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Masjid al-Haram

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

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    Masjid al-Haram

    The Grand Mosque of Mecca in western Saudi Arabia. Along with the Prophet Muhammad 's Mosque in Medina, it is one of the two holiest shrines in Islam, its spiritual center, and the focus of the hajj pilgrimage. A place of worship even before the time of Muhammad, the mosque is organized around the Kaaba, a pre-Islamic “House of God” founded by Abraham and Ishmael , toward which all Muslim prayer is directed. The present layout of the Grand Mosque evolved from a series of enlargements during the Umayyad and Abbasid periods, Ottoman refinements, and recent Saudi additions.

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