Visiting Mecca

I am looking to visit Mecca (not during the Hajj to avoid the lottery system). Has anyone done it as a Muslim or non-Muslim?

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  1. 8 months ago
    Anonymous

    Infidels are not allowed to enter Mecca

    • 8 months ago
      Anonymous

      I know, but people still get in.

      • 8 months ago
        Anonymous

        Why would you wanna go there?

        • 8 months ago
          Anonymous

          I am just curious. I know it has the cube and clock tower, but I am interested to see what else if anything is there.

        • 8 months ago
          Anonymous

          Since time immemorial, it has been man's dream to enter where he is not allowed. To be truly free means to live by no one's rules but your own. It doesn't matter if it's boring, uninteresting, or unimportant. What matters is if a man isn't allowed in there, that makes him want to go even more.

      • 8 months ago
        Anonymous

        >I know, but people still get in.
        Surprisingly few people get in; I assume it's because not that many people try. But there are multiple checkpoints on the highway into the city, as well as guard posts within the city itself, where visitors' documents get screened. Even normal, non-Hajj/Umrah visas for Saudi Arabia clearly indicate your religion; it's been a long time since I was in KSA, but they used to be different colors for Muslims and non-Muslims. So conspicuous people can and do get turned away on a regular basis. For most people, it ends there--the cops tell you you have to turn your car around. But it's also possible to be detained, fined, and deported. I've heard of people trying to pretend to be recent converts getting interrogated at length to see if they actually knew anything about Islam; while they're not going to kill you, maybe not even beat you, when they realize you're bullshitting, it will make you some enemies among local authorities, and you can expect deportation.

        You could try to just check the box that says "Muslim" on your visa application form; perhaps you'll just get lucky. But it's typical for people from non-Muslim countries with obviously non-Muslim names to be asked for proof of their religion, typically a certified letter from the imam of your home mosque attesting to your conversion to the faith.

        According to friends who've been, multiple times in some cases, there's not much worth seeing or doing in the city of Mecca itself; the big draw is the Kaaba, which is crowded as hell with people absorbed in ritual (as in OP pic) year-round, official Hajj/Umrah season or no.
        >T. Worked in Jeddah, knew a LOT of hajjis, drove past the Makkah exit on the highway with the big, clearly-marked NO INFIDELS signs a hundred times, but never tried to get in.

        • 8 months ago
          Anonymous

          >Jeddah
          Tell us about Jeddah, is it a fun place to visit?

          • 8 months ago
            Anonymous

            >Tell us about Jeddah, is it a fun place to visit?
            It is without much question the most cosmopolitan city in Saudi Arabia, and supposedly the most relaxed (not easy to tell), and there’s something of an “old town” historical center with small pockets of real architectural charm. But unless you like overeating and shopping there’s nothing in the way of entertainment. Oh, or yachting—there’s a pretty nice modern marina for boat people, albeit with none of the debauchery you might find in the Mediterranean or Caribbean. Local friends took me on a few boating and fishing trips that were pretty enjoyable.

            The weather is disgusting—unlike Riyadh, which might hit 45 but at least stays dry, Jeddah seemed like it was always 40 and humid.

            I was there for a year, made a lot of money, and don’t regret it, but I‘m not in any hurry to go back.

        • 8 months ago
          Anonymous

          How much do you have to "know" to prove you are a real Muslim?

          • 8 months ago
            Anonymous

            I assume they would at least check to see if you know how to pray—which bits of Quranic Arabic to recite when, when to stand, when to kneel, etc. Perhaps they ask about your conversion process. Maybe there’s a Quran or Hadith quiz. In any case, it sounds like they expect more than just a rote recitation of the Shahadah (the declaration of faith that is historically considered equivalent to conversion, but which is IRL not sufficient for most imams).

            But all of my sources about this are at least second hand; I’ve never actually spoken to anyone who’s been through it myself.

          • 8 months ago
            Anonymous

            You will be extensively questioned about Islam if you have a Western name on your passport. Things that are common sense for Muslims but secret knowledge for non-Muslims.

      • 8 months ago
        Anonymous

        >I know, but people still get in.
        >uh yes I'm a Muslim
        >ok sir go right ahead

      • 8 months ago
        Anonymous

        If you have contacts there you can get in, otherwise it's gonna be difficult.
        I guess its interesting and fun for a tourist to look around and see the rituals first hand, but there's nothing else to see and you'll get bored quick.

    • 8 months ago
      Anonymous

      I know, but people still get in.

      Even Redditors manage to get in.

  2. 8 months ago
    Anonymous

    How's the cooming? Worth it or nah?

  3. 8 months ago
    Anonymous

    Unrionically why would you want to visit that shithole? Disgusting place full of dirty, disgusting people

    • 8 months ago
      Anonymous

      If I only traveled to visit non-shitholes, that would severely narrow down my options.

  4. 8 months ago
    Anonymous

    Don't go there as a non-Muslim. You need an Islamic scholar to sign a document for you to be allowed to enter Mecca. If you're not a Muslim and they see a non-Islamic name on your passport, they won't allow you in. If you SOMEHOW sneak through, which I highly doubt you will, and they catch you because they are very good at doing that, you will get a huge fine and deported from the country and get banned from ever visiting again.

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