Makkah Al-Mukkaramah which has many other names such as Umm Al-Qura, Al-Balad Al-Amen (secure city) and Al-Balad Al-Haram (Holy City), is the first holy city for Moslems.
In Makkah, Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) was born, the Revelation was descended to him with the Holy Quran, and from it propagation for Islam was launched.
In the center of the city there is the Holy Mosque inside which is the Holy Qabaa, The Maqam of Prophet Ibrahim, the Stone of his son Ismaiel (May God bless them), Zamzam well which water has been pouring through hundred of years, and Safa and Marwah where Moslems make Saie.
Near Makkah are the other holy shrines of Mina, Muzdalifa, and Arafat where Mount Arafat is located and where pilgrims spend the day of Arafah every year as the main ritual of Haj (pilgrimage).
The Holy City of Makkah lies inland, some 73 km east of Jeddah, in the narrow, sandy Valley of Abraham. The land consists of rugged, rocky (predominantly granite) terrain, with mountain ranges on three sides (to the west, south and east). The Holy city is 277 meters (909 feet) above sea level.
There are three main entrances to the Holy City; Al-Mu’allat, Al-Musfalah and Al-Shubaikah.
Jabal hira, to the northeast, is the site of the cave where the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, sought peace for contemplation and where he received the first verse of the Holy Qur’an.