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Why do millions of Muslims gather in Mecca each year?

At least 717 pilgrims were killed in a stampede at Mina, outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca on Thursday. Mecca is regarded as the holiest city in Islam. It is the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad and the site of the first revelation of the Quran to him. Every able Muslim is obligated to make the sacred journey at least once in their lifetime. The city’s Grand Mosque, known as the Masjid al-Haram, is the largest in the world.

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