Kaaba

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Kaaba

or

Caaba

(both: kä`bə or kä`əbə) [Arab.,=cube], the central, cubic, stone structure, covered by a black cloth, within the Great Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The sacred nature of the site predates Islam: tradition says that the Kaaba was built by Adam and rebuilt by Abraham and the descendants of Noah. Also known as the House of God, it is the center of the circumambulations performed during the hajjhajj
, the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, one of the five basic requirements (arkan or "pillars") of Islam. Its annual observance corresponds to the major holy day id al-adha, itself a commemoration of Abraham's readiness to sacrifice his son on Divine orders.
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, and it is toward the Kaaba that Muslims face in their prayers (see liturgy, Islamicliturgy, Islamic,
mandatory ritual prayer in Islam (salat) is performed five times a day at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and night. It requires ritual cleanliness, and is preceded by ablutions. The salat is also preceded by a call to prayer announced by a muezzin.
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). Pre-Islamic Meccans used it as a central shrine housing their many idols, most notable of which were al-Lat, al-Uzza, and Manat, collectively known as al-Gharaniq or the Daughters of God, and Hubal, a martial deity. The Black Stone, possibly of meteoric origin, is located at one of its outside corners. Also dating from pre-Islamic times as a heavenly relic, this stone is venerated and ritually kissed. Worn hollow by the centuries of veneration, the stone is held together by a wide silver band. The actual structure of the Kaaba has been demolished and rebuilt several times in the course of its history. Around the Kaaba is a restricted area, haram, extending in some directions as far as 12 mi (19 km), into which only Muslims may enter.

Kaaba

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Kaaba means "square building" or "cube." It refers to the Islamic shrine in Mecca that Muslims face when they pray. The shrine is built around the famous Black Stone, and it is said to have been built by Abraham and his son, Ishmael. It is the focus and goal of all Muslim pilgrims when they make their way to Mecca during their pilgrimage.

Kaaba

 

(from Arabic ka’aba al-qubba), Muslim shrine in Mecca. The Kaaba has the shape of a cube and is located in the center of a rectangular courtyard. The eastern corner of its outer wall contains a niche with the Black Stone (an ancient fetish). The spring of Zamzam flows beside it. In pre-Islamic times it was a sacred place to the pagan tribes of the Hijaz; according to tradition, 300 idols, to which different tribes paid homage, stood around it. Islam recognized the Kaaba’s sanctity. After the year 630 the idols were destroyed, and the Kaaba became a major shrine and place of pilgrimmage exclusively for Muslims.

Kaaba

A cube-shaped, flat-roofed building in the center of the Great Mosque at Mecca; the most sacred shrine of the Muslims.

Kaaba

central shrine at Mecca. [Islamic Religion: Brewer Dictionary, 513]