Post by Leon on Jan 16, 2015 12:26:00 GMT
BEGINNINGS Islamic tradition attributes the beginning of Mecca to Ishmael's descendants. Many Muslims point to the Old Testament chapter Psalm 84:3–6 and a mention of a pilgrimage at the Valley of Baca.
PILGRIMAGE The pilgrimage to Mecca attracts millions of Muslims from all over the world. There are two pilgrimages: the Hajj, and the Umrah. The Hajj, the 'greater' pilgrimage is performed annually in Mecca and nearby sites. During the Hajj, several million people of varying nationalities worship in unison. Every adult, healthy Muslim who has the financial and physical capacity to travel to Mecca and can make arrangements for the care of his/her dependents during the trip, must perform the Hajj at least once in a lifetime.
KAABA The Kaaba or Ka'aba (Arabic: الكعبة al-Kaʿbah IPA: [ælˈkæʕbɐ], "The Cube"), is a cuboid building at the centre of Islam's most sacred mosque, Al-Masjid al-Haram, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is the most sacred point within this most sacred mosque, making it the most sacred location in Islam. Wherever they are in the world, Muslims are expected to face the Kaaba.One of the Five Pillars of Islam requires every Muslim, who is able to do so, to perform the hajj pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime. Multiple parts of the hajj require pilgrims to make tawaf, the circumambulation seven times around the Kaaba in a counter-clockwise direction.
BLACK STONE The Black Stone (Arabic: الحجر الأسود al-Ḥajar al-Aswad) is the eastern cornerstone of the Kaaba, the ancient stone building toward which Muslims pray, in the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is revered by Muslims as an Islamic relic which, according to Muslim tradition, dates back to the time of Adam and Eve.
The stone was venerated at the Kaaba in pre-Islamic pagan times. According to Islamic tradition, it was set intact into the Kaaba's wall by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the year 605 A.D., five years before his first revelation. Since then it has been broken into a number of fragments and is now cemented into a silver frame in the side of the Kaaba. Its physical appearance is that of a fragmented dark rock, polished smooth by the hands of millions of pilgrims. Islamic tradition holds that it fell from Heaven to show Adam and Eve where to build an altar. Although it has often been described as a meteorite.