Holiest sites in Islam
There are numerous sites in Islam that are considered holiest to the religion.
Mecca and Hajj
Mecca is considered the holiest city in Islam. Only Muslims are allowed to enter Mecca. As one of the Five Pillars of Islam, every adult Muslim who is capable must perform the Hajj - a pilgrimage to Mecca - at least once in their lifetime. This obligation is only fulfilled if it is done on the eighth to twelfth day of the last month of the Islamic calendar.
Hajj is one of the largest annual Muslim gatherings in the world, only second to pilgrimages to the shrine of Hussain in Karbala, with attendance reaching 3 million in 2012. If, in a given year, an adult Muslim is in good health and his life and wealth is safe, they must perform the Hajj in the same year; delaying it is considered sinful unless the delay is caused by reasons beyond his/her control.
- 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. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-12003-4. ISBN 3319120026.
- 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.
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