This chapter includes the following articles.
Makkah and Medina are situated in western Saudi Arabia, near the coast of the Red Sea and roughly 350 km apart. The cities are home to Islam’s holiest sites, and are thus important to the religious lives of many of the world’s 1.2bn Muslims. Makkah is the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad and the location of the Masjid Al Haram, also known as the Grand Mosque, which houses the Kaaba, a shrine that Muslims consider the most sacred spot in the world. Medina, meanwhile, became the destination of the Prophet Muhammad’s flight from Makkah, and it was in this new city that he helped to build the Mosque of Quba – the first in Islamic history – and was later buried.