The holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is where the prophet Muhammad was born, and it was in a cave outside of the city where he was visited by the angel, Gabriel, and given the recitations that became the 114 chapters of the Qu’ran.
When the newly forming religion of Islam was rejected by the citizens of Mecca, Muhammad was forced to flee to Medina. However, in 629 CE, Muhammad returned to Mecca with 10,000 fighters and conquered the city, removing the many idols that had been placed in the Ka’aba.
The Hajj is an annual celebration of the unity of the Muslim people. It is a symbol of devotion and a rite of passage in the spiritual life of a Muslim, as they travel to Mecca to view the Ka’aba and perform holy rituals.