write a short note on makkah and madinah
Mecca is regarded as theholiest cityin thereligionofIslamand apilgrimageto it known as theHajjisobligatoryfor all ableMuslims. Mecca is home to theKaaba, by majority description Islam's holiest site, as well as being thedirection of Muslim prayer. Mecca was long ruled by Muhammad'sdescendants, thesharifs, acting either as independent rulers or as vassals to larger polities. It was absorbed into Saudi Arabia in 1925. In its modern period, Mecca has seen tremendous expansion in size and infrastructure, home to structures such as theAbraj Al Bait, also known as the Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel, the world's third tallest building and the building with the largest amount of floor area. Due to this expansion, Mecca has lost some historical structures and archaeological sites, such as theAjyad Fortress.Today, more than 15 million Muslims visit Mecca annually, including several million during the few days of the Hajj.As a result, Mecca has become one of the most cosmopolitan and diverse cities in the Muslim world,despite the fact that non-Muslims are prohibited from entering the city.The burial place of theIslamic ProphetMuhammad, it is the second holiest city inIslamafterMecca. Medina is critically significant inIslamic Historyas Muhammad's final religious base after theHijrahand the location of his death in 632 AD/11 AH. Medina was the power base of Islam in its first century, being where the early Muslim community (ummah) developed, first under Muhammad's leadership and then under the first fourcaliphsof Islam:Abu Bakr, `Omar, `Othmanand `Ali.
In fact, Year 1 of theIslamic calendaris based on the year of the emigration (orHijra(هِجْرَة)) of Muhammad and his original followers (Muhajirun) from Mecca to the city of Medina in 622 AD/1 AH. The Maliki madhab places emphasis onulemaand scholars originating in Medina.
Medina is reportedly home to the three oldest mosques inIslamwhich were built in the days of Muhammad, namelyAl-Masjid an-Nabawi(The Prophet's Mosque),Quba Mosque(the first mosque in Islam's history),andMasjid al-Qiblatain(The Mosque of the Two Qiblahs the mosque where the direction of Muslim prayer, orqiblah, was switched fromJerusalemto Mecca).
Similarly to Mecca, entrance to the sacred core of Medina (but not the entire city) is restricted to Muslims only; non-Muslims are not permitted to enter nor are they allowed to cross through the city center.
Muslims believe that the final chapters (surahs) of theQur'anchronologically were revealed to the Prophet in Medina and are calledMedinan surahsin contrast to earlierMeccan surahs.