Mecca is described by the majority of Muslims as the holiest city known to Islam. The city is located in Saudi Arabia, 64 km East of the Red Sea port of Jeddah.
Mecca is the birthplace of Mohammad and home to Kaaba, the most important shrine for Muslims.¹
Muslims believe that Mohammad first received the Quran through revelation in a cave near Mecca (about 3 km distant).
With approximately 2 million Muslims residing in the vicinity, many more pilgrims journey to Mecca every year during the twelfth Muslim lunar month of Dhūl-Ḥijjah. This pilgrimage, known as the Hajj, is obligatory for all able Muslims.
When Muslims pray around the world, they position themselves to face in the direction of Mecca.
Non-Muslims are not permitted to enter the city, a rule enforced by airport security and roadway checkpoints.