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The Mecca Time concept asserts that Mecca, the holiest city of Islam located in Saudi Arabia on the surface of the Earth, is the true center of the Earth, and thus should replace the Greenwich Meridian (GMT). The demand was made by Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi and other Muslim scientists and clerics meeting in Doha, Qatar on April 21, 2008 for a conference titled "Mecca: the Center of the Earth, Theory and Practice." The conference sought to promote "Ijaz al-Koran" - the belief and growing trend amongst Muslims that the Koran, the central Islamic religious text reveals many scientific facts.
The "Mecca: the Center of the Earth, Theory and Practice" conference was organized and attended by Muslim scientists, theologians and other religious officials from across the world. The Qatar meeting was the culmination of efforts to seek answers for scientific questions from the Qur'an and other Islamic scriptures — a trend called "Ijaz al-Qur'an" (Miraculous nature of the Qur'an). The conference promotes the belief that Islamic scripture also revealed scientific details, which Islamic scholars seeking to unearth and publicize the textual evidence.
The conference revived a decades-old controversial issue, contending that the Greenwich Meridian was imposed by Britain and Western civilization during the colonial period and that Islam, unlike other religions, does not contradict science. One of the contentions was that unlike other longitudes, Mecca was in perfect alignment with the magnetic north. Muslim clerics hail this as evidence of the greatness of the qibla - the direction determined to be towards Mecca that Muslims across the world must turn towards while reciting prayers. Expostulated by Yasin a-Shouk, the Switzerland-based inventor of Palestinian origin said it runs anti-clockwise in the direction of Tawaf, the rotation around the holy site of Kaaba within the Masjid Al-Haram in Mecca. The "Mecca watch" (Saat Makkah) is promoted to help Muslims determine the direction of Mecca from any point on Earth for purposes of daily prayers.
The concept of "Mecca Time" is criticized as pseudoscience promoted by religious and political motivations. The contentions of the Qatar conference and related activities of Muslim scientists and theologians have been widely criticized. Critics argue that the notion that modern science was revealed in the Koran confuses spiritual messages with empirical science.