The holiest and most blessed structure on the face of the earth is Kabah, the House of Allah, and the mosque that surrounds Kabah is called Masjid al-Haram. The reward of one prayer offered in it is worth one hundred thousand prayers offered elsewhere.

The city of Makkah around the Sacred Mosque and the whole territory surrounding Makkah up to several kilometers in every direction has been declared as sacred Haram (sanctuary).

Makkah was the birth place of Prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him). Although he was forced to move to Madinah, he had profound admiration for Mecca. He is reported to have said:

“O Makkah! Had not my people forced me out from here,

I would never have liked to settle elsewhere.” (Tirmizi)

Moreover, Makkah is the heart of the world as the Holy Quran has called it
Umm-ul-Qura (The origin of the cities). (Surah ash-Shura 42:7)

Abraha, the king of Yaman, was extremely envious of the most sacred position enjoyed by the holy Kabah, which attracted a vast majority of mankind. In 570 or 571 AD, he invaded Makkah in order to raise Kabah to ground. His army comprised of 60 thousand soldiers and several elephants.

Once they were within the boundaries of the Haram, flock after flock of birds (swallows) suddenly appeared who were carrying pieces of stones in their beaks and claws with which they bombarded the invaders destroying them completely, Thus, Allah protected His house from the evil designs of the enemy. By the way, this incident happened in the same year in which the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was born. This incident is described briefly in the Quran (Surah al-Fil 105 : 1-5)