Explore BrainMass

The Myth of Mecca

Mythical Place - I need to explain the myth of "Mecca" from the perspective of the society, in which it occurs, relating it, if possible to an exmple of a similar myth occurring in modern-day culture.

I do not know where to start and I have to write 1,400 to 1,700 words!
I have to prprepare an outline as well as write a paper. I have writers block and am stuck, please help!

Solution Preview

Dear Student,
Don't worry; everyone gets stuck now and then when faced with a difficult topic. Sometimes, even when a topic seems simple enough, finding an angle in which to begin proves quite a challenge. I will share with you a tip - in social science, a research, a paper, always begins with a question. For researchers, to find a topic worthy of looking into needs inspiration and focus and you are lucky here - you already have a topic. Analysing the question above I have come to 3 important facts about your paper - first that it is an exercise on your understanding of what myths are from a sociological viewpoint, second, you are to discuss what 'Mecca' means from an Islamic/Muslim point of view (a conclusion that is easily reached since Mecca in a general sense refers to Islam's Holiest city) and 3, the 'Myth of Mecca' is a viewpoint of historical/religious origins, dating back to a period prior to the modern Age as you are being asked to relate - contrast it to a Modern cultural myth. Now, it might be that 'the Myth of Mecca' refers to a particular passage/story in your study materials but since you haven't provided such a reference, I will refer to the Mecca of popular view. Below, I have provided a simple outline and a sample paper/essay that follows this outline to give you an example. While you may not agree to the opinions presented, they are anchored in references. This is only an example but I think this is what you need. Should you find you need more assistance, don't hesitate to send me a message.

OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

Proposed Outline

1. Title & Introduction - Defining Myths
2. Body: Discussing the Myth of Mecca
a. Wheeler's Argument
b. How the Myth was shaped
c. A 'modern retelling'
3. Conclusion - Myth and Permeation
4. Word Count & References


Sample Paper

The Myth of Mecca: A discussion

Defining Myths

Myths are stories passed down through oral, written or pictorial history that answer questions a culture or society has about a particular phenomenon they cannot explain otherwise. All cultures reach a point in development where they are able to think beyond routine survival, at which point they begin to question the meaning of the world around them, reaching for the divine as they cope with pragmatic truths. A myth about creation, such as the Native American belief that the world is carried on the back of a great turtle, answers one of the greatest questions of existence for their people. The Greeks observed the rising and setting of the sun and developed the story of Apollo driving his fiery chariot across the sky to explain the phenomenon. We can even go as far as argue that the root of many a religious belief system are rooted in fantastical stories of the mythic order, the desire of Man to find an explanation of his being and the universe that surrounds him. The Pantheon of the Greek & Roman Gods area great example and the belief system of the Norsemen and the ancient Egyptians fall into that category as well. It is quite acceptable then to argue that from a rational viewpoint, as traditions, perspectives and the pillar figures and events that shaped and established a faith mature over time - say a few thousand years - they take on a mythical quality. Buddha, Confucius, Jesus Christ and even the Prophet Mohammed have appeared time and again in stories - written or orally presented - as glorious and phenomenal, transcending reality, time and space.

Wheeler's Argument

Just what is the Myth of Mecca? If Mecca is the most sacred spot on Earth to Muslims - why is it so? What does the Myth entails? Why are we arguing to call it a Myth. For us to answer these questions, let us define the geographical Mecca and from that look into history to explain the city's holy significance. Jack Wheeler of the Freedom research Foundation wrote an essay that did just this. According to him (Wheeler, 2001) -

"The most sacred spot on earth to all members of the Islamic religion is the Holy City of Mecca, revered as the birthplace of Mohammed. ...

Solution Summary

The solution explores 'the Myth of Mecca' in extensive detail exploring the work of the likes of Historians Jack Wheeler & Al-Rawandi to provide the student varied discussion points from political, socio-religious and socio-historical viewpoints. The solution looks at the history of Islam in relation to other faith related to it with similar foundations in Ancient Mesopotamia and relates this 'myth' to the present in relation to radicalism and the global war on terror. Furthermore, it provides an essay structure that the student can follow or use as a basis when writing the intended paper. The solution is an essay written in the APA-format. References are provided for easy expansion. A word version is also attached for easy printing.