Mecca which is also called Makkah is the city in Saudi Arabia. It is the holiest city for Muslims all over the world. It is the birthplace of last prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SAW). Kaaba which is the holiest place for Muslims is also present in this city. It is the site where every dedicated Muslim pays pilgrimage (Hajj) atleast once in a lifetime. Every Muslim on this planet offers their prayers 5 times a day heading towards Kaaba. As this the most sacred site for all the Muslims over the world, Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter in this city.
Importance of Mecca
There are several reasons which make Mecca the most important city for all Muslims. Some of these reasons are described below.
Birthplace of Hazrat Muhammad (SAW)
Mecca is the birthplace of the last prophet in Islam. Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) was born in the tribe of Bun Hashim, Mecca.Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) spent his childhood and youth here. Even the first revelation by Allah, the verses of Holy Quran was revealed upon Muhammad (SAW) in a cave called Hira just 3 km from Mecca. Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) and his whole family belong to this city, which also makes this city very important and sacred for all the Muslims community.
Presence of Holy Kaaba
Holy Kaaba, which is the house of Allah is also situated in the center of this sacred city Mecca. Holy Kaaba is the most sacred place on the earth for the Muslim community. That is why Mecca is also considered as the holiest city on this planet. All the devoted Muslims in the world offer their prayers five times every day facing the Holy Kaaba.
All the dedicated Muslims on this planet earth comes to this city at least once in their life span for Hajj (Pilgrimage). The population of this city is around two million but in the days of Hajj, this number is multiplied by 3. In the routine days, this number is also double as some Muslims from around the world are here to perform Umrah which is a pilgrimage too for Muslims. Umrah can be performed in any part of the year in Mecca.
There are many sacred sites for Muslims which are present in the Hijazi city of Mecca. Masjid-al-Haram is present in Mecca. Sites like Mina, Arafat ground, Muzdalifa, Hira cave,Safa, and Marwa mountains also adds more prominence to this sacred city.
History of Mecca
The earliest history of Mecca is still ambiguous but according to the Islamic point of view,the beginning of Mecca is associated with Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S) (Abraham). When he bought his son Ishmael(A.S) and Hajrah(A.S) Hagar, here and left them for some time. Here his son Ishmael also married two times. One after another. He divorced the first one as she was not right or pious according to his father. After some time of abandoning his family, when Abraham, at last came back to his family, he asked his son tat Allah has ordered him to build his house here. At that time the Holy Kaaba was constructed or reconstructed. It is also stated in the Muslim books of hadith as
“Then Abraham stayed away from them for a period as long as ALLAH wished, and called on them afterward. He saw Ishmael under a tree near Zamzam, sharpening his arrows. When he saw Abraham, he rose up to welcome him (and they greeted each other as a father does with his son, or a son does with his father). Abraham said, ‘O Ishmael! ALLAH has given me an order.’ Ishmael said, ‘Do what your Lord has ordered you to do.’ Abraham asked, ‘Will you help me?’ Ishmael said, ‘I will help you.’ Abraham said, ‘ALLAH has ordered me to build a house here,’ pointing to a small hill higher than the land surrounding it.’ The Prophet added, ‘Then they raised the foundations of the House’;” i.e., the Ka’ba. (Sahi Bukhari, Prophets, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 583)
Mecca was a trading center and the main trading route before and also at the time of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Mecca was also a link between Mediterranean sea, South Asia, Africa, and also South Arabia. When the prophet Muhammad (SAW) was born in this city, Mecca was under the governance of a tribe Quraish. Muhammad (SAW) was abdicated from Mecca by the pagans because the last prophet was preaching Islam and many pagans lived there did not accept it. But when Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) conquered Mecca again it became the center for all the Muslims community as all the Muslims want to live in Mecca and offer pilgrimage or perform Hajj here. From that day it becomes the most sacred city for all the Muslims that were there and for that also who came after them