Talk:Mecca

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Mecca:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Cleanup: less about the religous beliefs, more about the city functions; the hajj and the diverse population it brings is mentioned in just about every section some way needs to be found to mention it once and not keep harping on
  • Copyedit: someone likes to stick "also" in every sentence, also quite often, also
  • Expand: explain importance of city in regards to culture, economy, tourism, etc. Basically, how the city functions. This is an article about a city, not what muslims believe.
  • Verify: cite sources
Wikipedia Version 1.0 Editorial Team / Vital
WikiProject icon This article has been reviewed by the Version 1.0 Editorial Team.

Untitled[edit]

Please add new talk threads at the bottom of this page.

Makkah or Mecca[edit]

  • please change the wikipedia article title to Makkah from Mecca, as that is the official government adopted name to be used in all legal documents since 30 years in Saudi Arabia and internationally. I am very surprised that people insist on the article and the city being called Mecca when that is not the correct name or pronunciation. I do not see the names of any other city like Porto or Berlin being misspelled or misused despite them being known by a few other names. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 37.210.49.151 (talk) 11:40, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Agree. I say we stay with consensus, which is Mecca.--SefringleTalk 04:54, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
Agree. I prefer Mecca too. When I'm doing research in libraries and flipping through indexes, the spelling of "Mecca" is by far the predominant spelling. I also did a search of "World newspapers, 2000-2007" to see what they're using, and the 98%+ favorite is "Mecca" followed by "Makkah" (1%) and then "Makka" (.1%). --Elonka 01:13, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
  • I'd vote 'Makkah'. I'm an Arabist and study the area professionally, and I'd say it now dominates by far, certainly in the last year or two. I can't reproduce the results given above for "World Newspapers". Seems quite the contrary to me. Also it's a bit of a nonsense having 'Mecca' as the capital of 'Makkah Province' - and the province has always been 'Makkah Province' - no other spelling exists. Diplomatic and government use is invariably 'Makkah'. Some papers go the other way (particularly in the US), but most have changed over. Also it's not quite the same as Mumbai/Bombay as Mecca is actually considered grossly offensive by some. But I'm not pushing my view and happy to go with the majority of eds as always. I think the article will end up getting renamed, but not sure if the time is quite yet. Anjouli 20:06, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
  • I have no trouble with Makkah Province, but for the city, I'd like to see proof that the majority of English-language papers are using "Makkah" before we should change the article title. When I did a quick spotcheck at http://news.google.com, "Mecca" was more common than "Makkah", about 3500:200. If/when world newspapers switch over to a spelling of "Makkah", we can swap the Wikipedia article over, but the guidelines at Wikipedia are to follow mainstream usage, not lead it. --Elonka 04:13, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough. I see a very strong swing towards Makkah, but it's perhaps not gone far enough yet to justify a change. I think it will happen at some point, but perhaps not yet. Just as a matter of interest, googling on +mecca -bingo (regular Google, not Google News) gives 2,380,000. Googling on "mecca for" (uses like a mecca for tourists) gives 1,140,000. Subtract that from the non-bingo mecca usage and you get 1,240,000. Google on makkah gives 1,910,000; which puts it way in the lead. I'm not saying that is justification to change the title, but it's interesting.Anjouli 16:51, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Search results are not reliable (for instance, Makkah -bingo gives more hits than Makkah alone, which makes no sense.) More importantly, though, for chosing between possible article titles what we really care about is widespread English usage, not simply internet usage (which is all a Wikipedia search can show.) If you consult Dictonary.com, say, which compiles definitions from all the major English dictionaries, you will find many detailed definions for Mecca as the city from numerous authoritative sources on the English language, only one of which lists Makka or Makkah as alternatives; every major English dictionary has an entry for Mecca. By comparison, Makkah has only one entry, and it simply lists it as another name for Mecca. Based on this, I think that changing the article's name would only cause confusion... when it is time to change, this will probably be reflected in the dictionaries. --Aquillion (talk) 17:55, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

I am not really understanding what the fuss is about except for the fact that IF you change the english version of the word "mecca" to the,i'm assuming,arabic preference of "mekkah" then I would have never found what I came here to read about.I have never heard of "mekkah".I am not the greatest speller but if I had typed "mecca" and instead "mekkah" came up (no offence ment)I would have assumed it was referring to a bird.Please help me to understand how a english version would change its wording to appease a people who rarley can read english.Changing the word to "mekkah" would only confuse the majority of people who might use this site which are the people who are trying to learn in the first place.Maybe a simple solution would be to use BOTH spellings of it.If I offended anyone it was not ment,im only trying to use some common sense. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.167.61.196 (talk) 04:29, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

  • The "fuss" as I understand it is this: the Saudi government (and Muslims in general for that matter) don't object to 'Mecca' on linguistic grounds- they simply do because the word has been associated with practices which Islam frowns upon/forbids such as Las Vegas/Atlantic City/Monte Carlo being referred to as "gambling meccas " or "Mecca Bingo". Heck, I've even seen Gentlemen's Clubs (ie. "Titty Bars") which have incorporated the term 'mecca' into the description of their establishment. IMO: The fact that the US and UK governments have kissed Saudi arse to the point that both governments have "officially" changed the name of the city to "Makkah" doesn't change hundreds of years of English usage. That a government ( esp. one which severely limits it's own citizens freedom of expression) like Saudi Arabia can tell governments and English speakers how to spell the names of cities in our own language is somewhat insulting. The United States doesn't insist that French speakers or nations stop referring to La Nouvelle-Orléans even though it is inconsistent with the usual pattern of referring to English place names by Francophones (New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire for instance). And the fact that "mecca" has taken a meaning in English other than one which refers to the city is probably the best reason that it should be and is the correct place for this article, Saudi and other protests to the contrary notwithstanding. Jcam (talk) 06:58, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

As of September 2009 the British FCO has 38 pages with use of Mecca and 8 with use of Makkah. For example the The Two Kingdom's Dialogue (2009-04-08) includes the phrase "many Brits coming here on pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina". The pages using Makkah are nearly all those giving travel advice to Muslims visiting Mecca and include the Mecca spelling, eg "Every year the British Hajj Delegation accompanies around 25,000 British Muslims to Makkah (Mecca) in Saudi Arabia for Hajj.". The evidence shows that when addressing a mainly English audience the FCO uses "Mecca" and so I'll change the article accordingly. Pbhj (talk) 23:00, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

  • Hmm, I just looked at state.gov and un.org and find that the US Dept. State has 487 pages with Mecca and 15 with Makkah and the UN has 244 pages with Mecca and 14 with Makkah. I'm going to have to reword this to keep "Makkah" in there. Neither uses "Meccah". The OED also uses Mecca and has no entry for Makkah. So it seems the para on this was a bare-faced lie? One wrong entry, ok, but 3? Also why would we use Makkah Province as opposed to Mecca Province? It's just "the province where Mecca is"?? Pbhj (talk) 23:22, 23 September 2009 (UTC)


  • I don't know why all the editors keep on having war on each others editing. But one thing to be sure more than a billion of world population is jealous of Muslim community, the reason is that 'one rotten tomato, rottens other tomatos'. Same as said that if I am a muslim that doesnt means I'm a terrorist! mark my words. So please change the name to MAKKAH from MECCA. The verifying source to this change and correction is [1][1]

And I request the Administrator of this Makkah Section to do this change as fast as possible. Thankyou. Regards Suhebriazsaifi 08:06, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

I really don't see anyone here calling you a terrorist. Nor does the use of Mecca have anything to do with that or some odd idea that you have in thinking non-Muslims are jealous of Islam. The article is at Mecca because the consensus right now is that this is the most common name as per Wikipedia:Article titles. something lame from CBW 14:31, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
This page should be moved to Makkah. The govt. official website also mention its spellings as Makkah. --TalhaDiscuss © 15:12, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
plz use everyone Makkah, plz change tittle of this page as makkah —Preceding unsigned comment added by 212.26.62.10 (talk) 06:03, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I don't suggest that the past spelling of Mecca needs to be CHANGED. As I recall, the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia officially changed the spelling, in English, in about 1982. Why use "Makkah" now? Because it is CORRECT and "Mecca" is incorrect; simple. Would we call "Thailand," "Siam?" No. Why not? Because the name CHANGED. Duhhhhh!

The holiest city in Islaam is MAKKAH. That's the way it is spelled in all of Saudi Arabia in English; and it's official, according to the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. So, let's spell it correctly, please.

I am aware that many media outlets in the U.S.A., including the "New York Times" and "Newsweek" misspell the name. They do it knowingly and purposefully. I don't know why. They are just displaying their arrogance, not their stupidity; because they know better.

SOURCE -- How do I know the name of the city is spelled, Makkah? Because I've been there; simple. Arrow Straight (talk) 21:52, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

See WP:Commonname. How the Saudi government chooses to transliterate in Roman script is irrelevant. It's the most common name used in the English speaking world that is relevant. For example, Mecca gets 1,390,000 results on Google books, whereas Makkah only gets 86,500. DeCausa (talk) 22:02, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Here are some reasons for what Makkah should be used instead of Mecca;

-Officially everywhere in the Saudi Arabia spell Makkah is used for the Holly city. No where Mecca is used. [2] [3] [4] [5]

-Mecca refers to house of wine/gambling etc which is not correct use here for Holy city. Whether it is lower case 'm' or capital 'M' it means same, nothing difference just blowing dust in dyes of Muslims. Where you write your name with small caps or large caps meaning will be same, make sense. I don't know why wikipedia consensus was on Mecca because below comments are also referring and proving for Makkah. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]

-Another thing in Arabic Makkah (مَکہ) has vowel above 'M' not below 'M'. If pronounced correctly 'a' after 'M' mean vowel is above 'M', however 'e' after 'M' means vowel is below 'M' which is not correct.

-The reason below that Google uses Mecca more times than Makkah, answer is validity of things can't be simply depends on numbers. There are many things controversial (which I will not discuss in detail here) which doesn't rely on number power. Suppose any resolution is passed by NATO however America can VETO power that. Whats that? Because America is right and all others are wrong? Why not majority decision is accepted? So saying numbers for Mecca are more over internet doesn't make sense for using that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Javaidiqbal6022 (talkcontribs) 17:03, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

  • All words of Makkah should be consistent and Mecca should be changed to Makkah. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Javaidiqbal6022 (talkcontribs) 19:43, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Already answered see above. This is English Wikipedia. It's what is prevalent in the English-speaing world, not Saudi Arabia, which is relevant. DeCausa (talk) 10:05, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
This is English Wikipedia, and the name usually understood in English is "Mecca". What form of the name may be used in Saudi Arabia is irrelevant. We have an article on Cologne, not on Köln (which is a redirect); we have an article on Moscow, not on Moskva; we have an article on Germany, not on Deutschland; likewise with Rome/Roma, Spain/España, Japan/Nippon. As for the idea that we should expunge all uses of "Mecca" because some muslims are offended by metaphorical uses of the word in such expressions as "a gambling mecca", Wikipedia is not censored to avoid offending particular groups of people. If we were to change that policy, and start removing everything which is offensive to some group of people, then we would lose a considerable amount of content, including everything on any religion, certainly including islam. Wikipedia's manual of style specifies that we use the word most commonly understood in English, and I see no good reason for changing that guideline. It is entirely possible that at some time in the future "Makkah" will predominate in English, just as "Beijing" has taken over from the long-established "Peking", but until it does Wikipedia should stick with "Mecca". What matters as far as Wikipedia's criteria are concerned is what is the most commonly recognised name in English, not what various people think should be most commonly recognised name in English. JamesBWatson (talk) 10:35, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
  • You are right that this is English forum and will follow English rules. Suppose in Pakistan we define/set word Kuta in Urdu (which means in English is Dog) then Americans will definitely disagree with that. I have no concern which spell English people use for Makkah but they should use the word which doesn't have controversial meaning like house of wine/gambling. --Javaidiqbal6022 (talk) 11:18, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Although wikipedia is not responsible to make all changes in English but should honor the Muslim community and allow the editors to correct this spell rather reverting back again and again. Hope this make sense. --Javaidiqbal6022 (talk) 11:18, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Another thing why not Ivory Coast article name is used in English instead of Côte d'Ivoire[14]. Why target only Islam? Even if Ivory Coast is used it doesn't have any other meaning. --Javaidiqbal6022 (talk) 11:18, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
  1. I doubt whether many Americans would care one way or another what words are used in Pakistan. (I expect to see an American later today, so maybe I will ask her.) However, the main point is that it's totally irrelevant: Wikipedia is not censored to avoid upsetting people who are sensitive about use of words that they don't like, no matter what their nationality.
  2. No we shouldn't "honor the Muslim community" nor any other community. Nor should we allow members of an interest group to take ownership of articles on subjects close to them.
  3. "Côte d'Ivoire" is now used more commonly in English than "Ivory Coast". Whether the expression has any other meaning is utterly irrelevant. JamesBWatson (talk) 11:43, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
Just one more point: the metaphorical meaning of "Mecca" is not "house of wine/gambling". It means a place which is a central attraction for particular people. It is possible to refer to a "gambling mecca", but it is also possible to refer to a mecca for other categories. For example, in Wales there is a town called "Hay on Wye", which is a centre of the book trade, and it is frequently referred to as "a mecca for bibliophiles" or "the book Mecca", and suchlike terms. Just because Las Vegas is sometimes called a "gambling mecca" does not mean that the word "mecca" has anything to do with gambling, any more than calling it a "centre of gambling" means that the word "centre" has anything to do with gambling. However, this is all incidental: the main point is that Wikipedia uses the name most commonly recognised in English, without fear or favour. JamesBWatson (talk) 11:57, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
No, what he's referring to is a chain of Bingo halls (Bingo is a UK gambling game) here in the UK called Mecca and owned by The Rank Group. It's often said that the Mecca chain is specifically the reason why the Saudi government revised the spelling of Mecca (rather than the phrase you were refering to). I don't know whether there's any truth in it or it's apocryphal. Robert Lacey seemed to say it was true in his recent book on Saudi Arabia, "Inside the Kingdom". DeCausa (talk) 14:46, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
Agree with DeCausa. Thanks for elaborating. --Javaidiqbal6022 (talk) 18:07, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks to both DeCausa and Javaidiqbal6022 for clarifying that: I had clearly missed the point. However, as far as I am concerned, that makes my point even more strongly. Because one dubious business chooses to use the name of a city as its name, the name becomes unavailable as the name of the city? That puts an astonishing amount of power in the hands of an individual businessman. If I chose to open a brothel and called it "Paris" would that force the French government to to change the name of the city? I am not a muslim, but I have as low an opinion of gambling businesses as any muslim, and I would not wish to be associated with them in any way. However, Mecca is primarily the name of one of the most famous and eminent cities in the world (I don't have to be a muslim to see that) and only incidentally the trade name of a business. In my opinion the city is significant enough to be able to brush off the rather insignificant use of the name by a gambling business. However, at the risk of possibly becoming tedious by repetition, I will say once more that, as far as the question of what to call the city on Wikipedia is concerned, all that is irrelevant. We use the name most commonly understood in English. That is not only a matter of following Wikipedia's guidelines but also, and more importantly, a practical matter of making English Wikipedia comprehensible to most readers. Until I stumbled on discussion of this issue today I had never, as far as I remember, come across the word "Makkah", and I certainly would not have had the remotest idea what it meant, whereas I have known what "Mecca" is for most of my life. Wikipedia's guideline says "use the name most commonly recognised in English", and the practical requirement to make our encyclopaedia accessible and understandable to as many people as possible says "use the name most commonly recognised in English". JamesBWatson (talk) 20:32, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. This article probably should have an FAQ (or something similar) explaining this because it seeems to come up regularly. DeCausa (talk) 20:46, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
FAQ is a great idea - this thread is only still on the talkpage because I restored it from the archive and put a {{dnau}} on it to keep it here, so that there would be something to refer people to when reverting the change. Problem is the thread is huge. A FAQ to refer people to would be much better. Begoontalk 05:27, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

A Comment: In the above discussion, arguments relating to common name, change by the Saudi gov., and number of google search results have surfaced. I find quite a similarity between title change cases of Makkah (I prefer to use "Makkah") and Orissa or as of now, Odisha Discussion, a state of 42 million in India.

Previous official name Mecca (Not sure) Orissa
Current official name Makkah Odisha
Name changed by Saudi Gov (Not sure) Parliament of India, in 2010[15]
Current wikipedia title Not changed Mecca Changed Odisha[16]
Google search ratio (previous:current names) 100 : 38.75 [17][18] 100 : 31.16 [19][20]
Google books ratio (previous:current names) 100 : 08.13 [21][22] 100 : 00.17 [23][24]
  • Clearly according to search results, Mecca seems to be more deserving of a name change. Search of "mecca" also includes the search of the general english term. Thus the search ratio may be well over 100:50.
  • Transliteration: Proper trans. of the arabic مَكَّةْ can be done as follows. Note: Arabic is written right to left.
م + َ + ك + ّ + َ + ة + ْ = مَكَّةْ
which equals m + (vowel a) + k + (stressed k) + (vowel a) + h + (no vowel sound) = Makkah
  • Widespread usage: British and other foreigners prior to the twentieth century must have used Mecca, Jidda, Riyad, etc, probably due to different languages and styles of speech. Now Jeddah and Riyadh, both almost correct transliterations are in widespread use and the use of Jiddda and Riyad has almost come to nil, but "Mecca" is still prevalent in the non muslim world. (why?)
    May be due to the media.
  • No one objects to use John F Kennedy or United Kingdom instead of their real names, but here, in the case of Makkah there is an objection. "Mecca" is not used by all the people unlike JFK or UK, neither "Makkah" is just confined for official use.

For those who are bent on change the title to Makkah, a great example to quote here is Muhammad ﷺ himself, during the signing of The Treaty of Hudaibah. 12

Fauzantalk ✆ email ✉ 17:38, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

'This movement is commonly known as the Wahhabi movement. It has been also influenced by the Shafi`i school.'[edit]

This information is incorrect. The Mouwahhadeen movement ended when the first Saudi State was formed in the 18th century CE. The Hambali school of fiqha jurisprudence is the official 'madhab' or the 'way of method' to deduce the Prophet's Sunnah in the detailed matters relegated to the mental intellectual striving by the Prophetic Hadith.


Copyright problem removed[edit]

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  1. ^ http://www.holymakkah.gov.sa/indexE.php