As we know the word Mecca is mentioned only once in Koran. But ayah 3:96 is mentioning a place that is called Becca. I'm wondering if there is any difference between Becca and Mecca.

Becca: 3:96

إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍۢ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِى بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًۭا وَهُدًۭى لِّلْعَـٰلَمِينَ [٣:٩٦]

The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakka: Full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings: [Abdullah Yusuf Ali]

Mecca: 48:24

وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِى كَفَّ أَيْدِيَهُمْ عَنكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ عَنْهُم بِبَطْنِ مَكَّةَ مِنۢ بَعْدِ أَنْ أَظْفَرَكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرًا

And it is He Who has restrained their hands from you and your hands from them in the midst of Makka, after that He gave you the victory over them. And Allah sees well all that ye do. [Abdullah Yusuf Ali]

Can we REALLY assume that Mecca and Becca are the same places?

4 Answers 4


The source of the sounds (vocal organ) of the alphabetical letters ‘b’ and ‘m’ is one and the same: the lips. So by the passage of time ‘Makkah’ replaced ‘Bakkah’. It can thus be appreciated that the original and ancient name of the place was ‘Bakkah’.

In the Quran when it is mentioned as a place of the ancient times (3:96) it has been named as ‘Bakkah’. When it is mentioned in the perspective of the period contemporary with the Prophet of Islam (48:24) it is called Makkah.

The referenced article further mentions:

King David had actually and naturally used the word ‘Bakkah’ in his Psalm. Because the words ‘Bakah’ and ‘Bakkah’ were written in the Hebrew script in the same way, it got the pronunciation of ‘Baca’ or ‘Bakah’ instead of the correct pronunciation of ‘Bakkah’ in the later Jewish ages. This ‘Bakkah’ was the ancient name of ‘Makkah’ and was given to it by Abraham. Originally the city was called by this name. Here are some of the Arab authorities to elaborate it:

One of authorities is the dictionary ‘Lisān al-‘Arab’ which explains:

‘Both [Makkah and Bakkah] are the names of the city; and [the alphabetical letters] “B” and “M” succeed (can replace) one another.’

Reference: The Actual Site of Baca/Bakkah

  • This ‘Bakkah’ was the ancient name of *Makkah and was given to it by Abraham: is there any evidence or proof of that? I compared both ayahs, both are medinian, the Beccah ayah has nuzul 89, the Meccah has nuzul 111. So they are comparatively closed to each other. For what reason Allah makes this differentiation?
    – kadesh
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 15:14
  • 1
    I am not sure about the source of author's claim that it was named thus by Abraham. I shall update if I find some reference.
    – a_fan
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 16:18
  • 1
    It's not about the time of revelation of verses rather the time being referred to: 3:96 (Bakkah) refers to a time when the House was founded. 48:24 (Makkah) refers to a time when Treaty of Hudaybiyyah was signed.
    – a_fan
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 16:18
  • The reason according to Amin Ahsan Islahi is to mend up the corruption that made its way into the Bible (Bakkah to Bakah) (see the paragraph about David (pbuh) above).
    – a_fan
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 16:19
  • thank you for the references. That really helps me. Are there any references regarding to Amin Ahsan Ihsans hypothesis?
    – kadesh
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 23:02

Becca is an area within Mecca. It's the kaba and the area that surrounds it, where pilgrims circumambulate. This area is called "Becca" which means to crowd/gather.

Becca is located in the city of Mecca. But sometimes they're used interchangeably.

  • this is quite interesting. Any references regarding to this?
    – kadesh
    Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 7:54
  • 1
    In "the New Encyclopedia of Islam"
    – Sayyid
    Commented Jan 17, 2015 at 3:41

Muslims are completely mistaken regarding the identity of Bakka. Bakka can never be another name for Mecca.First of all, during King David's time, the present city of Mecca did not exist at all; it came into existence only in the 4th century AD. Secondly, King David resided in Jerusalem which was far away from Mecca in Arabia. In my estimate, the Biblical Becca is a place near Jerusalem and has nothing to do with Mecca. Therefore, when Sura 3:96 talks about the first house of worship, it must refer to the Temple in Jerusalem and not any other place in far away Mecca.


In Koran it is written: Gods rasul/nebi Muhammed was send to a society, where no prophet had been send before! The society where nebi Muhammed had been send to had no book before (none of the books send to Moses, Jesus, David,...). (read Koran 32,3 ; 36,6 ; 34,44)

It is logical: Gods rasul Abraham (the builder of God's first house for every human!!!; Koran 3,96) was a prophet, he could NOT had been send to a place, where Muhammed centuries later was send to!

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .