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Mecca and Medina - some answers

Reader comment on item: Kafir Consular Services in Mecca
in response to reader comment: Mecca and Medina questions for Muslims

Submitted by Amin Riaz (United Kingdom), Mar 5, 2013 at 23:08

"I would like to know who built Mecca and Medina"

Mecca was a regional 'tribal area' around a water source - according to muslim sources it was started by Ishamel and his descedants. The following article is surprisingly quite good:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mecca

Medina too was built around a water source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medina

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"Who were these idol-worshippers. Were they Vedic/Hindus."

No they were of Hellenistic religion. However, if you go far enough - Hellenistic faith started around the time of the Vedas.

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"I would also like to know why non Moslems are excluded from this sacred site ? "

By direct command in the Quran.

http://islam.about.com/od/hajj/f/mecca.htm

But I am not sure why Jews and Chrisitians were banned. As the quran only refers to the idolators.

There appears to be an interesting Ottoman-Mughal agreement:

"'No Muslims and believers in the unity of God', proclaims an Ottoman imperial firman, 'should be hindered in any way if he wishes to visit the Holy Cities and circumambulate the luminous Ka'ba.'"

I think this how Guru Nanak - visited Mecca, Kaba, etc.

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"Alone of all religions is a site so jealously guarded against non-believers ?"

Religious significance - only to Muslims.

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"I would also like to know why the rituals and religious practices of perambulating around a shrine, or holy water from Abe Zam Zam, or the cutting of the hair and two seamless garments is not practised outside Mecca and Medina. "

These rituals are only specific to this site. Once in a life experience, if at that.

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"After all how a Catholic priest says Mass in Rome is what he would say in Timbuctoo, or a Hindu as he prays in Benares so would he pray in Britain. "

! - I am surpised you ask this. Muslim prayers are performed anywhere. Hajj - the pilgimaje is specific to this one site.

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"And why is the 7 storey Ka'aba covered with a cloth ?"

The Kabah - the area covered in cloth is just one storey room. That's it.

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"Does the pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina pre-date Islam ?"

Yes.

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"And who are the Mahadevas who tried to take over the shrines ?"

I don't know. But when?

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Submitting....

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