Define The Holy Land

I just heard a Muslim refer to Mecca as “The Holy Land”. Now I’ve always known it to be Jerusalem. So my question is whether the world recognizes two Holy Lands or is there just one?


Muslims have two holy cities, Mecca and Medina which are in Saudi Arabia. Link.

Thanks. So these are Holy cities.

You think (just asking) did I hear it wrongly that Mecca is the Holy Land. The subject of quota (lack of places) by the Saudi Govt. for the Haj Pilgrimage was the question during a parliamentary session and the response was “quota for The Holy Land…” by the respective govt rep (a Muslim).


Muslims have three holy cities, of which Jerusalem was the first. It is the site of the Prophet’s ascent into heaven. This is why the Dome of the Rock is built on the site of the Temple and the site is sacred to both Jews and Muslims.

It would make sense that they would say that since Mecca and Medina are their two holiest cities.

Depends which religion you ask.

To a Muslim, the holy cities are Mecca and Medina.

However, outside the Muslim orbit, the term “Holy Land” refers to the Biblical region of Erez Israel (almost but not fully conterminous with the modem State).


I can understand their view. So it appears that mentioning “The Holy Land” ( singular) is not universally understood as Jerusalem alone. Thus it is Jerusalem, Mecca and Medina. This “Trio” if you will perhaps is a compromise of sorts.

Guess one keeps learning. :smiley:


In English at least the term almost always refers to Israel/Palestine. Perhaps one might also include some surrounding areas like the Sinai Peninsula or parts of Jordan. In a purely Christian sense as the part of the world in which Jesus lived or at least visited, making the very land a sort of relic, one would also include Egypt and Lebanon.

But the term can be applied in other ways. One might call Mecca and Medina a Muslim Holy Land. Or one might, as I’ve known a Catholic priest to do, call the land that is now Turkey “the second Holy Land” because of its great importance in Christian history (Antioch, Nicaea, Constantinople, the “Seven Churches in Asia”, etc.). I could imagine other analogous uses of the term easily being applied by some people to such places as Rome, Assisi, or Ireland, just to give a few examples. Also America is often seen as a sort of analogous Holy Land or Promised Land by conservative Protestants.

I guess it depends on who does the asking and the answering. :slight_smile:

Probably for the Muslims, “the Holy Land” are those places where Mohammad received his revelation, ministered and lived which are the areas around Mecca and Medina today. These are sacred places to them and thus “the Holy Land”.

Thanks for this. :thumbsup:


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