7 Holiest Sites In Islam
Every year, over 2 million Muslims from around the world travel to perform the hajj – a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable. Although the journey to Mecca, the holiest city for Muslims, is mandatory, Muslims also like to visit other likewise holy landmarks.
Not many can travel at the moment due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, we can’t help but admire the cultural and spiritual importance of these places:
Al-Masjid Al-Ḥarām (The Sacred Mosque), Mecca
Al-Masjid Al-Ḥarām is a mosque that surrounds the Kaaba in the city of Mecca, in the Hejazi region of Saudi Arabia.
The Great Mosque is the largest mosque in the world, it covers an area of 356,800sq-m. The Great Mosque is the main setting for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages that occur in the month of Dhu al-Hijjah in the Islamic calendar and at any time of the year, respectively.
Al-Masjid an-Nabawī (The Prophet’s Mosque), Medina
Masjid an-Nabawi is a mosque established and built by the Islamic prophet Muhammad, situated in the city of Medina in the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia.
It was one of the first mosques built by Muhammad and is now one of the largest mosques in the world. It is the second-holiest site in Islam, after the Great Mosque in Mecca. It is always open, regardless of date or time. Masjid an-Nabawi is also the resting site of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) and his two companions, Abu Bakr and Umar.
Al-Masjid Al-Aqṣā, Jerusalem
Al-Masjid Al-Aqṣā is also known as “the Farthest Mosque” because, during the time of the Prophet (s.a.w), al-Aqsa mosque was the furthest mosque from the Kaaba built under the instruction of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w). It is the third holiest site in Islam. Al-Masjid Al-Aqṣā is located in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Imam Ali, Iraq
Imam Ali is located in Najaf, Iraq and is the third holiest place for the Shi’a branch of Muslims. It contains the tomb of Ali, the brother of Muhammad. The mosque was built over the tomb by Iranian ruler Daylamite Fannakhosraw Azod ad Dowleh in 977. Najaf is considered the third holiest Islamic city after Mecca and Medina in the world.
Masjid Qubbat As-Sakhrah, Jerusalem
Masjid Qubbat As-Sakhrah is also known as Dome of the Rock and is located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is the most controversial piece of property in the world as it is the holy place of Christians, Jews and Muslims. The controversy is over the foundation stone inside the building that is the rock under the dome.
Great Mosque of Djenne, Mali
The Great Mosque of Djenne in Mali is a mud-brick building that is considered an architectural achievement of the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style. It is located in the flood plain of the Bani River in the city of Djenne. The first mosque was built in this location in the 13th century. The current structure was built in 1907. It is a world heritage site and one of the most famous landmarks in Africa.
Quba Mosque, Medina
The Quba Mosque lies on the outskirts of Medina and is a very holy place for Muslims. The first stones of the mosque were laid my Prophet Muhammad himself as soon as he arrived on his emigration from Mecca to Medina. It is a very important mosque for Muslims as praying here is considered to be a very holy act.