December 22nd, 2013

Mecca – the shrine of Islam

The main Muslim holy city, the first mention of which dates back to not. BC. e. In Mecca born founder of Islam Prophet Muhammad. Here he began to preach a new religion. Ancient sanctuary of Mecca – Kaaba – the main shrine of Islam, to the annual pilgrimage.

Mecca – a city to which every day becomes their thoughts every Muslim. Performing the prescribed prayers five times a devout believers are turning towards the holy city. But in the life of many Muslims there comes a time when they are praying, their eyes can look at the "heart of Islam." Of course, the appearance of the city has changed a lot since its streets passed the founder of one of the most common religions on earth. But despite the intervening centuries, remained unchanged spirit of those ancient times, the times of sincere faith and holy wars for it, and create the first Caliphs Koran.

Future birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad, Mecca, was founded in the first century AD on the border of Hijaz and the Tihama, 74 km east of Jeddah, a port city on the Red Sea coast. Because of the strong dryland Mecca unsuitable for farming and ranching. But there were good conditions for the establishment of a trading settlement. Being protected by mountains and deserts, this area lay on the caravan routes to the Mediterranean coast, in southern Arabia, Iran, Syria. It has long been the territory of Mecca were holy places and images of deities worshiped by many Arab tribes. Therefore destinations considered sacred territory. Here came pilgrims from all over Arabia. Trade with them is a significant source of income for residents of the city.

Important shrines of Mecca was a temple called the Kaaba ("Cube") because of its shape, and next to it a source Zemzem (or Zamzam). According to Arab tradition, the appearance of this source – a miracle created by God for the sake of our forefather Abraham and his son Ishmael, the legendary founder of severoarabskih tribes. Began to build the Kaaba as Seth (Adam's son), Nuh (Noah) and his son Shem. To facilitate construction, the angel Gabriel brought Ibrahim flat stone that hung in the air and served as scaffolding. This stone, which pilgrims can see the footprints of his forefather, and is now in the Kaaba. In the northeast corner of the temple is embedded famous Black Stone, which also brought Jibril. He stands on the wall of the place where the faithful begin the ritual around the Kaaba seven times treatment. Stone was originally white, but then, according to legend, black with touches of sinners. Origin of the Black Stone is still not established. Scientists believe that it may be a meteorite.

According to legend, the temple led snachata eldest son Ismail, who passed it right dzhurhumitov tribe. In the III. n. e. they were replaced by the tribes of Banu Khuzaa. Departing from Mecca dzhurhumity destroyed the temple, and filled the sacred source, but the shrine was soon restored.

In the middle of V century. Quraysh seized Mecca, Sheikh which was Qusay, great-grandfather of Muhammad, and from that moment begins the real and not the legendary story of Mecca. At this time, the city has long been a center of religious life of the surrounding tribes. There were many idols, dedicated to the gods of different tribes. Great-grandfather and grandfather Hashim Muhammad Abd al-Muttalib and tribal elders were holding in their hands the members of his family are the most important positions, such as the storage of the keys to the Kaaba, which contained the treasures belonging to the church, overseeing the wells, justice, keeping the sacred banner, the management of public finance and others. Tradition ascribes Abd al-Muttalib Zemzem recovery wells, which was filled dzhurhu-mitami for several hundred years before. By this time even forgotten the place where it was located. Abd al-Muttalib allegedly three nights in a row in a dream is the spirit in human form, ordering dig a well. Finally Abd al-Muttalib decided to follow instructions and dug a well, despite the protests of some residents against the sacrilegious excavations near the temple. A few days sacred spring was cleared, and at its bottom of gold found images of two gazelles and a few swords and coats of mail. After gold ornaments got divination temple, and weapons – Abd al-Muttalib, who nailed gold gazelles and swords to the door of the Kaaba. Source Zemzem was placed under the control of Abd al-Muttalib, which provided him an honorable position in the tribe and a small income.

Around 569 Abd al-Muttalib married his son Abdullah to Amina, a girl from a wealthy family kuraishitskoi. From this marriage was born Mohammed. It is believed that this occurred in the year 570. This year was marked by a miracle had saved the city from capture by Yemeni tribes, who attacked him in order to undermine the religious influence of Mecca. Residents did not dare to defend Mecca and when approaching enemies went to town in the surrounding mountains. But here in the army Abyssinians outbreak of smallpox, and they
retreated.

Muhammad's father, Abdallah Abd al-Muttalib, died before