Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

Living Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Mecca

  • Susan Love Brown
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27771-9_200212-1

Mecca is a city in western Saudi Arabia significant because it was the birthplace and home of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad. The city was long an important locus of trade in the Middle East because it lays at the crossroads of trading caravans traveling throughout the region. Because of its association with Muhammad, it became a sacred space for Muslims and the object of a religion-mandated pilgrimage, occurring once a year. Mecca provides both a continuing association with the founder of Islam for its members and a connection with others who follow the same faith, which results in the reaffirmation of identity and a sense of communal affiliation.

According to Watt, “Mecca, Muhammad’s home for half a century was entirely a commercial city, set amidst the barren rocks. The growth of the city as a trading centre came about through the existence there of a haram or sanctuary area, to which men could come without fear of molestation. Geographical conditions were also in its favour; it...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Bibliography

  1. Brockopp, J. E. (2010). Introduction). In J. E. Brockopp (Ed.), The Cambridge companion to Muhammad (pp. 1–18). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Porter, V. (Ed.) (2012). Hajj: Journey to the heart of Islam. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Rubin, U. (2010). Muhammad’s message in Mecca: Warnings, signs, and miracles. In J. E. Brockopp (Ed.), The Cambridge companion to Muhammad (pp. 39–60). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Saleh, W. A. (2010). The Arabian context of Muhammad’s life. In J. E. Brockopp (Ed.), The Cambridge companion to Muhammad (pp. 21–38). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Sardar, Z. (2014). Mecca: The sacred city. London: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC.Google Scholar
  6. Turner, V. (1969/2017). The ritual process: Structure and anti-structure. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Turner, V. (1974). Dramas, fields, and metaphors: Symbolic action in human society. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Watt, W. M. (1960). Muhammad at Mecca. Oxford: At the Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  9. Wheeler, B. (2006). Mecca and Eden: Ritual, relics, and territory in Islam. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyFlorida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonUSA