In February 2020, Saudi Arabia temporarily banned foreigners from entering Makkah and Medina to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic in the Kingdom. The Qur'an refers to the city as Bakkah in Surah Al Imran (3), verse 96, "Indeed the first House [of worship], established for mankind was that at Bakkah..." 70 km away) internationally and the Ta'if Regional Airport (approx. It was in Makkah, in the nearby mountain cave of Hira on Jabal al-Nour, that, according to Islamic tradition, Muhammad began receiving divine revelations from God through the archangel Jibreel in 610 AD. In Mecca, during holy months, bringing religious pilgrims who were going to worship at an ancient shrine called Ka'aba. While in Makkah, prayers were made for (not to) the King of Iraq and also for Salaheddin al-Ayyubi, Sultan of Egypt and Syria at the Ka'bah. The Meccan economy has been heavily dependent on the annual pilgrimage. Many of these pilgrims have remained and become residents of the city. As of May 2015[update], the mayor of the city is Dr. Osama bin Fadhel Al-Barr. Codex Arabe 331, folio 40 v, radiocarbon dated between 652 and 765 CE. , Makkah is very densely populated.  Football is now the most popular sport in Makkah and the kingdom, and the city hosts some of the oldest sport clubs in Saudi Arabia such as Al Wahda FC (established in 1945). In pre-modern Makkah, the most common sports were impromptu wrestling and foot races. He was born in a minor faction, the Banu Hashim, of the ruling Quraysh tribe. In 930, Makkah was attacked and sacked by Qarmatians, a millenarian Shi'a Isma'ili Muslim sect led by Abū-Tāhir Al-Jannābī and centered in eastern Arabia. There was also a sense of elegance to the village. However, other Saudi newspapers are also provided in Makkah such as the Saudi Gazette, Al Madinah, Okaz and Al Bilad, in addition to other international newspapers. Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, Figuratively, a “mecca” is any place that attracts a great many people, especially for a particular reason: “Vail is a mecca for skiers.”, A “mecca” is a place that attracts people: “.  The 18.1-kilometer (11.2-mile) elevated metro transports pilgrims to the holy sites of 'Arafat, Muzdalifah and Mina in the city to reduce congestion on the road and is only operational during the Hajj season. Wakoof lands dedicated to the maintenance of holy places at Mecca, or to charitable institutions and sacred sanctuaries. Up to the 7th century, this journey was intended for religious reasons by the pagan Arabs to pay homage to their shrine, and to drink Zamzam. The majority of the economy is service-oriented. For example, the Saudi flag carrier, Saudia, generates 12% of its income from the pilgrimage. While under Hussein bin Ali, there were about 20 public telephones in the entire city; in 1936, the number jumped to 450, totaling about half the telephones in the country. Makkah Province is the only province where expatriates outnumber Saudis.. Between 1830 and 1930, cholera broke out among pilgrims at Makkah 27 times. Rain usually falls in Makkah in small amounts scattered between November and January, with heavy thunderstorms also common during the winter. In 1818, the Saud were defeated again but survived and founded the Second Saudi State that lasted until 1891 and led on to the present country of Saudi Arabia. All rights reserved. , The only airport even close to Makkah is the Makkah East airport, which is not active. This plan was later carried out by the Saudi government, which connected the two holy cities of Medina and Makkah with the modern Haramain high-speed railway system which runs at 300 km/h (190 mph) and connects the two cities via Jeddah, King Abdulaziz International Airport and King Abdullah Economic City near Rabigh within two hours. The masjid is also the site of the Zamzam Well. The tribes of southern Arabia asked the Persian king Khosrau I for aid, in response to which he came south to Arabia with foot-soldiers and a fleet of ships near Mecca. In the 6th century, they joined the lucrative spice trade, since battles elsewhere were diverting trade routes from dangerous sea routes to more secure overland routes. , The "Year of the Elephant" is the name in Islamic history for the year approximately equating to 550-552 CE, when, according to Islamic sources such as Ibn Ishaq, Abraha descended upon Makkah, riding an elephant, with a large army after building a cathedral at San'aa, named al-Qullays in honor of the Negus of Axum.  Visiting Mecca for the Hajj is an obligation upon all able Muslims. The first such recorded example of a non-Muslim entering the city is that of Ludovico di Varthema of Bologna in 1503. Since the 13th century, Sunni devotes have been traveling to Chinguetti on their way to Mecca. The rainfall, scant as it is, also presents the threat of flooding and has been a danger since earliest times. While he was scorned and derided at Mecca, he was worshipped at Medina. At least one man of the Jurhum helped Ismāʿīl and his father to construct or according to Islamic narratives, reconstruct, the Ka'bah ('Cube'), which would have social, religious, political and historical implications for the site and region. In 628, Muhammad and his followers wanted to enter Makkah for pilgrimage, but were blocked by the Quraysh. The city derives its importance from the role it plays in the Hajj and 'Umrah.  The City of Makkah amanah, which constitutes Mecca and the surrounding region, is the capital of the Mecca Province, which includes the neighboring cities of Jeddah and Ta'if, even though Jeddah is considerably larger in population compared to Makkah. According to Bowersock, he did mention Mecca as "Geapolis" or "Hierapolis", the latter one meaning "holy city", referring to the sanctuary of the Kaaba, well known already in pagan times. A Saudi tower: Mecca versus Las Vegas: Taller, holier and even more popular than (almost) anywhere else, Holland, Tom; In the Shadow of the Sword; Little, Brown; 2012; p. 471, Jan Retsö, The Arabs in Antiquity (2003), 295–300, Photius, Diodorus and Strabo (English): Stanley M. Burnstein (tr.  In addition to the Masjid al-Haram, pilgrims also must visit the nearby towns of Mina/Muna, Muzdalifah and Mount Arafat for various rituals that are part of the Hajj.  One of the most famous was Richard Francis Burton, who traveled as a Qadiriyya Sufi from Afghanistan in 1853. , Saudi Arabian conquest and modern history, Following the 1924 Battle of Makkah, the Sharif of Makkah was overthrown by the Saud family, and Makkah was incorporated into Saudi Arabia. A city of western Saudi Arabia near the coast of the Red Sea. However, the lead elephant, known as Mahmud, is said to have stopped at the boundary around Makkah and refused to enter. , Another name used for Mecca in the Qur'an is at 6:92 where it is called Umm al-Qurā (أُمّ ٱلْقُرَى, meaning "Mother of all Settlements". Another way the Hajj generates income is through services to pilgrims. , Muhammad's return to Medina shifted the focus away from Makkah and later even further away when 'Ali, the fourth caliph, took power chose Kufa as his capital.
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