In 622 Muhammad arrived in the city, then known as Yathrib, after fleeing Mecca, in an event known as the hijrah (emigration). 14th century emperor of the Mali Empire, is the medieval African ruler most known to the world outside Africa. History Before Prophet Muhammad. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. History of mecca The ancient Mecca was considered an oasis on the former caravan trade route that linked the Mediterranean world with southern Arabia, eastern Africa and southern Asia. Mecca, Arabic Makkah, ancient Bakkah, city, western Saudi Arabia, located in the Ṣirāt Mountains, inland from the Red Sea coast. Mecca is in present-day Saudi Arabia. Send us feedback. Cracking the AP World History: Modern Exam, 2020 Edition: Practice Tests & Prep for the NEW 2020 Exam (College Test Preparation) Part of: College Test Preparation (91 Books) | by The Princeton Review | Nov 5, 2019. What made you want to look up mecca? The Catholic Encyclopedia - Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Mecca - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Mecca - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). To the south of the Ḥaram Mosque, the Saudi government built the Abrāj al-Bayt skyscraper complex, one of the world’s largest and tallest buildings, to house hotels, shopping centres, and prayer areas near the holy sites. Other locations (some of which are fictional) that have taken on this kind of extended meaning are Eden, Camelot, and Wall Street. A place visited by many people: a mecca for tourists. The main avenues are al-Muddaʿah and Sūq al-Layl to the north of the mosque and al-Sūq al-Ṣaghīr to the south. Mecca is, however, one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, containing people from various countries throughout the globe. As with many Arabic words, its etymology is obscure. 'All Intensive Purposes' or 'All Intents and Purposes'? Mecca Note: South of the city, Mount Thawr (2,490 feet) contains the cave in which the prophet secreted himself from his Meccan enemies during the Hijrah to Medina, the event that marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? The sole reason was to honor ALLAH, and its sole purpose is to worship ALLAH alone. The Saudi Arabian city that attracts millions of religious pilgrims every year is Mecca. Abrāj al-Bayt, a skyscraper complex in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. People of the same national origin tend to live together in certain parts of the city. Wild animals include wild cats, wolves, hyenas, foxes, mongooses, and kangaroo rats (jerboas). Time-lapse video of the annual hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Mecca, Arabic Makkah, ancient Bakkah, city, western Saudi Arabia, located in the Ṣirāt Mountains, inland from the Red Sea coast. After the creation of Adam, the Kaaba was built by him.According to Qur'an, it is the first house on Earth. Because it is sacred, only Muslims are allowed to enter the city. The birthplace of Muhammad, and thus the holiest city for Muslims. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. However, by the time of Muhammad, the Ka'aba had been taken over by pagan Arabs to house their numerous tribal gods. (2010) 1,534,731. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. It is the second holiest city in Islam. Widely believed to be a synonym for Makkah, it is said to be more specifically the early name for the valley located therein, while Muslim scholars generally use it to refer to the sacred area of the city that immediately surrounds and includes the Ka'bah. The town was located about midway between Maʾrib in the south and Petra in the north, and it gradually developed by Roman and Byzantine times, into an important trade and religious centre. Founded in the 11th century by the Tuareg, it became a major trading center (primarily for gold and salt) and a center of Islamic learning by the 14th century. It is the holiest of Muslim cities. es. The compact built-up area around the mosque comprises the old city, which stretches to the north and southwest but is limited on the east and west by the nearby mountains. Mecca is particularly famous for being the birthplace of Muhammad. Entrance to the city is gained through four gaps in the surrounding mountains. The gaps have also defined the direction of the contemporary expansion of the city. Mecca is so significant to Muslims that the word has come to be commonly used for any place that attracts a … Mecca. Mecca is one of a number of place names which have taken on figurative meanings over time. Accessed 6 Jan. 2021. Mecca is the chief pilgrimage destination for Muslims and the capital of Hejaz. These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mecca.' It was also in this cave that he received the first verse (āyah) of the holy Qurʾān. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. The city centres on the Ḥaram Mosque, also called the Great Mosque, in which are situated the Kaaba and the sacred well of Zamzam. Pop. Learn more. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. Definition Ruler of the Inca society from 1438 to 1471; launched a series of military campaigns that gave Incas control of the region from Cuzco to the shores of Lake Titicaca. Muhammad, the founder of Islam, was born in Mecca, and it is toward this religious centre that Muslims turn five times daily in prayer (see qiblah). Natural vegetation includes tamarisks and various types of acacia. Mansa Musa was the wealthiest king in the history of the world, with his name literally meaning King Musa, since mansa was the word for king. A place that is regarded as the center of an activity or interest. Mecca, Saudi Arabia, a destination of pilgrims in the Islamic world. As Abraham raised the foundations of the shrine, together with Ishmael, they prayed: \"Our Lord, accept this from us. shaykhs: leaders of tribes and clans within bedouin society; usually possessed large herds, several wives, and many children. The Figurative Use of Mecca. Updates? Mecca. Atlas » Learn more about the world with our collection of regional and country maps. 'Nip it in the butt' or 'Nip it in the bud'. It is c.45 mi (70 km) from its port, Jidda , and is in a narrow valley overlooked by hills crowned with castles. Definition; bedouin: nomadic pastoralists of the Arabian peninsula with a culture based on herding camels and goats; early converts to Islam. Mecca has been referred to by many names. The birthplace c.AD 570 of Muhammad the Prophet, it is the holiest city of Islam , and the goal of the annual Muslim hajj . Because of its relatively low-lying location, Mecca is threatened by seasonal flash floods despite the low amount of annual precipitation. Mount Hirāʾ rises to 2,080 feet on the northeast and contains a cave in which Muhammad sought isolation and visions before he became a prophet. HISTORY. Located in Saudi Arabia. It is surrounded by the Ṣirāt Mountains, the peaks of which include Mount (Jabal) Ajyad, which rises to 1,332 feet, and Mount Abū Qubays, which attains 1,220 feet, to the east and Mount Quʿayqʿān, which reaches 1,401 feet, to the west. Arabic Makkah, sacred city of Islam, birthplace of Muhammad, which every Muslim must visit at least once.Origins have been proposed in Phoenician maqaq "ruined" or Arabic mahrab "sanctuary." As a result, Mecca can accommodate the continually increasing number of pilgrims, or hajjis. It was in Medina that he established the Muslim community and where his body is … Medina, city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia. Traditional buildings of two or three stories are built of local rock. All devout and able Muslims attempt a hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca at least once in their lifetime. In 630 A.D., Muhammad and his followers took over leadership of Mecca after years of persecution. The Kaaba surrounded by pilgrims during the hajj, Mecca, Saudi Arabia. 2. Temperatures are high throughout the year and in summer may reach 120 °F (49 °C). This city in Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Muhammad and the site which Muslims must attempt to visit on a pilgrimage; from its role as a religious destination Mecca began to be used in the early 19th century (sometimes capitalized, and sometimes not) in a non-religious sense. The passes lead from the northeast to Minā, ʿArafāt, and Al-Ṭāʾif; from the northwest to Medina; from the west to Jeddah; and from the south to Yemen. Since World War II, Mecca has expanded along the roads through the mountain gaps to the north, northwest, and west. President, Saudi Geographical Society. the pilgrimage to Mecca, which every adult Muslim is supposed to make at least once in his or her lifetime: the fifth of the Pillars of Islam. Mecca or Makkah , capital of the Hejaz, W Saudi Arabia. Mecca is one of a number of place names which have taken on figurative meanings over time. Author of. Houses near the mosque have been razed, and it is now surrounded by open spaces and wide streets, which can be crossed through underground walkways built to ease traffic. According to historian Eduard Glaser, the name " Kaaba " may have been related to the southern Arabian or Ethiopian word " mikrab ", signifying a temple. The mosque can accommodate one million worshippers at a time. Mecca. Muhammad, the founder of Islam, was born in Mecca, and it is toward this religious centre that Muslims turn five … According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, "before the rise of Islam, it was revered as a sacred sanctuary and was a site of pilgrimage." It is the holiest of Muslim cities. Mecca’s houses are more compacted in the old city than in the modern residential areas. A city of central Mali near the Niger River northeast of Bamako. 4.6 out of 5 stars 176. Muslims face in the direction of Mecca when they pray, and they are expected to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lives. “Mecca.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, A goal to which adherents of a religious faith or practice fervently aspire. Term Mecca is situated at an elevation of 909 feet (277 metres) above sea level in the dry beds of the Wadi Ibrāhīm and several of its short tributaries. The focal point of Mecca is the Ka'aba, the \"House of God\" believed by Muslims to have been built by Abraham and his son Ishmael, and which is covered in a gold-embroidered black fabric. In the 20th and 21st centuries the city underwent vast improvements. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. definition: a black stone building in Mecca that is shaped like a cube and that is the most sacred Muslim pilgrim shrine significance: Sacred Muslim site, many pray at the Kaaba several times a … During the month of pilgrimage the city is swollen with one to two million worshippers from other parts of Saudi Arabia and from other Muslim countries. The ancient Mecca was an oasis on the old caravan trade route that linked the Mediterranean world with South Arabia, East Africa and South Asia. Figurative sense of "any place one holds supremely sacred" (usually with lower-case m-) is in English by 1826.Related: Meccan. The Ḥaram Mosque is magnificent in its size and architecture and has been embellished and enlarged on numerous occasions through the centuries, most recently in a series of massive expansions by the government of Saudi Arabia in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.