Great Mosques of the Muslim Faith
The Sacred Mosque - (Great Mosque of Mecca) - Arabic - Mecca - Saudi Arabia - Year 600 - Capacity 1.5M
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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.
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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,
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
-The hills Safa and Marwa
It is open, regardless of date or time.
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
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
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.
Image courtesy of CIC - Saudi Arabia (image truncated vertically)
Other holy places in Mecca:
Other related references: