Tuesday, July 27, 2004

The Name of Mecca

While doing dissertation research, I ran across a tradition in al-Baladhuri's Futuh al-Buldan that Mecca was originally called Salah. I googled a bit on-line to see if this was in the mainstream Islamic tradition anywhere, but it doesn't look like it. I'm a bit skeptical of a claim that Pre-Islamic Arabs called a city "Condition of Righteousness," anyway. In my googling, however, I did learn that Saudi Arabia has changed the official Latin spelling to Makkah so as to avoid sacriligious usages of the word "mecca" in English.


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