The Ka'bah, a shrine in Mecca's Great Mosque. The cube-shaped building is around 50 feet (15 meters) tall and measures approximately 35 by 40 feet (10 by 14 meters) at its base. It is the holiest place in Islam for prayer and contains some objects that are believed to have been used by Abraham.
According to some sources, the Ka'bah was built by Adam, along with other archeologists believe it was built many years before Adam. Regardless of how it came to be, it is important to note that the Ka'bah was not built by God himself but by an angel. According to Islamic beliefs, God told Ibrahim to build him a house as a sanctuary from which to watch over his creations. So, he built a place where people could pray toward Jerusalem. When Israel went into Egypt, they carried with them items from their former home including stones that would become the foundation of the future temple. When Israel returned home, they gave these stones as gifts to Ibrahim who placed them around the perimeter of his new building. Today, Muslims around the world visit the Ka'bah every year in order to ask God for forgiveness and to seek guidance.
After the construction of the Ka'bah, Ibrahim then moved his family to another area of land where he built another mosque called "Al-Masjid al-Aqsa".
It is the eastern cornerstone of the Kaaba, the old sacred stone edifice toward which Muslims worship in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, at the heart of the Grand Mosque. The stone measures around 30 cm (12 in.) in diameter and stands 1.5 meters (5 ft.) above the ground. It was probably once part of a larger rock but has been worn down by centuries of prayerful rubbing.
According to a hadith (a report from the Prophet Muhammad) transmitted by Abu Dawud and others, when the first pillar was erected in the Hijrā' desert near Mecca, it was about as big as a man's chest. The second pillar was also said to be this size. But after that people started making the pillars bigger so the third one was made bigger than the second and all the rest have been bigger too. So the Kaaba's rock must be very large to fit all these pillars.
The current Kaaba is not the first structure to which Muslims have prayed. It is believed that Islam's prophet Muhammad built several mosques during his life time; some of them are still standing today. One such mosque, located in the city of Medina, Saudi Arabia, was built around 615 CE by Muslim refugees who had fled Mecca after the Meccan polytheists massacred their community. This new sanctuary allowed Muslims to pray together outside of Mecca where prior to this event they could only pray individually because there were no other buildings available.
The contemporary structure's earliest elements date back to the 16th century. Muslim pilgrims round the Ka'bah (centre) of Mecca's Great Mosque, Saudi Arabia. Several pilgrimage ceremonies are performed at the mosque, which consists of a rectangular center courtyard surrounded by covered prayer sections. The central section is occupied by a black stone, the holiest place in Islam. Pilgrims walk around it while saying prayers.
The Ka'aba was originally built as a house for the prophet Abraham. He ordered that a large slab be placed as a doorstop and told his servants to build a shrine on it. When God commanded him to travel to war, he took Ibrahim (Abraham) with him. While they were away, a group of people entered the room where the stone had been used as a doorstop and moved the stone to another location. This act made them guilty of disobeying God and caused them to become strangers in their own land. So Muslims celebrate the anniversary of this event by performing the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
The original structure was built from clay and wood, but over time was replaced with stone. In 1511, the second Ka'aba was destroyed by the army of the emperor Babur who ruled over much of Asia. It was later rebuilt using materials taken from the first Ka'aba. This third Ka'aba still stands today.
Masjid al-Haram (lit. "the sacred mosque"), often known as the Grand Mosque or the Kaaba, is a mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. While conducting Salat, Muslims face the Qibla (the direction of the Kaaba). The Masjid al-Haram was built over an area of about 25,000 square meters (270,000 sq ft). It is the largest mosque in the world by floor space.
The Great Mosque of Kairouan is considered to be the largest Muslim building in the world by volume after being constructed using brick and stone. However, due to its rectangular shape, it is not aligned with the direction of prayer, making it invalid for worship. A second Kairouan mosque, the Umayyad Mosque, is larger than the Great Mosque of Kairouan but like it is also not oriented towards Mecca. Additionally, the Hassan II Mosque in Morocco is almost twice as large as the Great Mosque of Kairouan.
In terms of number of worshippers, the largest mosque in the world by far is the Juma Masjid in Jakarta, which can hold up to 10,000 people. The mosque was built in 1998 but was never used for public prayers because of disputes between local authorities and the owners of the site.
Unlike nearly any other religious monument, the Kaaba is now a cubical construction. It is fifteen meters tall and ten and a half meters broad, with corners that nearly correspond to the cardinal directions. The walls are of plain mud brick covered with plaster.
The building is the center of attention for all visitors to Mecca. They come from all over the world to see this single structure, which holds such importance in the religion of over 1 billion people. Although it was built many centuries ago, it still serves as the focus for prayers during the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
The word "Kaaba" means "cube" in Arabic. It is believed by Muslims around the world that when God's peace is spread upon earth that it will take the form of a cube.
There are several other important buildings in Mecca. One is the Black Stone, which is one of the few objects inside the Kaaba that isn't cleaned or washed before use. The stone is smooth on one side but carved with patterns of Qur'anic verses on the other. It is said to have been brought from another city far away from Mecca. The other buildings include the Sacred Mosque (which is not actually sacred), the Prophet's Mosque (where Muhammad is buried), and the Complex for Reading the Quran (where scholars study the holy book).