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The Hajj: Pilgrimage Mecca is also known as Makkah and its full name is Makkah al-Mukkaramah. Mecca is a city in the Hijaz region of western Saudi Arabia. It is known as the holiest site in the Islamic religion. The history of Mecca goes back as early as the fifth century. It was an independent and powerful city in pre-Islamic times. It is the religious center for Islamic people and it houses the Kaaba and the Great Mosque. It is also the birthplace of Muhammad, the first capital of caliphate, and the center of present day mosques. In 630 Muhammad and some of his followers went into the city of Mecca and captured it. Mecca is said to have started one of the most important religions in the world and it brings together the Islamic religion. When people think about Mecca one of the first things that might come to their heads is the pilgrimage or the black stone. Muhammad is one of the reasons that Mecca is what it is today. Muhhamad was a prophet born 570 in Mecca. He was orphaned as a child and sent to ended up living with his uncle. Muhhamad would get away from everything by going to the desert to meditate. One night while alone at Mt. Hira he was visited by an angel named Gabriel. After this Muhhamad began to accept Allah and started to believe. Some of the things Muhhamad believed was Jihad, holy struggle. He also began to believe you live for Allah. He believed all those who did would be rewarded and the rest punished. Not everyone believed the way Muhammad did. People at first thought that his teachings were a threat to the religious and material order. He was accused of making up what the Angel Gabriel had told him. He got followers from the poor and people who thought they were being unequally treated. Muhhamad took these people and then left and went to Medina to find more followers. He then returned to Mecca later and took over the city and converted everyone to Islam. In the Islamic faith there are five pillars that they must follow to their best ability. The Salaht, the Hajj, they must give to the poor, fasting during the month of Ramadan, and repetition of the creed, "There is no God but Allah; Muhammad is the messenger of Allah." These pillars are more like obligations in the Islamic religion.

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