Masjid al-Haram



Al-Masjid al-Ḥarām (The Forbidden Mosque) is the largest mosque in the world. Located in the city of Mecca, it surrounds the Kaaba, the place which Muslims worldwide turn towards while offering daily prayers and is Islam's holiest place. The mosque is also known as the Grand Mosque.

The current structure covers an area of 356,800 square metres (88.2 acres) including the outdoor and indoor praying spaces and can accommodate up to four million Muslim worshippers during the Hajj period, one of the largest annual gatherings of people in the world.

Islamic tradition holds that the Mosque was first built by the angels before the creation of mankind, when God ordained a place of worship on Earth to reflect the house in heaven called al-Baytu l-Ma'mur (Arabic: البيت المعمور, "The Worship Place of Angels"). From time to time, the Mosque was damaged by a storm (flood) and was rebuilt anew. According to Islamic belief it was built by Ibrahim (Abraham), with the help of his son Ismail (Ishmael). They were ordered by Allah to build the mosque, and the Kaaba. The Black Stone is situated near the eastern corner of the Kaaba, believed to be the only remnant of the original structure made by Abraham. The Kaaba is the direction for all the Muslims to pray across the globe thus signifying unity among all. The Islamic teaching specifically mentions that nothing is miraculous about the Grand Mosque except for the oasis Zamzam which has purportedly never dried ever since it was revealed.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masjid_al-Haram