Once the hometown of Muhammad, the city is revered by Muslims for containing the holiest site of Islam, the Sacred Mosque of Mecca. A pilgrimage to Mecca during the week of the Hajj is one of the Pillars of Islam, a sacred duty that is required of all able-bodied Muslims who can afford to go, at least once in their lifetime. People of other faiths are forbidden from entering the city. Muslims also must pray facing in the direction of Mecca five times a day.
Mecca in "Islands in the Sea"Edit
In AD 769, after a series of meetings with both Christian and Muslim representatives, Bulgar Khan Telerikh turned southeast, towards Mecca, sank to his knees and said the shahada three times to signify his decision that he and his people would convert to Islam.