century AD, but the ritual of pilgrimage to Mecca by Muslims is believed to date back thousands of years to the time of Abraham.
Q. Is Mecca really the birthplace of Islam?
A – Mecca is reputedly the birthplace of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The Hira Cave atop Jabal Al-Noor (“Mountain of Light”) is outside the city and Muslims believe the Quran was first revealed to Muhammad.
Q. Why did Adam build the Kaaba?
A – Located in the eastern corner of the Kaaba is the Black Stone of Mecca, the now broken pieces of which are surrounded by a ring of stone and held together by a heavy silver band. According to tradition, this stone was given to Adam upon expulsion from heaven to seek forgiveness of his sins.