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Meccac. 1800 CE


Mecca also spelled Makkah (مكة المكرمة), is a city in the Hejazi region of Saudi Arabia. As the birthplace of prophet Muḥammad and the site of first revelation of the Quran, Mecca is regarded as the holiest city in Islam. According to Islamic tradition, the history of Mecca goes back to prophet Abraham (Ibrahim), who built the Kaaba with the help of his elder son Ishmael in around 2000 BCE, when the inhabitants of the site then known as Bakkah had fallen away from the original monotheism of Abraham through the influence of the Amalekites.

Featured Article: Timeline of Mecca

In the Islamic view, the beginnings of Mecca are 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's Surah 3:96. Some time in the 5th century, the Kaaba was a place of worship for the deities of Arabia's pagan tribes.

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Featured Article: Exhibition of the Two Holy Mosques' Architecture

On the northwestern edge of Makkah you’ll find a museum dedicated to treasures from two of Islam’s holiest mosques. Discover how Al Masjid Al Haram (Holy Mosque) in Makkah and Al Masjid An Nabawi (Prophet’s Mosque) in Madinah have been transformed over the centuries.

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Featured Article: Companions of the Elephant

Historically, in Islamic tradition the companions or the people of the elephant are identified with an army of Abraha, so-called because it included a number of war elephants. He felt slighted by the Quraysh, and planned to exact revenge by destroying the kaaba. The principal source on Abraha outside of Islamic tradition is a series of six inscriptions, of which four were written by the sovereign himself.

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