Plenty of times we have heard about Muslim religious gatherings in what they call “Mecca.” However, not many of us have knowledge about what Mecca is. In this post we will discuss 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. See extra info on History of 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. God rewarded Hajar for her patience and sent his angel Jibreel to reveal a spring, which today is known as “Zamzam Well.” Pilgrims drink water from the sacred well and may take some home for blessings. The hajj “climaxes” with a sojourn into the plains of Arafat near Mecca. There, pilgrims gather in tents, spend time with one another and perform prayers. Some pilgrims will ascend a hill known as the “Mount of Mercy,” where Prophet Muhammad delivered the farewell sermon toward the end of his life.
Where to stay in Mecca ? Hilton Suites Makkah: The Hilton Suites Makkah offers its guests easy access to the Holy Haram area and a short distance to major attractions. While the King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) is one hour away from the hotel, this place won’t disappoint you with their top-notch facilities and amenities. As for the rooms, they’re equipped with a dining area and kitchenette, a TV, comfy bed, and a bathroom with complete toiletries. Another exciting feature of the hotel is their restaurants offering a unique fusion of flavors of dishes, made with the freshest ingredients. For those planning a conference or events, the Hilton Suites Makkah has a 24-hour business center and meeting rooms with the lasts A/V equipment.
Mecca pilgrimage fact of the day : The hajj has turned into a major industry, as trips can often be pricey. Hajj packages from the U.S. oftentimes run upwards of $5,000 in U.S. currency. On average 14,500 American Muslims complete the hajj each year. Officials have been forced in recent years to limit the number of pilgrims, as more and more people have applied in recent years. More than 3.1 million people performed the hajj in 2013. To accommodate the crowd, Saudi authorities have sought to expand the Grand Mosque, which sits around Islam’s holiest site, the cube-like building called the Kaaba. You can find many more information, facts and details on meccamedina.net Visit: https://meccamedina.net/.