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Mecca, (arabic Makkah, ancient Bakkah) city western Saudi Arabia is Islam’s holiest city. It is the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammed and site of the annual Muslim pilgrimage, or hajj, during the month of Dhu’l-Hijja.
See the fact file below for more information on the Mecca or alternatively, you can download our 22-page Mecca worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Mecca is situated at an elevation of 909 feet (277 metres) above sea level, in the dry beds of the Wadi Ibrāhīm and several of its short tributaries.
- It is surrounded by the Ṣirāt Mountains, the peaks of which include Mount (Jabal) Ajyad, which rises to 1,332 feet, and Mount Abū Qubays, which reaches 1,220 feet, to the east and Mount Quʿayqʿān, which reaches 1,401 feet, to the west.
- Mount Hirāʾ rises to 2,080 feet on the northeast and contains a cave in which Muhammad sought isolation and visions before he became a prophet. It was also in this cave that he received the first verse (āyah) of the holy Qur’ān.
- The ancient Mecca was an oasis on the old caravan trade route that linked the Mediterranean world with South Arabia, East Africa and South Asia.
- The town was located about midway between Maʾrib in the south and Petra in the north, and it gradually developed by Roman and Byzantine times, into an important trade and religious centre.
- Ptolemy’s inclusion of Macoraba, a city of the Arabian interior, in his Guide to Geography, was long held to show that Mecca was known to the Hellenistic world. Since the late 20th century, however, some scholarship has called the identification of Macoraba with Mecca into question.
- According to Islamic tradition, Abraham and Ishmael, his son by Hagar, built the Ka’bah as the house of God. The central point of pilgrimage in Mecca before the advent of Islam in the 7th century, the cube-shaped stone building has been destroyed and rebuilt several times.
- During pre-Islamic times, the city was ruled by a series of Yemeni tribes. Under the Quraysh it became a type of city-state, with strong commercial links to the rest of Arabia, Ethiopia, and Europe. Mecca became a place for trade, for pilgrimage, and for tribal gatherings.
- The city’s religious importance greatly increased with the birth of Muhammad about 570. The Prophet was forced to flee from Mecca in 622, but he returned eight years later and took control of the city.
- As the ancient caravan route fell into decline, Mecca lost its commercial significance and has since lived mainly on the proceeds from the annual pilgrimages and the gifts of Muslim rulers.
- The population density in Mecca is high. Most of the people are concentrated in the old city, while densities in the modern residential areas are the lowest in the city.
- During the month of pilgrimage, the city is swollen with one to two million worshippers from other parts of Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries.
- Mecca is, however, one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, containing people from various countries throughout the globe. People of the same national origin tend to live together in certain parts of the city.
- Mecca’s houses are more compacted in the old city than in the modern residential areas.
- Traditional buildings of two or three stories are built of local rock. The villas in the modern areas are constructed of concrete.
- Slum conditions can still be found in various parts of the city. The slum inhabitants are mainly poor pilgrims who are unable to finance their return home, so remained in Mecca after arriving either for the hajj, or for a lesser pilgrimage known as the ʿumrah.
- The governor of the city is the emir of Makkah minṭaqah idārīyah (administrative district), who is responsible for the maintenance of law and order in both the city and the administrative district.
- He is appointed by the king and is immediately responsible to the minister of the interior.
- The municipal council is responsible for the functioning of the municipality. It was formed after World War II and has 14 members who are locally elected and approved by the minister of the interior.
- Mecca is the capital of Makkah minṭaqah idārīyah, which includes the cities of Jeddah and Al-Ṭāʾif.
- Arable land and water are scarce, and food must be imported. Vegetables and fruits are brought in daily from the surrounding wadis, such as Wadi Fāṭimah, from the Al-Ṭāʾif area to the east-southeast, and from the southern agricultural areas, such as Bilād Ghāmid and Bilād Zahrān.
- Foodstuffs are imported from abroad mainly through the port of Jeddah, 45 miles (70 km) to the west on the Red Sea.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Mecca across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Mecca worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Mecca, (arabic Makkah, ancient Bakkah) city western Saudi Arabia which is Islam’s holiest city. It is the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammed and site of the annual Muslim pilgrimage, or hajj, during the month of Dhu’l-Hijja.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Mecca in Saudi Arabia Facts
- Fascinating Facts
- Only in Mecca
- True or False
- Mecca’s Trademark
- Look Back
- Imagine Mecca
- The Holiest City
- Words to Know
- Mecca Scramble
- MECCA Word
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Link will appear as Mecca Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, August 4, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.