Largest Human Spectacle in the World



Fundamentalists are not friends of democracy.  And that includes your fundamentalists in the United States.

- Karen Armstrong

Allah's View

Mecca, also Makkah (ancient Macoraba) is a city located in western Saudi Arabia.  It is near the Arabian city of Jiddah and it is the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad (the founder of Islam).  This makes it the focal point of Muslim daily prayers.

A pilgrimage to the city is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and is required of every adult Muslim at least once in his/her lifetime (if they are healthy and can afford it).  The pilgrimage (hajj in Arabic) is the focus of the city.  Approximately 2 million pilgrims visit each year during the last month of the Islamic calendar.  This is an impressive undertaking.  Few things can motivate this many people this consistently.  Seen from the air, it resembles an orderly anthill.  It is the largest human spectacle in the world.


Sources:,,, aerial view

For more photos of really large crowds (I like them - I don't know why), see also:

bulletVeiled Humour (in the Society and Culture section) - middle of the page, there are various photos of assembled Muslims...
bulletFreeing Lebanon - One week: pro-Syria, the next week: anti-Syria - which crowd was larger?
bulletA Funeral in Gaza - The largest crowd in 10 years gathered to bury Sheik Ahmed Yassin...
bulletThe EDSA Revolution - the 4-day popular revolution that peacefully overthrew Philippine President Joseph Estrada in January 2001...

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