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The Sacred City Essay

788 words - 4 pages

Scholars are mindful of the spiritual meaning in geography, or space. Hierophany signifies of is the manifestation from ordinary to sacred. According to Eliade, anything can be manifested as sacred (Livingston 43). Many people consider geographic locations of high elevation, like a mountain, a spot where earth and sky come closest. An axis mundi is a place or object of central connection between the Earth and Heaven. Sacred mountains are common in many religions, especially in the three western biblical religions – Christianity, Judaism and Islam. To be considered the center of one’s religion, some event must have occurred at such a location that gives meaning to the religion. The city of Mecca symbolizes the sacred center in Islam, or the axis mundi of Islam. The capital city serves as the axis mundi for Muslims as it is paramount in the history of Islam because it was the hometown of the prophet, the site of many of his revelations from God, the focal point of daily prayer and the main center of pilgrimage.
Muhammad was born in the Mecca in 570 C.E. Mount Hira is one of the many mountains considered sacred by people around the globe (Lecker). “According to Muslim tradition, in 611 C.E. at the age of forty, Muhammad of Mecca received his first revelation of the sacred scripture of Islam from God during a spiritual retreat in a cave on Mount Hira outside the city” (Bakar). Here, the illiterate Prophet was given revelation by the angel Gabriel. In the very first revelation, he received sacred knowledge to understand the unknown – the original act of Creation or cosmogony. Creation refers to the idea that the whole universe is brought into being and sustained by a personal agent, God, who is beyond the universe. Since creation is an intentional act, God is usually said to envisage what will be created, and to intend that it will come into existence. Sacred knowledge is realization through and for the sake of God. An Islamic belief of cosmology springs from the Quran. Every myth shows how a reality came into existence. This mythology is a shared doctrine between the three Abrahamic faiths (Eliade 97). Each of these religions has the concept of an ultimate creator.
The Kaaba is a sanctuary sacred to the worship of God. This cubic structure is located in at the center of Mecca...

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