Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mecca - the most visited city in the world.

MECCA - the holy city of all Muslims, the full name of Al-Makkah Al-Mukarramah, which means "brilliant Mecca".

Mecca is located in the western part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in the historic Hejaz region, located about 75 km from the Red Sea. Mecca is at an altitude of 300 meters in a valley surrounded by low mountains.

Mecca is known from the IV century AD. In Mecca, 570, was born the founder of the Islamic religion - prophet Muhammad (Muhammad). Here, about 610, he began to preach his ideas on the basis of which arose a new religion - Islam. In the 624, while in exile in Medina, the Prophet Muhammad introduced a rule according to which his followers, which was called "Muslims" should seek in prayer toward Mecca. (Before that, for several years, Muslims turned prayeing towards Jerusalem). In 630, when Muhammad after the exile returned to Mecca, he cleared the Ka'bah of pagan idols (and according to legend, these idols have been 340) and proclaimed it to the main shrine of Muslims . Since Mecca is the spiritual center of Islam, a sacred city for all Muslims. "Mother of cities" - Mecca is called in the Qur'an.

Century have passed away... Today Mecca is a modern city with a population of over 1 million people. But today, just as many years ago, life is connected with Mecca, the Muslim holy sites - and the Ka'ba was built around the Haram. Holy Haram Mosque (Al-Masezh al-Haram, which in Arabic means "Sacred Mosque"), located in the heart of Mecca.

Inside the building mosque is equipped with an the high level. It is enough to say that the building has 7 escalators and air is conditioned in rooms. There are special rooms for prayer and committing ablutions, and these rooms are divided into male and female.

Haram Mosque can accommodate up to 700 thousand people, true believers are placed at the same time, even on the roof of the building, which, however, for this and specially designed.

In the center of the mosque on the square, lined with marble slabs, is a sanctuary Kaaba, which Muslims are often referred to as al-Bait al-Haram, which means "sacred house".

Kaaba is a cube-shaped stone building, whose base is 10 m by 12 m and height is 15 meters (Incidentally, the word "Kaaba" comes the word "cube".) Corners of the Ka'ba are oriented to the cardinal. Kaaba is covered with a black silk cloth, having a special name "kiswa". The veil is changing every year. The upper part of the curtain is decorated with gold-embroidered sayings from the Koran. Maxims from the Koran adorn the veil, closing the door to the Kaaba. This door, by the way, is made of pure gold and weighs 286 kg.

Mecca and its environs are considered sacred ground: are forbidden the wars, cutting trees, killing living beings, except for slaughter of animals for food and sacrifice. Haram ( "Sanctuary") sometimes called the Mecca of all the surrounding areas.

Mecca is probably the most visited city in the world. At present only during the hajj Mecca is visited by 2 million people. Therefore, virtually all life in Mecca associated with servicing the pilgrims visiting the city. For the pilgrims in Mecca are built modern hotels, many of which are located in the vicinity of the Haram. However, during the Hajj pilgrims, most people are living in tents in special camps.

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