Mecca (also spelled Makkah) is the birthplace of Muḥammad (570 CE) - the founder of Islam. Nearby is the cave where he had the first revelations (610 AD) which form the verses of the Quran. The first revelations took place in a cave called Hira, located on the mountain Jabal an-Nour, near Mecca. Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad%27s_first_revelation
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The Sacred Mosque was built to enclose the Kaʿbah, the holiest shrine in Islam, it receives millions of worshipers each year. It is a site of pilgrimage for the Hajj, which every Muslim must do at least once in their lives if able.
The Great Mosque of Mecca (Arabic: ٱلْـمَـسْـجِـد ٱلْـحَـرَام, romanized: al-Masjid al-Ḥarām, lit. 'The Sacred Mosque') is a mosque that surrounds the Kaaba in the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
The rites of which includes circumambulating the Kaaba within the mosque. It is also the main phase for the ‘Umrah', the lesser pilgrimage that can be undertaken any time of the year.
The Great Mosque includes other important significant sites: -The Black Stone -The Zamzam Well -Maqam Ibrahim -The hills Safa and Marwa
It is open, regardless of date or time.
About Mecca: Mecca is a city in the Hejazi region of the Arabian Peninsula, and is also the capital of the Makkah Region. The city is located 70 km (43 mi) inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of 277 m (909 ft) above sea level, and 340 kilometres (210 mi) south of Medina. Its resident population in 2012 was roughly 2 million, although visitors more than triple this number every year during the Ḥajj period held in the twelfth Muslim lunar month of Dhūl-Ḥijjah
As the birthplace of Muḥammad, and the site of Muhammad's first revelation of the Quran (specifically, a cave 3 km (2 mi) from Mecca), Mecca is regarded as the holiest city in the religion of Islam.
The Great Mosque is the largest mosque in the world and has undergone major renovations and expansions through the years.
It has passed through the control of various caliphs, sultans and kings, and is now under the control of the King of Saudi Arabia who is titled the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
It is located in front of the Abraj Al Bait, the tallest clock tower in the world.
The first Muslim structure on the site was a wall around the Kaʿbah, built by the second caliph, ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb, in 638.
The mosque was modernized and enlarged several times in the 20th century. The first electric lighting system was installed during the reign of Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī (emir of Mecca 1908–16 and king of Hejaz 1916–24). An electric public-address system was first used in the mosque in 1948. The most drastic changes to the mosque came in the second half of the 20th century, when the rise of commercial air travel increased the number of pilgrims to Mecca and Saudi Arabia’s new oil wealth enabled its rulers to fund massive construction projects.
The first Saudi enlargement of the ]mosque began in 1955 during the reign of King Saʿūd. The expansion, completed in 1973, added new construction around the Ottoman mosque, expanding the total area of the structure from about 290,000 square feet (27,000 square meters) to about 1,630,000 square feet (152,000 square meters) and increasing its maximum capacity to 500,000. The passageway between al-Ṣafā and al-Marwah was expanded and integrated into the structure of the mosque.
Notes by the author - Raul: When a Holy Place like Mecca and the The Sacred Mosque specifically attracts so many believers, we can be SURE that a great infinite spiritual power was deposited there by the great Masters of the past of the Islamic faith, and has all the Blessings of Allah.
Privileged are those of this faith that can and have visited Mecca. A special and unique uplifting feeling and humility results when one sees one is just a drop in the ocean of God in this stream of believers! Thus this is the same principle of all churches or mosques, the unity of the beliverers supporting each other in their faith.
References and Aids for travelling to UAE:
SNP - Saudi National Portal https://www.saudi.gov.sa/wps/portal/snp/main
UAE - Find government services and information https://government.ae/en/information-and-services#/
CIC - Center for International Communication https://cic.org.sa/
Other holy places in Mecca: https://theislamicinformation.com/holy-places-makkah/ https://www.pinterest.com/deryasar7/hira-cave-hira-magrasi/