And now verily We shall make you turn (in prayer) toward a Qibla which is dear to you. So turn your face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship (the Kaaba of Makkah).” (Al Baqarah 2:144)
The Kaaba with respect to the inhabited parts of the world is like the centre of a circle with respect to the circle itself. All regions face the Kaaba, surrounding it as a circle surrounds its centre; and each region faces a particular part of the Kaaba. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) adopted the Kaaba as a physical focus in prayer as well for other acts of worship such as burial of the dead, recitation of the Qur’an, announcing the call of prayer, the ritual slaughter of animals, etc. Thus, Muslims have been spiritually and physically oriented towards the Kaaba and the holy city of Makkah in their daily lives.
Circumbulation of The Kaaba
‘Tawaf’ or cicumbulation (the ritual encircling of the Kaaba) starts from the Hajar Aswad – the Black Stone. The circumambulator, if possible, may kiss the stone or may direct his hand towards it saying, “In the name of Allah, Allah is great.” He must circle the Kaaba seven times with the Kaaba to his left (in anti-clockwise direction).