Details History About Mecca

Details History About Mecca/makkah/makka/mokka
Mecca: One Of the
holiest city,place of the Saudi Arabia[ksa] and world.

Mecca , sometimes spelled Makkah , is the holiest meeting site of the Islamic religion. The city is modern, cosmopolitan and whilst being closed to non-muslims is nonetheless ethnically diverse.

Islamic tradition attributes the beginning of Mecca to Ishmael's descendants. In the 7th century, the Islamic prophet Muhammad proclaimed Islam in the city which was by then an important trading center. After 966, Mecca was led by local sharifs, until 1924, when it came under the rule of the Saudis. In its modern period Mecca has seen a great expansion in size and infrastructure.

The modern day city is the capital of Saudi Arabia's Mecca Province, in the historic Hejaz region. With a population of 1.7 million (2008), the city is located 73 km (45 mi) inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of 277 m (910 ft) above sea level.

Early History : According to Islamic tradition, the history of Mecca goes back to Abraham who built the Kaaba with the help of his son Ishmael in around 2000 BC when the inhabitants of Mecca had fallen away from monotheism through the influence of the Amelkites.[16] The Kaaba was used as a repository for the idols and tribal gods of Arabia's nomadic tribes. Mecca's most important god was Hubal, placed there by the ruling Quraysh tribe[17][18] and remaining until the 7th century AD.

Ptolemy may have called the city "Macoraba", though this identification is controversial.[19] In the 5th century, the Quraysh took control of Mecca, and became skilled merchants and traders. In the 6th century they joined the lucrative spice trade as well, since battles in other parts of the world were causing trade routes to divert from the dangerous sea routes to the relatively more secure overland routes. The Byzantine Empire had previously controlled the Red Sea, but piracy had been on the increase. Another previous route, that from the Persian Gulf via the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, was also being threatened by exploitation from the Sassanid Empire, as well as being disrupted by the Lakhmids, the Ghassanids, and the Roman–Persian Wars. Mecca's prominence as a trading center surpassed the cities of Petra and Palmyra.

By the middle of the 6th century, there were three major settlements in northern Arabia, all along the south-western coast that borders the Red Sea, in a habitable region between the sea and the great desert to the east. This area, known as the Hejaz, featured three settlements grown around oases, where water was available. In the center of the Hejaz was Yathrib, later renamed Medina. 250 mi (400 km) south of Yathrib was the mountain city Ta’if, north-west of which lay Mecca. Although the area around Mecca was completely barren, Mecca was the wealthiest of the three settlements with abundant water via the Zamzam Well and a position at the crossroads of major caravan routes.

The harsh conditions of the Arabian peninsula meant a near-constant state of conflict between the local tribes, but once a year they would declare a truce and converge upon Mecca in an annual pilgrimage. This journey was intended for religious reasons, to pay homage to the shrine, and to drink from the Zamzam Well. However, it was also the time each year that disputes would be arbitrated, debts would be resolved, and trading would occur at Meccan fairs. These annual events gave the tribes a sense of common identity and made Mecca an important focus for the peninsula.

Camel caravans, said by Muslims to have first been used by Muhammad's great-grandfather, were a major part of Mecca's economy. Alliances were struck between the merchants in Mecca and the local nomadic tribes, who would bring goods - leather, livestock, and metals mined in the local mountains - to Mecca to be loaded on the caravans and carried to cities in Syria and Iraq. Islamic tradition claims that goods from other continents also flowed through Mecca. Supposedly goods from Africa and the Far East passed through on route to Syria including spices, leather, medicine, cloth, and slaves; in return Mecca received money, weapons, cereals and wine, which in turn were distributed throughout Arabia. The Meccans signed treaties with both the Byzantines and the Bedouins, and negotiated safe passage for caravans giving them water and pasture rights. Mecca became the center of a loose confederation of client tribes, including the tribes of the Banu Tamim. Other regional powers such as the Abyssinian, Ghassan, and Lakhm were in decline leaving Meccan trade to be the primary binding force in Arabia in the late 6th century.

Article From : Wikipedia