Cameroon the Republic of Cameroon, is a country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the north. Cameroon's coastline lies on the Bight of part of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. Although Cameroon is not an ECOWAS member state, it is geographically and in West Africa with the Southern Cameroons which now form her Northwest and Southwest Regions having a strong West African history; the country is sometimes identified as West African and other times as Central African due to its strategic position at the crossroads between West and Central Africa. French and English are the official languages of Cameroon; the country is referred to as "Africa in miniature" for its geological and cultural diversity. Natural features include beaches, mountains and savannas; the highest point at 4,100 metres is Mount Cameroon in the Southwest Region of the country, the largest cities in population-terms are Douala on the Wouri river, its economic capital and main seaport, Yaoundé, its political capital, Garoua.
The country is well known for its native styles of music makossa and bikutsi, for its successful national football team. Early inhabitants of the territory included the Sao civilisation around Lake Chad and the Baka hunter-gatherers in the southeastern rainforest. Portuguese explorers reached the coast in the 15th century and named the area Rio dos Camarões, which became Cameroon in English. Fulani soldiers founded the Adamawa Emirate in the north in the 19th century, various ethnic groups of the west and northwest established powerful chiefdoms and fondoms. Cameroon became a German colony in 1884 known as Kamerun. After World War I, the territory was divided between France and the United Kingdom as League of Nations mandates; the Union des Populations du Cameroun political party advocated independence, but was outlawed by France in the 1950s, leading to the Bamileke War fought between French and UPC militant forces until early 1971. In 1960, the French-administered part of Cameroon became independent as the Republic of Cameroun under President Ahmadou Ahidjo.
The southern part of British Cameroons federated with it in 1961 to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. The federation was abandoned in 1972; the country was renamed the United Republic of Cameroon in 1972 and the Republic of Cameroon in 1984. Large numbers of Cameroonians live as subsistence farmers. Since 1982 Paul Biya has been President, governing with his Cameroon People's Democratic Movement party; the country has experienced tensions coming from the English-speaking territories. Politicians in the English-speaking regions have advocated for greater decentralisation and complete separation or independence from Cameroon. In 2017, tensions in the English-speaking territories escalated into open warfare; the territory of present-day Cameroon was first settled during the Neolithic Era. The longest continuous inhabitants are groups such as the Baka. From here, Bantu migrations into eastern and central Africa are believed to have originated about 2,000 years ago; the Sao culture arose around Lake Chad, c. 500 AD, gave way to the Kanem and its successor state, the Bornu Empire.
Kingdoms and chiefdoms arose in the west. Portuguese sailors reached the coast in 1472, they noted an abundance of the ghost shrimp Lepidophthalmus turneranus in the Wouri River and named it Rio dos Camarões, which became Cameroon in English. Over the following few centuries, European interests regularised trade with the coastal peoples, Christian missionaries pushed inland. In the early 19th century, Modibo Adama led Fulani soldiers on a jihad in the north against non-Muslim and Muslim peoples and established the Adamawa Emirate. Settled peoples who fled the Fulani caused a major redistribution of population; the Bamum tribe have a writing system, known as Shu Mom. The script was given to them by Sultan Ibrahim Njoya in 1896, is taught in Cameroon by the Bamum Scripts and Archives Project. Germany began to establish roots in Cameroon in 1868 when the Woermann Company of Hamburg built a warehouse, it was built on the estuary of the Wouri River. Gustav Nachtigal made a treaty with one of the local kings to annex the region for the German emperor.
The German Empire claimed the territory as the colony of Kamerun in 1884 and began a steady push inland. The Germans ran into resistance with the native people who did not want the Germans to establish themselves on this land. Under the influence of Germany, commercial companies were left to regulate local administrations; these concessions used forced labour of the Africans to make a profit. The labour was used on banana, palm oil, cocoa plantations, they initiated projects to improve the colony's infrastructure, relying on a harsh system of forced labour, much criticised by the other colonial powers. With the defeat of Germany in World War I, Kamerun became a League of Nations mandate territory and was split into French Cameroons and British Cameroons in 1919. France integrated the economy of Cameroon with that of France and improved the infrastructure with capital investments and skilled workers, modifying the system of forced labour; the British administered their territory from neighbouring Nigeria.
Natives complained that this made them a neglected "colony of a colony". Nigerian migrant workers flocked to Southern Cameroons, ending forced labour altogether but angering the local natives, who felt swamped. T
Colonial Nigeria was the area of West Africa that evolved into modern-day Nigeria, during the time of British rule in the 19th and 20th centuries. British influence in the region began with the prohibition of slave trade to British subjects in 1807. Britain annexed Lagos in 1861 and established the Oil River Protectorate in 1884. British influence in the Niger area increased over the 19th century, but Britain did not occupy the area until 1885. Other European powers acknowledged Britain's dominance over the area in the 1885 Berlin Conference. From 1886 to 1899, much of the country was ruled by the Royal Niger Company, authorised by charter, governed by George Taubman Goldie. In 1900, the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate passed from company hands to the Crown. At the urging of Governor Frederick Lugard, the two territories were amalgamated as the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria, while maintaining considerable regional autonomy among the three major regions. Progressive constitutions after World War II provided for increasing representation and electoral government by Nigerians.
The colonial period proper in Nigeria lasted from 1900 to 1960, after which Nigeria gained its independence. Through a progressive sequence of regimes the British imposed Crown Colony government on the area of West Africa which came to be known as Nigeria, a form of rule, both autocratic and bureaucratic. After adopting an indirect rule approach, in 1906 the British merged the small Lagos Colony and the Southern Nigeria Protectorate into a new Colony of Southern Nigeria, in 1914, combined with the Northern Nigeria Protectorate to form the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria. Administration and military control of the territory was conducted by white Britons, both in London and in Nigeria. Following military conquest, the British imposed an economic system designed to profit from African labour; the essential basis of this system was a money economy—specifically the British pound sterling—which could be demanded through taxation, paid to cooperative natives, levied as a fine. The amalgamation of different ethnic and religious groups into one federation created internal tension which persists in Nigeria to the present day.
In the 1700s, the British Empire and other European powers had settlements and forts in West Africa but had not yet established the full-scale plantation colonies which existed in the Americas. Adam Smith wrote in 1776 that the African societies were better established and more populous than those of the Americas, thus creating a more formidable barrier to European expansion. Earlier elements related to this were its founding of the colony at Sierra Leone in 1787 as a refuge for freed slaves, the independent missionary movement intended to bring Christianity to the Edo Empire, programs of exploration sponsored by learned societies and scientific groups, such as the London-based African Association. Local leaders, cognizant of the situation in the West Indies and elsewhere, recognised the risks of British expansion. A chief of Bonny in 1860 explained that he refused a British treaty due to the tendency to "induce the Chiefs to sign a treaty whose meaning they did not understand, seize upon the country".
European slave trading from West Africa began before 1650, with people taken at a rate of about 3,000 per year. This rate rose to 20,000 per year in the last quarter of the century; the slave trade was heaviest in the period 1700–1850, with an average of 76,000 people taken from Africa each year between 1783 and 1792. At first, the trade centred around West Central Africa, now the Congo, but in the 1700s, the Bight of Benin became the next most important hub. Ouidah and Lagos were the major ports on the coast. From 1790–1807, predominantly British slave traders purchased 1,000–2,000 slaves each year in Lagos alone; the trade subsequently continued under the Portuguese. In the Bight of Biafra, the major ports were Old Calabar and New Calabar. Starting in 1740, the British were the primary European slave trafficker from this area. In 1767, British traders facilitated a notorious massacre of hundreds of people at Calabar after inviting them onto their ships, ostensibly to settle a local dispute. In 1807 the Parliament of the United Kingdom enacted the Slave Trade Act, prohibiting British subjects from participating in the slave trade.
Britain subsequently lobbied other European powers to stop the slave trade as well. It made anti-slavery treaties with West African powers; some of the treaties contained prohibitions on diplomacy conducted without British permission, or other promises to abide by British rule. This scenario provided an opportunity for naval expeditions and reconnaissance throughout the region. Britain annexed Freetown in Sierra Leone, declaring it a Crown Colony in 1808; the decrease in trade indirectly led to the collapse of states like the Edo Empire. Britain withdrew from the slave trade; the French had abolished slavery following the French Revolution, although it re-established it in its Caribbean colonies under Napoleon. France sold Louisiana to the United States in 1803, the same year that it gave up on trying to regain Saint-Domingue. By the end of the Napoleonic Wars, it ended slavery in its possessions. Between them, the French and the British had purchased a majority of the slaves sold from the ports of Edo.
The economy suffered from the decline in the slave trade, although considerable smuggling of slaves to the Americas continued for years afterwards. Lagos became a major slave port into the 1850s. Much of the human trafficking which occurred there was nominal
The Islamic State in West Africa or the Islamic State's West Africa Province known as Jamā'at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da'wah wa'l-Jihād and known as Boko Haram until March 2015, is a jihadist terrorist organization based in northeastern Nigeria active in Chad and northern Cameroon. Founded by Mohammed Yusuf in 2002, the group has been led by Abubakar Shekau since 2009; when Boko Haram first formed, their actions were nonviolent. Their main goal was to "purify Islam in northern Nigeria." From March 2015 to August 2016, the group was aligned with the Islamic State of the Levant. Since the current insurgency started in 2009, Boko Haram has killed tens of thousands and displaced 2.3 million from their homes and was ranked as the world's deadliest terror group by the Global Terrorism Index in 2015. After its founding in 2002, Boko Haram's increasing radicalisation led to the suppression operation by the Nigerian military forces and the summary execution of its leader Mohammed Yusuf in July 2009, its unexpected resurgence, following a mass prison break in September 2010, was accompanied by sophisticated attacks against soft targets, but progressing in 2011 to include suicide bombings of police buildings and the United Nations office in Abuja.
The government's establishment of a state of emergency at the beginning of 2012, extended in the following year to cover the entire northeast of Nigeria, led to an increase in both security force abuses and militant attacks. Of the 2.3 million people displaced by the conflict since May 2013, at least 250,000 have left Nigeria and fled into Cameroon, Chad or Niger. Boko Haram killed over 6,600 in 2014; the group have carried out mass abductions including the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok in April 2014. Corruption in the security services and human rights abuses committed by them have hampered efforts to counter the unrest. In mid-2014, the militants gained control of swathes of territory in and around their home state of Borno, estimated at 50,000 square kilometres in January 2015, but did not capture the state capital, where the group was based. On 7 March 2015, Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, rebranding as Islamic State in West Africa.
In September 2015, the Director of Information at the Defence Headquarters of Nigeria announced that all Boko Haram camps had been destroyed. The group's name has always been Jamā'atu Ahli is-Sunnah lid-Da'wati wal-Jihād, meaning "Group of the People of Sunnah for Dawa and Jihad", it was known as Wilayat Garb Ifrqiya, meaning "West African Province", between March 2015 and August 2016 while it was a part of the Islamic State. The name "Boko Haram" is translated as "Western education is forbidden". Haram is from the Arabic حَرَام. Boko Haram has been translated as "Western influence is a sin" and "Westernization is sacrilege"; until the death of its founder Mohammed Yusuf, the group was reportedly known as Yusifiyya. Northern Nigerians have dismissed Western education as ilimin boko and secular schools as makaranta boko. Boko Haram was founded upon the principles of the Salafism advocating Sharia law, it developed into a Jihadist group in 2009. The movement is diffuse, fighters associated with it follow the Salafi doctrine.
Their beliefs tend to be centered on strict adherence to Wahhibism, an strict form of Sunni Islam that sees many other forms of Islam as idolatrous. The group has denounced the members of the Shiite sects as infidels. Boko Haram seeks the establishment of an Islamic state in Nigeria, it opposes the Westernization of Nigerian society and the concentration of the wealth of the country among members of a small political elite in the Christian south of the country. Nigeria is Africa's biggest economy, but 60% of its population of 173 million live on less than $1 a day; the sharia law imposed by local authorities, beginning with Zamfara in January 2000 and covering 12 northern states by late 2002, may have promoted links between Boko Haram and political leaders, but was considered by the group to have been corrupted. According to Borno Sufi Imam Sheik Fatahi, Yusuf was trained by Kano Salafi Izala Sheik Ja'afar Mahmud Adamu, who called him the "leader of young people", they both preached in Maiduguri's Indimi Mosque, attended by the deputy governor of Borno.
Many of the group were inspired by Mohammed Marwa, known as Maitatsine, a self-proclaimed prophet born in Northern Cameroon who condemned the reading of books other than the Quran. In a 2009 BBC interview, described by analysts as being well-educated, reaffirmed his opposition to Western education, he rejected the theory of evolution, said that rain is not "an evaporation caused by the sun", that the Earth is not a sphere. Before colonization and subsequent annexation into the British Empire in 1900 as Colonial Nigeria, the Bornu Empire ruled the territory where Boko Haram is active, it was a sovereign sultanate run according to the principles of the Constitution of Medina, with a majority Kanuri Muslim population. In 1903, both the Borno Emirate and Sokoto Caliphate came under the control of the British. Christian missionaries at this time spread the Christian messag
Islam in Nigeria
Nigeria has the largest Muslim population in West Africa. The CIA estimates 50% while the BBC estimates over 50%. Muslims in Nigeria are predominantly Sunni of the Maliki school of thought. However, there is a significant Shia minority in Kaduna, Kano and Sokoto states. A smaller minority follow a reformatory sect originating in 19th-century India. In particular Pew Forum on religious diversity identifies 12 percent as Shia Muslims. Islam was introduced to Nigeria through two geographical routes: North Africa and the Senegalese Basin; the origins of Islam in the country is linked with the development of Islam in the wider West Africa. Islam was first documented in Central Sudan by medieval Islamic historians and geographers such as Al-Bakri, Yaqut al-Hamawi and Al-Maqrizi and works of Ibn Battuta and Ibn Khaldun offered more notes about Islam in West Africa. Islam grew in North-Est Nigeria, in particular the Kanem empire as a result of trade between Kanem and Northern African regions of Fezzan and Cyrenaica in the eleventh century.
Muslim merchants from the North sometimes remained in settlements along trade routes, this merchant class would preach the message of Islam to their host communities. The first documented conversion of a traditional ruler was in the eleventh century, when Mai Ume Jilmi of Kanem was converted by a Muslim scholar whose descendants held an hereditary title of Chief Imam of Kanem. Writings by Ahmad Fartua an Imam during the period of Idris Alooma provided glimpse of an active Islamic community in Bornu while religious archives showed Islam had been adopted as the religion of the majority of the leading figures in the Borno Empire during the reign of Mai Idris Alooma, although a large part of that country still adhered to traditional religions. Alooma furthered the cause of Islam in the country by introducing Islamic courts, establishing mosques, setting up a hostel in Makkah, the Islamic pilgrimage destination, for Kanuris. In Hausaland Kano, Islam is noted to have penetrated the territory in the fourteenth century from West African traders who were converted by Tukulor Muslims from the Senegalese basin and Muslim traders from Mali Empire.
Muhammed Rumfa was the first ruler to convert to Islam in Hausaland. It had spread to the major cities of the northern part of the country by the 16th century moving into the countryside and towards the Middle Belt uplands. However, there are some claims for an earlier arrival; the Nigeria-born Muslim scholar Sheikh Dr. Abu-Abdullah Abdul-Fattah Adelabu has argued that Islam had reached Sub-Sahara Africa, including Nigeria, as early as the 1st century of Hijrah through Muslim traders and expeditions during the reign of the Arab conqueror, Uqba ibn al Nafia, whose Islamic conquests under the Umayyad dynasty, during Muawiyah's and Yazid's time, spread all Northern Africa or the Maghrib Al-Arabi, which includes present-day Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. Islam came to the southwestern Yoruba-speaking areas during the time of the Mali Empire. In his Movements of Islam in face of the Empires and Kingdoms in Yorubaland, Sheikh Dr. Abu-Abdullah Adelabu supported his claims on early arrival of Islam in the southwestern Nigeria by citing the Arab anthropologist Abduhu Badawi, who argued that the fall of Koush southern Egypt and the prosperity of the politically multicultural Abbasid period in the continent had created several streams of migration, moving west in the mid-9th Sub-Sahara.
According to Adelabu, the popularity and influences of the Abbasid Dynasty, the second great dynasty with the rulers carrying the title of'Caliph' fostered peaceful and prosperous search of pastures by the inter-cultured Muslims from Nile to Niger and Arab traders from Desert to Benue, echoing the conventional historical view that the conquest of North Africa by the Islamic Umayyad Caliphate between AD 647–709 ended Catholicism in Africa for several centuries. Islam in Ancient Yoruba is referred to as Esin Imale as the earliest introduction of the religion to that region was through Malian itinerant traders around the 14th century. Large-scale conversion to Islam happened in the 17th century. Yorubas came in contact with Islam around the 14th century during the reign of Mansa Kankan Musa of the Mali Empire. According to Al-Aluri, the first Mosque was built in Ọyọ-Ile in AD 1550 although, there were no Yoruba Muslims, the Mosque only served the spiritual needs of foreign Muslims living in Ọyọ.
Progressively, Islam came to Yoruba land, Muslims started building Mosques: Iwo town led, its first Mosque built in 1655 followed by Iṣẹyin, in 1760. In time, Islam spread to other towns like Oyo, Ibadan, Abẹokuta, Ijẹbu-Ode, Ẹdẹ before the 18th-century Sokoto jihad. Several factors contributed to the rise of Islam in Yoruba land by mid 19th century. Before the decline of Ọyọ, several towns around it had large Muslim communities when Ọyọ was destroyed, these Muslims relocated to newly formed towns and villages and became Islam protagonists. Second, there was a mass movement of people at this time into Yoruba land, many of these immigrants were Muslims who introduced Islam to their host. According to Eades, the religion "differed in attraction" and "better adapted to Yoruba social structure, because it permitted polygamy". Islam came to Lagos at about the same time like other Yoruba towns, however, it received royal support from Ọba Kosọkọ, after he came back from exile in Ẹpẹ. According to Gb
Nigeria the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal republic in West Africa, bordering Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, Benin in the west. Its coast in the south is located on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean; the federation comprises 36 states and 1 Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja, is located. The constitution defines Nigeria as a democratic secular country. Nigeria has been home to states over the millennia; the modern state originated from British colonial rule beginning in the 19th century, took its present territorial shape with the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914. The British set up administrative and legal structures while practising indirect rule through traditional chiefdoms. Nigeria became a formally independent federation in 1960, it experienced a civil war from 1967 to 1970. It thereafter alternated between democratically elected civilian governments and military dictatorships until it achieved a stable democracy in 1999, with the 2011 presidential election considered the first to be reasonably free and fair.
Nigeria is referred to as the "Giant of Africa", owing to its large population and economy. With 186 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world. Nigeria has the third-largest youth population in the world, after India and China, with more than 90 million of its population under age 18; the country is viewed as a multinational state as it is inhabited by 250 ethnic groups, of which the three largest are the Hausa and Yoruba. The official language is English. Nigeria is divided in half between Christians, who live in the southern part of the country, Muslims, who live in the north. A minority of the population practice religions indigenous to Nigeria, such as those native to the Igbo and Yoruba ethnicities; as of 2015, Nigeria is the world's 20th largest economy, worth more than $500 billion and $1 trillion in terms of nominal GDP and purchasing power parity respectively. It overtook South Africa to become Africa's largest economy in 2014.
The 2013 debt-to-GDP ratio was 11 percent. Nigeria is considered to be an emerging market by the World Bank. However, it has a "low" Human Development Index, ranking 152nd in the world. Nigeria is a member of the MINT group of countries, which are seen as the globe's next "BRIC-like" economies, it is listed among the "Next Eleven" economies set to become among the biggest in the world. Nigeria is a founding member of the African Union and a member of many other international organizations, including the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations and OPEC; the name Nigeria was taken from the Niger River running through the country. This name was coined in the late 19th century by British journalist Flora Shaw, who married Lord Lugard, a British colonial administrator; the origin of the name Niger, which applied only to the middle reaches of the Niger River, is uncertain. The word is an alteration of the Tuareg name egerew n-igerewen used by inhabitants along the middle reaches of the river around Timbuktu prior to 19th-century European colonialism.
The Nok civilisation of Northern Nigeria flourished between 500 BC and AD 200, producing life-sized terracotta figures that are some of the earliest known sculptures in Sub-Saharan Africa. Further north, the cities Kano and Katsina have a recorded history dating to around 999 AD. Hausa kingdoms and the Kanem–Bornu Empire prospered as trade posts between North and West Africa; the Kingdom of Nri of the Igbo people consolidated in the 10th century and continued until it lost its sovereignty to the British in 1911. Nri was ruled by the Eze Nri, the city of Nri is considered to be the foundation of Igbo culture. Nri and Aguleri, where the Igbo creation myth originates, are in the territory of the Umeuri clan. Members of the clan trace their lineages back to the patriarchal king-figure Eri. In West Africa, the oldest bronzes made using the lost-wax process were from Igbo-Ukwu, a city under Nri influence; the Yoruba kingdoms of Ife and Oyo in southwestern Nigeria became prominent in the 12th and 14th centuries, respectively.
The oldest signs of human settlement at Ife's current site date back to the 9th century, its material culture includes terracotta and bronze figures. Oyo, at its territorial zenith in the late 17th to early 18th centuries, extended its influence from western Nigeria to modern-day Togo; the Edo's Benin Empire is located in southwestern Nigeria. Benin's power lasted between the 19th centuries, their dominance reached further. At the beginning of the 19th century, Usman dan Fodio directed a successful jihad and created and led the centralised Fulani Empire; the territory controlled by the resultant state included much of modern-day northern and central Nigeria. For centuries, various peoples in modern-day Nigeria traded overland with traders from North Africa. Cities in the area became regional centres in a broad network of trade routes that spanned western and northern Africa. In the 16th century, Portuguese explorers were the first Europeans to begin significant, direct trade with peoples of modern-day Nigeria, at the port they named Lago
The Quran is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims believe to be a revelation from God. It is regarded as the finest work in classical Arabic literature; the Quran is divided into chapters. Muslims believe that the Quran was orally revealed by God to the final Prophet, through the archangel Gabriel, incrementally over a period of some 23 years, beginning on 22 December 609 CE, when Muhammad was 40, concluding in 632, the year of his death. Muslims regard the Quran as Muhammad's most important miracle, a proof of his prophethood, the culmination of a series of divine messages starting with those revealed to Adam and ending with Muhammad; the word "Quran" occurs some 70 times in the Quran's text, other names and words are said to refer to the Quran. According to tradition, several of Muhammad's companions served as scribes and recorded the revelations. Shortly after his death, the Quran was compiled by the companions, who had written down or memorized parts of it; the codices showed differences that motivated Caliph Uthman to establish a standard version, now known as Uthman's codex, considered the archetype of the Quran known today.
There are, variant readings, with minor differences in meaning. The Quran assumes familiarity with major narratives recounted in the Biblical scriptures, it summarizes some, dwells at length on others and, in some cases, presents alternative accounts and interpretations of events. The Quran describes itself as a book of guidance for mankind 2:185, it sometimes offers detailed accounts of specific historical events, it emphasizes the moral significance of an event over its narrative sequence. Hadith are additional written traditions supplementing the Quran. In most denominations of Islam, the Quran is used together with hadith to interpret sharia law. During prayers, the Quran is recited only in Arabic. Someone who has memorized the entire Quran is called a hafiz. Quranic verse is sometimes recited with a special kind of elocution reserved for this purpose, called tajwid. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims complete the recitation of the whole Quran during tarawih prayers. In order to extrapolate the meaning of a particular Quranic verse, most Muslims rely on exegesis, or tafsir.
The word qurʼān appears assuming various meanings. It is a verbal noun of the Arabic verb qaraʼa, meaning "he read" or "he recited"; the Syriac equivalent is qeryānā, which refers to "scripture reading" or "lesson". While some Western scholars consider the word to be derived from the Syriac, the majority of Muslim authorities hold the origin of the word is qaraʼa itself. Regardless, it had become an Arabic term by Muhammad's lifetime. An important meaning of the word is the "act of reciting", as reflected in an early Quranic passage: "It is for Us to collect it and to recite it."In other verses, the word refers to "an individual passage recited ". Its liturgical context is seen in a number of passages, for example: "So when al-qurʼān is recited, listen to it and keep silent." The word may assume the meaning of a codified scripture when mentioned with other scriptures such as the Torah and Gospel. The term has related synonyms that are employed throughout the Quran; each synonym possesses its own distinct meaning, but its use may converge with that of qurʼān in certain contexts.
Such terms include kitāb. The latter two terms denote units of revelation. In the large majority of contexts with a definite article, the word is referred to as the "revelation", that, "sent down" at intervals. Other related words are: dhikr, used to refer to the Quran in the sense of a reminder and warning, ḥikmah, sometimes referring to the revelation or part of it; the Quran describes itself as "the discernment", "the mother book", "the guide", "the wisdom", "the remembrance" and "the revelation". Another term is al-kitāb, though it is used in the Arabic language for other scriptures, such as the Torah and the Gospels; the term mus'haf is used to refer to particular Quranic manuscripts but is used in the Quran to identify earlier revealed books. Islamic tradition relates that Muhammad received his first revelation in the Cave of Hira during one of his isolated retreats to the mountains. Thereafter, he received revelations over a period of 23 years. According to hadith and Muslim history, after Muhammad immigrated to Medina and formed an independent Muslim community, he ordered many of his companions to recite the Quran and to learn and teach the laws, which were revealed daily.
It is related that some of the Quraysh who were taken prisoners at the Battle of Badr regained their freedom after they had taught some of the Muslims the simple writing of the time. Thus a group of Muslims became literate; as it was spoken, the Quran was recorded on tablets and the wide, flat ends of date palm fronds. Most suras were in use amongst early Mu
Mecca spelled Makkah, is a city in the Hejazi region of the Arabian Peninsula, the plain of Tihamah in Saudi Arabia, is the capital and administrative headquarters of the Makkah Region. The city is located 70 km inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of 277 m above sea level, 340 kilometres south of Medina, its resident population in 2012 was 2 million, although visitors more than triple this number every year during the Ḥajj period held in the twelfth Muslim lunar month of Dhūl-Ḥijjah. As the birthplace of Muḥammad, the site of Muhammad's first revelation of the Quran, Mecca is regarded as the holiest city in the religion of Islam and a pilgrimage to it known as the Hajj is obligatory for all able Muslims. Mecca is home to the Kaaba, by majority description Islam's holiest site, as well as being the direction of Muslim prayer. Mecca was long ruled by Muhammad's descendants, the sharifs, acting either as independent rulers or as vassals to larger polities, it was conquered by Ibn Saud in 1925.
In its modern period, Mecca has seen tremendous expansion in size and infrastructure, home to structures such as the Abraj Al Bait known as the Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel, the world's fourth tallest building and the building with the third largest amount of floor area. During this expansion, Mecca has lost some historical structures and archaeological sites, such as the Ajyad Fortress. Today, more than 15 million Muslims visit Mecca annually, including several million during the few days of the Hajj; as a result, Mecca has become one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Muslim world, although non-Muslims are prohibited from entering the city. "Mecca" is the familiar form of the English transliteration for the Arabic name of the city, although the official transliteration used by the Saudi government is Makkah, closer to the Arabic pronunciation. The word "Mecca" in English has come to be used to refer to any place that draws large numbers of people, because of this some English speaking Muslims have come to regard the use of this spelling for the city as offensive.
The Saudi government adopted Makkah as the official spelling in the 1980s, but is not universally known or used worldwide. The full official name is Makkah al-Mukarramah or Makkatu l-Mukarramah, which means "Mecca the Honored", but is loosely translated as "The Holy City of Mecca"; the ancient or early name for the site of Mecca is Bakkah. An Arabic language word, its etymology, like that of Mecca, is obscure. Believed to be a synonym for Mecca, it is said to be more the early name for the valley located therein, while Muslim scholars use it to refer to the sacred area of the city that surrounds and includes the Ka‘bah; this form is used for the name Mecca in the Quran in 3:96, while the form Mecca is used in 48:24. In South Arabic, the language in use in the southern portion of the Arabian Peninsula at the time of Muhammad, the b and m were interchangeable. Other references to Mecca in the Quran call it Umm al-Qurā, meaning "Mother of All Settlements"/"mother of villages". Another name of Mecca is Ṫihāmah.
Another name for Mecca, or the wilderness and mountains surrounding it, according to Arab and Islamic tradition, is Faran or Pharan, referring to the Desert of Paran mentioned in the Old Testament at Genesis 21:21. Arab and Islamic tradition holds that the wilderness of Paran, broadly speaking, is the Tihamah and the site where Ishmael settled was Mecca. Yaqut al-Hamawi, the 12th century Syrian geographer, wrote that Fārān was "an arabized Hebrew word, one of the names of Mecca mentioned in the Torah." Mecca is governed by the Municipality of Mecca, a municipal council of fourteen locally elected members headed by a mayor appointed by the Saudi government. As of May 2015, the mayor of the city was Dr. Osama bin Fadhel Al-Bar. Mecca is the capital of the Makkah Region; the provincial governor was prince Abdul Majeed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud from 2000 until his death in 2007. On 16 May 2007, prince Khalid bin Faisal Al Saud was appointed as the new governor; the early history of Mecca is still disputed, as there are no unambiguous references to it in ancient literature prior to the rise of Islam.
The Roman Empire took control of part of the Hejaz in 106 CE, ruling cities such as Hegra, located to the north of Mecca. Though detailed descriptions were established of Western Arabia by Rome, such as by Procopius, there are no references of a pilgrimage and trading outpost such as Mecca; the first direct mention of Mecca in external literature occurs in 741 CE, in the Byzantine-Arab Chronicle, though here the author places it in Mesopotamia rather than the Hejaz. Given the inhospitable environment and lack of historical references in Roman and Indian sources, historians including Patricia Crone and Tom Holland have cast doubt on the claim that Mecca was a major historical trading outpost; the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus writes about Arabia in his work Bibliotheca historica, describing a holy shrine: "And a temple has been set up there, holy and exceedingly revered by all Arabians". Claims have been made. However, the geographic location Diodorus describes is located in northwest Arabia, around the area of Leuke Kome, closer to Petra and within the form