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Ask A Muslim: What is the Kaaba?

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By Admir Rasic 

What is the Kaaba?

The Kaaba is the small, black building in Mecca that Muslims circumambulate during the annual pilgrimage of hajj. In Arabic, Kaaba simply means “cube,” since the building is shaped like a cube. Muslims believe that Abraham originally built the Kaaba with his son Ishmael as a devotional act to God. Worldwide, Muslims turn to face the direction of the Kaaba when performing the five daily prayers. For example, Muslims in the United States turn their bodies toward the east when praying since that is the direction of the Kaaba from the US, while Muslims in India face west since the Kaaba is west of India.

The Kaaba is the most holy site in Islam. What makes it special to Muslims is the belief that people, including prophets, have worshiped God at that site for thousands of years. More mystically, the cornerstone of the Kaaba is known as the Black Stone. Some Muslims believe that this stone fell from heaven as a sign for Adam and Eve to build a house of worship. The Kaaba itself is empty inside and is only opened occasionally for cleaning. In fact, there are always at least hundreds of people praying and worshiping at the site of the structure 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Admir Rasic
Admir Rasic
Admir Rasic was born in Bosnia-Herzegovina a few years before the start of the Yugoslav wars. He and his family and lived in Germany as war refugees before moving to the United States in 2000, making Spokane their new home. He is a proud dad of a 2-year-old daughter and the son of a concentration camp survivor. "I am grateful to God for all of the blessings in my life," he said. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington in English Literature and enjoys playing soccer, reading books and meeting new people. His goal is to make the world a better place for his daughter.

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