Islam has been present in this world for more than 1400 years, so Islamic history is rich with accounts of the miracles the Prophets had to offer, the sacred holy books that Muslims believe in and the rise of Quran. All of this is proof of the glory and beauty of the religion itself. Travelling has also been a huge part of Islamic history and spirituality itself--when we travel, we get to see the beauty of His creations. understand more about Islam, and deepen our knowledge of the beautiful universe Allah created 😍 So, we're here to share with you some of the best places where you can discover more about Islamic history. Be prepared to be fascinated!
1. Mecca, Saudi Arabia
As the city in whose direction we pray towards during our prayers AND one of the two cities where the Quranic revelations took place, Mecca is certainly one of the most important cities for Muslims around the world
This is where you can see the Masjid Al-Haram, which is the biggest mosque in the world, and the Ka'aba too. Every year, more than three million Muslims throng the city to complete the ritual of Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam!
Credit: Nuraishah Bazilah on Flickr
In the south-eastern area of the Ka'aba, the sacred Black Stone mounted in silver is located. Muslims believe that this exquisite Black Stone is from heaven, so there are great blessings for anyone who is able to kiss it.
Aside from the Ka'aba, the twin hills of Al-Safwa and Al-Marwa as well as the city of Mina are also crucial sites for Muslim pilgrims. Mina is especially significant since it's where Muslims stop to throw small stones at three pillars, an act which recalls the three occasions when Prophet Ibrahim threw stones at Satan. Needless to say, this is one place that every Muslim needs to come for their Hajj as soon as they have the means to 😌
2. Medina, Saudi Arabia
Earning its name as one of the two cities where the Quran revelations took place, Medina is a city close to the hearts of Muslims from all around the world--this is where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) migrated to after being forced to leave Makkah for his own safety, and where he was greeted with open arms and overwhelming love from the local Madinians at the time 💚
It's also home to Masjid al Quba, the very first mosque built during the time of Prophet Muhammad PBUH, and the breathtaking Masjid al Nabawi as well, where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is buried.
Credit: Adhi Rachdian on Flickr
Back then, during the time of the Prophet PBUH, Medina was a divided city that had witnessed much bickering and fighting between different clans and religions in the city. When Prophet Muhammad PBUH arrived, though, he united the city and brought its people together as one under the banner of Islam.
3. Istanbul, Turkey
Located between Asia and Europe, Istanbul bears witness to some of the most glorious moments in Islamic history. In 1453, Sultan Mehmet II conquered the city, which was then named Constantinople, and changed the name to Islambol (which means "city of Islam" in the Turkish language). This is where you'll find some of the most gorgeous mosques in the world, such as Sultan Ahmed Mosque (The Blue Mosque) and the Suleymaniye Mosque 😊
Credit: Stephen Downes on Flickr
One of the most popular attractions in Istanbul, Hagia Sophia (translated as Divine Wisdom) is also an important piece of Islamic history! It was previously a cathedral before it was converted to a mosque by Sultan Mehmet II upon his conquest of the city, and it remained so until 1953, when the Turkish government shifted its function to a museum.
Credit: aelena on Flickr
Such a beautiful transformation, isn't it? 😍
Credit: pipiw307 on Flickr
If you'd like to learn more about history on foot, Topkapi Palace is the place for you! This is where you can immerse yourself in ancient Islamic traditions and history 😍 On top of being able to witness the legacy of the Ottoman royalty, you'll also be able to draw inspiration and deepened faith from the Prophetic relics that are on display here!
You'll be able to see the pot of Prophet Ibrahim (AS), the turban of Prophet Yusuf (AS) and the hair of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) just to name a few!
4. Cairo, Egypt
One of the greatest centres of education in the Islamic world since time immemorial, he Al-Azhar University in Cairo is a definite must-visit while you're in Egypt. The university garnered its name from Sayyida Fatima Az-Zahra, the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Home to the centuries-old faculties of Islamic law and jurisprudence, Arabic grammer, and Islamic astronomy (just to name a few!), it's a hugely important centre of learning for muslims
Credit: Emil Myrsell on Flickr
Cairo is also a place where you can find The Citadel (Al-Qalaa), which was originally built by the legendary Muslim General Salahuddin in 1176 CE.. Apart from that, there's also Cairo Museum where you'll get to see the mummified body of King Firaun, and countless historic mosques like the Mamluk Mosque of El Nasser Mohamed!
5. Jerusalem, Palestine
Palestine is a location where many Prophets were born which includes Prophet Ibrahim (AS), Prophet Lut (AS), Prophet Dawood (AS), Prophet Suleiman (AS), Prophet Musa (AS), and Prophet Isa (AS). Jerusalem is a very important city for the religion of Islam, Christianity and Judaism and is also home to important Islamic sites such as the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Dome of Rock and Buraq Wall.
Dome of Rock Mosque
Credit: askii on Flickr
Dome of Rock was built by Caliph Abd al-Malik from 688 to 691 and that's where the sacred rock is located. It's also said that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) ascended to Heaven (Mi’raj) after the night journey to Jerusalem (Isra’).
Credit: Asim Bharwani on Flickr
Al-Aqsa Mosque was built 40 years after Masjid Al-Haram in Mecca was constructed and it was once the Qibla (direction in which Muslims face when praying) for Muslims for around 14 years.
Inside of Al-Aqsa Mosque
Credit: zm_1989 on Instagram
Other Islamic historical sites you may visit in Jerusalem include Tomb of Maryam, Maqam of Prophet Dawood (AS) and Jabbal Mukabir😊
6. Amman, Jordan
Jordan is the country where so many Prophets were finally laid to rest in their tombs. Ranging from the tomb of Prophet Shoayb (AS), Prophet Ayyub (AS) and Prophet Yusha (AS), Amman exudes Islamic history right down to its soil. If you're interested in ancient ruins, Amman is definitely the city to explore!
Credit: Ful Nam Sinica on Facebook
The Cave of Ashabe-Kahf is believed to be the cave where the pious youths sought refuge from a tyrannical pagan king, in which Allah SWT caused them to sleep for 300 years. Did you know that the story is written in Surah Al-Kahf in the Quran?😊
Cave of Ashabe-Kahf
Credit: Islamic Facts & History on Facebook
7. Córdoba, Spain
Islamic history in a European city? Yes, it's possible! There's so many historical buildings in Europe that were actually influenced by Muslim civilisation back then, especially in Spain's Andalusia region, which was once the seat of the thriving Islamic civilization 😁 Córdoba, in particular, is home to one of the biggest mosques in the world, the Great Mosque of Córdoba.
Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba
Credit: Eurospain Travel on Facebook
The architecture of this mosque showcases the strong influence of Muslim community in the Western culture. This is the symbol of harmony between Muslims, Christians and Jews❤️
Credit: psychopixel on Instagram
Abdul Rahman I, who was the founder of a Muslim dynasty which ruled the greater part of southwest corner of Europe, bought half of the Cathedral to allow Muslims to perform their prayers. He then purchased the other half and built a new mosque. In the 16th century, a cathedral was built in the middle of the mosque!
Another city that allows you to get immersed in ancient Muslim civilization is Granada, where the beautiful Alhambra Palace is located. One of the most marvelous specimens of the Islamic art that still stands today, walking through the Alhambra will take your breath away--trust us!
So there you have it! Now that we've provided you with the cities that'll help you understand Islamic history better, it's time to immerse ourselves in this beautiful religion😊 Do you think there are more cities that should be on the list? Share with us in the comments below!