Masjid al-Haram - The Largest Mosque in the World

The Masjid al-Haram or the Grand Mosque is the largest mosque in the world. It is also known as the Sacred Mosque. The Masjid al-Haram is the holiest Islamic site and houses Kaaba, the point to which all Muslims face when praying. 

The Masjid al-Haram is located in the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It surrounds one of Islam's holiest places, the Kaaba. One of the Five Pillars of Islam requires every Muslim to perform the Hajj pilgrimage at least once in his or her lifetime if able to do so, including circumambulation of the Kaaba.

The Masjid al-Haram expands over an area in excess of 4,000,000 square meters including the outdoor and indoor praying spaces within the city of Mecca. It has a capacity to be able to accommodate up to 4,000,000 people during the Hajj period, one of the largest annual gatherings of people in the world.

According to Islamic tradition the very first construction of the Kaaba, the heart of the Masjid al-Haram, was undertaken by Ibrahim. Hajar-ul-Aswad, the Black Stone situated on the lower side of the eastern corner of the Kaaba, is believed to be the only remnant of the original structure made by Ibrahim.

The Masjid al-Haram was initially built around the Kaaba in 638 AD under the leadership of the Caliph Omar Ibn al-Khattab. It went under several renovation and expansion project over the years to accommodate the growing number of pilgrims.

The Masjid al-Haram is one of the most important mosques to Muslims around the world. It not only serves as the common direction towards which Muslims pray, but is also the main location for pilgrimages. Source: Wikipedia

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