Explore These Holy Places for Muslims
Each of the major Muslim cities, including Mecca, Medina, Hebron, the Dome of Rock and others all over the world, are revered as a holy cities for various reasons. In fact, every financially and physically able bodied Muslim, undertakes a trip/pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in his or her lifetime. This Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, commonly known as Hajj, constitutes the second largest Muslim gathering in the world annually. Some of the major holy sites every Muslim should visit include:
Known as the holiest city in Islam, as it is the place that Muhammad the prophet was born. When he was exiled to Medina, he instructed his followers to pray facing Mecca, instead of Jerusalem. A visit to Mecca is one of the pillars of Islam, and is one which every Muslim should undertake at least once in their life. It is closed to Non-Muslim, because of the revelation Muhammad received from God there. On the courtyard of the Great Mosque, is a cube without any windows, which is called Kaaba. It is believed to be have been built by the prophet Abraham, and at the south-eastern corner of the cube is a Black Stone, that was given to the Prophet Abraham by Angel Gabriel. It is for this reasons, that Mecca is very important to Muslims.
This is the place where Mohammed was exiled to, when he could not find support for his thoughts and ideas in his home town Mecca. This makes it the second holiest place for any Muslim. It was the capital for the Muslim Empire until around 661 when the capital was moved to Damascus. The importance, growth and decline Medina was greatly influenced by the political situation as compared to religion.
Dome of the Rock
A Muslim shrine which is believed to be the place where Abraham offered to sacrifice his son to God is another holy place for any Muslim. It is also believed to be the place where Muhammad, rose to the Heavens in order to receive the commandments from God. After Mecca and Medina, this is the third holiest place for Muslims.
Believed to be the tomb of Abraham and his descendants, the City of Hebron, is a holy city both for Muslims and Jews. It has been a city of hostility between Jews and Muslims, but the one thing they both agree on, is that the city is holy.
As the shrines and burial place for all the 12 Imams who are esteemed by 12 Shia Muslims, Mashhad has gained a name as one of the holy places of Muslim. These holy men were believed to be the source of holiness, and are regarded as martyrs because they were persecuted, poisoned or murdered for their cause.
As the burial place of various shahs, Qom in Iran, has become an important Pilgrimage site for Muslims. It is revered as both a political and religious shrine, and the Borujerdi mosque is closed and opened daily by government guards.
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