Islamic Holy Cities in the World
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Islamic Holy Cities in the World

The 10 most holy cities to Islam

Mecca is the most holy city to Islam. Jerusalem is regarded as their 3rd holiest city. Here are additional cities from around the world considered sacred to Islam – the world’s 2nd largest religion with great concentration of memberships in the Middle East and Africa.

1.) Medina, Saudi Arabia

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Medina or “the radiant city” is the 2nd holiest city in Islam next to Mecca. The city is the burial place of the Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam. This Islamic city is located in the province of Al Madinah and is home to the 3 oldest mosques in Islam.

2.) Mashhad, Iran

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The holy city of Mashhad or “place of martyrdom” is sacred to Shia Islam. It is located in Iran and is the 2nd largest city in the country. The city is known as the resting place of the Imam Reza – the 8th Shi’ite Imam. The city is the world’s 2nd largest holy city receiving more than 20 million tourists and pilgrims annually.

3.) Kairouan, Tunisia

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The holy city of Kairouan, which is also known as Kirwan, Al Qayrawan, is the capital of the Kairouan Governorate in Tunisia. This city, which was founded by Arabs in 670 CE, is regarded by many Muslims as the 4th holiest city of Islam. The city is regarded as the Islamic Cultural Capital and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

4.) Muolay Idriss, Morocco

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Moulay Idriss is a holy city to Islam named after Moulay Idris I, the founder of the Idrisid Dynasty. The term “Moulay” means “Saint”. Fez and Moulay Idriss were both founded by Idris and his tomb which is located within the city is a pilgrimage site for Muslims. It is also known as Moulay Idriss Zerhoun.

5.) Karbala, Iraq

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The holy city of Karbala is located in Iraq. It is considered holy city to Shia Islam. The city of Karbala contains the Imam Husayn Shrine which is regarded sacred by Shias.

6.) Najaf, Iraq

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The City of Najaf in Iraq is sacred to Shi’a Islam. It is considered as the 3rd holiest city of Shi’a Islam and the center of Shia political power in Iraq. The city, which has a population of over half million, is the site of the tomb of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the cousin and son-in-law of the prophet Muhammad.

7.) Qom, Iran

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The City of Qom in Iran is sacred to the Shia Islam and is the world’s largest center for Shi’a scholarship. It is also known as Q'um or Ghom. This city is the site of the shrine of Fatema Mae’sume, sister of Imam Ali ibn Musa Rida. Qom is also an important destination of pilgrimage.

8.) Ajmer, India

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The Islamic holy city of Ajmer is located in Rajasthan, India. This city has a population of about 500 thousand.

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Comments (5)

Nice work! Very comprehensive.


realy i like keep continue this kind of infomation

Good work with nice pictures! voted up.

WEll done article with distinct flair to make these Islamic Holy cities come alive as if I am there in person. Your pictures are well chosen too.


Beautiful pics!