Mecca, often known as Makkah, is the capital city and administrative hub of the Saudi Arabian province of Mecca. It is also the holiest city in Islam (formally Makkah al-Mukarramah). It is located in a small valley 277 meters (909 feet) above sea level, 70 kilometers (43 miles) inland from Jeddah on the Red Sea. It had 1,578,722 residents as of the most recent count in 2015. With a projected metro population of 2.042 million in 2020, it will rank third in terms of population in Saudi Arabia, behind Jeddah and Riyadh. Every year, during the ajj pilgrimage, which is observed in the twelfth Hijri month of Dhl-ijjah, there are more than three times as many pilgrims.
Most people agree that Mecca is “the fountainhead and cradle of Islam.” Islam honors Mecca as the birthplace of its prophet Muhammad. Muslims consider Muhammad to have received the Quran for the first time in the Hira cave on top of the Jabal al-Nur (“Mountain of Light”), just outside the city. All capable Muslims are required to perform the Hajj in Mecca. The Ka’bah is located in the Masjid al-Haram, the Great Mosque of Mecca, and is regarded by Muslims to have been constructed by Abraham and Ishmael. It is one of Islam’s holiest places and where all Muslims should face when praying (qibla).
And the ancient Yathrib city of Medina, also known as Al-Madnah, officially known as Al-Madnah al-Munawwarah (“The Luminous City”) or Madnat Rasl Allh (“City of the Messenger of God [i.e., Muhammad]”), is situated in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, about 100 miles (160 km) inland from the Red Sea and 275 miles (450 km) After Mecca, it is the second-holiest city in Islam.
After fleeing from Mecca (622 CE), Muhammad founded the Muslim community (ummah) in Medina, which also serves as the location of his grave. His tomb is a site of pilgrimage, located in the main mosque of the city. Pop. (2010) 1,100,093.
Below are beautiful photos of these blessed cities.