The Kaaba

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 Quran commands the Muslims to face the sacred precincts in Makkah during prayer which is a fundamental tenet in slam. The legend of this purely Islamic development of a sacred stone structure dates back to the fall of Hadhrat Adam (alayhis salaam) from Paradise onto earth at Makkah. It has been reported by Al-tabari that Hadhrat Jibraeel (alayhis salaam) flapped his wings to uncover a foundation laid in the seventh fold of the earth. Angels paved this foundation with stones and Hazrat Adam went round this structure following the example of the Angels. Therefore it stands to reason that Allah Ta’ala contemplated and designated the Ka’aba before the creation of the earth. It is said that the Kaaba is a prototype of Baitul Mamoor, a house in the seventh Heaven situated immediately over the Kaaba.

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).

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