Q:

Why is Mecca so important to Muslims?

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Quick Answer

Mecca is where Abraham built the Ka'aba, and some believe he did so in order to rebuild the Bait-ul-Allah that had originally been built by Adam. This is the building that every Muslim around the world faces in prayer up to five times per day. The prophet Muhammad was born in Mecca in 570 A.D., linking the city to Islam forever.

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Why is Mecca so important to Muslims?
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Full Answer

According to Islamic tradition, Muhammad started to receive divine messages in 610 AD and started to preach monotheism to believers of animism. In 630 A.D., Muhammad conquered Mecca and destroyed all 360 idols at the Ka'aba and rededicated the building to Allah.

Millions of people make a pilgrimage to Mecca every year. There are two major pilgrimages that Muslims make every year, including the Hajj and the Umrah. The Hajj is a pilgrimage that all Muslims should make once in their lives as long as they are of sound health and financially able to make the trip. It attracts about 3 million believers every year, of which 11,000 are American. Umrah can be made at any time of the year; however, it is more common around Ramadan. The Umrah is not obligatory to Muslims, but is recommended by the Qur'an.

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Related Questions

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    Why did Muhammad leave Mecca?

    A:

    Muhammad left Mecca, in 622 CE, after he was warned about a plot to assassinate him. The migration of the Prophet and his followers from Mecca to Medina is known as Hijra or Hegira.

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    Why do people make pilgrimages to Mecca?

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    People, specifically Muslims, embark on annual pilgrimages to Mecca to show honor and respect for Allah. Muslims formally refer to the Mecca voyage as Hajj. Some Muslims make repeat trips to Mecca, but Judaic law requires all Muslims, physically and mentally able, to complete at least one journey to the holy city of Mecca during their lifetimes.

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  • Q:

    How many times a day do Muslims face Mecca to pray to Allah?

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    Muslims face Mecca to pray five times a day. These prayers occur at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and nightfall. This ritual is sometimes known by its Arabic name, "salah."

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  • Q:

    How do Muslims worship in the mosque?

    A:

    Muslims pray in congregation in a mosque, and they do so facing towards the Kaaba in Mecca. The person leading the prayer is called an imam and is chosen as per his knowledge of the Holy Quran. The rest of the people stand behind the imam in straight rows and follow him. Behind the imam, in the first row, is a person who corrects him if he makes a mistake.

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