Saudi Arabia, Mecca and their history
The sacred city of Mecca is the main city of Muslims around the world. People who do not profess Islam can not get into it. Mecca has a rich and colorful history. This is the annual pilgrimage center.
The capture of Mecca by Muslims
Islam appeared on the Arabian Peninsula in VIIcentury. The Prophet Muhammad, who was the head of the new community, united his supporters under his leadership. At first it was a small community, around which were the most diverse pagans of the east. Nomads of the desert worshiped idols (Christianity did not reach these places, the centers of which were Byzantium and Western Europe).
Tribes divided. With those who remained pagans, the Muslims concluded a temporary peace treaty. The Arabian peninsula was divided. The infidels had no right to appear on the territory of Muslims. However, the treaty was violated, after which the Prophet Muhammad led his troops to Mecca. This happened in 630. The city did not resist.
Relics of the city
Here was the Kaaba, which became the mainthe shrine of Muslims. This building in the form of a cube was created in pagan times. It is believed that it was built by angels so that people worshiped God.
The shrine is erected on a marble base. Each corner of it corresponds to one side of the world. Muslims, no matter where they live, always pray in the direction of Mecca. The Kaaba is made of marble, its surface is always curtained with black silk.
Part of the Caliphate
The sacred city was located in various states, the last of which is Saudi Arabia. Mecca has never been the official capital, which did not detract from its importance.
After she was captured by Muslims inVII century, around the Arabian peninsula grew a huge caliphate. He united the Arabs, who Islamized the north of Africa and Spain in the west, and also the Persians in the east.
The capital of the Caliphs was first in Damascus, andafter - in Baghdad. Nevertheless, Mecca remained an important center of Islam. Every year, believers came here to perform Hajj. Another holy city of Muslims was Medina, which is located near Mecca. It was there that Mohammed settled.
Mecca has always been in the heart of the Arab world,so it was rarely concerned with political turmoil and border wars. Nevertheless, she was also targeted. For example, in the 10th century, it was ransacked by karmas, a militarized sect. They appeared in Bahrain and did not recognize the then dynasty of caliphs - the Fatimids. The attack on Mecca in 930 was a perfect surprise for the numerous pilgrims. The attackers kidnapped the Black Stone, which was built into the Kaaba (this is one of the relics of Muslims). In addition, the karmas staged a real massacre in the city. The artifact was returned to Mecca only in twenty years (a huge ransom was paid).
In the late Middle Ages here, as well as throughout the Silk Road and in Europe, the plague raged. The dead in Mecca were only a small part of the victims of the black death epidemic.
Under the Turkish rule
By the 16th century, the Arabs had lost almost all of the conqueredduring the Caliphate territory. The leading position among Muslims passed to the Turks, who in 1453 seized Constantinople - the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Of course, these Sunnis wanted to control the holy city of Muslims.
In 1517, Mecca finally submitted to the Turksand became part of the Ottoman Empire, which stretched from the Balkans to the borders with Persia. Pilgrims in Mecca for several centuries forgot about the contradictions and conflicts with neighbors. However, the Arab national movement began to make itself felt after the Ottoman Empire was more and more plunged into a crisis. In the XIX century, the city was occupied for several years by the emirs.
Arabs regain their city
The final blow to Turkish rule inMecca was inflicted during the First World War. The Ottoman Empire supported Kaiser Germany. The Entente inflicted on her several serious defeats, after which the country disintegrated. An important role in this process was played by British citizen Thomas Lawrence. He managed to persuade the Arabian deputy Hussein bin Ali to rebel against the Ottoman state. This happened in 1916. Arab rebels won, although the dead in Mecca were counted in the thousands. So the state of Hijaz appeared, the capital of which became the holy city.
The entire Arabian Peninsula again began to be governedArabs, who for several decades tried to build a stable state here. It was built around the dynasty of the Saudis. They managed to unite the disparate principalities. So in 1932 there was Saudi Arabia. Mecca has become one of its largest cities. The capital was moved to Riyadh. The city of Mecca and Medina once again became peaceful. Here, as in former times, pilgrims began to come.
Hajj to Mecca
Saudi Arabia (Mecca is the city of thiscountry) receives guests from all corners of the world every year. Every Muslim should go to Mecca for Hajj at least once in his life - a pilgrimage to holy places, including the Kaaba. Saudi Arabia is closely following all this. Mecca in the days of Hajj is guarded with special care.
Unfortunately, even this is not enough to ensure that,to avoid tragedy. So, quite recently, in 2015, there was a crush that killed 2,000 people. Such accidents happen because of too many people. Hajj sent thousands of pilgrims, and they often simply do not have enough organized places. Crush in Mecca - an event not rare. Similar cases have arisen before. At the last of them, there were especially many dead from northern Africa, which by tradition remains predominantly Muslim. The crush in Mecca in 2015 shocked the whole world.