There have been protests in recent years about the Ottoman buildings being destroyed at Mecca by the Saudi, in order to accommodate increasing numbers of pilgrims (as much a sign of greater affluence and cheaper air fares as it is a sign of religious fervour). So I thought that it might be interesting to show this page from an Ottoman manuscript, which illustrates the shrine as it looked in the middle of the 16th century. Not just Ottoman buildings but also Mohammed's first mosque in Medina, the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi, is also having problems - it has been rebuilt next to Mohammed's Mosque, and someone wants to build lavatories over the foundations of the original mosque to make the point that veneration of old ruins is not good ... cultural desecration on religious grounds.

Leaf from the Futuh al-Haramain (Description of the Two Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina), mid-16th century; Ottoman - Probably Turkey
Ink, colors, and gold on paper; 8 3/8 x 5 1/4 in. (21.3 x 13.3 cm)
Metropolitan Museum, Rogers Fund, 1932 (32.131)

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