Mecca, center of land masses?

Doubting Thomas

New Member
Hello, everyone!
A Muslim researcher by the name of Yehia Wazeri claims, in this video [1] and this paper [2], that the region of Mecca lies in the center of all land masses, thus making this holy place geographically special.
To demonstrate this claim, he shows the maximum distances between this region and the ends of North America, South America, Oceania & Antarctica are roughly equal (with an error of a few hundreds of km).
He also tries to show that this equidistance pattern occurs at lower scales as well:
1. between Mecca and the geographical centers of those continents;
2. between Mecca and the nearest coasts of the New World & the farthest ends of Asia;
3. between Mecca and the farthest ends of Europe & Africa.

Are his results as significant as he claims? Is his methodology valid and consistent?


Last edited:
Here's an AEP projection of the Earth with Mecca at the middle of the projection

Metabunk 2020-07-24 15-21-18.jpg

Make your own at:

Sure you could say it's roughly the same distance from the far coasts of the Americas and Australia. But what about New Zealand. If we include that then we can get a better fit roughly in Abu Dhabi:
Metabunk 2020-07-24 15-25-25.jpg

So basically it's just being selective and loose with the points chosen.

A nicer looking "center" would be somewhere near N'Djamena in Chad.
Metabunk 2020-07-24 15-27-22.jpg

But it's really pretty arbitrary. If we omit South America and add back Europe and Asia, we get a better bit somewhere off the coast of Namibia.
Metabunk 2020-07-24 15-32-49.jpg
Thanks for your answer, Mick! This projection script is very handy and your explanations make sense.
But there's one detail that troubles me. How do you explain there is also a rough equidistance between Mecca and the geometrical centers of most continents?
The table attached to the post comes from the paper i cited, and I've checked the results with Google Earth.
For these centers, the points aren't chosen arbitrarily, they're based on known data: South America: Cuiabá (Brasil); North America: Rugby or Center (North Dakota, US); Australia: Lambert gravitational centre (Northern Territory).
However, for Antarctica, the author claims its center's coordinates were worked out by Joe Colton (I presume he refers to JH Colton, the 19th-century geographer) and no credible source is cited for that one (instead, the author refers to anothr work of his which he published in a Muslim apologetic venue!).
Last edited by a moderator:
How do you explain there is also a rough equidistance between Mecca and the geometrical centers of most continents?
I don't think it really needs an explanation. You could say the same thing about any point in that region. It's also ignoring Africa, Europe, and Asia.
Are his results as significant as he claims? Is his methodology valid and consistent?

The geographical centers of the continents vary depending on how they are calculated and the evidence presented is only for 4 continents. The math doesn’t show that the Kaaba is actually equidistant from those centers, only within a few hundred miles, as long as you leave out Antarctica. I just cherry-picked his data to make that statement and that is my general opinion of the methodology: cherry-picked data.

Is it significant? I think that’s a religious question and is not subject to proof or disproof.

I do find this interesting. I notice that Africa was more or less in the center of Pangaea and has moved relatively little, kind of pivoting counter-clockwise around west Africa. I wonder if the Americas, Australia, and Antarctica generally receded from Pangaea at similar rates, resulting in similar distances from northeastern Africa.
The root claim here is "Mecca is the center of the dry land" - which you would think would be something from the Quran, but actually seems to be from some historical interpretation, from the 1200. The following is from Wazeri's presentation:

3 2- Centrality of Mecca in language:
A number of Arabic linguists believed that Mecca was given this name because it is the center of the dry land.
Al Zobaidy, an Arab linguist, explained the word Mecca in "Taj Al Arous“ saying: "the word Mecca "Makkah" in Arabic is derived from the Arabic word "Mokakah" that means the brain in the centre of the skull. Thus, Makkah was so called because it is the centre of the dry land “.

4 3- Centrality of Mecca in interpretation books:
In the past, when Muslim scholars of interpretation talked about Mecca as being superior to all cities of the world, they referred implicitly to the fact that Mecca is located in the centre of the dry land.
* Al Qortobi explained the following Qur'anic verse: "And so We have appointed you as a just and distinguished nation" (The Cow, 143). He said that : “as the Kaaba is located in the centre of the dry land, God appointed the Muslim nation as a just one due to its central location”.
5 *Abu Ha'yan explained the Qur'anic verse: "And for you to warn the mother of all towns "Makkah" and all around it" (The Cattle, 92). He said that Mecca is called the mother of all cities because, it was the birthplace of the religion, God shaped the earth like an egg from it, it is the centre of the dry land, it is the Qibla of Muslims, the place where Hajj (pilgrimage) is performed, and the place where the first house of worship was established).
*Al-Nasafy in his book of interpretation said: "Mecca was named the mother of all cities since it is the centre of the dry land, the Qibla, the great place and people's hearts yearn for it”.
Content from External Source
What is the "center of dry land"? Wazeri picks two rough locations:

1) A region roughly equidistant from the furthest coasts of the Americas, Australia, and Anartica.
2) A region roughly equidistant from the centers of those continents.

These are, of course somewhat arbitrary (why ignore Africa, Europe, and Asia?) But it raises an interesting exercise. What IS the "center of dry land?"

The "center" of something is easy to determine for regular shapes like circles and rectangles. You can find it with simple geometric constructions or measurements and calculations. But what about an irregular shape? What is the "center" of Africa?


You could define the center as "the middle of the smallest circle that you can fit around an object", which gives us something like this:
Metabunk 2020-07-26 10-59-32.jpg

We can also define it as a point where, if you draw any line though that point then half of the area will be on one side, and half on the other.

We know this shape has 114145 pixels of area.
Metabunk 2020-07-26 11-04-31.jpg

So we can find the center by splitting it horizontally and vertically in a way that gives as close to 57072 pixes on each side as we can get. You can do this in Photoshop by simply moving the selection area around until it contains half the pixels, and then drawing along one edge.
This gives us:
Metabunk 2020-07-26 11-09-41.jpg

Great! However this only applies to a flat image. We are dealing with land-masses on the surface of a sphere. How to we split that in two?

The same way, essentially, except in three dimensions. We slice the earth in two so that half the land is on one hemisphere, and half is on the other. Do that twice, roughly at right angles, and you get the "center of the dry land" where the slices intersect. Or at least one - it's quite possible for there to be many positions where things are balanced.
There's also a third "center", the center of gravity - the point that you could theoretically balance the flat image on a pin. Find this is a common school science experiment, hang it from a pin and use a plumb line or a level to draw the vertical line through the pin. Then repeat for another angle. The intersection is the center of gravity.
Metabunk 2020-07-26 13-47-06.jpg

Metabunk 2020-07-26 13-47-21.jpg

Metabunk 2020-07-26 13-47-39.jpg
Compare all three:

Metabunk 2020-07-26 13-49-47.jpg

All different, and the differences become more significant the more irregular the shape is.

Extending these tests to 3D (in software) sounds like a fun project. Not something I have time for right now.