Holiest sites in Islam

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There are numerous[clarification needed] sites in that are considered holiest to Islam. Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem are the three holiest cities in Islam, unanimous among all sects.[1]


A view of Mecca, land of the Greatest Mosque, as seen from Jabal al-Nour, Saudi Arabia.
A view of the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia.


Mecca[2] is considered the holiest city in Islam, as it is home to the Ka'bah and the Masjid al-Haram. Only Muslims are allowed to enter this place.[3]

The area of Mecca, which includes Arafah,[4] Mina and Muzdalifah, is important for the Ḥajj (Arabic: حَـجّ‎‎). As one of the Five Pillars of Islam,[5] every adult Muslim who is capable must perform the Hajj at least once in their lifetime.[6] Hajj is one of the largest annual Muslim gatherings in the world, second only to pilgrimages to the Mosques of Imam Husayn and Abbas in Karbala, Iraq, with attendance reaching 3 million in 2012.[7]


Al-Masjid an-Nabawi is located in Medina, making the city the second-holiest site in Islam, after Mecca. Medina[8][9] is the final place-of-residence of Muhammad, and where his qabr (Arabic: قَـبـر‎‎, grave) is located.[1]


Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa, the third holiest site in Islam, which is located in Jerusalem, has a very special place in the hearts of the entire Muslim community, due to its unique and rich history as a place of worship that is so closely intertwined with the lives of many of the Prophets of Islam, as well as for its special status. It is a special and blessed Masjid of vast size comprising 144,000 square metres in size (covering approximately 1/6th of the entire area of the Old City of Jerusalem) and with capacity to accommodate in the region of 500,000 worshippers.[10]

Its region is mentioned in the Quran as being "blessed" and "holy", on numerous occasions, below is the Quranic reference from Surah Isra:

Surah Isra (17:1): "Glorified be He [Allah] Who did take His servant for a journey by night from Al Masjid Al Haram to Al Masjid Al Aqsa, whose precincts We did bless, in order that We might show him some of our Signs. Verily He is the All Hearing, All Seeing."

Sinai peninsula[edit]

A mosque on top of Mount Sinai, present-day Egypt.

Mount Sinai and the Valley of Tuwa are associated with Moses in Islam. The valley is considered as being muqaddas (Arabic: مُـقَـدَّس‎‎, holy).[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Trofimov, Yaroslav (2008), The Siege of Mecca: The 1979 Uprising at Islam's Holiest Shrine, New York, p. 79, ISBN 0-307-47290-6 
  2. ^ Quran 48:22–29
  3. ^ Tucker & Roberts 2008, p. 673.
  4. ^ Quran 2:124–217
  5. ^ Musharraf 2012, p. 195.
  6. ^ Peters 1994, p. 22.
  7. ^ Blatt 2015, p. 27.
  8. ^ Quran 9:25–129
  9. ^ Quran 33:09–73
  10. ^ "Islamic History of Masjid Al Aqsa". Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  11. ^ Quran 20:9–99


  • Peters, Francis (1994). The Hajj: The Muslim Pilgrimage to Mecca and the Holy Places. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691026190. 
  • Musharraf, Hussain (2012). The Five Pillars of Islam: Laying the Foundations of Divine Love and Service to Humanity. Leicestershire, UK: Kube Publishing. ISBN 9781847740236. 
  • Blatt, Amy (2015). Health, Science, and Place: A New Model. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. ISBN 3319120026. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-12003-4. 
  • Tucker, Spencer; Roberts, Priscilla (2008). The encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli conflict : a political, social, and military history. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1851098410.