Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Incredible Must See Sacred Places
Image courtesy of Deposit Photos
Deep in a narrow desert valley in the Hejazi region of Saudi Arabia lies the sacred city of Mecca (also spelled Makkah), the annual destination of devoted Muslim pilgrims the world over. Mecca is not accessible to non-Muslims, and those violating that law may be deported if found in the city.
Mecca, to non-religious persons, has become synonymous with “pinnacle”, indicating the top of the top, the ultimate. But for Muslims it is Islam’s holiest location. It is believed to be the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad, and from there, the location where Islam originated. It is a beautiful city, a truly amazing sacred place, a spot that non-Muslims can only see by way of photographs; even those dazzle.
Central to Mecca and the annual pilgrimage — the Hajj — that attracts millions of devoted followers, is the great mosque, Masjid al-Haram (sacred mosque), erected in the 7th century. Within the mosque rests the Kaaba, a large black stone shaped more or less like a box. Muslims believe that this was a meteorite, and is their most sacred shrine; it is covered with a protective cloth.
Since Mecca is off limits to most of us, we’ll have to rely on books and videos to get a personal glimpse of this sacred city and mosque.