Ptolemy may accept alleged the burghal "Macoraba", admitting this identification is controversial. In the 5th century, the Quraysh took ascendancy of Mecca, and became accomplished merchants and traders. In the 6th aeon they abutting the advantageous aroma barter as well, back battles in added genitalia of the apple were causing barter routes to alter from the alarming sea routes to the almost added defended overland routes. The Byzantine Empire had ahead controlled the Red Sea, but piracy had been on the increase. Another antecedent route, that from the Persian Gulf via the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, was additionally actuality threatened by corruption from the Sassanid Empire, as able-bodied as actuality disrupted by the Lakhmids, the Ghassanids, and the Roman–Persian Wars. Mecca's bulge as a trading centermost surpassed the cities of Petra and Palmyra.
By the average of the 6th century, there were three above settlements in arctic Arabia, all forth the south-western bank that borders the Red Sea, in a accouter arena amid the sea and the abounding arid to the east. This area, accepted as the Hejaz, featured three settlements developed about oases, breadth baptize was available. In the centermost of the Hejaz was Yathrib, after renamed Medina. 250 mi (400 km) south of Yathrib was the abundance burghal Ta’if, north-west of which lay Mecca. Although the breadth about Mecca was absolutely barren, Mecca was the wealthiest of the three settlements with abounding baptize via the Zamzam Able-bodied and a position at the capital of above band routes.
The acrid altitude of the Arabian peninsula meant a near-constant accompaniment of battle amid the bounded tribes, but already a year they would acknowledge a accord and assemble aloft Mecca in an anniversary pilgrimage. This adventure was advised for religious reasons, to pay admiration to the shrine, and to alcohol from the Zamzam Well. However, it was additionally the time anniversary year that disputes would be arbitrated, debts would be resolved, and trading would action at Meccan fairs. These anniversary contest gave the tribes a faculty of accepted character and fabricated Mecca an important focus for the peninsula.
Camel caravans, said by Muslims to accept aboriginal been acclimated by Muhammad's great-grandfather, were a above allotment of Mecca's economy. Alliances were addled amid the merchants in Mecca and the bounded drifting tribes, who would accompany appurtenances - leather, livestock, and metals mined in the bounded mountains - to Mecca to be loaded on the caravans and agitated to cities in Syria and Iraq. Islamic attitude claims that appurtenances from added continents additionally flowed through Mecca. Supposedly[citation needed appurtenances from Africa and the Far East anesthetized through on avenue to Syria including spices, leather, medicine, cloth, and slaves; in acknowledgment Mecca accustomed money, weapons, cereals and wine, which in about-face were broadcast throughout Arabia. The Meccans active treaties with both the Byzantines and the Bedouins, and adjourned safe access for caravans giving them baptize and affirmation rights. Mecca became the centermost of a apart amalgamation of applicant tribes, including the tribes of the Banu Tamim. Added bounded admiral such as the Abyssinian, Ghassan, and Lakhm were in abatement abrogation Meccan barter to be the primary bounden force in Arabia in the backward 6th century.